Abstract Nail Designs
Beauty

These aesthetic abstract nail designs are wearable works of art

Soft swirls, micro-blocks, colour flares and more.

We really are living in a golden era of nail art. There are delicate nail designs, non-naff Valentine’s Day nail designs and negative space nail designs, not to mention multiple reincarnations of classic manicures – I’m thinking, of course, about the skinny French nail trend. Most recently though, it’s been aesthetic abstract nail designs living rent-free inside my brain. 

Epitomised by syncopated colour schemes and whirls of assorted shapes, abstract nails can be as bold or understated as you like. Here are seven genius designs for inspiration.

  1. 1.

    Strategic swirls

    A nude, neutral or clear base underneath soft swirls helps disguise regrowth and extend the time between manicures. Picking out one or two digits to try an abstract style can be an easy way to dip a toe in new nail waters.  

  2. 2.

    Abstract French manicure

    An assortment of satisfyingly round blobs, thin ovals and traditional French tips, abstract nail designs can also be extrapolated riffs of classic manicures. A singular colour scheme is a sleek way to keep the effect streamlined.

  3. 3.

    Puzzle pieces

    Pink and red aren’t colours reserved solely for Valentine’s Day. In fact, slotted together in a puzzle-like formation feels joyful and fun. Try this with other loosely monochromatic shades – light and dark green, for example – or contrasting colours with a seamless, flush join. 

  4. 4.

    Shape assortment

    A nail design that is probably best executed by a professional – unless you have a seriously steady left and right hand – overlay undulating swirls, small spheres and rounded rectangles and blocks of contrasting colours over a clear base. The effect: 10 digits that double as mini works of art.

  5. 5.

    Colour flares

    Similar to the dreamy, calm, almost treacle-like relaxation that comes after meditation or a massage, this nail design focuses on alternating base designs adorned with ethereal bursts of contrasting colour. Soft and dispersed, it’s a great option if you don’t like straight lines or angular shapes.

  1. 6.

    Melting waves

    A masterclass in blending bold and neutral shades, work from the base to create rolling waves of  colour from softest to brightest.

  2. 7.

    Tricolour

    Channel bohemian 70s energy with a triple colour ripple, leaving the majority of the nail clear or nude to really let the design breathe and stand out.

Main image: Christine Doan

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