If you are searching for last-minute Valentine's Day nails inspo, you've come to the right place. Say what you want about Valentine's Day — it's a capitalistic co-opted holiday, it focuses too much on romantic love, it's a hetero hell hole, etc. — but there's no denying the aesthetics are top-tier.
Cupid iconography, punctured hearts galore, blood red roses, and the boding lost art of cursive are all synonymous with Valentine's Day — and they all easily translate onto nails. Regardless of relationship status, everyone deserves love. This Valentine's Day, it doesn't matter if you're with someone or not; you deserve nice things — and why not start with your tender hands?
There's nothing quite as easy and low lift as spoiling yourself with a new mani, whether at home or at a salon. Adorn your fingers with colors and shapes, and give that little extra care to the part of your body you use the most. But, in this golden age of nail art, the options are endless, so below, we have rounded up 19 Valentine's Day nails designs to use as inspiration for your next set — whether you are looking for something classic or something with an edge.
1. Metallic Messages
Get ready to "love more" with these 3D molten metal nails inspired by @sv.meet's characteristic fonts. The round and shiny lettering pops against the nude base with jelly-pink tips. The stiletto shape gives a bit of spice to the sweet details. Whatever message you want to send, these nails deliver — just make sure it's ten letters and under.
2. Gradient Love
When pink and red are paired together, the results are delicious. Inspired by artist James Turrell's, inverse gradients with crisp lines are airbrushed on. Think of it as a more abstract aura nail with a bit of retrofuturism.
Apple Cherry of My Eye
Cherries are certified Valentine's Day gold. Add a unique twist to a classic design with red chrome to give these tiny fruits a multidimensional, delicious look and get creative with the stems.
4. Golden Age
Who says gold is just for jewelry? Chunky gold nails with round gemstone-like details are perfect for those who don't love wearing rings.
Classic long red nails with a twist: heart cutouts. Just make sure you head to the salon for this one, just in case.
6. Coquette Bunny
When it comes to the affairs of the heart, this design has it all. Adorable elements like gingham bows, lipstick kisses, glittery hearts, and tiny strawberries are delicately painted on with delicious 3D details. The best part, of course, is the beloved bunny surrounded by glitter and stars.
The airbrush cherries have a refreshing dimension that is super retro with the little anime twinkles. Who says orange can't be a Valentine's Day color?
8. Bows, bows, bows
We are simply bow girls living in a bow world. The bowmania has taken over the world in the past year and it's still going string. If you want to add them to your nails more subtly, these delicately painted wispy red bows are for you. Again, the pink and red color combination brings out the best in both, especially with the chrome on top of the pink base.
9. Pink & Gold
Roses for Valentine's Day — shocking! But upon these sweet pink iridescent nails are roses with petals reaching new heights. The gold details give an ethereal energy fit for a goddess.
Sick of hearts, say no more. This star design, popular in South Korea, takes a sexy silver chrome route. However, the pink rhinestone details give the design some sweetness that's perfect for Valentine's Day without being too extra. (We love a multipurpose mani!)
11. In Bloom
Remember the ever-so-iconic early 2000s flower manicures? This is that, but make it 2024. The painted elements with white and magenta feel super Y2K, but using an airbrushed flower to encapsulate the entire nail with a gloss-over chrome brings it all back to the present.
12. Love Ripples
An edgier take on aura nails with a ripple-like effect; need I say more?
13. The More, the Berrier
Strawberries are very Valentine's Day because they are red (duh!) and pair best with one of the holiday's best delicacies: Chocolate! These coquette strawberries were meticulously painted like watercolor with white dolly-like details over three hours, so if you are into something similar, plan your appointment accordingly.
14. Be My
Valentine Sonny Angel
Just a few of your favorite things: Sonny Angels, dogs in hats, and blushing cats. While some elements were painted on, others (like the dogs) are just stickers. So, if you don't want the fuss, there are always options!
15. Chrome Hearts
Is 2001: A Space Odyssey a Valentine's Day movie? No, but are these nails a sexy futuristic combination of red and silver perfect for the holiday? Yes.
16. Heart in Heart
Another 2000s classic airbrushed onto an extravagant red French manicure. The white and red hearts have a Betty Boop aura with rhinestone detailing. The easiest way to create stencils for this is to just use heart stickers and peel them off.
Valentine's Day nails don't always have to be sweet. Take these scorpions encased in glitter faux resin, for example, juxtaposed against the silver heart outline and pink ombré base. Personalize it with your or your partner's Zodiac sign to knock it out of the park.
18. Glossy Douyin
Douyin nails — taking inspo from the Douyin makeup popular in China — are perfect for those who want simplicity without sacrificing detail. The subtlest aura nail design gives a sense of innocence and dimension to the nails. Plus, the ever so slightly raised tips frosted with chrome are reminiscent of candy — yum.
19. Pearly Reds
Red and white are a great Valentine's Day color combination and this set only proves the known. The swirled clear gel on red tips adds a distinct texture, while the pearl-beaded hearts are reminiscent of lace-trimmed Valentine's Day cards.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue
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