Nude Nail Designs Match Every Season, Outfit, and Situation—These 20 Prove It

I have this thing where I love having my nails done and painting them all kinds of colors. I'm talking about everything from marine blue and cherry red to rich chocolate brown. However, I hate when they don't match my outfit or aesthetic. For example, I find it irritating when I have beachy blue nails but am attending a fancy event wearing a red dress. You get the picture. 

There's only one nail color I can always count on to match every season, outfit, and situation. Okay, it's not so much a color but a category of colors. I'm talking about nude nail polish—anything ranging from pinky white to taupe brown and beyond. Keep scrolling to see my favorite nude nail designs on Instagram. Then, shop a selection of my favorite nude nail polishes. 


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

All you need for this nail design is a base of nude polish and a perimeter of mocha brown. 


(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

If you want a little color but not a lot of color, go for a minimal rainbow design. 


(Image credit: @imarninails)

This graphic black-nude combo is so sleek. 


(Image credit: @imarninails)

The same goes for this one. It's so simple too—just a single stripe down the middle. 


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

If you're looking for a foolproof design, this is it. Squiggles aren't meant to be perfect. 


(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

This manicure is proof that you don't need traditional nail polish to create a cool design. Just use decals. These ones are Nails of LA Nail Art Decals ($10). 


(Image credit: @imarninails)

I love abstract designs. Matte nail polish never looked so cool. 


(Image credit: @imarninails)

Minimalist nails are easy. You just need white polish and alternating lines and dots. 


(Image credit: @paragonnails)

A combo of rosy brown, nude, and black nail polish never misses. 


(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

I like how this neutral polish has a pearlescent finish. 


(Image credit: @imarninails)

For a unique and unexpected take on nude nails, opt for this cloud design. 


(Image credit: @imarninails)

Look closely and you'll see the subtle ombré glitter. 


(Image credit: @paragonnails)

This is a salon-worthy design you can do at home. 


(Image credit: @pink_oblivion)

These studded nails are so chic. Who knew I'd be shopping for nail gems and glue on Amazon? 


(Image credit: @imarninails)

I like these subtle nail gems too. 


(Image credit: @imarninails)

For a maximalist vibe, use larger gems like these. 


(Image credit: @themaniclub)

The evil-eye manicure is an Instagram favorite. 


(Image credit: @paragonnails)

I'll never stop asking for smiley-face nail designs at the salon.


(Image credit: @pink_oblivion)

I love this half-moon manicure. It makes me think of Lucky Charms. 


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

A French manicure is perhaps the simplest and most classic of all nude nail designs.

Shop Some of My Favorite Nude Nail Polishes

Next, Brown Nail Designs Are All Over Instagram—18 We're Labeling "Need to Try"

Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.