There’s nothing we love more than a good rainbow, but they seem to be rather few and far between these days. In case you needed some more rainbow in your life, we’ve decided to take a look at bright and colourful designs, just in time for the warmer weather to arrive. It’s time for rainbow nail art styles, and here are 21 of them that we think you may just have some love for …
21 Rainbow Nail Art Designs
1 – Tropical Rainbow Flowers
The easiest way to achieve beautiful rainbow nail art designs like this one is to use nail wraps. You can apply the rainbow wrap to your nails, and then use either white nail polish and a thin brush to paint on those tropical floral designs, or decals. Things don’t need to be complicated or difficult, you just need to know the sneaky tricks of the trade. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you getting hand-painty and creative, but we’re just letting you know that there are easier methods out there.
2 – Rainbow + Glitter
How do you feel about rainbows and glitter? We love this look – very simple and complicated all at the same time, but when you break it down into manageable chunks, you’ll see it’s actually not that difficult to achieve. You can use paint to mask off the rainbow stripes, or if you trust your own steady hand, a flat brush with your colours of choice. Even the heart has been hand-painted, nothing left too overly-finished or perfect. Finish things off with that one featured silver glitter nail, and you’re basically good to go.
3 – Pink + Watercolour Rainbows
What a fabulous idea! For when you don’t really know what kind of effect you’re going for, how about this beautiful rainbow watercolour design? Use your regular bright shades of polish, dunk your brush in some water beforehand, and get creative on your nails, blending the rainbow shades into each other a little. Finish everything off with that base coat, and make sure you apply the bright shades over a white base. It all helps to make things POP!
4 – Honeycomb Rainbow Nails
How about a rainbow honeycomb design? These nails are much simpler to recreate than you first may have thought, and you can create that ombre-rainbow-blend easily using the different shades you want to use blobbed onto a makeup sponge. Give your nails the white polish base treatment, and then affix your honeycomb stencil over the top once it’s dried, and you’re ready to press that polish-covered sponge over the top. Peel the honeycomb stencil away, finish with top coat, and you should be left with something that looks spectacularly like this one. Rainbow nail art designs done the right way if you ask us!
5 – Rainbow Glitter Nails
How about when you want the subtlest rainbow hint on your nails? You know, like when your boss is a real mare and you can’t get away with the bold and bright colours you really want to wear. We love the bold rainbow on these rainbow nail art designs, but it’s what hides behind that, that we want to pay attention to right now. It’s nude and neutral – a stone / off-white shade of polish, but it has the marvellous addition of rainbow sprinkles, almost making it look like the tastiest sweet in the world. Not to be eaten, of course, but just to admire!
6 – Trippy Rainbow Nails
If you’re talking about rainbow nails, you might as well go all-out, just like these trips rainbow nail art designs, which we love for the record. We’d like to first turn your attention to the actual rainbow designs on these, because we think those pastel rainbow shades are for the win. But then look at the rest of them – there are so many fabulous designs here, we kind of want them all.
7 – End of the Rainbow Nails
What do you find when you get to the end of the rainbow? A pot of gold, of course. Well, that’s what the legends say anyway. In fact, there are quite a few rainbow-legends, the leprechaun and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow aside. Although a beautiful freak of nature, so to speak, it has been featured in mythology and old fables for as long as humans have been around. Ancient Japanese times, for example, believed that the humble rainbow was a bride that allowed our ancestors to come down to earth from other planets. In Hindu mythology, on the other hand, the rainbow was considered to be an archer’s bow. What do you believe?
8 – Minion Rainbow Nail Art Designs
We love minions. We love rainbows. If that doesn’t make the perfect recipe for rainbow nail art designs, we don’t know what does. They’re really simple once you break it all down too, half the nail painted yellow initially for that adorable (and hilarious) minion face. The top half of the nail can be left nude underneath the minions hat, which, of course, needs to be decorated in that rainbow fashion. What do you think? Would you minion rainbow for your next mani?
9 – Lucky Rainbows
We can’t help but think these would have been perfect nails for St. Patrick’s Day! Maybe we’ll remind ourselves to rock these crazy cool rainbow nail art styles next year, what do you think? We’re certainly hoping we have the luck of the Irish on our side … It’s about time we had some good luck!
10 – My Little Pony + Rainbow Nail Art Styles
Rainbows and My Little Pony go hand in hand, much like … well, rainbows and My Little Pony really. Plus, when they look as cute as this, we can’t think of a single reason why you wouldn’t want to rock these rainbow nail art styles, whether you’re adding in the pony or not.
11 – Embellished Rainbow Nails
These are a slightly edgier way of wearing the rather fairytale trend, those gold embellishments bringing something harder and punkier. We’ve got a fun fact to tell you about rainbows too. Do you know where the name ‘rainbow’ comes from? It’s Latin – arcus pluvius, and this literally means “rainy arch”, which is literally what it is – a rainy arch in the sun!
