My Birthday Is Coming Up, so I Asked Celebrity Nail Artists for Design Ideas

Like most folks out there, I give myself a free *extra AF* pass on my birthday. It's the one day a year that I can truly go over the top and no one can really say a thing about it (thank you, based birthday gods). Something I struggle with, however, is finding what to wear on this special day—and I'm not just talking about clothes. My birthday is next week (the big 3-0), and of course, the first thing I did was proceed to Google "birthday nail designs" to get ideas for my celebratory manicure. I didn't find much I was inspired by and thus, this article was born. I decided to tap three nail artists for some fresh ideas.

"For birthday nails, usually everyone wants designs that are a bit more special and personal to themselves," says LeChat Nails Educator and nail artist Hemi Park. "For example, astrological sign-inspired mani or hand-painted favorite characters (like Disney) can be typical, or vacation destination-inspired designs have also been popular. I usually recommend going bold with color choices or patterns on shorter nails. Seeing current trends, choosing reflective glitters and French tip nails with bold accents can really make your nails pop. They're also super fun to wear while celebrating your birthday week or month."

That statement alone gave me a plethora of inspo, but Park actually didn't stop there. "Any designs with exciting elements like thermal or reflective glitter polish [are great]. My favorite is the LeChat Nails Sky Dust Collection, which is absolutely wonderful for party season as well. Especially for the season of fun photo sessions, I recommend trying out reflective glitter on the nails because those glitters stand out under bright lighting and camera flash. I also personally love incorporating reflective glitters in a plaid design to add little glee." 

For more design ideas, keep on scrolling! There's something for every birthday queen.

Frosted Gloss
Birthday Nail Design Ideas: Frosted Gloss Nails

Photo:

@themaniclub

I love how subtle this creamy nail glaze is. It definitely still adds birthday-level shimmer but isn't too over the top. It's for those who like more of an understated birthday look.

Ultra Platinum
Birthday Nail Design Ideas: Ultra Platinum

Photo:

@naglarbynattis

Maximalists, on the other hand, will appreciate this platinum look by nail artist Nathalie Hammar. All of her designs are so intricate and incredible, but this is one she wholeheartedly backs for a birthday celebration.

Champagne Shimmer
Birthday Nail Design Ideas: Champagne Shimmer

Photo:

@themaniclub

This shimmery rose-gold polish is easy to find and looks gorgeous for a birthday celebration. If you're on a budget this birthday season, don't worry, this one is easy to DIY. You can either buy a shimmer-infused polish like ILNP Juliette Holographic Nail Polish ($10) or opt for a similar shade and paint a sparkly top coat over it. Easy peasy and maybe only requires a steady hand.

Rouge Red French Tip
Birthday Nail Design Ideas: Rouge Red French Tip

Photo:

@nails_of_la

Celebrity nail artist Brittney Boyce loves a thick, rouge red french tip if you're looking to do something fun but simple. Personally, I'd go for a longer tip on this one to make it pop a bit more, but the red alone looks sophisticated and complements a birthday LBD.

Gold Embellishments

Photo:

@nails_of_la

No polish? No problem! If you're on a time crunch or simply aren't good at painting your own nails, Boyce recommends trying her Nails of LA Decals ($8) to add a little flair in record time.

Metallic Gold
Birthday Nail Design Ideas: Metallic Gold

Photo:

@naglarbynattis

Nothing screams celebration more than this polished gold chrome look. Hammar touts it as one of her top designs for a birthday. It's chic, isn't too loud, and looks great in photos.

Butterfly Tips
Birthday Nail Design Ideas: Butterfly Tips

Photo:

@naglarbynattis

These butterfly tips by Hammar are stunning. They're definitely not easy to replicate at home, though. Screenshot and save for your pre-birthday salon visit.

Hot Pink French With Embellishments
Birthday Nail Design Ideas: Hot Pink French With Embellishments

Photo:

@imarninails

Barbiecore nails are definitely hot right now. Opt for a hot-pink French with an ornament or two to get it on the trend.

Negative Space Floral Designs
Birthday Nail Design Ideas: Negative Space Floral Designs

Photo:

@sugarplumfairyfingers

Park loves a floral design with negative space for such occasions. It's soft, intricate, and a bit of a traditionally feminine design.

Rainbow Fade
Birthday Nail Design Ideas: Rainbow Fade

Photo:

@imarninails

A good rainbow nail will definitely stand out on your birthday. Turn it into a fade and you have a totally unique design that everyone will compliment you on.

Ice Cream Cone Nails
Birthday Nail Design Ideas: Ice Cream Cone Nails

Photo:

@nails_of_la

Boyce's ice cream cone swirl design is so cute for a festive dinner. You can switch up the colors if you like, but this pink, red, and yellow combo definitely says cupcakes and ice cream to me.

Checkerboard Designs
Birthday Nail Design Ideas: Checkerboard Designs

Photo:

@sugarplumfairyfingers

Park also loves this bold checkerboard design. Not only does it incorporate a few brighter hues, but it also adds a bit of sparkle with a couple of diamonds.

Pastel French
Birthday Nail Design Ideas: Pastel French

Photo:

@imarninails

I'm a sucker for pastel nails and this interesting take on a slanted French tip with those shades is so perfect for a birthday.

Glitter Tips
Birthday Nail Design Ideas: Glitter Tips

Photo:

@naglarbynattis

Glitter tips look gorgeous for any occasion, but Hammar loves this glitter fade for a birthday. Adding a milky white base shade with glitter tips makes it stand out even more.

Mystic Moon Nails
Birthday Nail Design Ideas: Mystic Moon Nails

Photo:

@imarninails

The mystics out there will appreciate this unique design. Moons, stars, and diamonds make me think of astrology—the perfect complement to birthday nails.

Nail Artist–Approved Birthday Polishes