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10 Butterfly Nail Art Ideas That Are Perfectly Y2K-Coded

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Remember in the early 2000s when butterflies were literally everywhere? Even if you were too young to remember, you’ve probably seen them adorn the tops of your favorite characters in Y2K rom-coms, and for a while there, they were one of the most popular tattoos you could get. 

But you know what they say; everything comes back around again. And that’s exactly the case for the butterfly trend that’s seeing a resurgence. But this time, we’re not talking about lower back tattoos or even rhinestone t-shirts. We’re talking about butterfly nail art designs, and we’ve rounded up some of the cutest nail inspo for you to try the trend yourself.

1. Dainty and Sweet

If you want to take your clean girl aesthetic to the next level and experiment with some subtle and cute nail art, this is the look for you. First, file nails into the desired shape. Then add a base with a baby pink french manicure. Top it all off with delicate butterfly designs for the perfect amount of fun for this subtle look.

2. Literally Obsessed

This nail art look is pretty literal, highlighting one of the most common butterflies out there: the monarch. If you want a fall look or just a witchy-inspired butterfly mani, this is a great option. It only highlights the butterfly wings on two fingers, and the rest are adorned with a chic and sharp black French manicure. 

3. Whimsical Wonderland

Get Hailey Bieber’s favorite OPI Funny Bunny as a base and your artist to use their most enchanting, glittery, holographic gel colors to create the blue butterfly shapes here. Sticking to nail art designs on just a few fingers is a great way to experiment with the trend while still maintaining an overall clean look.

4. On Point

This mani mixes up the classic French looks we’ve been seeing so far and goes instead for a pointed tip French manicure. By using baby pink as a French base, you can incorporate different shades of pink into the butterfly wings for an overall cohesive and fun look.

5. Spring Gardens

If going full-on butterfly is just a little too much for you, why not welcome a refreshed spring mani look that features everything that makes spring exciting? Flowers and butterflies. Have your artist create half flower, half butterfly creatures on your digits for a unique twist on the butterfly trend. 

6. DIY Queen

For any of the DIY girlies out there who prefer trying trends at home (*raises hand*), this butterfly blue nail art mani includes step-by-step instructions on how to create the look from home. Bonus points for switching up the colors used and making this look totally your own. We recommend a chip-resistant polish like SUNDAYS polish for this look.

7. Go All Out

If you’re truly butterfly crazy (and who isn’t?), why not up the ante by going full butterfly design on each finger. This is such a fun look for summer or for anytime you want to channel mariposa energy. This one might be better left for your nail artist professional, but if you want to recreate this look at home, you just need a thin paint brush and a dot tool for the white embellishments.

8. Glitter Girl

This is a super easy look to DIY at home, you just need to find butterfly shaped glitter polish or nail art stickers. We love this kit by KISS for everything you need for a unique mani at home. For the fingers that don’t have decals or glitter shapes, you can just paint them fully one color for a quicker finish.

9. Ombré Mami

Forget French manis: why not go full on ombré? It’s easier than you think to DIY an ombré nail art at home. All you need is a sponge (we love BASIC BEAUTY’S set that comes with two). From there, paint a lighter color onto the sponge and a darker color on top of it, like a color block. There’s no need to be perfect because from there, you pat the colors onto your nails and then seal with a shiny top coat to make it look more uniform. From there you can add butterfly stickers or decals to complete the look. 

10. Butterfly Besties

You’ve heard of BFF necklaces but what about BFF manicures? This mani has a french base and then one half of the butterfly wing goes on your finger, while the matching half goes on your bestie. When you come together, they make the cutest Instagram photo that reveals a full butterfly look. 

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About the author
Brittany Leitner
Brittany is an award winning beauty, health, and lifestyle writer and author of the poetry book "23 Emotions." She has eight years of experience writing for brands like Elite Daily, The. Dr. Oz Show, Shape, Stylecaster, Bustle, and more.
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Article Last Updated April 5, 2024 12:00 AM