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The Most Luxurious Nail Designs of All Time

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Well-designed nail art is more than just a painted-on accessory, it’s truly a small display of artistry. Whether you’re the manicure-a-week type or prefer to only get your nails done for special occasions, a luxurious nail design can be the icing on the cake of the perfect outfit.

The right nail look can even be appropriate in a business setting; As Violet Grey once said, “In polite society, a power suit is the most effective when paired with a killer manicure.”

With the rise of Instagram and Pinterest, we’ve gotten an inside look at some of the best nail art trends around the world. From celebrity nail artists creating unique designs for their red-carpet clients to high-end nail boutiques trying innovative hand painted manicures, we’re in the heyday of luxury manicures. Here are some of the most glamorous nail designs of all time.

Negative Space Manicures

An intricate glass-nail manicure can end up looking a bit busy from afar. While an accent glass nail leaves the eye wanting, too much can be overbearing on a delicate hand. Negative space nails is a way to incorporate meticulous artistic detail without going over the top.

Three-toned Nails

A neutral-colored three-toned manicure lengthens your nails making them look elegant without looking flashy. SoHo nail studio PaintBox Nails spruces up the neutral three-toned nail by incorporating a sparkly color, like champagne glitter, for the nail tip.

Reverse French

The French manicure will never go out of vogue, but it doesn’t enjoy the nail art design status it did even 10 years ago. While a French manicure will always be a clean and elegant go-to, the reverse French is on the rise. It has a bit more personality, and you have the option to stick with the pink and white combination, which Los Angeles nail boutique Olive and June uses for a more classic look, or to blend your nails to the season by choosing a burgundy against a nude in the fall or a light blue and silver in the spring.

Gold or Silver Accents on Neutrals

A nude or pale pink pair with a thin silver stripe is the enviable nail look favored by celebrity nail artist Steph Stone. It’s the way you want your nails to look when you’re holding a glass of champagne at your wedding: elegant and understated, but absolutely stunning.

Hand Painted Florals

Olive and June is known for their hand-painted creations, and the detailing in their hand-painted floral manicure is the most luxurious nail look of the summer. The floral accents are whimsical and a little flirty, but flaunting hand-painted sketches on your nails elevates your manicure to an art form.

Alt-color French

The classic French has been spruced up with the luxury trend of a seasonal-colored French. Ten Over Ten, a nail boutique favoring vegan products in NYC, LA, and Austin does a bold French with black tips and a glossy pink base. You can choose French tips that reflect the season, opting for a caramel-colored tip against a shimmery neutral in the fall, or a navy and white winter combination.

Metallic Crescents

The glam crescent is another take on the reverse French, and a thin, shimmery crescent mani tends to look a touch more elegant than a wider metallic curve. For your at-home manicure, if you have a gel mani that’s still intact but significantly grown out, you can use a q-tip to achieve this look and simultaneously refurbish your week-old manicure.

Gold Studs on Neutrals

To keep the gold studs looking like a classy, luxury manicure, rather than nails you might find at a heavy metal concert, pair a light-gold stud with a neutral, preferably white, beige, or pink.


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