I remember when I was growing up that there wasn’t a whole lot that women did with their nails. Usually you just painted on some conservative shade of polish for a clean look, and that was it. Thankfully we are living in far more expressive times now, and nail art has become so much more than it ever was before! We’re seeing so many amazing colors and designs; it’s just an explosion of creativity!
I want to share 100 of the best acrylic nail designs with you, but first, I realize that some of you may not actually be all that familiar with acrylic nails. They’re one of the most popular nail treatments you can get, but if you’ve never tried them, you may not be familiar with the benefits.
First off, what are acrylic nails? Acrylic is a protective coating which is applied using a powder polymer and liquid monomer. As the coating is exposed to the air, it dries and hardens.
Here are the benefits:
- Acrylic is strong. The coating itself will stand the test of time, and will also protect your nails.
- Acrylic is less expensive than gel nails.
- While acrylic nails can be damaged, you can usually repair them yourself. If you want to get them removed, it is really easy.
- Best of all, acrylic makes the perfect surface to paint colors and designs on! Let your imagination go wild. You can get the technician to paint designs on your nails, or you can do it yourself.
If you’re looking for the ultimate acrylic nail design gallery, you’ve found it! Check out these stunning acrylic nail design images from around the web and get inspired!
Blue, pink, and gold nails
Here is another beautiful bit of nail art from Stephanie Loesch. These nails feature pink and pale blue (almost a teal color). Some nails are done only in pink, others only in blue, and others fading in an ombre spectrum from one shade to the next. Gold glitter and embellishments do a nice job jazzing it up without taking over.
High contrast chevrons
Here are some colors I would not even have thought would really work together, but they do. We have nude, a fairly bright pink, lavender, white, gold, and copper, all as part of the same palette. The chevrons form a hard contrast with each other; the copper sparkles really are eye-catching against the pastel hues. The overall effect is as mesmerizing as it is surprising.
Maroon and gold flowers
These nails have a really beautiful color palette. Nude, maroon, gold, and black work very nicely together. There is a lot of contrast between the darker and lighter colors, but everything works very nicely from a complementary standpoint as well. The embellishments are beautiful, but there is plenty of simplicity in this look as well. The result is a sense of balance and artistic glamour.
Antique Valentine’s Day look
These nails use a sparkly base which has a lot of different colors in it, but which falls mainly into the red area. The sparkly base is actually so pretty I think it looks fabulous on its own. It really makes the perfect backdrop for the beautiful vines and hearts in gold polish however, and the finished look here is stunning to be sure.
Pink and silver simplicity
This is a great nail design because it has a gorgeous simplicity to it. The only two colors used are the muted pink and the sparkly silver. The two are integrated in a way which is organic, understated, and appealing to the eye. The silver embellishes the pink, but it isn’t “loud” in the slightest. I think this look could be worn pretty much anywhere, and you might even be able to wear it to the office.
Heart rate nails
This is a look I have seen in a number of places now, but this is one of the best renditions of it that I have found yet. The nails are painted with a design which imitates the look of a heart rate monitor. The gradient of colors really looks nice, especially against the simple black backdrop. These nails immediately get your attention, and probably would stand out great even from a distance. Since the concept is clever and easy to place in the real world, they would be great for eliciting comments and compliments.
Gold, purple, and red sparkly nails
If you are into rich, deep, vivid, warm colors, you will love these nails. The hues of gold, purple, and red are perfect for fall. At the same time, they have this royal richness to them which is just instantly classy. What stands out the most about these nails though is the way the colors are so beautifully blended. The simple gradients from purple to red which are featured on several of the nails work particularly well.
Purple, green, and white eclectic nails
These are another set of nails by the same artist who created the glamorous nails above. There really isn’t much of a uniting theme here. The blue, green, and pink sparkles are featured in several of the nails, but others feature silver sparkles. A deep, warm shade of purple is used as the base on a couple of the nails, but the others are white or sparkly green. One nail has a pattern of vines worked in. Yet for some reason, despite all these seemingly conflicting elements, at a glance you somehow get the impression of unity. I guess it must be the gestalt principle at work!
Elegance in black, maroon, and gold
Finally, here is one more design by the same artist as the two above that I just adore! This one is much more unified than the one I shared previously. All the nails use the same simple color scheme of black, maroon, and gold. These three colors accent one another amazingly well, and the overall effect they create together is one of total refinement.
Monochromatic lacey nails
It isn’t easy to find a good way to sum up this look, but it is beautiful for sure. The only colors used are black and white, a kind of translucent grey, and a nude color. Each nail features some combination of these colors. Several are done with lacey patterns in black on translucent grey, one features white sparkles on nude, and so on. Together they look stunning.
