Abstract nails are popping up all over Instagram, and we are loving the trend. These abstract designs are perfect for any nail length, and allow you to be as creative as you want. Abstract designs never have to follow any one particular style of nail art, so it gives you a sense of freedom and flow that no other nail design can. They take a bit of work because your canvas is as small as your fingernail, but you can let your imagination soar when applying your new favorite abstract nail art designs.
Abstract Nail Art Designs
I love abstract nails, and here are some of my favorite designs from all across Instagram. These talented nail artists know no limits when it comes to their art.
Natalie Minerva is the head of Nail Swag, and we can see why. She takes these nails to the next level with her abstract design. She names it “Treasure Trove” with good reason; I feel like I’m looking at buried treasure in the sand.
Hammer and Nails is a page for nail art on Instagram, and the artist’s abstract designs are beautiful. I love the pale sky blue backdrop for the swipe of bubblegum pink across the center, and dots with lines in the corners. Just like abstract art on a large scale, abstract nail art doesn’t have to make sense or be decipherable with meaning.
Nail artist Mia has some incredible abstract nail designs that I am living for. This one looks just like Mother of Pearl on an oyster, a look created with strips of holographic tape. The dainty outlines of the strips add to the look in the best way, and I like that she didn’t add a base color and left the rest of the nail alone. Who needs a backdrop when the eye is drawn to the rest of the nail anyway? A natural neutral is perfect for these.
This other abstract set by Mia is awesome, too. The nude base is the perfect coupling with the black lines, blue stripes and white dots. To me, one of the nails resembles a clock, but with abstract designs (unless marked) you never really know what the artist was thinking, and everything is pretty much open to interpretation. I love that, and I love these.
Betty Rose is a Sydney-based nail artist who is bringing the heat with her abstract nail designs. Her abstract looks really make me think, and I love it. I don’t quite know the message accompanying these abstract nails, but I can say they make me slightly uncomfortable in the best way. It’s as though focus on a target is making the viewer see other colors because it’s so intense, but who knows? The abstract doesn’t have to make sense.
Betty Rose calls this abstract nail art “Veteran of the Psychic Wars,” and it is really captivating. The swirly rainbow background of the nail brings an awesome dimension to the design, and the spikes are a neat addition.
Abby Johnson is a talented nail technician based out of Utah, and her abstract nail art is fantastic. The matte quality of this abstract design is quite satisfying to see, and the mix of teal, yellow and peach is perfect. Although Johnson’s caption for the image says its inspiration came from a picture she found on Pinterest, the nails actually remind me of fruit.
One of Abby Johnson’s other abstract nail looks is perfectly traditional abstract work. Johnson understands that the best abstract pieces come from shapes and lines. The mix of mint green and white on the tips are beautiful, and I love that the designs don’t extend all the way down the nails.
Henriette is a Denmark-based nail tech whose abstract nail art is gorgeous. While her whole set is not abstract, the accent nails are. Her linework is extremely exact, and the design itself is super sleek. These get a 10 out of 10 from me.
Henriette’s “Candy Floss” abstract nails are a fun accent to any look. She swipes swirls of bright candy pink and cotton candy pink on the nails and they appear to come forward out of the nail itself, in a 3-D manner. These abstract nails are exciting and sweet to look at.
Chichi is a nail artist based out of Seattle, WA, and her work is beautiful. These nails are described as minimalist, but they are gorgeously abstract. The curvature of the lines and bright reds, blues, purples and golds are most definitely the perfect accents to the nails. Abstract nails don’t always have to be super busy, and these beautiful nails get the point across in the best way.
Tony Ly has a slightly different take on his abstract nail art. His design is actually built with the acrylic used to make the nail, instead of with actual nail polish. The process is very time-consuming but looks fantastic. As Tony points out in his caption, we get “paid for our patience,” and we couldn’t agree more.
Valori Boss is a nail tech from Salt Lake City, UT, and her abstract nail art has a lot of flavor it. This first set is intended for one of her clients in honor of Pride month, and we are loving the look. She combines the rainbow of colors in striped layers. My favorite nails are the ones divided by two colors and overlaid with circles of two other colors. Fun and perfect to demonstrate pride.
These abstract nails by Boss are inspired by Sophia Shu’s abstract artwork. The black lines are thin and compact, leaving room for the dots and stripes of red and gold. I find these nails particularly impressive because I have an unsteady hand, and heck if you don’t need a super steady hand when completing these tiny lines.
Tina Lee is a nail artist from Broward, FL, and her abstract nails are next level. These babies are multi-colored and filled with Picasso-esque eyes. I think these nails are incredibly cool and would love to wear them myself. It’s like a large-scale abstract painting condensed to fit onto a set of nails, and it rocks. The length of the nails adds even more oomph to the set; they’re amazing.
Ashley Cristobal’s set of abstract nails is inspired by her client’s wedding dress and they are the perfect complement. The tan of the nail is identical to the tan of the dress, and the abstract lines and dots of creamy white are beautiful against the base.
Cristobal also uses an abstract combo of bright blue, black and white to complete this set of abstract nails. Although I have never seen anything like them, they appear kind of futuristic to me and remind me of the Jetsons. They are fun and gorgeous, and I’d love to wear her design myself.
David Nguyen’s abstract nails are one of my favorite designs. He created a watercolor background for the nails and covered them with abstract dots and lines. He varies the weight of the lines in a manner that gives the design dimension. They are so simple, yet intricate.
Sophie Dale has some gorgeous versions of abstract nail art in her portfolio, and this is my favorite one from her lookbook. For this abstract nail art, Dale combines a natural base nail with some holographic tape and swipes of pink, blue and pale yellow; she adds black swirls and lines on top to complete the look. It kind of reminds me of my favorite couch at my parent's house in the ‘90s.
We think abstract nail art will be around for quite a while. There are so many ways to combine lines, dots and shapes into images that can be pretty much anything. Because there are so many different combinations, you can guarantee your abstract nail art will always be unique. You don’t always have to have a specific design in mind if you want a design from your local nail guru. Sometimes you just have to let you nail technician do their thing and it’ll come out looking abstract, beautiful and like nothing you’ve ever seen.