If you're anything like me and constantly checking Instagram for the latest and greatest nail trends, you'll appreciate what I'm about to share with you. Whether I need inspiration ahead of my next salon appointment, a new colourway to try out, or a fun way to embrace the latest nail trends or attempt a seasonally-inspired manicure, my trusty 'nail inspo' folder helps me to keep it all in one place.
I've always loved wearing pastel hues and lately I've noticed more and more pastel nail art designs popping up on my social media feeds—confirmed on my latest salon visit, where nail artist Ashleigh Bamber told me that pastels are amongst her top requests from clients this year. "Pastel shades are actually surprisingly versatile and suit all skin tones," she tells me. "I also think that people see pastels as a 'safe' way to experiment with colour when they don't want to wear anything too bold and bright."
From pastel French tips to pastel aura nails, keep scrolling for the very best pastel nail ideas from my saved folder, plus product recommendations to help you achieve each look.
1. Pastel French Tips
Everyone loves a classic French tip, but if you want to mix things up, a pastel tip is a great alternative to plain white. The subtle hint of colour is a fun way to brighten up your nails for spring or summer or to match an outfit, but still looks super chic.
2. Pastel Block Colour
It might seem obvious, but if you're into simple and minimal nail designs, or are simply after something that's easy to DIY at home, a block colour pastel design should not be overlooked. From baby pink and sky blue to peachy hues and mint greens, there are unlimited possibilities (quite literally) at your fingertips.
3. Ombré Rainbow
If you're feeling experimental, ombré nails are another fun way to showcase pastel colours. This look is surprisingly easy to DIY—all you need is some disposable makeup sponges. I love the way that the rainbow transitions through each tip in this design.
4. Wavy Shapes
Minimal nail art designs which see fun shapes set against a neutral background (usually using BIAB or builder gel) are majorly on trend right now. We love the use of contrasting colours in this wavy design.
5. Blank Space
Like the above, this design makes use of blank space and a natural-looking background to make the colourful shapes stand out. I'll fully admit this is not an easy design and might require a professional nail tech, so this is probably one to add to your own inspo folder ahead of your next manicure appointment.
6. Ombré Gradient
Another eye-catching ombré nail art design—this one using the same three colours throughout. The seamless fade between each shade is so ethereal.
7. Pastel Multicolour
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.
8. Pastel Aura
I don't know about you, but aura nails are all over my Instagram feed at the moment. The design looks super pretty when pastel shades are used—you can try it at home using the same sponge blotting technique used in ombré designs, but in salon your nail tech will probably use an airbrush tool.
9. Pastel Doodles
With the right nail brush (a small, thin tip and short bristles) you'll find that a design like this is surprisingly easy to recreate. The pastels looks especially chic when set against a matte background.
10. Pink Gradient
If you're after a subtle way to wear colour, choose your favourite shade and try a gradient design ranging from pretty pastels through to muted brights.
11. Pastel Florals
Before you hit me with a Devil Wears Prada quote, just look at how cute this little floral design looks in a pastel colour theme...
12. Geometric Shapes
For a modern and on-trend design, experiment with geometric shapes, straight lines, and clashing colours.