21 Rainbow Nail Designs

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…

1 – Tropical Rainbow Nail Designs

The easiest way to achieve beautiful rainbow nail 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.

Tropical Rainbow Nails
Photo: Tropical Rainbow Nails Source: Insta @superflynails

2 – Rainbow Glitter Nails

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. Finish things off with a few coats of glitter and you’re basically good to go.

Rainbow Glitter Nails
Photo: Rainbow Glitter Nails Source: Insta @worx_by_clarissa_

3 – Pastel Rainbow Nails

What a fabulous idea! For when you don’t really know what kind of effect you’re going for, how about this beautiful pastel rainbow design? Using a nice pastel palette 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 or clear base. It all helps to make things POP!

Pastel Rainbow Nails
Photo: Pastel Rainbow Nails Insta @onyxspaandlaser

For more gorgeous rhinestone designs check out these White Rhinestone Nails.


4 – Neon Tie Dye Rainbow Nails

This is a popular rainbow nail design for people of all ages who want to show off their individuality with a splash of colour. It’s also a great way of showing support for the LGBTQ+ community, which has been using the rainbow flag as its symbol since 1978.

Neon Tie Dye Rainbow Nails
Photo: Neon Tie Dye Rainbow Nails Source: Insta @nailedit_amanda

5 – Rainbow Confetti 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 confetti sprinkles, almost making it look like the tastiest sweet in the world. Not to be eaten, of course, but just to admire!

Confetti Rainbow Nails
Photo: Confetti Rainbow Nails. Source: Insta @zaramarynails

6 – Swirly Pastel Rainbow Nails

If you’re talking about rainbow nails, you might as well go all-out, just like these swirly 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.

Swirly Pastel Rainbow Nails
Photo: Swirly Pastel Rainbow Nails. Source: Insta @ mynailphiles

7 – Gold and 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?

Gold And Rainbow Nails
Photo: Gold and Rainbow Nails Source: Insta @lyriosnails

8 – Striped Pastel Rainbow Nails

It is easy to create a dazzling nail art design with pastel colours and a gold nail art pen. Here are the steps:

1. Paint your nails in various pastels, like light pink, baby blue and mint green in stripes across your nails

2. Using a gold nail art pen to separate the strips of colour.

3. Finish with a glossy top coat or rainbow glitter nail varnish.

Striped Pastel Rainbow Nails
Photo: Striped Pastel Rainbow Nails Source: Insta @angelsoulmake

9 – Pastel Rainbow Ombre Nails

We absolutely love these ombre pastel rainbow nails. We love the shape. We love the colours and we love the ombre effect.

Coffin rainbow nails are a trend that is not going anywhere anytime soon. The pastel rainbow colours and the ombre effect give these nails a beautiful look.

Coffin nails are one of the best ways to experiment with nail art and bring your creativity to life. You can add some glitter or rhinestones on top for an extra touch of glamour.

Pastel Rainbow Ombre Nails
Photo: Pastel Rainbow Ombre Nails Source: Insta @insta_rainbows

10 – Rainbow Chrome Nails

The rainbow nail designs are a trend that has been around for a few years now. They are still popular and will probably stay popular for a while. This is because they are so colourful and fun to wear.

If you want to make your rainbow nails more interesting, then you should consider adding gold chrome feature nails to them. You can choose any colour of chrome nail polish that you like the best and use it on one or two nails as the accent nail(s).

Rainbow Chrome Nails
Photo: Rainbow Chrome Nails Source: Insta @nailsbysallysmith

11 – Rainbow Heart Nail Art Designs

These are a slightly edgier way of wearing the rather fairytale trend, that gold glitter bringing something more glamorous and diva. 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!

Rainbow Heart Nail Art Designs
Photo: Rainbow Heart Nail Art Designs Source: Insta @artbyneesa

12 – Sunshine and 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?

Sunshine And Rainbow Nails
Photo: Sunshine and Rainbow Nails. Source: Insta @ambercritchlow

13 – Pretty and Swirly Pastel 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!

Pretty Swirly Pastel Rainbow Nails
Photo: Pretty Swirly Pastel Rainbow Nails. Source: Insta @daniellekatemakeupbeauty

14 – Rainbow French 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.

Cute Rainbow Nails
Photo: Cute Rainbow Nails. Source: Insta @stylashaesthetics

15 – Rainbow Marble Nails

The marble rainbow nails is a beautiful way to impress those around you. It’s definitely more time consuming and quite a lot messier than other types of nail painting, but it’s super fun to do and is guaranteed to impress every one in the office.

Follow these steps to create your gorgeous marble rainbow nails:

  1. Apply a base coat to your nails. White or clear nail varnish is the best.
  2. Protect your fingers with petroleum jelly. This is going to get messy!!!!
  3. Prepare a glass cup with some water at room temperature. You may want to put a newspaper underneath for all that mess you’re about to make.
  4. Add drops of your chosen rainbow coloured nail polish to the water.
  5. Stir the colours around with a toothpick to create a nice pattern.
  6. Place your nail down onto the pattern, hold it there for a moment and slowly lift it out.
  7. Clean off your fingers and repeat. 9 more fingers to go.
  8. Finish with a clear top coat once dry and maybe even a touch of glitter.
Rainbow Marble Nails
Photo: Rainbow Marble Nails. Source: Insta @most_extra_nails

16 – Neon Rainbow Nails

These neon rainbow nails are simple yet effective. They may just look like your average colourful rainbow nails, but just wait until you hit the clubs and get under that blue light. Your neon rainbow nails will be the stars of the show!!!

Neon Rainbow Nails
Photo: Neon Rainbow Nails Source: Insta @beglamorous.eu

17 – Neon Rainbow Nail Tips

The neon rainbow french tip design is perfect for those who want their nails to stand out without being too flashy. It has a very classy feel to it and looks great on people who want something simple but eye-catching.

Neon Rainbow Nail Tips
Photo: Neon Rainbow Nail Tips Source: Instagram @as.beauty972

18 – Watercolour Pastel Rainbow Nails

In order to create these beautiful watercolour rainbow nails at home, 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.

Watercolour Pastel Rainbow Nails
Photo: Watercolour Pastel Rainbow Nails Source: Insta @maaadnails

19 – Cute Clouds and Pastel Rainbow Nails

When it comes to taking off your nail polish, especially when you’re using 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!

Cute Clouds And Pastel Rainbow Nails
Photo: Cute Clouds and Pastel Rainbow Nails Source: Insta @ed_naturalaesthetics

20 – Rainbow Tip Nails

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.

Rainbow Nails Tip
Photo: Rainbow Nails Tip. Source: Insta@cm.beautyx

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.

Dark Glitter Rainbow Nails
Photo: Dark Glitter Rainbow Nails. Source: Insta @nailbastion

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! For more ideas on creating colourful nails take a look at 21 Trendy Pink And Yellow Nails, 21 Awesome Bubblegum Pink Nails or 14 Cute Birthday Nails.

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.