The manicures that I get the most compliments on are the simple ones. The elaborate busy nail designs I’ve worn usually don’t earn any compliments. However, some of the more simple designs get tons of compliments. I’m not sure why but it seems the more time I invest in the design, the less people comment on my nails. Men seem to notice shiny, well manicured nails that are mid-length with minimal bling. Red and deep sophisticated tones grab their attention. I’ve found the men usually prefer darker shades. Pastels, lighter shades and simple designs receive more compliments from women.
Recently, I had an unfortunate where I left the salon with a set pink ombre Barbie Dream House glitter nails. I thought there were okay but realized they were as tacky as I initially thought. Within three days, I got another manicure to get rid of the hideous design. Now, I’ve been collecting inspiration where less is more and I thought I would share 10 simple nail designs I love. I usually try and go two weeks between manicures so I also look for nail designs that I won’t get sick of after a couple days.
10 Simple Nail Designs
1. Pastel Nail Design
Pastels are always pretty and you can create a look that is bit more original with a thin white border around the nails.
2. Ombre Nail Design
This is where I went wrong choosing a bright pink and adding glitter. Ombre nails look best when two similar shades are blended together that create a minimal ombre effect that is simple and elegant.
3. Gradiated Pink Nail Design
Using three or four shades of pink and painting each nail a solid color but different variation of pink is pretty and feminine. Men don’t love it but women do!
4. Variations of French Manicure Nail Designs
For a bright summery pop of color, try a french manicure combining the shades of your favorite colorful flower.
5. Another Variation of the French Manicure
This variation using three shades creates a totally different effect than the design above and is super cute for summer. Instead of attempting to paint watermelons on your nails, try just using the colors of beautiful fruit in a simple french manicure inspired design.
6. Simple Rhinetone Nail Design
Using a deep nail shade like burgundy and adding rhinestones won’t look tacky like many rhinestone designs can. Limiting the design to the ring finger gives just enough sparkle without going over board. It’s also more common these days to see rhinestones in clusters near the base of the nail as opposed to the tip or center.
7. Black Manicure Nail Design
Shiny solid black nails go with everything and always look beautiful. If you want more glitter, a black french manicure with glittery tips works really well. This might be a bit much for every day but it’s a beautiful option for an evening out. A metallic silver or gold tip is also incredibly beautiful! Can you picture that too?
8. Metallic and Glitter Nail Design
Metallic nail shades are beautiful on their own. The way they reflect light is mesmerizing. Painting glitter on every nail is a bit much for me (perfect for holidays though). During the rest of the year, adding the glitter on one or two nails stops people in their tracks. The silver glitter polish such as Essie LuxEffects has the glitter with different sized pieces that seems to hypnotize men!
9. Polka Dot Nail Designs
Polka dots are really easy to do and combining several colors in a polka dot design is about as busy as I’m going to get these days. This is a contemporary design painting the nails different colors with the shades coming together in a polka dot design on one nail. Painting the polka dots on every nail is way too busy and you’ll be tired of it in two days but an option like this is really cute and interesting.
10. Traditional Red Nail Polish
When in doubt, don’t underestimate the power of red! The nails that will grab everyone’s attention (in a good way) is a traditional red nail polish. Believe it or not, painting nails a solid red shade with no bling and a high gloss finish wins the most compliments of all. Plus, you can wear red polish any time of year and it looks good with almost everything!
What simple nail designs do you like to wear and which ones do you find you get the most compliments on? Please share your favorites in the comments below! If you have any specific nail polish shades to recommend, I’d love to know.