28 Almond Nail Designs You're Going To Want To Try

There are several nail shapes to choose from. Before acrylics existed, most of us simply used our natural nail shape as a guide — but thanks to fake nails, we can choose any shape we want. Some of us like a long, dramatic coffin nail, while many of us keep ours short and round.

Lots of us, though, like an almond nail. An almond nail is halfway between round and stiletto. It's usually got more length than a round nail but less of a point than a stiletto. It's chic and tailored and shouldn't cause any harm to your skin or eyes.

Almond nails are a great shape for designs, too. There's plenty of real estate for an assortment of fun designs that'll have you completely obsessed with your nails. If you're in need of some inspiration, look no further. Whether you're headed to the salon or giving yourself an at-home manicure, here are 28 almond nail designs you're going to want to try.

Play with ombré

In need of a simple nail look with just a little something extra? Play around with ombré nails. Ombré nails stand out without looking tacky and allow you to play with color without looking like the rainbow exploded. For an extra chic design, stick to shades within the same color family and top with subtle sparkles. If you're a talented painter, you can achieve the ombré look with polish and brushes alone, but if you need some help, use a sponge and a third brush to seamlessly marry the colors.

Test the cartoon nails trend

Is there anything more whimsical on a nail than a cartoon design? The cartoon trend has permeated several spaces — baking, home decor, and even beauty. Perhaps you've seen makeup artists giving themselves a cartoon eyeshadow look, or maybe you saw a full face à la cartoon. That same look can be applied to nails, and it only requires a couple of extra steps and colors. Once you've finished your design, outline your work in black polish and follow up by adding exaggerated highlights in white. It's simple, totally cute, and can be done with any design.

Try a glitter tip

Making the tip of your nail stand out is a longstanding design choice. Modernize the look a bit by opting for a glitter tip. It couldn't be easier: Simply paint glitter on the tip of your nail in a half-moon shape. It's glamorous without being ostentatious and will work for any occasion. If you're worried about precision, take a clean brush and use it to smudge the line for an ombré look. You'll still have the same effect without messy, imperfect lines. Just be sure to pack on the glitter at the tip so it stands out.

Get graphic

Graphic is the word. It's easy enough to slap on some nail polish and call it a day, but it's more fun to imbue some personality into your nails. Try a graphic nail look with bold color pairings, standout patterns, and mismatched nails. It's especially daring on an almond nail — the cool graphics create a nice juxtaposition against the most sophisticated of the nail shapes. It shows major personality and makes your nails the star of the show.

Mix and match designs

Can't pick just one design? Pick them all instead. There are far too many nail designs to feel limited to just one. Mixing and matching designs adds drama to the nails. It allows your nails to be just as much of an accessory as your jewelry or purse. If you're worried it's going to be too busy, offset a few nails with solid colors, and use those same colors in the design. The matching color will serve as a motif and a buffer to save your nails from chaos.

Be festive

If your nail tech asks if you want a themed design around the holidays, say yes. It's a darling way to add some festivity, especially for holidays that last an entire season, like Halloween, Christmas, or Easter. And there are several ways you can take a festive design — it doesn't have to scream holiday. Opt for a simple mix and match of the holiday's quintessential colors, or limit the kitschy design to one nail rather than all 10. Even a simple design will get you in the holiday spirit.

Mix finishes

Once we discovered we could mix and match our nails, the entire nail design game changed. Mixing and matching adds intrigue, and an often overlooked form is mixing finishes. One epic way to do this is by using a matte finish on your entire nail, then adding a shiny or satin finish to a design. It's chic yet fun and perfect if you want a subtle design. This could be difficult to achieve at home (unless you're a professional), but a good nail tech should be able to do it with no problem.

Say yes to animal print

Animal print is always classy, even on your nails. Whether you opt for tortoiseshell, leopard, cheetah, or otherwise, it's a classic look that you won't tire of. Since animal prints naturally come in nudes, they're a great option if you're bored with your neutral nails. But on the flip side, if you're after something fun, animal print can be painted with bright colors for a bold look. Opt for jewel tones for a more subdued look and neons for something totally outrageous. However you spin it, animal print is a good look.

