I feel like the only reason I have Instagram at this point is to find inspo-worthy nail designs. Seriously, my saved folder is basically just nail inspo—but I can't help it! My latest manicure obsession? Gel nail designs that are cool enough to bring my sad, wintery hands back to life. I've currently found about 8,000 options, but I narrowed it down to the 20 best gel nail designs you can (and should) bring straight to the salon. Dibs on number three. And five.
These Color-Blocked Gel Nails
Can't pick a polish colour? No prob. Have your technician recreate this insanely pretty gel manicure design, which features the coolest combination of blue, red, green, black, and more. You get a little bit of everything with this one.
This Ying-Yang Gel Manicure
There's nothing not to love abut this cute and subtle gel nail design. IMO, white nail art is the perfect way to spice up a classic green mani.
These Butterfly Gel Nails
The perfect gel design for square-shaped nails, this butterfly mani is an excellent option for spring. I love how soft and subtle the pink base looks against the butterflies—too damn pretty.
This Abstract Gel Nail Manicure
Who says you gotta go with just one gel nail design? Nobody, that's who. Show this pic to your manicurist and ask her to freestyle a different design on each of your nails. Clashing is super encouraged here!
This French-Tip Gel Nail Design
Yuuuup, the French mani is alive and well, folks. Rather than classic white tips, go for something cute and colourful—this pink-and-blue gel design is a no-brainer.
This Terrazzo Gel Nail Pattern
There's nothing not to love about this sick terrazzo gel design, but I'm especially obsessed with the colour palette (look at those little strokes of green!). Have your nail artist use matte polish to recreate the look.
These Floral Gel Nails
Pssst: This gel nail design is actually a sticker, which means you can totally DIY it. Just clean your nails with polish remover, press the stickers on each nail, and file off the excess—it's legit that easy.
This Camouflage Gel Design
As my dad likes to remind me on a monthly basis, "Camo is so in right now." And since I'm still not totally sold on the trend, I'm down for easing in with this cute gel nail design instead. The soft pastel hues are actually so neutral.
This Negative-Space Gel Design
TBH there's nothing I love more than a good negative-space mani. The bright ribbons of pink against natural nails is kinda the perfect gel manicure for spring.
These Cow-Print Gel Nails
I've said it once and I'll say it again: Cow print is a thing RN, and it's time you get your manicure on board. The itty-bitty flecks of gold really take this gel nail design to the next level.
This Picasso Gel Nail Design
Level up your Picasso-inspired mani with this ombré gel nail design. You can't go wrong with pink, but don't hold back from trying it with a fresh colour palette (maybe blue?).
This Mixed-Media Gel Manicure
Turn your nails into a literal piece of art with this insane gel design. Add a few alternating designs into the mix to really raise the bar.
This Wavy Gel Nail Pattern
I'm usually not a fan of yellow and blue nail polish (especially together), but this gel nail design kiiiinda has me ready to branch out. The yellow spots and blue strokes really complement each other, right?
This Minimalist Gel Manicure
Just because you want a gel nail design doesn't mean you need to go overboard. Keep things super simple and minimalist with a clean design like this one.
This 50/50 Gel Mani Design
Listen: You've got two hands, so you might as well play around with your gel nail designs. I love the idea of wearing two totally different looks on each hand (see: colourful marble and stars).
This Glittery Gel Nail Look
I'm of the belief that glitter nails should be a year-round thing (why would we just reserve 'em for the holidays?). This gel nail design is pretty enough to carry into spring and summer.
This Starry Gel Nail Design
Too broke for nail art? Fake it with a couple of strategically placed nail stickers and a DIY gel french mani. Trust: It'll look just as legit as the real deal.
These Tie-Dye Gel Nails
Nope, you aren't tripping—this gel nail design is actually that cool. I love how each swirl is a little bit different. 10/10 detailing.
This Floral Gel Nail Look
Looking for something a bit more subtle? You'll love this floral nail design with soft and creamy polishes. It doesn't get more perfect for spring than this.
This Spotted Gel Manicure
This gel nail design is way easier to DIY than it looks. Every spot is a different size, so you don't need to paint 'em on meticulously—just have fun with it.