Dreamy Cloud Nails Are The Ethereal Manicure Trend You Need To Try

Cloud nails first became popular just around the beginning of 2020, and this style has only grown in popularity and creativity since. Cloud nails are exactly what they sound like: Images of white, fluffy clouds are painted on nails to give the illusion of a sky. However, what once started as typical white clouds painted on pale blue nails has morphed into so much more.

There's nothing quite as calming as staring up at a cloudy sky, so it's no surprise that people are replicating that look through their manicures. Nails are the ultimate accessory, and there's so much freedom to get as creative as possible when it comes to designs. Nail artist Chyna Stevens shares with Bustle, "I think people like cloud nails because it's a design that's not too over the top. It's cute yet subtle, and anyone can pull it off."

If you've been looking to bring a little serenity to your life, why not try a cloud nail manicure? We've gathered some of the coolest examples of this ethereal manicure that you need to try.

Stamp it out

If you're not confident in your painting skills but still love the look of cloud nails, try nail stamps or decals. These work especially well if you don't want to spend the time or money on a visit to the nail salon but still want to rock the latest trends. You can paint your nails the base color of choice, and then use these cute stamps to create any effect you like.

Butterfly dreams

These long, square-shaped nails are the perfect length for this manicure design. Soft purple marbled nails are accented with hand-painted white fluffy clouds. Crescent moons and stars are then added to create a dreamy vibe. If you look closely, you'll see one gorgeous butterfly floating on an accent nail on each hand.

In the clouds

A natural pink polish is the base for this faux French manicure. Soft white clouds and glittery stars are painted at the tip of these long, square-shaped nails while a gradient glitter polish adds the perfect amount of sparkle and shine. The glitter really makes it look like the stars are sparkling in a cloudy sky.

Cloud love

Show your love for cloud nails with this gorgeous subtle heart manicure. The clouds are blended perfectly across the nail, giving a soft and feminine look while tiny polka dots, crescent moons, and stars are added sparingly. Pink and orange polish is combined to create a soft base across the nails while tiny white hearts accent this manicure.

Retro clouds

This nail artist created something truly unique with a retro cloud manicure. Embracing a retro style and using bold, bright colors, they created exaggerated cloud shapes outlined in green, yellow, purple, blue, and pink along with hand-painted stars. An iridescent glitter polish adds some sparkle for a fun twist on traditional cloud nails.

Starry sky

This design shows that a little can go a long way when it comes to nail art. Beautiful pink ombre nails are accented with wispy white clouds, tiny dots, and stars for a more minimalist spin on cloud nails. This look is great if you love the concept of cloud nails but don't want too much color or design on your nails.

Lavender sky

White fluffy clouds are painted on this lovely lavender base color to create a really pretty effect. With cloud nails, we often see the clouds painted in a more abstract way, but this nail artist opted for solid white clouds, which really pop against the lavender polish. Perfectly manicured, medium-length almond-shaped nails complete this look.

Clouds and swirls

It feels like cloud nails and the swirl manicure are a match made in heaven. Cloud nails work so well with other nail trends like swirl nails and the French manicure, and this nail artist proves it. We've seen many nail artists combine French tips with swirl art, but the addition of a few well-placed clouds creates a whole new look that is on trend and super cute.

Clouds and moons

If you love lots of color and nail art, then this manicure design is for you. These dreamy pastel skies feature a variety of stars, polka dots, and crescent moons painted in various colors on a natural pink nail. Just a touch of silver glitter accents the white clouds on these long, almond-shaped nails.

Pastel skies

If you've been looking for the perfect spring or Easter manicure, look no further. Each nail is painted with ombré French tips in a different pastel shade, similar to Skittle nails, before fluffy white clouds and white stars are added for the final effect. This manicure is super versatile because you can play with the different nail colors to find something you love. 

Glittering skies

You can add a whole new dimension to your cloud nails by using glitter polish as your base color. The glitter polish adds just enough sparkle to make these clouds shine, and it resembles the galaxy nail trend. This is also a great way to create the cloud nail look at home — even if your nail artistry skills aren't quite at the professional level. 

Up, up, and away!

Add a bit of fun and whimsy to your cloud nails with this balloon bouquet painted on an accent nail. One of the balloons has escaped the bouquet and pops up on the nail next to it for a clever design. This is also a different way to add a variety of colors without it feeling overwhelming to the complete design.

Delicate clouds

These extra-long nails are painted using a reverse French manicure style and are literally what our dreams are made of. From the soft pink and lavender shades of the nail to the floating clouds and peaceful butterflies, we love everything about these nails. Combining the French tip with the artwork of cloud manicures allow you to decide how much of your nail you want to dedicate to the nail art.

Emoji clouds

Brighten up your day with this super cute cloud nail manicure. One lone cloud adorns each nail as it rains down polka dot and star glitter. Notice how each cloud looks like a different emoji because they're painted with a variety of facial expressions. It's almost like the manicure version of a mood ring! 

Accent clouds

Cloud nails can be downright adorable (see those happy clouds above), or they can be sophisticated and stylish like this stunning manicure. These long, almond-shaped nails are painted a robin's egg blue while two accent nails are decorated with tiny clouds in bright white. It's giving unexpected and chic.

Care Bears

This is the year where nostalgia reigns supreme, and we're seeing nail trends like the French manicure gain popularity once again. Throwing it back even further is this cloud nail manicure featuring one of the '80s most popular toys, the Care Bear. This is such a fun and unique way to create a cloud manicure because it not only showcases two loveable Care Bears, but it uses two different color polishes to create the design.

Embossed clouds

This manicure is like the calm after the storm. Subtle shades of pale pink and blue are combined in a variety of ways in this manicure. Some nails feature the marble effect while others use the ombre technique, but it's the embossed stars and moons that really make this design stand out (and show off the 3D nail art trend of 2023). 

No black clouds here

There's no bad weather with these grey skies! Just because we often see pastel or bright colors used with cloud nails doesn't mean you have to shy away from darker colors. These nails show you just how soft cloud nails can look with white and black polish. Using more neutral colors like this keeps your manicure more versatile, too.

Pretty in pink

You'll be seeing these pretty pink and white cloud nails in your dreams. If you're looking for a softer vibe with your cloud nails, a pale pastel like this pink is a great choice. The airy white clouds create an almost marble effect for an understated look that is classically pretty in pink.

Ombre clouds

This is a great choice when you can't decide which polish color to choose because the ombré look lets you have the best of both worlds. Pink transitions into purple on these long, stiletto cloud nails. The lighter application of the clouds doesn't overpower the cool ombré effect and creates a soft, feminine feel.