Looking for the trending prom nails of this year? These prom nail designs will complete your look!
Dresses, heels, hair, and nails are all part of the prom planning process. Every year, girls everywhere rush to nail salons to get their perfect prom nails manicured. In addition to the classic French tip, girls are experimenting with bolder nail designs this year.
Prom night is all about the details, and no look is complete without an on-point manicure. You may have the most stunning dress, perfect heels, and the sexiest up-do, but your nails are the most stylish accessory of them all.
Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite prom nails to give you inspo!
Read about the top prom nail trends next or skip ahead to check out the inspiration photos.
Tips Before The Big Night:
1. Do not make the appointment or do your nails on the day of your prom
Making sure they’re all fully dry can make them less likely to be smudged. Aside from that, the extra time can give you the opportunity to redo them as you wish. No need to get your nails done the day of!
2. Don’t overdo house chores
One of the best reasons why you should do your nails one day before is the fact that your nails will not be too worked out before the big night. To make them last until prom, make sure you don’t excessively dunk your nails in and out of water. If you must, then wearing gloves can spare them a little.
3. Make sure your nails are buffed and dry
If you’re doing your nails at home, the first thing you should do is to make sure your nails are thoroughly buffed and dry. The smooth surface helps the pigment of the polish stick better to your nails, making it last longer than usual.
4. Your prom nails don’t exactly have to match your dress
Finding the right matching shade of polish can be quite tricky, especially if your dress is not made with basic colors. Instead of looking for the exact same shade of polish, find a color that compliments it. The thumb of rule is to combine cool tones with warm tones and vice versa.
5. When in doubt, go neutral
Remember, the focus should be central at prom, which is obviously your dress. Your prom nails should not overpower your dress. If you’re in doubt, go with neutral colors (white, beige, nude).
As much as possible, try to steer clear of red unless you plan to match your nails with a red dress. Silver, gold, and glitter designs are also considered safe options since they can blend into your outfit as jewelry.
6. Take advantage of press-on nails
Aside from its economical and affordable advantage, press-on nails are a lot easier to manage. You can put it on, take it off, and reuse it as many times as you want. The only downside is the limited range of options.
More Prom Nails Inspiration:
Don’t you just love these little sparkling polka dots placed atop a colorless base coat? From afar, they look like tiny twinkling stars around your nails!
I love how glamorous and sophisticated these prom nails are! They’re utterly gorgeous and full of shimmer to match a dress that will twinkle under the lights!
If you’re looking for a manicure that has little to no shimmer, this one is for you. You can either go for a white and nude color combo or a white and red one.
Whether you’re wanting to match your golden dress or just want to make your nails have that golden touch to them, you’ll certainly love this manicure! I am obsessed with this golden chrome look.
For dainty and soft prom nails, you’re going to love this prom nail design! I’m loving how unique the bird patterns are and how intricate they were painted on.
I can totally see these stunning deep blue nails matching a midnight blue gown during prom night perfectly! The gold foils add such a pretty accent as well!
Give your usual nude and minimalistic prom manicure a glam accent by adding some shimmery linework atop your base coat.
So moody and edgy, these gradient black nails are so classy and elegant! The gradient accent nails also provide a shimmery or frosty look to your hands.
Update the traditional french tip by ditching the usual white tips and replacing them with a glittery one like this. This will create a gorgeous gradient effect too!
When it comes to a romantic and feminine manicure, you can never go wrong with pink prom nails. Use different finishes like the usual glossy textures, matte ones, and shimmery top coats to add some interesting dimensions.
Green may not be everyone’s first choice for prom nail designs but if your dress is green or has hints of this hue, you might want to consider matching the theme for a cohesive look.
I love the neutral colors on these prom nail designs as well as the different finishes for each top coat. It looks so effortlessly classy and sophisticated.
I’m loving these florals with golden accents to them! They’re so dainty, intricate, and sophisticated! The neutral color scheme will make it suit all types of dresses as well!
If you want a prom manicure that you won’t see on other fingernails, then this is for you. It’s a unique yet classy take on the usual french tips.
