While the general vibe of next year still feels uncertain, at least we’re sure of the best nail designs of 2022, and they’re good. While you could certainly spend your extra time indoors this winter searching for them, we took it upon ourselves to do it for you and gathered up every single save-worthy nail trend to cross our feeds in the past few months.
From plenty of twists on the French manicure to DIY-able rainbow nails and velvet nails, there’s something for every vibe, mood, and all different nail shapes here. Whether you plan on hitting up your local salon or go the DIY route (be sure to brush up on how to paint your nails at home, first), scroll on for the best nail designs of 2022.
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Velvet nails took Instagram by storm for the holidays, but the festivities aren’t over yet. Tone down the mesmerizing style (seriously, you have to see them in motion) by keeping the glitz to the tips.
Colorful checkerboard is having a moment in fashion—I can’t scroll through Insta without seeing the print—so it makes sense it’s now migrated to nails. Keeping it just on your tips ups the quirky factor even more.
Yes, the French mani is sticking around, and there are a ton of different ways to wear it. Check out our guide to the best French manicure ideas for even more inspo.
For a unique nail idea, try different color nails on each hand. Make it even cooler with very of-the-moment shades like lilac and moss green. Try Essie Expressie in Get a Mauve On and Precious Car-Go! for a similar vibe.
Just looking at this metallic, pastel, ombré situation makes you feel calmer. The best part is they’re actually nail wraps, so it’s super easy to get the same look at home.
Black and White Flowers
White and black nail designs are so graphic and cool, especially when paired with something traditionally feminine like flowers.
The Skittles mani, a.k.a. rainbow nails with a different shade on each nail, was one of the biggest trends of the past two years. Update it for 2022 with a faded color palette.
Simple flowers look even cuter when done up in earthy tones.
Negative space will never not be the coolest way to do nail art, and we’re particularly into this graphic black and gold take on the trend.
As the weather gets cooler, it’s a perfect excuse to dip into the jewel tones—deep green is one of our favorite trending nail colors right now.
Art that’s a little different on every nail is way easier if you’re going to attempt it yourself. Bonus: You get to play with tons of colors. (We’re particularly into Essie’s new winter collection as far as shades go.)
Toughen up French tips with a bright red base and black tips (we like OPI Big Apple Red and Sally Hansen Insta Dri in Black to Black). It looks so cool against an all-black outfit and stacked rings.
This luxe nail art looks way more difficult than it is to DIY. All you need is a tiny detail brush, a metallic gold polish, and a crisp, bright white.
The only thing cuter than these butterfly decals? Pairing them with a throwback French mani, of course.
There’s nothing better than an eye-catching mani that takes no effort to do. Enter holographic nail polish, which does all the work for you. Pacifica’s Moonray Hologloss 7 Free Top Coat is one of our favorites for a super-shiny look. .
Channel summer all year round with some cheerful sunflowers—they’re easy enough to DIY with a toothpick and a solid yellow polish (try Essie Atelier at the Bay).
It seems the internet is seeking out joy wherever possible, because smiley-face nail design ideas are everywhere we look. They’ve been spotted on everyone from Dua Lipa to Harry Styles—and just about every nail blogger on Insta.
See what we mean? But here you get two trends in one.
What do you get when you combine some of the coolest nail looks this year? This insane green foil French situation.
How do you take rainbow nails up a notch? Add even more color, of course.
The way the graphic shapes are contrasted by the softness of the purple is, in a word, genius. For the exact shades, use Paintbox’s Power Couples in Like Lilac + Like Muse.
Can’t decide on a single shade? Put your polish collection to work by using a different tone of one color on each nail (or just mix your base shade with varying levels of white for the same effect).
Make a celebrity fave even cooler with a peachy background instead of white.
Look at that, yet another variation on French tips. A rainbow of pastel shades makes the style feel modern and retro at the same time.
Channel your inner ’70s babe with earth-tone swirls.