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30 Swoon-Worthy Valentine’s Day Nail Ideas


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! One thing you need (besides a gift for your Valentine or BFF) is a killer on-theme manicure. It’s the perfect occasion to sport hot pink nails, French tips, ease into pastel colors for spring, or try those heart shaped nail stickers you’ve been holding onto.

From hearts and flowers to pretty pearl accents, creating your own Valentine’s Day nail look is easier than you think. Need a little inspo? We’ve rounded up some super fun mani ideas with help from celeb nail artists Hannah Lee and Steph Stone, plus lots more to get you started. Continue reading for our best Valentine’s Day nail art ideas that you’re sure to fall for.

About the Experts:

Hannah Lee is a professional manicurist.
Steph Stone is a Los Angeles-based celebrity manicurist.

1. Jelly Valentine’s Day Hearts

We’re already obsessed with the jelly nail trend, and this Valentine’s Day-inspired take on trend is giving us major heart eyes. Start with a coat of a sheer jelly polish, or DIY your own by mixing a few drops of clear top coat in with your fave pink polish. Let it dry completely before adding dainty hearts scattered around your nails. Use a dotter tool to add two small dots next to each other, then use a clean toothpick to drag the bottoms together into a point. 

2. Stars Aligned Valentine’s Day Mani

Star light, star bright, this stars aligned V-day mani is just so right. We can’t tell what we love more, the ombré blushing effect as the base or the bright white galactic accents placed over top. Regardless, these nails were an instant add to our Valentine’s Day beauty mood boards.

3. All Tied Up V-Day Nails

Coquettish black ribbon bows, pearl accents, and delicate little cherries? Say less! This Valentine’s Day mani is giving retro Betty Boop and we can’t get enough. The best part? You can totally recreate this look at home with a few tools, like a nail dotter and detailer nail brush, and just a couple nail polish colors. You’ve got it!

4. Mini Valentine’s Heart Nails

Close-up of a model's hand with nude nail polish with pink, red, and purple hearts nail art

With a neutral base coat and alternating colored hearts, it’s a fresh, and fun take on your traditional Valentine’s Day heart nails. The best part? You can customize it with any colors you want—blues, purples, even neons—keep the base color muted and it’ll go with all your looks. 

To create it, apply two coats of MISCHO Nail Polish in Angel and let it dry. Then, use a dotting tool or toothpick dipped in light pink, purple, or red polish and apply two vertical dots at the base of your nail (one for the tip of the heart, and one where the arches of your heart will meet). Use the dotting tool to finish your heart shape, then fill it in with polish using a thin paintbrush. 

5. Modern Animal Print Valentine’s Day Nails

Close-up of a model's hand with nail print and black and red nail art

Edgy, sexy, a little bit wild—we love this take on the animal print nail trend by Stone. She uses nude, black, and red to create a totally unique mani that’ll pair perfectly with your LBD or your fuzziest sweater.

To create it, Stone says to alternate painting your nails with nude and black polish. On your black nails, use a white polish to paint two half circles on each side of the tip of your nails as the base for your heart-shape French tip. While they dry, move on to your nude nails and use a dotting tool to paint tiny spots with brown polish. Then, use a striping brush to add little black C-shapes around the brown spots. Go back to your black nails and paint red polish over the white areas (the white helps the red pop!), then apply a clear top coat over all.

6. Matte Candy Hearts V-Day Nails

Image of model's hand with colorful nail art with words

What’s sweeter than this candy heart-inspired mani by Lee? Not much, tbh. It’s guaranteed to bring some joy to your Valentine’s Day and a smile to anyone who sees it. Make it your own by writing your own sayings on each nail—they sky’s the limit.

To create it, apply a clear base coat to each nail. Then, pick out three to four polishes (one option we love is MISCHO BEAUTY Nail Lacquer in Manicured) and draw two curved lines that meet in the center of each nail. Fill them in with polish and let dry. Take a bright color (like red) and use a thin paintbrush to carefully write in your letters. Then, finish with a clear matte top coat.

7. Red French Mani for Valentine’s Day

Close-up of a Black model making a wacky face and showing her red and gold nail art

When we think of romantic nail ideas, we almost always think French mani—a style that’s timeless, classic, and looks good on just about everyone. And this modern, colorful twist takes it to a new level of gorgeous. We love red for Valentine’s Day, but feel free to switch it up with any color you want—soft pink, lilac, and deep purple are equally fun to play with. Just don’t forget the gold accents for a little touch of luxe.

To create it, apply a clear base coat and let your nails dry completely. Then, take a piece of tape and section off the tip of your nail. Paint the section red using a thin paintbrush and let it completely (totally) dry. Peel the tape off, then apply a dot of gold polish (you can use nail glue and a gold stud, too!) to the center. Seal it all in with a clear top coat.

8. Solid Mauve Valentine’s Day Nails

An image of a curly-haired model wearing mauve nail polish holding her lower jaw

If you're either not into or not great at executing nail designs, you’re not alone (we’ve had some eye-opening Instagram vs. IRL moments ourselves). Instead, simply opt for a soft nail polish that’s both romantic and effortless. Red nails or pink polish are always popular for Valentine’s Day, but we’re loving this sweet and slightly unexpected shade of mauve that you’ll want to wear well past the holiday. Apply it on all fingers, paint it on an accent nail, alternate with other shades you love—it looks great on all skin tones and pairs well with your pink Valentine’s Day makeup looks.

To create it, start by applying a base coat. Then, top that with a mauve polish. Finally, finish up with a clear coat to keep it looking flawless.

