Whether you’re headed to the beach soon or dreaming of an island getaway, one fun and easy way to get your beach fix is to paint nails with designs that harken back to time spent near the ocean or on a tropical vacation. And thankfully, it’s simple to create these beach nail designs yourself — just read on for the eye-catching beachy looks that you can create at home (or show these photos to your manicurist if you prefer an in-salon treatment). All you need are your polishes and a few tools and you’re all set!
Beach nail designs that lift your spirits
Jazz up your manicure with these simple beach nail designs you can do yourself:
1. Shimmery summery seascape nail design
“The shimmery blue- and sand-colored polishes instantly remind you of the ocean,” says celebrity manicurist Patricia Yankee who has painted the nails of celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian. “And the starfish shows off your creative flair!
Get the look:
- On every nail but the ring finger nails, apply two coats of shimmery, pale blue nail polish, like Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Polish in Glos-sea (Buy from Amazon, $5.24); let dry. Then, on the ring finger nails, apply two coats of shimmery sand colored polish, like Zoya PixieDust Nail Polish in Godiva (Buy from Zoya, $12); let dry.
- On the blue nails, use a metallic blue nail art polish, like FingerPaints Striping Polish in Royal Renoir (Buy from Sally Beauty, $3.89) to create a shallow scalloped wave at the free edge of the nails; let dry.
- On the sand-colored nails, use the metallic blue nail art polish to make a starfish shape across the entire nail. Finish with top coat.
2. Playful beach ball accent nail design
Get the look:
- Paint each nail with two coats of one color, alternating between yellow, red, blue and white polishes, find them all in set like SHANY Cosmopolitan Nail Polish Set (Buy from Amazon, $29.99). Tip: Place the white on the nail you choose to be the accent). Then dip a striper brush, like Orly Striper Brush (Buy from Orly Beauty, $13.90) into the yellow polish, and on the white nail, draw a curved triangle from the center of the nail up to the tip.
- Clean the brush, dip it in blue polish and use it to draw a curved triangle from the nail’s base to its center. Repeat using the red polish.
- Dip a dotting tool, like Cina Nail Creations Dip, Dot & Done Tool (Buy from Sally Beauty, $11.49) into white polish and dab onto the center of the nail where colors meet. Finish with top coat.
3. Stunning ocean water nail design
This mesmerizing ocean water-inspired design from YouTuber Hannah Lee of HannahRoxNails will have you staring at your nails all day. Following the how-to video above makes it a cinch.
Get the look:
- Paint nails two coats of light blue polish, like OPI Nail Lacquer in Gelato on My Mind (Buy from Amazon, $11.49); let dry.
- Paint nails with one coat of marine blue polish, like OPI Rich Girls & Po-Boys (Buy from Walmart, $9.40). While the polish is still wet, crumble up a small piece of plastic wrap and lightly dab on top to create a two-tone water effect.
- Clean up any polish on skin with a clean small paintbrush and nail polish remover. Finish with top coat.
Are your nails in need of some TLC? Before your next at-home manicure, try treating nails with a DIY nourishing soak to restore their health so they’ll look great whether you’re wearing polish or not.
For more manicure (and some pedicure) ideas, check out these stories:
Woman’s World aims to feature only the best products and services. We update when possible, but deals expire and prices can change. If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission. Questions? Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.