Easy Nail Art You Can Master in Five Minutes

By Carly Cochrane - 4 months ago | Updated
easy nail art

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 - don't forget to look at our quick-dry nail polish guide too, to make things extra speedy.

1. Splatter nails

Let’s kick things off with a nail art design that requires minimal precision. When it comes to splatter nails, the messier the better. Simply paint your nails with a base colour before splattering more nail polish on top. Here’s a handy hack: blowing nail polish through a straw will create the ultimate splatter design.

Get the look:

Revolution Neon Nail Polish Set

Revolution Neon Nail Polish Set

£20.00
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2. 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:

Barry M Classic Nail Paint - Diamond Glitter

Barry M Classic Nail Paint

£2.99
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3. Pinstriped 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 pinstripe pattern. Then add a clear top coat to lock everything in one neat design.

Get the look:

Sally Hansen Colour Therapy Top Coat

Sally Hansen Colour Therapy Top Coat

£7.12
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4. 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:

essie Nail Polish 13.5ml - 99 Mint Candy Apple

essie Nail Polish 13.5ml

£5.99
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5. 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:

Barry M Gelly Nail Paint

Barry M Gelly Nail Paint

£3.99
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6. 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 Kiss My Peach Nail Varnish Duo

Nails Inc Kiss My Peach Nail Varnish Duo

£15.00
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7. 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:

Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish

Nails Inc Gel Effect Nail Polish

£14.49
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8. Confetti nails

Much like glitter, confetti nail art is a sure-fire way to jazz up your hands. Take your pick from nail polish that’s already infused with confetti chunks or lock down your favourite sequins with a clear top coat.

Get the look:

Barry M Pick 'n' Glitz Kit

Barry M Pick 'n' Glitz Kit

£15.00
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9. 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:

essie Nail Polish 13.5ml - 17 Muchi Muchi

essie Nail Polish 13.5ml

£7.99
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10. Contrasting colour 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 fierce red and black look but you can easily switch up the contrast depending on the mood, style or occasion.

Get the look:

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Nail Paint

£3.00
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11. Pearl nails

Pearls are all the rage right now and have been used on the runway as both major hair and makeup accessories. Now, you can add them to your nail beds for a touch of elegance – all it takes is a super-strong nail glue.

Get the look:

Elegant Touch Strong Hold Nail Glue

Elegant Touch Strong Hold Nail Glue

£2.95
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12. 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:

GLOSSWORKS Sea Of Tranquillity

GLOSSWORKS Sea Of Tranquillity

£12.00
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13. Squiggle nails

This squiggle nail art design is for those who love simplicity but also like to make a statement. We love this monochrome look but you can easily showcase a rainbow squiggle.

Get the look:

Nailberry L'Oxygene Nail Lacquer

Nailberry L'Oxygene Nail Lacquer

£14.13
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14. False nails

False nails are your fast track to professional-looking nail art. Simply pick your design – you can even go for a look that's more detailed – and glue them down for a quick, mess-free manicure.

Get the look:

Elegant Touch Polished Core Nails - Alert Red

Elegant Touch Polished Core Nails

£5.00
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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, as well as our ultimate guide to nail art?

Carly Cochrane

Written by Carly Cochrane

My special talents include scoping out the best beauty dupes, nailing a winged liner and carrying an unhealthy amount of lip glosses in my handbag at one time.