Creative Looks in Nail Design

Twenty-first century nail design goes way beyond the single-coat-and-color philosophy. Nail techs today can create looks that take nails everywhere from sexy to outrageous – the more innovative, the better. Check out some of the most interesting (and out-there) nail art we’ve seen, and get inspired to become a nail tech and create your own adventurous designs.


Pop open a bottle of bubbly and have a good time with this glittery, rhinestone-loving nail art. These nails would look great on a fun-loving, young (or young at heart) lady heading out for a night on the town.


Nothing says Christmas like nails that say, well, “Merry Christmas.” You’ll need a steady hand and a tiny brush to create this look, which will wow guests at every Christmas party you hit. And how can you go wrong with the fabulous French manicure base?


We are loving the nod to the immortal Kitty in this whimsical Japanese nail art. From that famous face to the super-cute gumball machine, it’s hard to imagine a more purr-fect design. Plus, these nails will win the adoration of little and big girls everywhere.


Hmmm… The design is certainly creative, but the application is a little too homespun for our liking. It could be a good look for a high school kid who wants something fun to distract her during a boring class, but these nails aren’t really “dressed” to impress.


Do these nails remind anyone else of Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman”? Sure, they might give you late ‘80s / early ‘90s flashbacks, but retro is way in. Find a coordinating outfit to complete the look.


It’s simple but bold, and it will show off your expert nail painting skills. The plain red nails keep the patterned nails from overwhelming the look, but we still can’t keep our eyes off it.


Well, this is another way to make a statement with your nails, but we’re just not sure it’s one you want to make. If you’re looking for attention, however, the creepy blood and candy corn painted nails certainly deliver.


The look is easy to create, but classy for just about any occasion. Offsetting the simple yet classic French manicure with a few floral-inspired nails keeps the style beautiful but not overwhelming. And if you’re not the type who thinks pink, this design is versatile enough to work in just about any color.


Love it, love it, love it. Soda-can nail art says you don’t take yourself too seriously – but you will take the time to do intricate design work and do it well. Our fave: the glittery green Mello Yello.


Who’s ready to go under the sea? These gorgeous, underwater-themed nails showcase your spontaneous side and still possess an air of elegance. Love the 3D gems, which make the nails a complete visual treat.


Brides might be looking for a simple French manicure, but why not update the look with trendy 3D nail art flowers to coordinate with the rest of the wedding flowers?

Explore nail tech programs, where you can learn how to create looks like these and more. And feel free to post your latest nail designs here!

–Robyn Tellefsen


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