Acrylic nails are truly a gift for those of us who love to show off strong, long and healthy nails. But what makes acrylic nails so popular among women is the breathtaking designs you can do to elevate not only your hands but your everyday outfits as well.
Cute and unique acrylic nail designs are the key to mastering a perfectly put-together style!
How to achieve the perfect acrylic nail designs
Acrylic nails became a huge thing back in the 50s when a dentist (yes, a dentist) discovered an artificial way to replace his broken nails. Fast forward to the 2020s and we’re still obsessed about showcasing a perfect mani and long, healthy nails.
It’s not a surprise that given that acrylic nails have been with us for almost a century, chemists have improved the techniques to apply these artificial nails. The acrylic nail process nowadays breaks down as follows:
1. Choose the nail shape (oval, almond, square…) and color/design
2. The technician cleans, soaks and fills your natural nails
3. An adhesive is applied to attach your nail bed with the acrylic nails
4. The nail techs shape the acrylics
5. Additional polish is applied, or your preferred nail art (which is when things get fun!)
If your nails break as soon as they start growing, or are often very thin and fragile, opting for acrylic nails may be your thing. However, acrylics require regular maintenance which is one of the reasons why many women opt for gel nails instead.
Depending on your nail growth, you may need a refill every two weeks to avoid breaking your acrylic nails. Another nail technician tip that will help you take care of your acrylics is to avoid exposing your nails in water for long periods of time.
But even though acrylics require a lot of upkeep, displaying long and strong nails with gorgeous designs is totally worth it. Jump into this forever-trend with any of these following 30 cute acrylic nail ideas to spice up your fashion style!
30 Stunning Acrylic Nail Designs
1. Futuristic French mani acrylic nail design
A French mani will always be a safe bet, but if you want to spice up this classic style, try switching your white tips for an iridescent cream color. The trick for pulling off this edgy mani is to choose long almond-like acrylic nails to make the most of your design.
Apply a nude or soft blush pink as a base layer, and blend it with an iridescent nail polish right were your nail bed finishes creating that classy French-style mani.
2. Dreamy gold tips acrylic nail design
Transparent nail polish is a perfect canvas for a cool and sophisticated tip design. In this case, half of the nails are left completely “nude” and the other half displays an elegant golden detail teamed with iridescent greens and blush pinks.
The result is a dreamy gemstone-inspired acrylic nail design that will perfectly complement any casual outfit.
3. Starry nude sky acrylic nail design
If you’re an all-things minimalist type-of-girl, this cute star design will do the trick. All you need to do is choose a base color that “blends” with your skin color, and place three small silver stars on your nails along with tiny silver dots for a starry sky inspired design.
Apply an extra coat of polish with high-gloss finish for a glamorous touch.
4. Black and red hearted tips acrylic nail design
Hearts will always be a good idea for a cute acrylic nail design. To edge up classic heart motifs, choose a long pointy nail shape and place a heart right in the middle of your nails.
The secret for pulling off this design is to make sure that the heart is half the size of your nails. Add some drama with black hearts on one hand and classic red on the other.
5. Long and sexy red acrylic nail design
It’s a universal truth that red is the sexiest color to wear. But if you want to take your acrylic nail design to the next level, these extra-long ballerina shaped nails will perfectly showcase a modern take on the classic red polish.
All you need to do is select a base color that should match your skin’s color and, with a thin nail brush, create a circular outline to separate the nude from the red. Apply red polish on the rest of the nail.
6. Bold and nude acrylic nail design
Long almond nude nails go perfectly with any outfit, from a casual laid back tee and jeans to a glamorous evening dress. The secret for pulling off this edgy acrylic nail design is to choose a word or small phrase and write it on your ring finger.
In this case, “amor amor” was written in black and crossed out. However, the text still remains readable, so make sure that the tech nail chooses a small but legible letter and a thin nail brush.
