While we love a negative space manicure and rainbow French tips, there is one nail art trend that’s serving up some much needed joy just in time for spring. Say hello to smiley face nails.
The cheerful design took off after celebrities like Dua Lipa and Harry Styles started sporting smiles on their tips. And according to Pinterest, searches for “smiley face nails” have since seen a massive spike—up 9 percent on the platform alone. You’ve probably noticed them all over your Instagram feed, too, posted by influencers and professional manicurists alike.
It makes sense that smiley face nails would catch on. After the year we’ve all had, people started leaning on escapism fashion and beauty to get them through quarantine. Cheeky products, playful prints, and bold colors have provided a positive break from the current global context—and the smiley face manicure does just that. It’s pure fun.
Smiley face nails are seriously simple to recreate at home, too. DIY them by painting over small circle stickers. Once dry, peel off the stickers and use a nail detailing brush or bobby pin to draw on the faces. For an even easier option, brands like Ciate London and Allydrew offer smiley face nail decals that offer fuss-free application.
Plus, smiley face nails are customizable with different details that allow you to create a manicure that’s unique to you. Scroll on for all the inspiration you need to get started, and prepare to smile every time you look at your nails.
Classic Smiley Face Nails
The traditional take on the trend is also the most wearable, featuring a nude base color with yellow smiley faces that will suit both minimalists and more eccentric styles.
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Colorful Smiley Face Nails
Make your manicure pop by painting on contrasting pastel smiley faces. Still somewhat subtle, these shades are perfect for spring.
Short Smiley Face Nails
Fun designs aren’t reserved for long tips. Shorter nails can pull off nail art, too. Here’s proof the playful trend looks cute no matter your nail length.
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Flower Smiley Face Nails
Floral designs are the epitome of spring nail art. This season, give them a cheerful update with smiley face centers. Seriously, does it get any cuter?
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Trippy Smiley Face Nails
Melting smiley faces, tie-dye backgrounds, and rainbow accents—these psychedelic takes will complement your favorite band shirt.
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Accent Smiley Face Nail
For something a little subtler, try an accent nail. Relegate your smiley faces to one nail on each hand, keeping the others a solid color or simple design like stripes or french tips.
Mix ‘n Match Smiley Face Nail Art
On the other end of the spectrum, you can go full on maximalism. Combine playful patterns and bold colors for a mani that will stand out in a crowd.
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