Update the classic French tip

There's a reason the French tip has stood the test of time. It always looks good, and it's easy to paint. But there's nothing wrong with giving the French tip an upgrade, and it can be done in several ways. One easy way is to change the color. Instead of white, try a striking black or a delicate pink. Another way is to pull a reverse French tip — white beds and nude tips. You can also use neons in place of the nude and white. The options are endless, but the results will always be stunning.

Go 3D

Nails don't have to sport only paint — there are dozens of other materials that can be used to create nail art. If you've exhausted all other nail designs, ditch the paint and go 3D. Add gemstones or little pearls. Find tiny plastic toys and glue those on. Experimenting with nail accessories adds a whole new dimension — literally — to your nail art. If you're going 3D at home, be aware that you'll need some extra supplies, like glue and possibly tweezers. But once you're properly armed, you'll have a brand new arsenal of nail designs.

Opt for black and white

Black and white go together like peanut butter and jelly, rum and coke, Tia and Tamera — the list goes on. It's the most classic of all the classic combos, and it's perfect on a set of almond nails. Paint every other nail à la Rihanna in the iconic "Shut Up and Drive" music video. Carefully draw a checkerboard pattern. Polish one hand entirely in black and the other entirely in white. Give yourself a yin and yang design. Confidently play with designs knowing they'll look good no matter what, thanks to your color choices.

Make one nail different

If you're tired of the same old solid color look, changing just one nail is an easy way to mix things up. Leave the rest the same solid color and choose one nail to have a cute design. The design doesn't have to be intricate —the difference will be playful enough. But you can make it totally wild if you'd prefer. The trick, however, is choosing the right nail. Most often, it's the ring finger, but it could be others. Just be sure it makes sense aesthetically.

Make every nail different

If you've caught the bug by making one nail different, try something a little bolder and make every nail different. The only danger with this look is that you'll catch yourself staring at your manicure instead of getting anything done. The trick with this look is to have cohesiveness. It could be the color family used, allowing you to play with different patterns. Or it could be the opposite — a static design with different colors. A throughline will keep things cohesive so it looks more purposeful and less like you let your kid paint your nails.

Get galactic

The sartorial transition of galactic print should be studied. What was once considered a costume print has become unequivocally fashion-forward. If you like the print but don't want to commit to an entire outfit, try it on your nails. It might look difficult to achieve, but it's easier than you might think. Start with a black base, then use a sponge to create a gradient with blues, greens, and violets. Top your nails with sparkles, and you've got yourself a galaxy. If you're not confident doing it at home, see a professional.

Paint intricate details

For a truly stunning almond nail design, paint some intricate details. It might test your (or your nail tech's) resolve, but it'll result in a beautiful piece of art right on your nails. This isn't something anyone can do; it takes some serious talent. And it'll take some time. But if you're up for the challenge, a manicure of intricate details, whether lifelike florals for a garden party or realistic drawings of characters for a movie premiere, will instantly elevate your nail game.

Let clothing inspire you

We should be taking nail inspo from everything around us, including our clothing. This won't become a go-to nail choice — it's more reserved for seasonal and special occasion nails — but it'll be a fun respite from your regular designs. One way to incorporate your clothing into your nail design is by adding a sweater pattern. It's perfect for fall and adds dimension. You can also use argyle to inspire a pattern, which is great for a golf tournament or Masters weekend. If there's a print you like on clothing, paint it on your nails.

Don't ditch nudes

We know we've given you lots of ways to paint your nails that don't require nude colors, but don't abandon the palette altogether. Nude nail designs never go out of style and are a great fallback if you don't know what to do with your nails. Plus, they're perfect for professional occasions like job interviews or important presentations. And there are plenty of ways to spice them up. A glitter gradient can add subtle charm, as can different finishes, like glaze or matte. Nudes don't have to be boring; we just have to actively seek interesting nail designs.

Follow up with florals

If you're struggling to find inspiration, go with florals. Florals are fun in every season and work for every occasion. For a whimsical look, opt for some cartoon daisies. For something more sophisticated, try a realistic rose or incorporate some greenery. In late summer, paint a sunflower or two; in the winter, choose darker colors. There's never a wrong time to paint flowers on your nails — just pick designs and colors that suit the time of year. You can paint them at home or give your nail tech some creative license.