12 – Sunshine + Rainbow Nails
Of course, you can’t have a rainbow without a little bit of sunshine… and a touch of rain, obviously. We love how everything has been painted on top of a classic red background here, and all with quite pastel shades too. What do you think? Are you feeling the sunshine and rainbow nail art styles vibes?
13 – Pretty Swirly Rainbow Nails
If you hate the feel of cotton wool but have nothing else to remove that old mani colour before you try your hand at these rainbow nail art styles, use medical gauze instead. Some nail artists have come out to say that the material works better than the cotton wool does, and it doesn’t leave quite as much staining or smudging around the edges of the nails… in case you haven’t used that cuticle oil trick we told you about before.
Not only that but the medical gauze is less likely to get caught on sharp bits of nail, and won’t leave behind those little fluffy bits either. Don’t say we never teach you anything new!
14 – Floral Psychedelic Rainbow Nails
These are pretty cool, huh? They’re actually much simpler than you’d think they were to do yourself too, if you didn’t have time to head to the salon for your manicure. You can use nail wraps, or even DIY nail wraps using a plastic sheet (like a document wallet) and your nail polish, for the base rainbow design, and then you just need to add a stencil over the top, paint the black, let it dry and then remove, finishing everything off with top coat.
15 – Rainbow Unicorn Mane Nails
Back again with the rainbows and unicorns, we’re loving this cute little design, once again featuring all those things we love. What is it about the two that seem to go hand in hand so well? In rain bow nail art styles such as these, the unicorn is easily incorporated into the style by adding it as the mane of the unicorn. It’s simple, fits in really well, and gives you a way to show off a number of shades in your nail polish palette at once. Winning all around, don’t you agree?
16 – Luxury Rainbow Nails
This look has a luxurious feel about it, and we think it’s because of that damask print. These could easily be stencils, or even decals if you didn’t want to work with paint, and the ombre rainbow effect is easily achieved underneath by painting strips of your rainbow shades on a makeup sponge, and then pressing this onto your nail.
17 – Rainbow on White Nails
The reason most of these designs use a white base / bottom shade is because every other shade placed on top of it will appear much brighter and bolder. The white gives them a base, a primer (if you like) to work on, and as you can see from these beautiful nail art styles, really makes the look come to life.
18 – Watercolour Rainbow Nail Art Styles
In order to create these beautiful watercolour rainbow nail art styles, you’re going to need a few things to hand. Alongside the different rainbow shades of polish you’re going to use to create the look, in this case the pastel shades, you’ll also need a sponge (makeup or kitchen), scissors, a plastic document sheet / wallet, something to use as a palette (an old plate / ice cream tub lid / etc.), dotting tool, white nail polish and then your top and base coats.
Start with the base coat, then add the white nail polish. This is to give you a totally clean and blank canvas to work on – all the shades will pop that much brighter when you’re using a white colour underneath. Paint your shades on the plastic document wallet using the dotting tool – you’ll want to dot the shades you’re using in a line. Then smear them together, and wait for it to dry on the plastic. When you’re ready, peel it off, affix over your nails as you would a nail wrap, trim to size, and then add your top coat. Easy!
19 – Cute Clouds + Rainbows
When it comes to taking off your nail polish, especially when you’re using bright colours such as these, make sure you apply some cuticle oil to the edges of your nails before you even begin to think about picking up that cotton wool and bottle of remover.
When you apply the oil to the edges and cuticles of your nail, you’re stopping that colour from bleeding all around when you’re smudging it up. Red and bright pink polishes are the worst, and they can often leave a slight stain around the fingertip. The best way to avoid this is with this cuticle oil trick. Try it – come back and let us know whether or not it worked for you!
20 – Rainbows + Unicorns
If you enjoy doing your nails at home but don’t always have time to let them dry, invest in a nail dryer, and also try a tip that we like to use …
Give it a few moments for your nails to get just drier than tacky, and then rinse them under a slow-flowing cold tap, or submerge them into ice cold water. The cool water helps to dry the polish quicker, and you’ll be able to do whatever it is you’ve got to do without worrying about smudging them.
21 – Dark Glitter Rainbow Nail Art Styles
Wow, these are a little something different, aren’t they? Definitely bold and bright, and somewhat mysterious and dark too, there’s just the right hint of rainbowness for us to absolutely adore them. We can’t help but think of the wealth of possibilities when you start to look at different shades of glitter also … In fact, we can’t wait to see what else you wonderful lot create, using this one as your inspiration.
And there you have them – 21 rainbow nail art designs that we absolutely love right now! Long, short, square, oval, pointed, unique, bold, pastel, muted and brilliant. The question is, which one is your favourite? Which picture will you be marching into the nail salon holding? We can’t wait to see!
If you’ve created a nail masterpiece, send it in to us. You can DM us on Instagram, send us a message on Facebook, or Tweet us. Get in touch, show off your work. We want to show it off too! Don’t forget to show the artists we featured today some love too. We wouldn’t have anything to show you at all if it weren’t for their fabulous creations