41 Best Gel Nail Designs
If you haven’t tried gel nails yet, you are in for a treat. Gel nail designs have taken Pinterest and Instagram by storm and for good reason. People are constantly sharing their photos and galleries of easy gel nail designs that they are getting done at the salon. With the increased variety in colors and designs you can pull off using gel nail polish, it’s no wonder this trend is blowing up. I saw a girl at the bar this weekend and she had these gorgeous nails so I asked her what she used. She told me that she has been using gel instead of acrylic for a while because the results are so much better and they last a lot longer. She also mentioned that there is a lot more variety you can get with gel nail designs so it is easier for women with short nails to get really pretty nail art designs. It piqued my interest so I decided to do some research of my own and want to get you caught up on why you should switch to gel nail designs for your nail art and what the benefits are.
You apply gel nail polish the same way you would put on any other nail polish but then you use UV light to dry it. This creates a much stronger and more durable polish that also looks a lot more vibrant. You can do the UV light setting at home but if you are new to gel nail designs, I highly recommend getting them done professionally a few times so you get familiar with the process. One of the huge advantages of this UV treatment is that once you finish, they are dry and ready to go. You don’t have to worry about them being smudged on the way out of the salon.
Probably my favorite thing about gel nails is their finished look. They seem more smooth, more natural, and when cured properly, they definitely have more a gloss to them. So I have gone ahead and looked all over Pinterest, Instagram, and Google to find some simple and easy gel nail designs, some super hot gel nail ideas, and some that are definitely going to have to be done by an expert. Hopefully these will inspire you to make the switch to gel from acrylic so you don’t have to worry about chipped nails ever again.
1. DIY Shattered Glass Gel Nail Art
Glass nails are making a huge splash in the nail art scene, and rightfully so. Best of all, you can actually pull this look off at home if you are feeling super brave. All you need is some iridescent cellophane and your gel nail polish and if you follow the video, you should be able to make it happen. Shattered glass is in my opinion, one of the best gel nail designs out there right now and it’s versatility is huge. It works on long and short nails, and can be done on almond, coffin, or just straight tips.
2. Gel Nails At Home
Because I am a budget friendly lazy girl, I had to throw another DIY gel nail tutorial in here before we get to the more intense professional stuff. I will always advocate doing your own nails because I think it’s fun, saves money, and is good for your soul to get some “me-time”. Also, I think this Polka dot gel nail art is beautiful and looks amazing. The best part about Polka dots is you can be little bit off symmetrically and people won’t notice.
3. Easy Nail Art – Dry Brush Nails Made with Gel Polish
This right here is a great example of how versatile gel nail polish is. This dry brush technique on the ring finger in this picture is beautiful and something that I couldn’t pull off with acrylic or just regular polish. But with gel, the consistency and the layering makes it possible. You’ll find that you can be a lot more creative with gel nail art and because it’s more durable, you’ll get more wear out of it before it gets damaged.
4. DIY Gel Nails Tutorial With Photos
Thank you hairspray and high heels for this tutorial. It demystifies how ‘hard’ gel nails are to do. You literally only need three ingredients and some patience. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Your gel nail designs are only limited by your creativity and skill which will improve over time!
5. Gel Nail Designs – Sassy Black And Gray
If you like a French tip, you are going to love doing this design with gel polish. First, this design is like a modern take on French tips by making them angled and the combo of black and gray look great together. They are super formal and classy and would be great for any summer cocktail party. And as I mentioned earlier, the gel finish just looks so much better than acrylic so you’ll get a little more glossy look than you are used to.
6. Artistic Rock Hard Led Gel Step-By-Step
When you are ready to kick your gel nail design game up a notch or if you are just want your gel nails to last even longer, get ready for LED gel polish. This stuff is super hard and super durable and easy to work with due to it’s consistency. This tutorial has great photos that you can follow along with to give it a shot at home.
7. Gel Nails Tutorial – 5 Easy Steps To Get Mirror Chrome Nails
Mirror chrome is another gel nail design that you just can’t pull off with acrylic or regular nail polish. The sleek and smooth look from the gel just makes it look so reflective. This is a super cute look that goes great with a black or gray dress or a for a formal event like homecoming or prom. Match it with aviators and you have yourself a great summer look that will make heads turn.
8. Summer Nail Designs
This corn cob nail art is just so silly, I had to throw it in here. I love it because it’s very summer / fall and goes great for a party where you are just trying to have fun or rock a costume. It’s one of those designs that would look great on a country themed party in college. Rock these with some overalls and cowboy boots and all of a sudden, you’re a hot country mama.
9. Do Your Own Gel Manicure at Home
Another great article that explains just how easy it is to do gel nails at home. You need some nail gel, some nail polish for your color or nail art, and a top coat to protect it. If you do it yourself, you’ll see how much smoother the polish looks when it’s sitting on nail gel and you’ll also notice that once the top coat dries, your nails will last a lot longer.
10. Easy Gel Nail Designs – Beachy Waves
So beachy waves are my favorite hairstyle for summer and I thought it would be great to throw in a complimentary gel nail art design. The great thing about using a sponge with gel nail art is how much more detailed you can be with your lines, knowing they will come through more clean and also will not get all smudged right away. This is one of the most creative nail designs I’ve seen and I love it. Great for summer and pool parties.
11. DIY Tutorial: Glitter Gel Manicure
Nothing wrong with throwing a little glitter into the look to make those nails pop! I think the pink glitter is a great look for clubs, festivals, and concerts. Anywhere that I am trying to make a statement and am going to be around a lot of people, I like my nails to really stand out.
12. White and Silver Striped Accent Nail Mani Tutorial
13. Simple Gel Nail Designs – Glitter Nails
14. Gel Nail Art Hack – Gold Sharpie Marker
15. Flexing 3-D Gel Polish
16. Realistic Roses with Gel Polish
17. Easy Gel Nail Design – Disco Tiger Nail Art
18. Black and White Chevron Nails With Gel Polish
19. Simple Gel Nails – Mixed Media Nail Art
20. Kiss Gel Dress Nails For Summer
21. Best Ideas About Gel Nails – Easy Pastel Polka Dot
This is a super minimalist gel nail art design that I love to wear at work or at formal events. They are subtle but really cute and when you skip a nail or two, it draws the eye.
22. Disney Gel Polish Manicure
23. Black Cat French Nail Tutorial
24. No Mess Easy Water Marble Nails
25. Tropical Jewel Leopard Print Nails Using Gel Polish
26. Colorful Sugar Spun Nail Art Tutorial
27. Nail Art Ideas – Foxy Lady
28. Awesome Nail Art Idea: The Crosshatched Manicure
29. Watermelon Nail Design Tutorial
30. Easy Gold and Nude Nail Art
31. Valentine’s Roses Nail Art Tutorial
Time to whip out the big guns for Valentine’s day gel nail art: striping tape! The pro’s use it to get perfectly straight and symmetrical lines and you should too.