27 Colourful Nail Designs I'm Saving for My Next Nail Appointment

Having your nails done is one of the greatest beauty joys. Whether you switch your manicure up every time by opting for some nail art or are loyal to a classic pink manicure, there is something about having a new set of nails that brings instant joy. You can't beat the feeling of perfectly shaped nails paired with some cuticle work and a fresh varnish to make your hands look more polished.

However, there is something to be said for throwing caution to the wind and choosing a bold and bright manicure. It feels so right for summer, especially now that holiday-and-wedding season is upon us. Whether it's a bold swipe of pistachio green all over your nails, pastel abstract swirls in clashing colours or a slither of neon painted along your tips, there are so many ways to experiment with colourful nail designs. Can't decide on one colour? Choose them all and paint a hue on each nail. It's the beauty version of dopamine dressing. Plus, there's something about this summer that feels right to experiment with all the colours of the rainbow, whether it's at the nail salon or experimenting with a DIY mani.


(Image credit: @sasha.mei)

We've seen plenty of colourful manicures on our feeds lately, so it seems that everyone is ripping up the rule book of what a traditional manicure should look like. With so many designs to choose from, we saved some of our favourite colourful nail designs that we've spotted lately. Embrace yourself for plenty of inspo.

1. Colourful French Tips


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

Colourful French tips are a winner year-round.


(Image credit: @leatngu)

We love seeing a different hue on each nail.


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

A reverse French along the half-moon on the nail bed gives a standard French manicure an unexpected twist.


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

We love the pastel colour combination of this micro French manicure.


(Image credit: @bambinailss)

Who says a French manicure has to be in block colours? These shimmering chrome tips are bringing us joy.

2. Multi-Tonal Hues


(Image credit: @champagnemani)

When you can't decide what colour to pick, choose them all. We love these muted yet colourful pairings.


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

Pink and green should always be seen.


(Image credit: @bettina_looney)

How fun are these sangria tones?


(Image credit: @thatsaleaf)

Cheerful brights look brilliant on short, square nails.


(Image credit: @thehangedit)

Eyecatching but chic—we're obsessed with this colour combo.

3. Bold and Bright


(Image credit: @bettina_looney)

A single colour in a bright hue is a great option if you're usually a nail minimalist. You can never go wrong with a red-orange shade.


(Image credit: @browngirlhands)

Lilac isn't going anywhere, and we love this punchy shade.


(Image credit: @nicole_huisman)

A neon bright suits everyone.


(Image credit: @browngirlhands)

A soft pistachio green brightens your nails and your spirits.

4. Colourful Nail Art


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

The beauty of nail art is that you can dial it up or down to suit your personality and style. This subtle yet colourful flower art is so pretty.


(Image credit: @leatngu)

Dial it up by pairing it with a bold French tip.


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

Dip a toe (or a fingernail) into the trend by keeping the nail art to just your tips. This is a great way to make your manicure last longer, as the regrowth will be less noticeable.


(Image credit: @lauraelizabethklein)

For the nail maximalists, a design on each nail looks so cool.


(Image credit: @thatsaleaf)

Green is big news this summer, and we're taking this look straight to the salon.


(Image credit: @leatngu)

Mix and match different designs on your nails within the same hue.


(Image credit: @thehangedit)

Bold floral designs are going to be everywhere this summer.


(Image credit: @thatsaleaf)

Pick-and-mix nails at their best.

5. Colourful Abstract Nails


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

Dabble in the colourful nail design trend by opting for negative-space nails. Simply apply a sheer or neutral base and apply bold colours in different shapes on each nail.


(Image credit: @sasha.mei)

Grab every nail polish you own and apply a different shade to a different section of your nails.


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

We're in love with these negative-space swirls.


(Image credit: @thehangedit)

These squiggly negative-space nails are so much fun.


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

Experiment with placement and bold hues.

Shop Colourful Nail Essentials:

This story was published at a previous date and has since been updated.

Up Next: 83 Incredible Nail-Art Designs to Screengrab Before Your Next Salon Trip

Eleanor Vousden
Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor for Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.

Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards for her work on Powder and also contributed to the title winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards.

Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career, as well as celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Scarlett Johansson. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.

When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner and her miniature dachshund.