Use your profession as inspiration

As noted, anything and everything can (and should) be used as inspiration for nail art. If it won't be deemed unprofessional, use your job as inspiration. If you're a teacher, paint some apples or notebook paper. If you're a nurse, add some cartoon bandaids or medicine. It's a playful way to spice up your nail design. That being said, it'll pack the most punch if you opt for a profession-design sparingly. Choose a special occasion or a celebratory week to rock the look instead of doing so regularly.

Imitate art

Life imitates art; therefore, your nails should, too. With so many epic pieces of art in the world, there's endless inspiration for an art-imitated nail look. Swirl some black or white lines for a Picasso-inspired look. Splatter paint onto your nails à la Jackson Pollock. Go full Renaissance like da Vinci or Michaelangelo. If those are too difficult, offset some primary colors with white boxes and outline in black to imitate Piet Mondrian's work. Your nails are simply small canvases waiting to be turned into art.

Imitate nature

For as long as painters have been painting, they've been painting nature. Remember, your nails are a canvas, and anything that inspires you, like nature, can be painted on them. Flowers are always an option, but there are more beautiful items in nature than just flowers. Trees, bugs, animals, vistas — if it's pleasing to your eye, it'll be pleasing on your nails. Go super realistic or completely abstract. Use natural colors or get inventive with the palette. Let nature speak to you and see how it looks on your nails.

Play with white space

White space is a powerful art technique that allows for bold colors to stand out even more. It's tried and true on wall hangings, and it makes for just as stunning nail art. And don't let the name fool you: White space doesn't necessarily mean white. On a canvas, it typically means white since that's the color of the canvas. But on a nail, white space just refers to open space that doesn't have pigment painted on it. Use black and neon to create a bold, graphic look with white space.

Add the evil eye

An ancient symbol of protection, the evil eye has been used in art and jewelry for centuries, and it supposedly wards off evil from those who wear it. If you're not much of a jewelry girl, paint the evil eye on your nails instead. Matched with other primary colors, it's a cute design feature on a nail. If the evil eye isn't your thing, choose another symbol that fits your aesthetic, like a peace sign or a heart. It's a simple way to keep your nail art cutesy and fun.

Shoot for the stars

Speaking of symbols, another fabulous design feature for your nails is a star. Stars look great on nails. They're graphic without looking harsh. They're cute without looking immature. They're versatile, too — you can fill stars in or keep them open, or you can show the entire star on your nail or place it on the edge and only reveal a portion. Stars can come in all colors and fit many other patterns. Graphic, galactic, or natural designs can all utilize the celestial symbol.

Adorn with rhinestones

If you like a 3D look but want something a little less flashy, opt for rhinestones. Rhinestones are fabulous nail accessories that add glamour and flavor. Place a rhinestone in the middle of a flower or line them along the base of your nail. Put them at random across your nailbed in lieu of polka dots, or use them to create definite lines. You can apply them with tweezers or use an applicator pen with a wax tip for ultimate precision. A few rhinestones here and there can be very tasteful.

Keep it simple

We've given you tons of options for flashy nail designs, but there's nothing wrong with paring things down and opting for a chic minimalist manicure. Simple doesn't mean boring — you can still imbue your personality into your nails without choosing something stale. Try a subtle marble look, or give the magnetic trend a whirl. Pair a unique color with an interesting finish. These are all simple nail designs that still look beautiful.

Try a chrome finish

Speaking of interesting finishes, dip your toes (or your nails) into some chrome water. The high-shine chrome mani has become more popular in recent years, and we can see it becoming a bygone trend sooner than later, so try it out now while it's still en vogue. Pair it with a design, or let it speak for itself. Chrome nails are a total vibe and don't need anything extra to look good, but a subtle star or stripe won't detract from the finish.

Stay in one color family

If you're thinking of mixing and matching your nails in any way, try a color family look. This can be done in multiple ways. You can choose five solid colors and paint each nail something different. You can also choose a couple of different solids and offset those with designs that are in the same color family. This can be done with any color on the spectrum, and it'll look good, especially on a stunning almond nail.