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Easy Nail Art You Can Master in Five Minutes

By Carly Cochrane -
easy nail art ideas

Nail art is the super cool beauty trend that can take a manicure from bog-standard to Instagram-worthy in a matter of minutes.

Over the years we’ve seen everything from diamond embellishments, real-life aquariums and 3D sculptures grace the ends of fingertips. And whilst they certainly look the part, it undoubtedly takes the patience of a saint and the artistry skills of Picasso to achieve.

While we love to be a little extra here at Cosmetify we also live for quick and easy beauty routines. So we took to Pinterest to find the best easy nail art designs that everyone can get involved with.

1. Glitter nails

If you’re pressed for time but still want to rock a unique manicure, then give glitter nail art a go. Whether you choose to fully coat your base colour with some sparkle or just the tips, glitter is a quick way to spruce up a nail look.

Get the look:

Jessica Effects The Touch

£15.36

2. Swirl nails

Whilst this design might require a steady hand and a little more patience, it’ll totally be worth it in the end. Use the end of a cuticle stick to apply polish and create the perfect swirl pattern. Then add a clear top coat to lock everything in one neat design.

Get the look:

SOSU by SJ French Twist Faux Nails

£8.81

3. Half-moon nails

We adore the half-moon effect as it’s simple yet oh-so-sophisticated. Super easy to achieve, it’s the best nail art design for beginners who want to add a cute touch to their cuticles.

Get the look:

Jessica Custom Nail Colour

£7.01 £11.00 (37% off)

4. Coloured tips

On the flip side, a colourful tip is another way to break into the nail art trend. Grab your favourite polishes and give the end of your nails a quick sweep of colour for a cool, edgy look.

Get the look:

essie Expressie Quick Dry Formula Chip Resistant Nail Polish

£8.81

essie Expressie Quick Dry Formula Chip Resistant Nail Polish

£6.99 £8.81 (21% off)

5. Spotty nails

Spots are a timeless classic that suit any style. Go multicoloured or add them to your chosen base colour to create a quick, easy and lowkey nail look.

Get the look:

Nails Inc Naked In Neon Top Coat Quad

£22.00

6. Accent nails

Accent nails are a fab way to add a subtle pop of personality to your manicure. Simply single out one nail and make it the star of the show with a different design or colour. We've seen everything from animal print to glitter and graphics, so the freedom is yours.

Get the look:

essie Expressie Quick Dry Formula Chip Resistant Nail Polish

£5.49 £8.81 (38% off)

7. Minimalist nails

Staying true to its name, minimalist nails require minimal effort. Perfect if you're rushed for time, or simply don't have the patience for nail art, this clean-cut design gives hands a sophisticated feel without being boring.

Get the look:

essie Treat Love Colour TLC Nail Polish

£9.69

essie Expressie Quick Dry Formula Chip Resistant Nail Polish

£5.49 £8.81 (38% off)

8. Floral nails

Floral nail art is for those that love to flaunt feminine fingertips. While we could easily get carried away with transforming our hands into beautiful bouquets, a simple stem design looks just as pretty and takes half the time, making it a win-win.

Get the look:

Jessica Phenom Vivid Nail Colour

£5.80 £14.50 (60% off)

9. Contrast nails

Can’t decide between your two favourite colours? Fear not, as this nail art design allows you to rock them both. We love this monochrome black and white look but you can easily switch up the contrast depending on the mood, style or occasion.

Get the look:

ORLY Breathable Nail Polish

£11.95

10. Heart nails

It doesn't have to be Valentine's Day to share the love. This adorable heart-shaped nail art looks cute all year round and can easily be added to nail beds for a touch of romance.

Mavala Nail Colour

£5.10 £6.40 (21% off)

11. Gradient nails

Simply work your way through a colour palette to create a gorgeous gradient across your hands. Pair it with a chunky knit jumper and you've got the most perfect winter mani'.

Get the look:

Nails Inc Kiss My Peach Nail Varnish Duo

£15.00

12. Metallic nail art

This metallic nail art design is for those who love simplicity but also like to make a statement. We love this spin on a French manicure but you can easily showcase metallic with graphics, colour-blocking and more.

Get the look:

SOSU by SJ X Laura Anderson Goal Digger Faux Nails

£8.81 £8.95 (2% off)


Not only are these easy nail art ideas perfect for beginners, but also those who love to leave their manicures right to the very last minute (we're guilty as charged).

We're sure you'll be able to ace these looks in no time, so why not take things to the next level and check out How to do Chrome Nails.

Carly Cochrane

Written by Carly Cochrane

As the Senior Content Editor for Cosmetify, Carly is the go-to for all the latest (and greatest) beauty tips, tricks and trends. With over six years of experience in the industry, she knows all the ins-and-outs when it comes to health, beauty and wellbeing. 

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