12 Pastel Nail Ideas to Save to Your Inspo Board ASAP

Pastel nail ideas: pastel nail art designs

If you're like me and constantly checking Pinterest for the latest and greatest nail trends, you'll appreciate what I'm about to share with you. Whether I need to find the right coral polish for my skin tone or just want to easily re-create my favourite nail art designs (yes, I keep busy), I turn to my trusty inspo board to keep it all in one place. Now, there's another realm of the nail-design universe that I haven't fully explored yet: pastel nail ideas.

I've always loved pastel hues but rarely think to create new nail looks with the shades—weird, I know. But now that I've created a whole new board dedicated solely to changing this, I called in an expert to share some of her favourite looks using these soft-toned hues. Celebrity nail artist and Nails of LA founder Brittney Boyce had a few cool ideas to clue me in on. Keep scrolling for her ultra-chic pastel picks, a few of my own, and how you can achieve each look.

1. Abstract Pastel Blue Designs

Pastel nail ideas: abstract pastel blue designs

Photo:

@nails_of_la

"Everyone does flowers for spring, but that's not really my aesthetic. I like doing minimal abstract takes on looks mixed with French tips. A deconstructed floral in a warm pastel blue or even purple is somewhat different."

2. Pastel French Tips

Pastel nail ideas: pastel french tips

Photo:

@nails_of_la

"Mix and match French tips are such a classic design. For pastel colors, I like the tip to be a bit thicker so you see a lot of the color. You can also do a half-French tip with a white outline to really play up the pastel shade."

3. Ombré Pastel French Tips

Pastel nail ideas: Ombre pastel tip

Photo:

@nails_of_la

"Ombré French tips in a monochrome look is another fun way to play with pastel."

4. Geometric Shapes With Metallic Accents

Pastel nail ideas

Photo:

@nails_of_la

"Painting geometric shapes with metallic accents is another fun way to play up pastel colours and make it more modern."

5. Pastel Sunset Designs

Pastel nail ideas: Pastel Sunset Designs

Photo:

@imarninails

I'll fully admit this is not an easy design and might require a professional nail tech, but it's so dreamy I couldn't leave it off the inspo board. If you do want to try it yourself, it would look stunning with a subtle pop of pastel purple to create the look of a sky. 

6. Blue-and-Pink Gradient Designs 

Pastel nail ideas: Pastel Gradient Designs

Photo:

@imarninails

This design looks a bit more complicated than it is. You can actually DIY your own gradient-style designs by placing your desired colours on a sponge and lightly dabbing them on your nails until you achieve the desired hue.

7. Pastel Skittle Nails

Pastel nail ideas: Skittle Nails

Photo:

@imarninails

We love a good simple design that's still fun and eye-catching. Paint your nails the (pastel) colours of the rainbow on each hand.

Get the look:

As far as pastel polishes go, this is one of Boyce's favorites. "Sometimes pastel greens can look very Easter. This pistachio green is a bit more elevated with an earthy tone to it."

"Periwinkle is so big this year," Boyce says.

8. Pastel Pink and Rose Gold

For a little pop of metallic sheen, weave in various shades of rose gold to your traditional pastel-pink manicure. It adds a unique vibrancy.

9. Pastel Yellow Squiggles

Pastel nail ideas: Pastel Yellow Squiggles

Photo:

@imarninails

Sure, this design takes extra commitment, but if you can execute it, it'll be 100% worth it. You'll definitely want to use a super thin brush for a look like this to get the best results.

10. Shades of Blue & White

Pastel nail ideas: Shades of Blue & White

Photo:

@themaniclub

If you're wanting a softer blue-toned look, try these pastel hues with subtle whites and greys to really make it pop.

11. Pastel Floral Designs

Pastel nail ideas

Photo:

@thehangedit

Before you hit me with a Devil Wears Prada quote, just look at how cute this little floral design looks atop a lilac nail shade!? You really can't argue with that.

12. Half-Painted Pastel Nails

Pastel nail ideas: Half-Painted Pastel Nails

Photo:

@thehangedit

For something a little different than a French tip or fully painted nail, try this fun design instead and paint half.

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