14 Easy Nail Art Ideas for Valentine’s Day

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This Valentine’s Day is going to be different. While in the past we might search endlessly for the perfect red Valentine’s lippie, now many of us seldom wear lipstick under our masks. This year, put extra effort into nail looks and let your hands do the talking instead!

Here are some fun nail art ideas for Valentine’s Day (and beyond)!

First things first, prep your hands and nails. Apply hand cream and cuticle oil, and buff away the rough edges and bumps on nails to ensure smooth application and decrease chipping of your nail polish. To avoid weakening nails and discoloration, apply a base coat. Many base coats are also formulated to strengthen nails, so don’t forget this step.

1. Rhinestones

Adding rhinestones to your fingertips is a fun way to elevate any look! For a luxe yet easy-to-wear finish, go for a monochrome palette by matching the rhinestones to the base color. Apply nail glue in small dots where you want the rhinestones to be. Use tweezers to individually place each rhinestone while the nail glue is still wet. Alternatively, use a cotton swab to affix rhinestones onto nails. Dampen the swab and use it to stamp the rhinestone in place.

Try the look:

2. Polka Dots

Red and white polka dots are a classic Valentine’s Day look that’s easy to do. If you’re not a fan of the Minnie Mouse style, try other color combinations. For a slight twist, use different-sized dots to create a quirky finish!

Try the look:

3. Minimal Hearts

Ideal for minimalists, this dainty nail art is easy to create and a great way to celebrate the most romantic day of the year! A small, single heart on each nail is cute, subtle and perfect for nail art beginners. Use a dotting tool to make three dots in a triangular shape, and then join the dots to make the heart. If this look is too tricky to do by hand, you can always use stickers instead.

Try the look:

4. Stripes

It’s hard to go wrong with stripes! Whether you opt for free-hand stripes or clean, taped-off strokes, this is easy to DIY at home. The style also pairs well with anything from your closet and won’t look out of place in a non-Valentine’s Day setting.

Try the look:

5. Lettering

Lettering may seem a bit old-fashioned in the nail art scene, but you can give it a chic, minimal makeover with cute XOXOs. Use a thin detail brush for maximum control. If you’ve got super shaky hands, opt for stickers or rhinestone decals.

Try the look:

6. Unconventional French Tips

The classic French tip works for any look or occasion, but there’s always room for experimentation. Try a shocking shade instead of white this Valentine’s! For a low-maintenance version that lasts longer, opt out of the base color and just paint the French tip on nails.

Try the look:

7. Color-Block

The color-block trend is great for the artsy folks. There are many ways to interpret this style and really make it your own. Go all out and use all the colors in the rainbow, or pull off a more subtle look in monochromatic shades. You can go freehand for a more organic finish, and clean the edges later once the nails are dry. If you prefer crisp and clean edges, use nail art masking tape. For the minimalists, embrace the negative space trend by choosing a clear base instead!

Try the look:

8. Heart Tips

This super on-trend and effortless style looks best on long pointed tips, like almond and stiletto nail shapes. The V-Day-appropriate minimalist manicure gives your nails a chic and polished look, sans the effort! You can easily make heart-shaped tips with a nail polish brush, but for a more precise finish, use a flat or filbert-tipped nail art brush.

Try the look:

9. Floral

For the romanticist at heart, floral nail art is the go-to look to match the roses from your boo. Though it’s slightly cheesy, there’s no better day to sport these nails. Use a dotting tool or a nail art brush and draw “C” in a circular motion until you get your desired size. Alternatively, opt for stickers or stamp-ons to add quick and intricate flowers to your nails.

Try the look:

10. Brush Strokes

Up your mani game in a big way with abstract art! This trendy nail look features irregular brush strokes in a mish-mash of monochromatic shades. Concentrate the brush strokes towards the tip for a more wearable and gradual finish.

Try the look:

11. Gradient

Want to add a little mystery to your look? Gradient nails are simple but still bring subtle pizazz, and this look can be done on short or long nails! Use a sponge to create an effortless gradient effect on your nails, and clean up the edges later with a cotton swab.

Try the look:

12. Reverse French Tips

Give the classic French tip a trendy spin by moving it back to the cuticle! This style has been trending for a while as it’s unique yet easy to wear. You can even add a fresh line of polish as your nails grow to give them a new look.

Try the look:

13. Glitter

More of a glitz and glam kinda gal? Glitter adds instant glam to nails and can work on any nail shape or length. If you’re worried that hand sanitizer will crack your nail art, glitter polish formulas are strong enough to last up to two weeks without chipping.

Try the look:

14. Tonal

Can’t choose which shade of pink or red to go for on Valentine’s Day? Try tonal nails! This fun and quirky look is perfect for the indecisive. Artsy folks can up the ante and go for the Pinterest indie nail trend by wearing all of the above nail art looks at the same time!

Try the look:

Remember to moisturize hands regularly! Keep a small hand cream in your purse, and apply when needed to make sure hands and cuticles remain soft and hydrated. This will decrease the chances of hangnails and ensure your polish lasts longer.

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