I'm Seeing These 5 Nail Designs All Over Instagram, and I Want In

When it comes to choosing a nail design for any upcoming salon appointment I might have, it’s safe to say I get overwhelmed. The truth is there is just too much choice. I’m the sort of person who struggles to choose a shade of polish from the wheel, let alone settle on a particular nail art design. And I have made many nail mistakes as a result of this indecisiveness—trust me. 

Unless I already have a clear idea of how I want my nails to look when I walk out of the salon, it’s almost certain that I will get flustered, feel conscious that I’m taking too long to decide and eventually make a rash decision that I will regret. (I’m still trying to rid my memory of the time I decided to get a shimmering white gel manicure in the midst of fake-tan season.)

To avoid such regrets, I now ensure that I arrive at the salon with visual inspiration to show my nail tech. I usually turn up with three or four designs that I would be happy with and let her choose one. And this year, I am totally spoilt for choice. Instagram is a flurry of great, trending designs I’m desperate to get on my nails. So if, like me, you struggle to make your mind up, keep scrolling for the five trending nail ideas I can’t wait to try in 2022.

1. Mini Accents



Evil-eye nails are having a serious moment, particularly when they're teeny-tiny and on accent nails. Pair it with a neat French mani for the ultimate spring/summer look.


(Image credit: @BETINA_GOLDSTEIN)

Never has a manicure spoken to my soul in the same way this mini olive one from Betina Goldstein does. In fact, I think it will be my next choice.



At first, I thought the array of heart nail designs spamming my feed around February were only for Valentine's Day, but their popularity isn't declining—and I'm not mad about it. Tiny hearts on freshly manicured nails? I'm in. 

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2. Jewel-Encrusted


(Image credit: @BETINA_GOLDSTEIN)

I'm always looking for the perfect way to elevate a boring French manicure, and I think this bedazzled design could be it.


(Image credit: @PARAGONNAILS)

I like my jewels big, so why tone it down on my nails? I love the way that these jewels are complemented with gold leaf.


(Image credit: @BETINA_GOLDSTEIN)

Any nail design that doesn't involve having to apply a coloured polish gets a big tick from me. (I'm a lazy girl. What can I say?)

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3. Reverse Accents



If you're sick of seeing the sort of delicate manicures that are trending on social media right now, this colourful block design will be right up your street. 



This modern take on a French manicure flips the classic design on its head entirely. 


(Image credit: @BUFFCS)

This cuticle design takes understated to whole new levels, but I'm totally smitten.

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4. Sunny Pastels



Abstract-nail-art lovers, this one's for you. Proving that nail art doesn't have to be complex to be effective, this pastel-pink design is ideal for summer.


(Image credit: @THEMANICLUB)

Nail art isn't for everyone, and these block rainbow nails are ideal for those who want to try something a little different without going whole hog.


(Image credit: @CELMATIQUE)

A sunny pastel rainbow design that incorporates nail art, too? This design proves there's no such thing as too much.

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5. Milky Hues



No one does a chic milky mani quite like Harriet Westmoreland. The key is in making sure cuticles and nails are preened to perfection. 


(Image credit: @BETINA_GOLDSTEIN)

This pinky-nude shade makes for an incredibly low-maintenance manicure. Grow out, who?


(Image credit: @THEMANICLUB)

Be sure to finish off your milky mani with a high-shine topcoat for a super-luxe finish. 

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Next up, 11 nail polish brands that deliver salon-grade manicures.

Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous. Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics. While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best. When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.