Sparkle All Spring With Golden Hour Nails

Just before sunrise or shortly after sunset, photographers across the globe are treated to a rare time of day when their photos truly come to life: the golden hour. It's a mystical moment where the world is bathed in gold and easy to find when you look out your window any spring evening as the sun makes its descent. While you're at it, maybe snap a pic of your golden hour nails, making both your photo and hands glow with beauty. 

Unsurprisingly, this magic has captivated the manicure world, and there are so many ways to style a golden hour nail. As the weather grows warmer this spring, it's time to pull off the gloves and let your manicure shine. There are tons of trends hitting nail enthusiasts this year, such as freehand nail art, but the golden hour manicure is enough to take your breath away, especially when combined with other nail trends. This look will carry your outfit and match perfectly with hand jewelry and accessories. It can be magical and beautiful, full of power or statement worthy, or just plain cute, but one thing is for certain: This trend is for anyone and everyone who wants a gorgeous manicure. 

Liquid gold tips

This textured gold French tip looks almost as though it's still melting. The nude base gives the impression you've just dipped your fingers into liquid gold, while also showcasing the gorgeous shade that the tip has. The gold has a faint shimmer, making it look just that much more in motion. 

Golden twist

The twist of gold on these nails is so elegant and well-crafted that it almost looks like a braided gold ring. Despite being rather minimalistic in terms of design, this look packs a big glamorous punch. This set will look perfect with larger accessories, like a watch or wedding ring, and gives off an aura of power and wealth. 

Golden night

Golden 3D elements aren't new, but they certainly are having a moment this spring! With a bronze-tipped nail, they make a perfect addition, bringing that golden tinge out just a bit more to create a golden hour verging on a night sky right on your hands. If you're not a fan of appliqués, this style looks amazing with free-hand gel work, too. 

Gold flakes

Gold flakes can be used in a large variety of nail looks, but the encapsulated gold flakes will always be a beautiful mix of wealth and magic. With a few accent gems to spice them up, this golden hour manicure strikes the perfect balance between maximalism and minimalism, finding a happy middle ground where your nails can shine. 

Gold accents

If you don't want an entire set for your golden hour moment, reducing the style to one or two accent nails is a great way to add the trend to your regular manicure. The curve shape created with the application of gold flakes on the accent finger here gives the manicure a sense of shape and dimension, and the nude base makes sure that the accent nails don't overpower the red on the rest of the hands. 

Designed in rosy gold

Strawberry milk nails are the pastel pink manicure trend that's perfect for Spring, and when you add the golden hour trend to them, they're even cuter. Creating designs on top of your strawberry milk nails with gold is a great way to highlight your designs and help them catch the light, as well as give them a sense of dimension. 

Abstract gold

There are tons of ways to rock an abstract swirl manicure, but adding in gold may be one of the very best. This look is modern, chic, and put together in a way you may not have expected swirls to be. This style also looks amazing in matte if you're not huge on the gloss, and it works well with all nail shapes. 

Marbled gold

Marble nails are to die for, and a semi-transparent marble manicure is beautiful, delicate looking, and carries an air of grace and elegance. Adding in veins or flakes of gold takes this style to a whole new level, calling to mind marble statues of Greek goddesses created with golden ichor for blood. This artful trend perfectly mirrors the creativity that the golden hour is centered around. 

Golden geode

Similar to marble nails, this geode manicure doesn't take up the enter nail and is edged with a jagged streak of gold. This look adds a bit more color to your nails and looks just as elegant as a marble nail while adding in a touch of magic and mysticism. For the tip, you can go wild with different color combinations to make it your own, but the nude base helps to keep the manicure from being overwhelming.

Gold heat

The golden design on this manicure is made molten by a gradient of peach and pink, and with the application of a few gems and pearls, this set is almost too hot to handle. The golden designs are reminiscent of flames, even the heart on the ring finger seems almost on fire, and the dynamic, curving lines and differential color work give this manicure a sense of motion. This set will definitely stay past spring and well into the Summer heat. 

Dipped gold

The experimental French tip trend is here to stay, and it looks gorgeous as an asymmetrical drip of pure, liquid gold. The pale nude of the base truly brings out the deep gold color, while the gloss top coat gives the entire manicure a shine. This look is multifaceted enough to work with any aesthetic. It works best with round and pointed nail shapes, while square and coffin nails may end up looking very different with this style. 