If you want to play with floral patterns but don’t want your nails to completely steal the attention from you, then you can ask your nail tech to just put them around the tips of your nails.
This is probably my favorite floral nail design for prom night on this list. I just love the youthful jelly look, as well as how the floral patterns look like dried, vintage flowers.
Make a statement with your white floral nails by adding some flowery embellishments to your accent nails!
But if the previous manicure is a little too much, this one has a more subdued and understated floral aesthetic.
Add some color to your floral 3D nail art during prom! These pink nails are utterly gorgeous and give off a romantic vibe.
Here is another white floral design you can consider during prom night! This particular one adds sparkling embellishments such as rhinestones and 3D florals for a more avant-garde look.
Tired of the usual white and neutral color schemes? Get deep and moody plum hues for your nails instead!
I am obsessed with the intricacy of this particular nail design. From afar, it looks like sophisticated lace patterns but they’re actually floral tips.
Speaking of lace patterns, this is an instant favorite of mine on this list! It’s so sexy and sophisticated at the same time. The sharp, stiletto nail cut provides a more feminine touch as well.
I don’t know about you but there’s something so elegant and moody with monochrome black roses on the nails. Add some rose gold embellishments to create a stunning contrast of sparkling colors.
If you’re looking for a prom nail that’s quirky and has a bold pop of color, you’ll love these bright, neon pink nails! The lace pattern accent nails add a sophisticated touch too.
Combining glam and edginess, these nails are utterly gorgeous! I love the mixture of different patterns and shapes in each nail.
Everything about this prom manicure is utterly gorgeous! The pure white patterns look so majestic and dainty at the same time.
These combinations of florals and geometric patterns are so unique! I love the stark white monochrome look as well!
If you’re not too fond of all-white manicures, then you can add some sparkles to it by topping it off with shimmery top coats and patterns.
Not a fan of shimmers as well? Instead, you can spice up your monochrome white prom nails by adding some dainty leaf patterns on your accent nails.
You know I love anything purple, and this soft matte lilac manicure with a rhinestone embellishment is so classy! It’s simple and I think you can also DIY it without too much fuss.
If your prom has a wintry theme, you will surely love this frosty grey manicure for your prom night! It’s giving real ice princess vibes.
This set of nails reminds me of a cotton candy vibe and if you’re going to be wearing something pink on prom night, then this is a prom manicure you might want to consider!
If you’re not too confident about straying from your usual french manicure, then you might love this gradient variation of the classic french tip for your prom nail designs. It’s softer and subtle as well, and you can easily create an accent nail like the one in the picture.
Spice up your regular soft pink manicure by adding a transparent accent nail with a shimmery finish. It’ll give your prom manicure a touch of glam.
Perfect for a springtime theme on prom night, these butterfly-themed nails are just utterly stunning!
Put a creative twist on your nude manicure and add some sparkle to your fingernails! Your hands will be catching the light in the most ethereal way.
If you don’t like having too much color on your nails, then why not opt for a colorless base? Add some glitters and butterflies for a sparkling effect.
Here’s another one of my favorite prom nails on this list. I just love the daintiness and sparkle of each golden star.
If you don’t like adding a lot of color to your nails but like the look of a starry manicure, then this is more suited for you than the previous manicure.
Add splashes of bold and deep blue hues to recreate the look of a starry night sky on your nails during prom night.
Looking for prom nail designs that include pastels? I’m honestly loving these spring-themed manicures! They’d be such a good match if you’re wearing a bright or pastel dress to complement your overall look!
Starry themes on prom night are quite common and I can see why they get so trendy and popular. The same can be said for starry manicures. They look utterly ethereal and heavenly!
If you really don’t want to get too fussy about your prom night nails, then you can never go wrong with a classic like the French tip.
If you want to make a subtle creative twist to the classic french manicure, try using a different color than the usual white tips. This is one of my favorite prom nail designs that incorporates pink!
I just love golden chrome manicures. They look so shiny and give off such a luxurious feel to the nails.
If your prom night has an under-the-sea theme, then these mermaid-inspired nails are a must-have!
