11 easy Valentine's Day nail art ideas that you can recreate for yourself at home

Kate Mendonca
·Shopping Editor
·4 min read

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Female hands apply shellac during manicure procedure, flat lay. Woman painting her nails with gel nail polish near UV lamp, tools and bouquet, view from above.
Recreate these Insta-worthy manicures at home just in time for Valentine's Day. (Getty Images)

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For those looking for a reason to try out fun and creative new beauty looks, Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse to break out your favourite palettes and products. There's no shortage of inspiration for romantic or colourful looks, with everything from bold eye makeup to Valentine's Day hairdos to try out.

While a trip to the nail salon may have been on your to-do list in previous years, there's no question that they likely won't be in the cards any time soon. Whether you're celebrating alone or with a loved one this year, luckily nail art is an easy way to embrace the spirit of the season with many looks that are simple enough to pull off on your own at home.

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Whether you're a beginner or a nail art pro, with just a few shades of polish and perhaps the help of some household equipment, you can easily craft you own Insta-worthy looks with minimal effort. We've gathered ten of the best easy at-home manicures that you can recreate for yourself — no trip to the salon required.

Dainty hearts

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To recreate this delicate and minimalist Valentine’s Day look, you can go one of two routes: a dotting tool and thin paint brush will work to create your own tiny hearts, but if your hands are less than steady, you can also take advantage of nail stickers to get the job done.

‘70s-inspired hearts

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With a little help from some office supplies, you can transform your nails into a set of retro-inspired hearts. All you’ll need is three polish shades, and some paper reinforcements to use as a template to paint over.

ALSO SEE: These 13 unique Valentine's day gifts from Etsy are for everyone in your life

Colourful French tips

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For a modern take on the classic French tips, recreate the look with a pop of colour instead of the usual neutral shades. You can get the effect by carefully painting just the tips of your nails, or using adhesive stickers to guide your design.

Pop of gold

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To get this shimmering effect, you’ll need a shimmering metallic shade (we love this one from Essie!) and some scotch tape. Once the layers of base polish have completely dried, apply the tape onto your nails in a triangle shape and paint the exposed area with a coat of gold polish. Let it dry before removing the tape, and you’ve got an eye-catching mani that looks way more complicated than it actually is.

Contrasting colours

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Pink and red make for a bold colour combination that’s perfect for the season. You can use the same tape hack to perfect your lines, or go for a freehand design by painting your nails with a diagonal stripe for a more natural look.

ALSO SEE: 12 best Valentine's Day gifts from Amazon Canada at every price

Glitter accent

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To recreate this simple manicure, opt for one solid shade and one glittering polish to add a pop of sparkle to your nails. Choose two similar shades for a tone on tone look, or two contrasting hues for even bigger impact.

Think pink

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For a colourful mani that offers high impact with minimal effort, choose five coordinating shades to create an ombre effect with a different shade on each finger nail.

Simple rhinestones

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Go for as much or as little bling as you like with a set of stick-on rhinestones that can easily be applied to a full nail, or as a delicate accent on one or two fingers for subtle sparkle.

Rainbow dots

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Get the look of this dotted pastel manicure with the help of a dotting tool and a few of your favourite nail polish shades, or use the rounded ends of a bobby pin to get the same effect.

Pearl

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For a change of pace from the usual glitter and rhinestone decals, consider adding pearls of varying sizes to your at-home manicure.

Minimalist lines

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If you’ve got the patience (and skills!) to attempt these minimalist lines by hand, you can use a super-fine brush to paint on this linear design. If, on the other hand you’re looking for an even simpler way to achieve the look, you can easily recreate it with the help of nail wraps.

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