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If you’re looking for inspiration for your next manicure, we suggest looking to nature. Butterfly nails are fully on-trend, bringing summer-type colors and perhaps a touch of cottagecore to your fingertips. Just like the insect, these manicures come in a wide range of colors and designs. Some looks feature the intricate details of patterned butterfly wings while others showcase a complete butterfly on one or all of the nails.
The trend most likely pulls from that most celebrated of eras, the late ’90s, because it references butterfly clips and glitter. It’s like Lisa Frank starting doing manicures!
To create the effect of butterfly nails, you’ll want to use gel nail polish, which you can cure as you go. So you’ll choose a pretty base color and cure it. Then, you’ll paint a full butterfly or wing in other colors and cure that. Finally, you’ll outline the design with thin black lines and add stickers or gems.
With butterfly nails, you can keep the spirit of summer going well into the fall. What’s fun about this vibe is that you can play with different shapes and colors and continually discover new looks with each manicure. Many people look to combinations of blues, pinks and purples, but the sky is truly the limit. (Pun fully intended!)
Here are some items on Amazon that can help you, or a trusted manicure-savvy friend, to get butterfly nails.
Create endless designs for your butterfly nails with this24-color set of ultra-thin sparkly nail sequins and flake acrylics. Glue on top of ultraviolet gel nails, acrylic or natural nails, they’re made with a shimmering holographic shine for a dazzling effect that can’t be ignored. For $9.99, this nail decoration kit comes in 24 compartments spaced across two cases.
With more than 3,800 global ratings at Amazon so far, this set comes highly recommended with an average of 4.7 stars out of 5.
For a glittery base coat on your butterfly nails, try this set of six pink confetti gel-type colors for $15.99. This polish can be cured with a nail lamp for long-lasting shine and the brand claims you can expect at least 21 days of wear. This collection is also highly rated at Amazon, with 4.5 stars out of 5 and more than 24,000 ratings as of this writing. A base and top coat, sold separately, are required.
For $6.49, you can set yourself up for endless butterfly manicures with this pack of 30 sheets of butterfly and flower decals. Using a water-transfer design, they are crafted to stay on your nails and not peel. More than 1,700 users have rated this nail-art set and given it an overall grade of 4.4 stars out of 5, making it an “Amazon’s Choice” product in its category. For instant butterfly nails, wet your nails with water, cut and place a decal on top and press firmly before drying with a paper towel.
If you’re looking to create any type of spreading effect for marble, stone, watercolor or floral nail effects that compliment butterfly nails, this polish will help you achieve a beautiful color bloom. Apply Clear Blooming Gel after your color gel and then use the nail-art brush to bloom out any effect you desire. Speed cure it for 60-120 seconds and then apply a top coat and cure again.
One reviewer at Amazon said it “makes polish look like watercolor” while another said they used it to create a look that was like a marbled flowing cloud. “I was able to do that in 60 seconds on my first try ever using this product,” the person wrote. “There are several looks you can create with this. Love, love this product!”
Paint intricate butterfly wings with this polish-gel liner set from Beetles which is highly pigmented and ideal for thin lines. You’ll receive six colors (red, black, white, pink, gold and silver) that you can cure with a UV or LED lamp for long-lasting wear. Each color is easy to draw designs with, thanks to the long stick, tight bristles and flexible, precision tip on the brushes. Draw dots, dashes, squiggles and more. This set is available for $18.99.
Add pops of jewels to your butterfly nails with this set of sparkly rhinestones. This set not only comes with an abundance of gems in two different styles, but it also has a set of tapered tweezers and a double-point dotting pen for easy application. Rated “Amazon’s Choice” for Gem Nail Art, this blingy set comes highly rated, with 4.7 stars out of 5 from more than 9,700 ratings. A couple of users mentioned the gems stayed on for weeks and never turned dark as other gems had.
Reviewer Daviania thought the set was a “great quality for the price,” while another user, Andriana, said she had a lot of fun bedazzling her nails with her daughter. “The applicator made things SO easy and cut down on application time/effort TREMENDOUSLY,” she wrote.
If butterfly nails aren’t the vibe you’re after, you might want to check out another hot manicure trend: glazed donut nails.