As much as my ideal Sunday involves spending hours in the nail salon aimlessly thumbing through magazines, the reality is my weekends lately have hardly afforded me time for a 10-minute face mask, let alone a deluxe mani-pedi. (Surely, I’m not alone.) That’s probably why my saved tab on Instagram is suddenly brimming with minimalist nail art. The trend, as the name implies, is subtle and simple, but still gives your nails an undeniable cool factor.
Think of the look as the mani equivalent of thin, stackable rings or a dainty gold necklace: It’s a small upgrade that makes a big impact. Some of the takes on minimal nails—like rainbow, color-blocked, or gradient nails—are literally as easy as painting each nail a different color. (And, might I add, perfect if you—like me—can never decide on which shade you want to go with.) Others take a cue from jewelry and get their sparkle from tiny crystals or pearls.
“Adding small pearls, gems, or accents is very easy, and you don’t need to be very savvy with a paint brush,” says nail artist Betina Goldstein, who’s practically become the queen of minimalist nail art on Instagram for her delicate, simplistic designs. “It allows you to play with color, design, or gems without overwhelming your look or hands.”
Whether you’re planning to DIY or bring a screenshot into the salon, these 30 ideas will instantly upgrade your look without the effort. Matching rings optional.
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