Butterfly Nails Might Just Be The Cutest Nail Trend Of The Year

I cannot tell you the number of nail designs I have pinned and saved to my camera roll. Striking bright geometric shapes, simple clean girl nails and of course glazed doughnut looks are all stashed and ready for upcoming nail appointments. And one nail trend I have found myself gravitating towards more is butterfly nail designs.

If you thought this was merely a spring thing, think again. Butterfly-inspired nail art can be multi-season appropriate from glittery designs for the festive season to a touch of orange-y browns for autumn. While I rarely get full-blown nail designs, I love how delicate butterfly nail art can be with fine line intricate artwork. But it can err on the bolder or more abstract side of the spectrum too, with opaque nail tip designs inspired by the shapes of butterfly wings.

Unsure of the nail shape to pick with your butterfly nails? The best thing is that this design suits our shapes and lengths but square and oval seem to be the most popular choices to team with these designs. And then, when it comes to the base colour there seems to be one winning choice, nude. Yes, the odd pink base is favoured for an ultra-pretty style, but for the most part, butterfly-inspired nails are painted onto a plain base coat.

Here are some of the best butterfly-inspired nail designs we spotted while scrolling.

Butterly Nail Designs


(Image credit: @varnishlane)

The watercolour touch to this design makes it that much more delicate. 


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

I think I have my christmas nail design all wrapped up already. 


(Image credit: @paintboxnails)

This pastel yellow abstract design screams spring but you could switch to a stark white for winter. 


(Image credit: @paintboxnails)

These butterfly-like tips have a touch of the psychedelic.


(Image credit: @buffcs)

The shape of these butterfly designs are reminiscent of the '70s. Groovy.


(Image credit: @paragonnails)

Butterfly colours know no bounds so mixing and clashing shades adds to the fun of the trend.


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

Sometimes a single accent nail is the boldest kind of design. 


(Image credit: @paragonnails)

The levels of embellishment you can add to this trend knows no bounds. The pink, the dots, the gems— more is more. 


(Image credit: @paragonnails)

Cow print is another hot trend this year so why limit yourself to just one design when you can do five (or 10?)


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

You can never go wrong with a classic design and the brightness of the blue really makes this standout even more.


(Image credit: @buffcs)

This design really captures the beauty of a butterfly wing—abstract and unique.


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

This is the chic design you get when butterfly nails meet the 'clean girl' aesthetic.


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

The lines on this design are a nod to the butterfly trend without going all-out cutesy. 


(Image credit: @paragonnails)

This pretty, bold design might have have made its way to the top of my 'need to get' list.


(Image credit: @paragonnails)

The contrast between the blue and metallic gold matched with the length and base colour screams luxury. 


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Ok, you might not see any butterfly wings or striking colours but the black edging on the tip is just like that of a butterfly, stark but in a minimalistic way. 


(Image credit: @buffcs)

If you took a microscope to the most beautiful butterfly wing, I'm pretty sure this is the design you'll see..


(Image credit: @varnishlane)

pastels on pastels within the shapes of a wing gives this design a spring-edge. Swap out the white and red lines for black ones if you want a more traditional look.

Next up, the best nail colours of 2022.