If you’re not planning on wearing any jewelry during prom night, you should accessorize your nails as an alternative. Top off your manicure with over-the-top rhinestones and chrome finishes to get the gemstone effect.
Want something soft and pastel for your nails on prom night? Try out these pink french manicures with white hearts on them!
I love gradient patterns like this. It looks like a natural flush of color on the nails while also looking quite romantic.
These frosty tips would be so perfect for a snow-themed prom! You’ll certainly be the ice princess of the night.
Specific Prom Nail Design Ideas:
Here are some specific prom nail designs you may want to try out.
Sparkly Glitter Nails
Glitter nails are one of the easiest ways to flaunt your nails without the fuss. Doing it yourself is also not much of a problem even if you are a beginner.
Lace Pattern Nail Art
Lace is feminine and soft. It easily compliments a flowy dress, regardless of the color. One of the best color combos is nude and white. If you’re going for a gothic look for prom, you can go in purple and black.
Geometrical Pattern Nail Art (Great Gatsby style)
Geometric patterns are classy, sophisticated, and stylish. It balances your dressy look with its edgy and minimalistic twist.
Botanical/Leaf Nail Art
Leaves are one of the best nail art designs for prom if you’re going for a fairy-themed look. I love how this gives a magical aura to any outfit!
Ombre Prom Nails With Sequin Charms
Feeling a little extra? Sequin charms are great accessories to form a unique ombre design for your nails. Feel free to use some color!
Matte Polish With Nail Art Accent
Matte is straightforward, clean, and sleek. Although it deflects light, it captures attention quite well. An accent like a bejeweled nail is more than enough to make a statement.
Rose Gold Chrome Nails
Chromatic nails are a great way to add shine and sheen to your outfit, especially if you’re going for a plain classic dress. It adds mystery, edginess, and sophistication.
Rose Quartz/Crystal Nails
Crystal nails are unique and trendy. They look like gemstones, which means this design can easily pass off as jewelry. A great alternative to traditional wearables!
Classic French Tip
A classic french tip is still one of the best and most popular designs in the world. When in doubt, stick with the classics.
Barbie Pink Nails With Glitter Accent Nail
Going for a girly Y2K look for prom? If you want to go all the way, then pink is the best color to play with!
Gold Nails With Gold Studs/Confetti
With a naked clear base, apply gold confetti and cover it with a second layer of clear polish. Do it two more times for a 3D-like effect.
Floral Nail Art Design
Floral is feminine, stylish, and soft. If your dress is designed plain, a bit of floral print can add character and vibrance to your overall look.
Bridal Inspired White Nails With Rhinestones
White is both bold and simple. Even with the reputation as a basic color, the lightness of white polish is vivid enough to elevate your prom fit.
Gypsy Pattern Nails
Intricate gypsy patterns are challenging to replicate without a professional, but it is totally worth it! This henna-like design can definitely add the necessary “oomph” to your look.
3D Floral Nail Art
Floral charms are great accessories to make nail designs come to life. However, most of these designs come in faux or press-on nail sets.
Holographic designs make a great addition to an all-black ensemble. Plus, it makes a great stylish after-party accessory!
Multi-colored French Tips
Bored of the usual french tip? Don’t be afraid to play around with colors! You can also adjust the thickness of the tip, depending on your preferred nail shape.
Charcoal Dipped Nails
Going for a sophisticated gothic look for prom? Go for black ombre! You can add a single sequin charm to each nail for a nice simple accent.
White and Gold Foil Nails
Another alternative to gold confetti is gold foil. If you or your nail tech has access to gold foil, you can request them to put it on a single nail for an accent.
Geometric Pointed French Tip
Another way to recreate the French tip is by doing a geometric shape. Draw triangles on each side of the tip with white polish. You should be left with a single naked triangle silhouette.
Stars on Dark Blue Nails
Incorporating stars on dark nails is a great way to achieve a dreamy look. I would recommend this design especially if you’re going for a navy blue dress!
An alternative to leafy, botanical designs is butterfly nails. They add a magical and fairy-like twist to any outfit. For a more unique and memorable design, you can try looking for butterfly charms.