The Minimalist Nail Art Trends We Love

Right now, dainty nail art is everywhere – think tiny hearts, delicate French manis and cuticle dots. Even better, it’s a trend you can easily recreate at home. To help you get it right, we spoke to two professional nail artists…
By Rebecca Hull /

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Prep Your Nails First

“Take the time to shape your nail first. Even if just one fingertip has a wonky edge, it will really stand out, and make any nail art look messy, so make sure you’re filing and clipping them to perfection – file on one side of the nail first using the full range of motion, moving to the other side in one swift stroke. It’s also key that you never rush when applying your base colour. It’s essential to ensure the application is even, smooth and neat as this will be the canvas for your artwork, so you want it to look as clean as possible.” Harriet Westmoreland, Celebrity Nail Artist

Know What Works Well

“Whether you’re having minimalist nail art done by a professional or doing it yourself, there are some key looks worth trying. The most-requested designs are the minimalist French, the cuticle dot and tiny hearts. Each one is very versatile and they work in every colour. It’s a chic trend that’s entirely mouldable to your personal style. If you’re not doing it yourself and are after something more intricate, there are plenty of other options. Instagram is a great place to find inspiration, with many nail artists sharing designs you can ask your manicurist to replicate.” Georgia Rae, Professional Nail Artist 

Take a SLOW APPROACH with nail art. If you slip up, use an old lip brush dipped in acetone to TIDY UP SMUDGES.

Invest In The Correct Tools

“Believe it or not, some of these minimalist nail trends are easier than they look to replicate. The heart is a very easy detail to add on – you just need the right tools. A super fine nail brush is key – like Bio Sculpture’s Upper Arch Brush – as is a dotting tool, but you could use a pencil or a bobby pin. To do a heart, decant a little of your polish onto a palette, dip your dotting tool into the polish and place the two dots directly next to one another onto the nail. These will form the top two curves of your heart. Play around with the dot size on the palette first to ensure they aren’t too big. Once you’re happy, use your brush to gently drag the polish down from either dot to form the point which sits at the bottom of your heart shape. As for cuticle dots, these are easy too. Decant your polish again, then use a dotting tool to place the dot onto your nail – it's almost impossible to go wrong.” – Georgia 

Don’t Worry About Mistakes

“A lot of people worry about making a mistake, but don’t panic. It’s better to take a slow approach with nail art, and if you slip up, use an old lip brush dipped in acetone to tidy up and remove any smudges. Some people prefer a thicker line when it comes to French manicures, others a thinner one – either way, you can rectify it, but the thin ‘eyeliner style’ is very on-trend right now.” – Harriet 

Use Colour For French Manicures 

“French manicures are nothing new, but the new take on them with colour and thinner, finer lines feels modern. The key is to make sure the colour compliments your individual skin tone. You can always mix nail lacquers or gels to create the perfect tone for you – or alternatively, when you visit a salon, explain to the manicurist what you’re after, and they can mix one up for you. My advice? Always ensure the colour is off-set by a pink-y, neutral base. It’s key to get the look just right.” – Harriet 

Practice Your Technique 

“Minimalist nail art is relatively easy to do yourself, but the tiny French tip does require some practice – and patience. Make sure you don’t have too much product on your brush when drawing on the French tip. Decant a small amount of your chosen colour onto a mixing palette, or a small piece of foil, then dip in your brush. Slowly work from one side of the free edge to the other, using long, light brush strokes. This technique will help you create a clean smile line, but if you make a mistake, just knock back the colour slightly.” – Harriet

It's essential your nail has a SMOOTH, EVEN BASE. This will be the canvas for your artwork, so you want it to LOOK CLEAN.

Get Your Colours Right

“Delicate artwork is a great way to introduce colour in a subtle and chic way. I often play around with colours before my clients decide on the final look, so try and have a play to see what works. Neons are a great option for more minimal designs – they’re different but still look chic. Working with white and black is great, as they go with everything and contrast well against each other. Likewise, a neutral base sets everything off nicely.” – Georgia 

Finally, Prolong The Life Of Your Manicure

“If you are working with normal nail polish, keep your coats thin and glide the polish over the nail as opposed to dragging it, and wait five minutes between each coat. I recommend buying the Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat for a gel-like finish. You can top up your nails with it every few days to prevent chipping, but the best way to keep a manicure looking good is to be gentle with your hands. Wear gloves when you do any cleaning and keep your hands and cuticles hydrated 24/7 – it’s the simple secret.” – Georgia

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