14 Elegant and Easy Nail Art Design Ideas and Inspiration

I rarely get the extra time for getting some well-deserved mani-pedis. With the pandemic still ruling the world, now it is literally a take-care-of-your-own-nails kinda situation.

While it might be easier to slap on some acrylic, stick-on nails, I prefer the feeling of nail polish. And why have boring nail polish when you can spice it up with some easy and elegant nail art design?

Nice nails help my eyes when wandering off away from my screen when working! Which does happen…far too often!

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14 Elegant and Easy Nail Art Design Ideas and Inspiration

1. Intergalactic Reverse French Nails

Cloudy, mermaid marble designs are a hit or miss when categorizing them as elegant. But those purples and lilacs are doing them justice. And a gold accent reverse french nail elevates it to a more regal nail design with a ton of personality to show.

Perfect for the party season, these nails will add loads of sparkle!

Get the look: A marble nail is a challenging design to make, but this look is all about that gold and you could pass off a duo-chrome polish like the Rimmel 60 Seconds Super-Shine Nail Polish in shade Mermaid Fin as background.

For the silver, or should I say gold lining, the essie Celebration 570 Mani Thanks Gold Nail Polish, is a neutral golden shade that will complement most skin tones. 

2. Semi-outlined French Nails

This look is totally chic! The semi-outline best fits the ballerina nail shape. Black and nude are great colour combinations and I can imagine if the colours were reversed the nails would look even more complex and striking.

Get the look: This beautiful design can also be recreated with other complementing colours. Use the Essie nail polish Fairytale Slate Duo Kit for example, instead of the apricot nude, a pink nude with a shimmering dark grey outline looks even more fitting for a classy 21st-century woman.

3. Mossy Vertical Ombre Nails

Green nail polish gradients, like eyeshadows, are a little more difficult to pull off. But this mossy green-yellow combo would look great on any skin tone!

Green nails can be hard to get right, but when you add some ombre, it balances out the green perfectly so that you can avoid your polish looking like a hot alien booger mess.

Get the look: Essie’s ExprEssie Quick Dry Formula, Khaki Green Nail Polish 320 Precious Cargo Go is a tasteful neutral green and you can pair it up with another colour for a little bit more oomph to your nails!

4. Pointed French Nails 

There’s no doubt that french nails are the leading go-to for debonair nails. There are so many variations to french nails to cater to every nail shape. I have always loved regular french nails and its pointed version is giving me all the vogue feels.

Get the look: Level up this design more with glossy nudes using the Mavala Nude Trio as the base. They are really pretty nudes and they will give an extra dimension to your nails.

5. Mixed Finish Abstract Nail Art

Nothing says sophistication like abstract. I love the mix of different finishes and textures, this look should be in a nail art museum;))

Get the look: Ciate London has an 18-nail varnish set complete with all the necessary finishes you need to recreate and experiment with an abstract nail art design like this.

6. Transparent Accent Nail

An accent nail upscales your whole persona and look. I’ve seen matte accents among glossy nails. Monochrome accents. Finish accents. But this one is screaming at my beauty junkie soul.

Get the look: While I love the silver chrome stars and butterflies, I think I’ll pass for now and go for random abstract shapes to let people know I’m *cough* extra sophisticated. The Nails Inc The Future Is Fairy Nail Polish Duo looks like a great existing pair for a look like this.

7. Marble Nail Design

One of these days, I need to put aside a couple of hours (or more) for me to get these marble nails. And like abstract, marble is all the rage at the moment and quite the sophistication if you ask me! 

Get the look: Mavala has an interesting set for mixing to come up with a marble nail design.

8. Transparent Matte Ombre Nails

Matte-orange is something I would never have considered trying because I always marked it in my brain as too loud for comfort. But this nail art design has made me think twice. I guess I can have that pop of colour, without too much pop, if you know what I mean!

Get the look: Jessica Nails’ Custom Colour Nail Varnish in Orange looks very close and bold that I just want to take on the challenge of pulling it off.

9. Glossy Transparent Pastel Ombre Nails

If bold and matte don’t appeal that much, glossy pastels look equally beautiful on the nails. I’m in love with the colours, ombre, shape— ugh. This is demure and elegant!

Get the look: Yellow and green really look good together. But a little monochromatic colour palette on your nails can be even more attractive. For example, Zoya Polish Quad Nail Polish seems like a good start for colour pairing on your nails.

10. Solid Colours Abstract Geometric Nail Art 

The mixed texture abstract nail art is a personal favourite but these solid geometric shapes are new levels of creativity! It’s even more stylish and it’s a perfect balance. Not too gimmicky, and not too messy either.

It’s sprinkled with the right amount of boldness without looking tacky, which I love!

Get the look: The NARS Cosmetics Nail Polish Collection offers a great set to experiment with this design. 

11. Fully Outlined Pastel Nails

While this design won’t work on the shape of my nails, they’re too wide and not long enough;( However, if you have the right shaped fingers, these nails are cute and charming.

I’ve never thought a white outline makes for classy fingernails without making it look like a child’s artwork but this proves that it can. These are perfect for any time of year but in particular Spring. Check out more inspiration for Spring nails!

Get the look: The pastels look great but I think nude pinks and lilacs may be more suitable for my tastes. I recommend using these shades from the OPI Infinite Shine Neo Pearl Collection.

For a whole new level of sass with class, glossy shimmer bases, you need to try Barry M’s Ocean Dreams Nail Paint Gift Set.

12. Space Dust Nail Design

Space themes are a guilty pleasure for many. And a line of starburst can do the trick without going overboard. This is a fairly easier design to start with as it requires no stencils or triple layering. All you need is some dipping powders.

Get the look: Blue dipping powders will really stand out on top of black bases. Add a sprinkle of green dipping powder to give it more depth!

13. Glitter Ombre Nails

I’ll be honest, I am loving the whole transparent ombre nail trend. And this design is the perfect excuse to play with glitter polishes. Spice up this look by reversing the glitter and painting it closer to the lunula.

Get the look: The Barry M Glitter Topcoat Nail Paint Fortune Teller can be sponged on or Glitter Powder Flakes can be sprinkled on after the base coat for an easier time.

Can’t get enough of glitter? Check out these stunning red glitter nail ideas!

14. Mermaid Scale Accent Nails

I’ve always wanted to do a mermaid scale nail but was a little concerned about it being too gaudy. Well, fortunately, I’ve come across these beautiful nails. It’s almost like a modern french nail, only, with mermaid scales and a black base!

Get the look: These nails are a bit more challenging than the other designs. It may be a little tricky to get right if you do it manually.

Thankfully, there are cheap Mermaid Scale Nail Stencils to help out with that. Try the Barry M Glitter Nail Paint for the scale paint and show off your creativity through nails.

Final Thoughts

There are so many different and original designs that can come out of french and ombre templates as you can see from this post! I’m especially surprised and pleased with the abstract ones as I never imagined how beautiful they could be.

Which of these elegant and easy nail art design ideas are your favourites? Let me know in the comment section below.

Hollie xx


About Hollie

Hi, my name is Hollie, and I own BeautywithHollie.com. I love everything to do with beauty and love sharing my knowledge, advice and beauty finds! Makeup and beauty are here to enjoy, and Beauty With Hollie is here to take the stress out of it!

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