14 Pretty, Uncomplicated Nail Designs To Try At Home This Weekend

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We're all well on our way to becoming nail techs — at least for ourselves, that is. It's because even as our formal nail appointments are cancelled for who knows how long, the desire for healthy, clean, and glamorous nails remains. Luckily, May 2020 nail art designs require little to no prior skill, just patience, the occasional toothpick, and a willingness to give nail beds the love and care they actually deserve.

"People forget to properly prep their nails and clean their cuticles, before proceeding with decorating" Brittney Boyce, ORLY consulting nail artist, says. "I never recommend cutting cuticles at home as it’s easy to overdo it, but use a cuticle remover like ORLY’s Cutique Cuticle and Stain Remover to soften it, then wash your hands and moisturize it with a cuticle oil or cream." Additionally, Boyce says another mistake that people make is applying too much nail polish. "You want to apply in thin, even layers so it doesn’t get goopy," she says. "Try applying nail polish in just three strokes per layer — middle, left, then right (or right then left)."

But the reality is that this will end. And when it does, and when caring for our own nails is no longer our responsibility, professionals like Elle Gerstein, whose clients include Blake Lively and Gigi Hadid, hope that people will make better decisions in who they trust with their nails. "I’m hoping this results in more informed decisions about going to qualified nail techs who understand proper protocols for hygiene," she says. "I hope people will understand that they've been walking in many salons that offer lower price services that are skipping the important steps of standard cleanliness procedures. Those salons were making nail care a gamble before this pandemic. They rely on turnover to make money and do not have the ample time to do the proper cleaning standards between clients."

So ahead, check out the latest nail trends that are just as much about nail health as aesthetic appeal, and are easy to execute, no matter your skill set.

May 2020 Nail Designs: Dots

If you're looking to add some flair to your manicure, Gerstein suggests one of the oldest tricks in the book. "If you want just simple because you aren’t that creative try simple dots with a toothpick," she says. Pro tip: layer dots of different colors atop each other for some added contrast and style.

May 2020 Nail Designs: "Everything" Nails

If you don't have the most steady hand, good news: abstract nail art is still having its moment. "Try everything," Gerstein says. "If you are more artistic go for gusto. If not, just try something outside the box anyway. By choosing colors that compliment you can layer shades to create amazing patterns or anything really." Pro tip: drop small amounts of polish in varying colors on the nail and combine as desired with a wooden cuticle stick.

May 2020 Nail Designs: Manicure Jewels

There's no easier way to embellish a manicure than simply adhering a decorative sticker to the nails. Pro tip: incorporate both silver and gold to your manicure for an edgy look that breaks the rules of fashion.

May 2020 Nail Designs: "Brush Stroke Technique"

"The Brush Stroke technique, where each nail looks like a cool brush stroke painting, is also a fun design," Boyce says. "You can either brush on just one color or add dimensions by layering a shimmer on top of an opaque, creamy color."

May 2020 Nail Designs: Easy French Tips

The old-school style is seeing a resurgence that celebrities, runways, and everyday nail lovers are all obsessing over. "The French tip is an easy one, and right now it’s really cool to paint the tips with bright neon shades if you don’t want to go with the traditional white," Boyce says.

May 2020 Nail Designs: Half-Circles

"Geometric shapes and lines like half circles on a bare nail is also fun and easy to try," Boyce says. "The key is to use a brush dipped in nail polish remover to clean up the edges."

May 2020 Nail Designs: Classic Buff Manicure

Anna Webber/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Anna Webber/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

One of the biggest nail trends of May gives new meaning to "minimalism." While some are focused on designs, others are taking a step back from the extravagant and focusing solely on nail health with just a bit of top coat. For ultra gloss, buff the nail until shiny, then add the clear polish.

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