The most impressive grown-up nail art you can do at home

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Nail art can be a thing of beauty and we're constantly scouring Pinterest for the latest and greatest looks created on nails.

But when it comes to actually doing them ourselves, we're stumped. Most of the time we find painting both of our nails in a single block colour difficult, so we're not exactly ready for the challenge of creating an entire mini park scene across our nail beds.

However, we're always keen to dabble in a bit of nail experimentation, so we've pulled together the 25 best foolproof nail art looks that anyone could do at home.

Even if they take a lot a couple of tries to get perfect, we think these are worth giving a try.

  • Rectangle box

    A cool look for summer, you can recreate this design by painting your nails in a base coat and then adding a rectangle in a different colour to each nail. Simple! Image via Instagram

  • Pastel pinstripes

    Use a thin nail art brush to stripe your nails (personally, we prefer this look a little wonky). See more at

  • Evil eye

    We love this design from WAH Nails. Recreate the look with some nail art pens - easy! Image via Instagram

  • Blobby nail art

    This look can be switched up with any colours of the rainbow. Simply paint your base colour and then top with abstract blobs of a different colour. Image via Instagram.

  • Neon triangles

    Simply paint a triangle on the tip of your nails, no tutorial required! Image via Pinterest

  • Monochrome criss cross

    This look works best with monochrome but can be styled up with any colours you fancy. Paint a white base and then freestyle abstract lines over the top using a thin black polish. Image via Pinterest

  • Leopard print

    This leopard print design is deceptively simple - all you need is a black nail art pen and a base colour of your choice. Watch the video tutorial by Wah Nails

  • Negative space nails

    Graphic shaped negative space nails are brilliantly simple. If you have a spare half hour, some polishes and some striping tape, try out this tutorial from So Nailicious

  • Black outline figures

    For those with a steady hand (or a willing friend!) this look can be achieved in minutes. Simply paint your nails and then draw whatever takes your fancy on top using a nail art pen. Image via Pinterest.

  • Pastel V

    Use the complimentary pastel shades of your choice for this look. Get the full tutorial at Style Caster

  • T-bar nails

    This unbelievably chic look requires a steady hand and a white nail art pen. Get the tutorial at Love Aesthetics

  • Stripe manicure

    To achieve this quirky look, simply stick strips of tape on your nails where you want them left bare and then paint around in the colours of your choice. The full tutorial is at The Beauty Department.

  • Triangle mani

    Duct tape is essential for this look. Tape over your nails leaving a thin triangle bare on each and then fill this in with black (or whatever colour you fancy!) Peel off the tape once dry and voila. Image via The Fashion Medley

  • White triangle mani

    This half moon negative space look is simply created by painting your nails in one colour but leaving a curve untouched. Image via Fashion Medley

  • Diagonal stripe

    Simply paint a diagonal stripe across the top of your  nails and voila! See more at Top Inspired

  • Triangle half moons

    For a quick and quirky look, paint a triangle over the half moon at the base of your nails. Image via Pinterest.

  • Strips

    This look can be created using normal nail polish but, for slimmer strips, use nail art pens in a variety of colours. Paint a line of strips across the top of your nail and then fill in each gap with a line of corresponding strips in a different colour. Then, fill in the gaps from the second layer with yet a different colour, and cover with a top coat. Voila! Image via Instagram

  • Sparkly geode inspired nail art

    This look works with almost every colour of the rainbow. Simply paint your nails in a base colour and then add graduated colours from the tip downwards using an old paintbrush. See more at The Beauty Department

  • Black French manicure

    Go dark with a black-tipped French manicure. See more at Current Fixation

  • Single stripe

    For this chic look, simply stick a thin piece of coloured tape across one of your nails and cover with a top coat (tiny gem stone optional). Image via Reddit

  • Single triangle

    Simple but effective, this look can be quickly replicated with a black nail art pen (or even a nail art sticker!) Image via The Fashion Medley

  • Single dots

    A single dot can make all the difference. Use the bottom of a kirby grip to add a speck of colour to each nail, mixing up the location to suit. Image via Instagram

  • Line of dots

    A cool look for festivals, this is a glamorous way to add some sparkle to your nails. Simply paint your nails and add a straight line of dots in a different colour from top to bottom. Image via Instagram

  • Glitter pinkie

    The perfect solution for anyone with shaky hands, simply paint your nails before covering your little finger nail in a coat of glitter. See more at Patricia Bright's blog

  • Monochrome curves

    This striking look is simple but requires a steady hand. Paint your nails in a base colour and then outline the curve using eyeliner, before filling in. See more at Top Inspired

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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