Nail art is still having a moment. Between crazy long extensions and intricate patterns, it seems like nothing is off-limits — and the designs just keep getting bolder. While we can appreciate a dramatic nail moment as much as the next person, it’s safe to say that for every day most of us gravitate towards simpler looks. They’re a lot more practical and require less upkeep.

If you like a simple mani but want to experiment with design, minimalist nail art is the way to go. Not only is it super trendy right now, but understated manis are a chic and subtle way to express yourself on a daily basis. Here, we’ve rounded up the best minimalist nail art ideas to inspire your next paint job. Whether you’re attempting them yourself or bringing them to the salon, these simple looks are anything but boring.

Minimalist Nail Art Ideas:

White Swirls

Swirls are an extremely popular nail trend at the moment. It’s a simple design but adds a bit more than your average French mani — plus, you can swap the white with other colors for a bolder look.

Simple Hearts

These oh-so-subtle hearts add a touch of sweetness to a nude manicure. If you don’t have a steady enough hand to draw them yourself, you can easily use nail stickers to get the same effect.

Abstract Designs

Especially when just using simple, black lines, abstract nail art is the perfect balance between understated and eye-catching.

Micro French Mani

If you have short nails (or just prefer a more subtle look), this micro French mani is perfect. Of course, you can use any color you’d like for the tips, but we think this simple black is ultra-chic.

Outlined French Mani

This French mani plays with negative space — and bold color — for a unique twist on the early 2000s trend.

Reverse French Mani

You might not even notice this subtle take on the French mani — and that’s the entire point. The reserve French manicure focuses on the cuticle side of the nail rather than the tip, making for one of the most subtly nail looks we’ve ever seen.

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Metallic Lines

Make your nude mani pop with simple metallic lines. Mix it up between vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines to keep it interesting.


These neon smiley face stamps will surely brighten your day.

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Rainbow Dots

If you’re looking for the teeniest hint of color, this rainbow dot mani is for you. This nail look is particularly versatile and can work on any nail shape or length.

Minimal Neon Stripes

This stripe manicure is the perfect opportunity to play with color palettes — these greens and purples feel extra playful.

Accent Nail

If you’re not ready to commit to a full set of nail art, try adding a design to just one nail. Keep the rest of your nails a neutral shade to let the accent nail be the focal point. This gorgeous gold foil is great for minimalist nail art designes.

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