Gold leaf

Gold sequins and glitter really capture the golden hour vibe, almost looking like bits of sunshine or lens flares caught on camera. With the addition of a leaf or other nature motif, you have the serene, beautiful world of a nature photographer trekking through the wild at golden hour looking for the perfect shot. These nails are perfect for a party, the office, or everyday looks. For a little more magic in this look, try a glitter top coat. 

Gold vein

Blue agate nails have paired up with the golden hour to make a manicure that screams art at the levels of which Van Gogh himself would approve. The gold veins running through the blue agate nails are just as stunning as the bits of gold encapsulated in the other nails, and paired together, they're show-stopping. The nails are definitely a statement piece that will draw the eyes of everyone around this spring!

Golden details

For nails that truly encompass the golden hour vibe, the addition of a sunset gradient goes a long way, but adding in actual gold details truly takes the cake. The sparkles and broken cuffs of gold really make these nails stand out among a crowd, all without being overly complicated. You can easily make these nails even more glam with a few 3D elements such as gems or stars, or simplify them by taking some of the color out.

Gold mirror

These simple, minimalistic nails have a mirror base and tip that almost makes them appear to be completely framed in gold at first glance. They look perfect as are, but they also leave plenty of room to play around with original ideas and designs on the inside. Part of what makes golden hours so beautiful is the creativity they invite, and this manicure certainly follows that MO. This design works best on rounded nails, but there's nothing wrong with giving square or coffin nails a try with this style either. 

Black and gold

The golden hour is either preceded or followed by darkness, so it makes sense that black would couple so well with it. The gold flakes paired with hints of gold paint really make these nails as unique as they are beautiful, all without being overly complicated. The accent nail aside, this is a look that a beginner could attempt at home, using the gold flakes to cover up any less-than-perfect lines with the black. This manicure looks elevated and professional.  

Gold ombré

What embodies the golden hour better than an ombré? A golden ombré, of course! These nails are magical, beautiful, stately, and ready to elevate any accessories and jewelry you may choose to pair with them. These nails have it all: gloss, shine, shimmer, sparkle, and chrome, and all work seamlessly together. This manicure works with every nail shape and has the potential for additional designs and changes to make it more unique to your style. As they are, though, they fit with just about any aesthetic and look absolutely beautiful in any light. 

Sliced gold

Black and gold work great together, so the opposite works just as well: White and gold is a clean-cut look that will be all the rage when you show your friends your new set. These slices of gold are simple but leave a lasting impression, especially with how sharp their line is. High-shine chrome manis, sometimes called mirrorball nails, are trending right alongside the golden hour manicure, so combining them together makes for a home run. Try this look with a more square-shaped nail to really exaggerate the line-work. 

Glittering gold

If the solid chrome gold look isn't for you, try something a little softer, like the glittering gold look. This style works for any and every nail shape and perfectly fits the vibe year-round. For fans of 3D elements, this look is the perfect base, and for those looking for something simple, this is great as is. 

3D gold

Want to mix up the French tip a little? Try a 3D or textured French tip. Much like the dripping gold look, this manicure feels alive with motion and beauty. It's unique, it's stylish, and it says everything you want it to say without too much fuss. For those trying out 3D manicures for the first time, this is definitely a great place to start. 

Gold shine

The all-chrome nail look is stunning, but for a little more variety, try mixing it up with a clever mix of black and white. This style works best on square and coffin nails but can be tweaked to look stunning on curved nails as well. The subtle gold striping between the envelope black tip and the white base really brings this manicure style together, and the all-black pinky right next to a solid chrome gold ring finger just screams success. 

Gold ring

While a sparkling French tip is beautiful by itself, adding a couple of gold bands to your nails to imitate a ring or two truly transforms the look. It's chic, bespoke, and trendy. The chromatic shine of the bands really brings them to attention when compared to the less-shiny sparkle, and the nude base helps all the gold pop. Best of all, this look works for any nail shape. 

Corona gold

The glittering gold detailing on these nails imitates the sun's rays, which really embodies the core of the golden hour manicure trend. This style looks great on top of nude or neutral bases but also shines on colored nails. You can also try this look without the sparkle, swapping it out for a chrome gold, to switch whimsical to refined. 

Gold capsules

Outlining a French tip to make an empty capsule doesn't sound like it would be super chic, but it's unapologetically trendy, especially when using chromatic gold at the outline. This look is the perfect minimalistic statement and serves a beautiful, clean look without much effort. This look works perfectly on a nude base but looks just as clean-cut on white. For other aesthetics, experiment with the base color to curtail it to your individual look. 