7. Dark marble stone effect acrylic nail design
This marble stone acrylic nail design is perfect for black lovers. Dark nail polish goes perfectly well with any color, so choosing an outfit becomes an easy task, but if you want to spice things up, choose a white polish to create a high contrast with the black.
8. Burgundy and florals acrylic nail design
Burgundy polish is always a good idea. A combination of blush pink under a floral black and silver design next to a matte burgundy is perfect for a classy and feminine look, and looks absolutely gorgeous with either summer or winter outfits.
On your index and middle finger apply a light blush pink as a base layer, and draw a black and silver minimalist floral design. Paint the rest of your fingers burgundy with a matte finish.
9. Trendy animal print acrylic nail design
Animal print is everywhere, so it’s only natural to apply this trend on your hands as well. For an edgy twist, choose long stiletto shape nails to showcase a bold but trendy style.
Choose gold and black for a glamorous take on animal print.
10. One-of-a-kind artistic blue acrylic nail design
If you love unique acrylic nail designs, try pulling off this gorgeous art. Make sure to find a talented nail tech that will be able to create this detailed design.
Select a metallic blue polish for the tip of your nails, and a classic gold polish for the mini stars and moons. On your index and ring finger, add an eye motif for a modern and bold design. Lastly, wear as many golden rings as possible to match this cool nail art!
11. Dreamy blue and pink acrylic nail design
Another acrylic nail design idea is to blend in two colors, creating an ombre effect. This sophisticated nail art has a bright cobalt blue on the edges of the nail bed, and right in the middle of the nail starts blending in with baby pink.
A white polish creates a marble-like effect, and rose gold glitter details along the nails take this design to the next level.
12. Short and sophisticated acrylic nail design
Short acrylic nail designs will always be a classy idea. If you feel like wearing a subtle but cute acrylic nail art, this pale pink paired with gold glitter will do the trick for you.
For the base color, make sure to choose a pale pink that goes well with your skin color. Add a sparkle of gold on your pinky finger, and delicate gold lines along your middle and ring finger.
13. Forest green studded acrylic nail design
For a tropical-inspired acrylic nail design, a forest green polish paired with nude pink and green rhinestones makes the best combo.
Apply a matte forest green polish your pinky and thumb, and leave the rest of your fingers with a nude polish. Add small green and silver rhinestones at the edge of your ring finger.
14. Cute mini floral acrylic nail design
For a cute short acrylic nail design, this blue matte paired with a mini floral design will do the trick. Short acrylics are great for showcasing a feminine style, so it’s only natural that a delicate floral-inspired motif should be added.
Add a matte finish to bump up a classy nail design.
15. Minimalist nude glam acrylic nail design
If you’re looking for a minimalist take on pretty acrylic nail designs, opt for glossy nude colors. Whether it’s a pale blush pink or beige-like ivory, nudes will be your best ally.
Add a subtle pop of color with iridescent metallic stars and place them on your ring and pinkie fingernails.
16. Pastel pink and blue long acrylic nail design
This gorgeous lady-like acrylic design features three pastel colors that harmonize beautifully: a soft bubble pink paired with two shades of steel blue. Add a gold leaf effect detail onto the blue-and-blue nail to glam up your nails.
For trendy long acrylic nail designs, make sure to choose a stiletto or almond shape.
17. Holiday inspired silver glittery acrylic nail design
This icy acrylic nail art is the perfect complement for any winter outfit. Choose an almost white-like shade of blue and paint your middle, index and thumb, leaving the other two fingernails only with a transparent base. Add a silver polish onto these nails to elevate this classy design.
For a classic look, choose a short square shape nail.
18. All-over studded acrylic nail design
These soft pink nails adorned with rhinestones are perfect for elevating up your every-day style.
All you have to do is choose a cute pale pink nail color that will serve as the base, making sure to add extra layers of high-gloss polish for an extra glam. Finish with small rhinestones all over your nails.
19. Simple white polka dot acrylic nail design
Who says polka dots can’t be edgy? This acrylic nail design is the perfect definition of good-girl gone punk.
