If you thought nail art was just for Gen Z, think again. We’ve scrolled the squares of Instagram to show you how to do grown-up, subtle nail art this season. From pastel-hued 70’s waves to the new French mani and some tongue-in-cheek motifs for those who want to push the envelope just a little bit, here are some of our favourites to replicate.

Barely-There

Blink and you’ll miss this trend, but if you’re somewhat of a wallflower when it comes to your nails, this is one for you.

From miniature gold stars on a nude base to the tiniest of evil eye motifs bedded into the bottom of the nail, this look is all about quality and detail rather than quantity and all-out colour.

If you’re DIYing it, look for dainty nail stickers that can be pressed on and varnish over onto small sections of the nails, or even just the thumb or ring finger; or buy a pot of metallic glitter stars and work them onto the nail using a good top coat.

 

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Feeling Cute

For those after a little whimsicality on their nails, this is a trend where there really are no rules. From gold yolked fried eggs to spicy chillis and ditsy print daisies, choose something you love (or simply just think is cute) and have it etched onto the nail.

There is one rule, actually. Keep the motifs as small as possible. The cuter, the better.

Whether you choose a fried egg or a spicy chilli, keep the motifs as small as possible. The cuter, the better. 

 

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A New Take On French

You only have to scroll the squares of the hottest beauty Instagrammers right now to see that the French manicure is having a moment… again. The ’90’s favourite is back in its unadulterated form, but we also love it when the polished white tips are traded in for a sprinkling of rainbow hues. From candy colours that will give a tube of Smarties a run for its money to more grown-up forest green tips, it’s a nice way to add a pop of colour to your summer beauty looks without going full on commitment.

 

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All In The Cuticle

Like the French mani but flipped and reversed, the trend of painted cuticles is a fun riff on an old classic. Taking a base colour and then adding either a line around the cuticle or a sweet half-moon shape, you can add a little bit of interest to your nails whilst still feeling polished and pulled together.

We love powder pink against a backdrop of cherry red as seen on the WeLoveCoCo account, or metallic details against a matte polish as seen at Dry By London.

 

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It’s All Wavy

Curved edges have been making waves in the fashion and interiors worlds for a while now, from scallop-edged swimsuits to those Insta favourite wavy mirrors. It’s only natural that nails have followed suit, with this micro nail trend popping up on plenty of those little squares.

Look to pro nail artist, Imran Shelton for her fabulously retro designs in a kaleidoscope of colour palettes – we particularly love the cornflower blue paired against delicate gold jewellery. Whilst celebrity manicurist, Lucy Tucker creates a dreamy 1970’s inspired colour palette with sherbety shades of pink, yellow and orange.

 

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