Wedding glamour nails
These nails were inspired by an outfit that Beyonce wore to one of her concerts. So by intent, they really have nothing to do with weddings. I still had to title them as if they did though, because they would be the perfect look for one! The only colors are shades of white embellished with a faint rainbow sparkle from the elements adorning them. I really like the “mermaid tail” mesh look and how subtle it is with just the layers of white. The nails have a sense of depth to them. This is a really beautiful look, perfect for a formal occasion!
Pink, white, and gold nails
These nails stand out because they feature a really simple geometric design that makes ample use of space. Some of the nails feature a simple fade from nude to white, with or without a thin gold stripe at the tips. Others feature a simple checkerboard pattern in white and gold. Sometimes it is the simplest designs that are the best.
Basic pink with silver sparkle
If you are new to the world of acrylic nail art, it is easy to be intimidated by all the super-elaborate designs that are out there. This design is a great reminder that you don’t always have to go overboard to get a really great look. These nails are as simple as they get—just your basic pink with a single nail done in silver sparkles to catch the eye.
Learn how to make aquarium nails
Have you ever wondered how those elaborate acrylic nails with the clear “aquarium” effect are achieved? While you might think that each nail would take an age to complete, this YouTube video tutorial shows you how you can do each nail in a matter of minutes. It is easy to follow along, and the final result is absolutely gorgeous!
Oriental tile nails
It’s back to Didoline’s Nails & CO for yet another amazing set of nails. These are patterned after oriental tiles. Dorra says that she tried to create this look on her own a number of times, but was never entirely satisfied with the results. This time she managed to run into a stamping plate that helped her reproduce the look neatly on her nails. And they look fabulous!
If you like cute nails and are searching for something that is perfect for the fall season, you will love these adorable pumpkins! Usually when I see nail designs that feature a pattern with objects like this, I feel like they are just so busy you can’t see what’s going on. But this design is pretty simple and the pumpkins look great! If you stick to a narrow color palette like this, you will get the best effect.
Autumn dry brush nails
These colors look pretty unexpected together (orange, yellow, grey, and a kind of muted grey-blue). But they work. What they remind me of is an autumn sunset. The sun has largely set, and the muted colors of night are starting to take over the sky, but there is still a fiery glow on the underside of some of the clouds.
Juicy citrus nails
First off, this color is just awesome! It’s so bold and vivacious, and it just makes you think immediately of summer. Painting on the citrus slice patterns was a stroke of genius, since it capitalizes on how refreshing and bright this color is. This is a bubbly and effervescent look like no other!
Pretty daisy nails
If you like floral nails but maybe are looking for something that isn’t so “lacey” as a lot of floral looks, you will like these pretty daisy nails. The yellow, white, and dark blue all work really well together and give a great contrast. That contrast makes the flowers stand out vividly, and also helps to keep the look from being too busy. Surprisingly, the effect is instead one of simplicity.
Bold pink stiletto nails
This bold look in white, old, and hot pink commands instant attention, especially with the dramatic stiletto shape. The chevrons accent that shape very nicely. You would spot these nails from a mile away.
Pastel sparkles and stars
Galaxy nails are some awesome! With dozens of inspiring nails out there, it was hard to choose just a few examples of this trend to share. These nails are particularly fun because they feature the “starry” look to them, but then throw in some actual star shapes for good measure. For that reason they almost remind me of an illustration of a nebula you’d find in a children’s storybook. They are so whimsical!
Pelican Nebula Nails
These nails not only look amazing, but also have the geeky appeal of having been inspired by a real nebula! Loosely patterned on the Pelican Nebula, they feature beautiful, realistic swirls of color in a mesmerizing space-inspired design. What an awesome idea. You could do a whole series of these inspired by different nebulas. That’s a whole universe of nails, with so many possibilities to explore!
High contrast lacey nails
Most nails that use the lace effect feature pastel colors. Sometimes however you will see lace used in a high-contrast look like this one. The base color looks like black in the photographs, but apparently is actually a super-dark purple. Either way, it makes the white lace patterns really stand out.
Lacey copper tips
These beautiful nails feature a dark base polish (it looks to me to be a kind of burgundy color, but it is hard to tell from the photographs) and a lacey pattern stamped on in copper over the tips. You are not going to find a style with more elegance and refinement than this one.
We hope that you enjoyed our collection of 100 beautiful and creative acrylic nail art designs from around the web! Acrylic nail art is a wonderful hobby, and once you really get into it, it can become your passion. Many nail art designs look complicated and hard to recreate, but are actually much easier than you think! With the tutorials we have shared and all these beautiful inspiring images, you should be ready to create your own mesmerizing designs!