Apply a black polish layer over stiletto shaped nails, and delicately draw small white polka dots all over them. Super pointy or long square-shaped nails will also do the trick.
20. Edgy black on black acrylic nail design
The black on black trend can also be applied on your finger nails as well. All you have to do is create a contrast with textures.
In this case, a black nail polish with a matte finish serve as layer onto which a super glossy black polish has been shaped into cool flame silhouette. The perfect dose of edge and sophistication!
21. Matte baby pink with floral detail acrylic nail design
Pastel pink matte is a great option for showcasing a cute and feminine acrylic nail art. If you want to take your style to the next level, choose a super long stiletto nail shape.
Add a delicate black floral design onto one of your fingernails to add a subtle pop of color.
22. Winter pastels acrylic nail design
Nothing screams winter louder than knits, which is the case of this cute textured acrylic nail design. All you have to do is choose three different soft pastel colors (such as pink, blue and lilac) and alternate them onto your fingernails.
Create a beautiful knit-like texture on your ring fingernail and add cute small winter-inspired details on the other nails.
23. Cute iridescent butterfly detail acrylic nail design
This cute and feminine acrylic nail art is perfect for winter. An icy pale blue will always look great on chilly days, but if you want to spice up your nail game, add small iridescent butterflies onto your ring fingernail.
The secret here is to apply these butterflies over a transparent layer to make them pop.
24. Bright red and nude studded acrylic nail design
These super long square-shaped acrylic nails are perfect for showcasing a sexy yet elegant design. A nude nail polish that matches your skin color serves as the base, creating a beautiful contrast with a bright tomato red polish, which is shaped into a diagonal block.
Add rhinestones along your ring finger nail’s cuticle for extra pizzazz.
25. White and green winter-inspired acrylic nail design
One of the best ways of showcasing a cool winter-like nail design is with dark green colored forest trees. Create a beautiful contrast by drawing delicate trees over a white base layer right at the tips of your nails.
For a fun twist, you can do this design only on your right hand, leaving your left fingernails coated with dark green only.
26. Cute smiley face on pastels acrylic nail design
Candy-colored long acrylic nails are only for the bold! For a fun twist, add small yellow smiley faces all over your nails.
Pink, purple, baby blue, and ivory are a great combination that will make the smiley faces pop. Make sure to choose a long acrylic nail shape to make the most of this unique art.
27. Bridal inspired blush pink and silver glitter acrylic nail design
Short acrylic nails will always be a great option for a laid-back look. This sophisticated but easy acrylic nail design will complement perfectly any dressy outfit.
The secret here is to choose a soft blush pink that matches your skin color, avoiding any color that will simply blend in with your skin. Next to your middle and ring finger’s cuticle, apply a thin curvy block of silver polish for a cute and glamorous detail.
28. Dark blue and silver acrylic nail design
This elegant acrylic nail art features a deep blue nail polish paired with silver glitter and small transparent detail.
Create a diagonal line with silver polish over your middle and ring finger, leaving one side of your ring finger with transparent nail polish only. On your pinky, apply only silver polish for an extra glittery effect.
29. Glamorous rhinestone-studded acrylic nail design
If you’re looking for something absolutely “extra”, these super long ballerina shaped acrylic nails will do the trick.
Choose a nude base color which, in this case, is a pale blush pink. Over the half of your nails, add different shapes of rhinestones, pearls and studs for a one-of-a-king acrylic nail art.
30. Gold leaf detailed acrylic nail design
If you’re looking for gold nail designs for acrylics, this gold leaf inspired art will do the trick. If you want to look extra glamorous, choose stiletto shaped nails to make the most of this design.
As a first step, select a nude or transparent nail polish that will serve as the base. Create a un-perfect ombre effect with gold leaf thin paper, leaving the tips completely covered.
There are no limits when it comes to acrylic nail designs: whether it’s a minimalist nude layer under tiny polka dots or a beautifully knit texture over different pastel colors. One thing’s sure: acrylic nails will always be the best excuse to make the most of your creativity.