Dainty gold

Adding a scrape of gold foil to your dainty nail design adds a hint of whimsy to the look, especially when coupled with elements like flowers, vines, or leaves. Coupled with a ballet slipper pink, your entire friend group will absolutely be drooling over nails as cute as these. Want to take the softness out of the look and add an edge? Try a dark base color. 

Faux French

There are already a ton of different spins on ombré nails out there, but combining the technique with a French tip style is a classic in the making. Like daylight slowly fading into dusk, this look perfectly encompasses the golden hour, and it looks darling to boot. This is another style that works universally across different nail shapes, and if you want it a little more polished, just add a clear top coat and you're good to go. 

Midas touch

Adding on to the faux French tip trend is a scraped gold foil, which gives a rougher edge, but comes off just as glamorous. It almost looks as though all your fingertips touch turns to gold, perfect for a grunge look as is, or the best base for something a little more posh. Add a little line work to refine the look, or throw on some gems to make it sparkle. 

Kintsugi gold

Kintsugi is an age-old Japanese practice where broken ceramics and pottery are mended back together with gold, making them even more beautiful "broken" than they ever were whole. The golden hour trend melds perfectly with Kintsugi for a jaw-dropping effect. Outfit your broken pieces of pottery with any pattern or design you like, and then revel in your absolutely enchanting manicure results. 

French gold

Going back to something a little simpler, the pure gold French tip really says it all. It's simple, it's refined, and it works with any aesthetic. This look will carry your wardrobe, your accessories, and any vibe you pair with it. Much like the actual golden hour, these nails reveal the beauty around them just as much as they're beautiful themselves. 

Golden beach

Photography lovers know that the beach and the golden hour make for some of the greatest photographs, so why not apply the same to your manicure? Pearls, sea glass, sand, and waves all come together with raised lines of gold to make this stunning manicure. If you happen to have tiny seashells or sea-themed jewelry, this is the time to use them! 

Golden garden

If a picture is worth a thousand words, these nails are worth ten thousand. Each nail presents its own garden in the golden hour, so perfectly captured that it almost looks like an oil painting. The clear droplets almost make it look as though it's just rained or that you've just finished watering your flowers, while the gold tones cast everything in a fairytale light.

Gold stretch

The gold detailing on this manicure makes it look like gold was stretched across the nails like ropes of honey. This unique look has a lot of personality but is also versatile enough to work on any nail shape and support other elements like sparkle, 3D pieces, and a colorful base. 

Gold swirl

Where to start with this mystical manicure? The golden swirling, dots, and sparkle look absolutely spellbinding. This is another one that works well with all nail shapes, but especially longer nails where there's enough negative space to really let this style work its magic. For extra charm, add some 3D gems to bring it to life. 

Gold frame

This barely-there sparkling French tip frames the nails beautifully, like the sun clinging just to the edge of the sky spreading its last bit of light across the horizon. The sparkle is what really does it for this look, making it perfectly glam and chic without being overwhelming, and just cute enough to turn heads. This is another great one to use as a base for lovers of 3D elements, one of 2023's most coveted nail art trends

Gold star

Following the golden hour comes the blue hour, just after sunset. Obviously, it's natural that these two looks would work wonderfully together. Adding gold elements on top of a blue French tip makes for an enchanting manicure, especially when placed beside pure blue accent nails. Add in little while stars with polish for an extra element, or try it in matte to tone the shine down. 

Minimalistic gold

For a truly minimalistic look, try extremely narrow gold lines. The asymmetrical application gives this manicure an abstract vibe that is clean-cut and sophisticated. For the truly minimalistic, you can apply this trend to a single accent nail on each hand, leaving the others nude for a fresh look.  

Glitter gold French tips

No matter how you look at it, the French tip reigns supreme in the manicure world, followed right along by pink nails. Together, they're a match made in heaven. An extra glittery French tip is a trendy, evergreen look that will continue to dazzle in the years to come. This look works great with most aesthetics, so if you're looking for a soft intro to the golden hour trend, give this one a try. 

Golden glamour

For the maximalist look, give gold glamour a try. Similar to the golden beach look, this manicure style plays with heavy lines of gold and shiny elements. It's difficult to quantify this look, but luckily you don't need to put it into words. For this style, just show your nail technician a reference photo, and they should be able to take it from there. 

Gold waters

Despite there being no over-line work or 3D elements in this look, it still seems like these nails are rippling like liquid gold. This super-glittery look truly takes the golden hour to heart, as it looks different depending on the angle of light hitting it. It looks absolutely fabulous in any nail shape, so anyone can rock it!