9. Soft Pink Marble Valentine’s Day Nails

An image of three fingers with pink and white marble nail art resting on a pink and grey marble designed bag

What’s more luxurious than gorgeous marble? It’s one of our favorite nail trends and surprisingly, not as complicated to create as it looks. Instead of using a plain white or nude polish, infuse a little bit of V-Day spirit into this look by using a light pink nail polish like DEFY & INSPIRE Pinky Swear nail polish. Need some help to expertly execute the marble nail art technique? Follow our marble mani tutorial here.

10. Pearl Accents

An image of a nude pink nail mani with pearl accents

There's a common misconception that in order to create epic DIY nails you have to be able to master super intricate, hand-painted designs. Sure, it helps, but there are other ways to create standout nails. Take these delicate pearl nails for example. Here, the only real skill required is gluing a pearl accent onto each finger, so go for it—you got this. 

To create it, start with a clear base coat, then top that with a nude pink nail polish. Once everything has dried, use a small drop of clear nail glue to adhere a pearl accent to each nail. Keep things understated by only applying one pearl (or many) to each finger. Lock it all in with a clear top coat.

11. Geometric Shapes

An image of a light pink and dark purple geometric nail art manicure

We’re in love with the shape of you, geometric mani. This triangle nail art is a little bit edgy, a lot chic, and perfect for shaking up your Valentine’s Day nail look. You can create it in almost any color you want, like red or bright pink, but we love how modern it looks in deep, rich purple.

To recreate this manicure, start by applying pink nail polish as a base coat. Apply tape in a triangle on the side of your nail. Paint in the triangle using the purple polish (we love PRETTY WOMAN's Don't Be Jelly Nail Polish). Allow that to dry, then remove the tape and top everything off with a clear top coat.

12. Random Hearts

An image of two hands with light and dark pink hearts nail art holding a pink quilted bag

If you're looking for something fun, flirty, and Cupid-approved, this look will win hearts. Choose two colors (like soft pink and mauve) and alternate nails and heart shapes in each color. Add one or two, create a custom heart pattern—you can’t go wrong!

To create it, paint a few fingers using the pink polish and the rest using a darker mauve nail polish. Once that’s dried, dip a toothpick or a super fine nail polish brush into the darker color to create small hearts on the lighter nails, and light hearts on the darker nails.

13. V-Day Waves

Who doesn’t love a wavy, retro mani? The truth is, you can create this nail art no matter what time of year. Of course, the pink and red are what make it Valentine’s Day approved.

To create it, choose two shades of red and two pinks. Like the inspiration photo, you’ll notice one of the pinks is a bright pink and one is a bit more sheer or baby pink. The idea is to choose colors that will complement each other and create dimension. Grab that striping brush, you’ll need it to create the waves.

14. Yellow Hearts

If pink isn’t quite your thing but you still want to have a festive manicure, why not pick another color for dainty hearts?

This look is so simple, choose your sheer or nude base coat and grab a striping brush for the tiny hearts. We love the use of yellow as it feels like spring is right around the corner but might we suggest a sky blue as well. We think it would be super cute!

15. Natural Valentine’s Day Nails With Black Hearts 

Here’s a manicure idea that you can sport all year long. We see minimalist black and clear nails like this during Fashion Week all the time. It’s a clean look and it shows off your natural nail shape. Use a true black for these itty bitty hearts. 

16. Water Drop Heart Valentine’s Day Nails

Another barely there manicure that looks so sweet and chic. 3D gel has become more and more popular with the rise of indie nail trends. Designing a clear gel heart or choosing a light pink would make the perfect jelly manicure. You’ll need to show a picture of this to your manicurist. They’ll know what to do and can create the free form shape.

17. Rose Gold Hearts

Don’t forget about rose gold during Valentine’s Day. While the color is great for jewelry, it’s often overlooked as a metallic nail color. It pairs well with other pinks, white, even black accents. All you need is a striping brush for this look to create all of the hearts. Check out NAILMEDIC Nail Polish for a great rose gold color.

18. Brown & Black Hearts

If you loved the above black manicure but want something a bit more maximalist, this is the manicure for you. We never thought to blend a mocha-colored base coat with black accents, but this manicure is more than just Instagram worthy.

To get the look, choose a light brown or nude base. You’ll want to choose something that compliments your skin tone without looking too similar. Have your manicurist place a heart on the majority of nails and add a V-shape French tip to the others.

19. Velvet Rhinestone Valentine’s Day Tips

We say it all the time, but every single manicure we come across that features baby pink or blue and rhinestones makes us think of Cassie from Euphoria. These nails also remind us of early 2000s accessories when everything was seemingly pink with bling. This specific look uses a cat eye gel. Ask for cat eye gel or ‘velvet nail polish’ at your salon. It’s best to show them this photo.

20. Radiating Hearts

This radiating heart manicure is all over social media. It screams ‘that girl’ status and many even have matching phone cases that resemble the look. It can be hard to nail on your own unless you have a steady hand and a lot of patience. This could be another you leave up to the professionals, they’ll be able to get the design down precisely with gel.

21. Heart-Shaped Valentine’s Day Nails

This nail look thrives off being imperfect. Truly, your lines don’t have to be symmetrical or clean. Just take a look at the photo - not all of the heart shaped French tips are alike. Start with a clear base (we even like to do a sheer pink like P.R.M.I.T BEAUTY GELlusion) then freeform your heart shaped tips with nail brushes. The more imperfect, the better. They also resemble lips which are so sweet.

22. Pink French Valentine’s Day Nails

If you haven’t already guessed, we love French manicures. There are just so many ways to achieve them. They’re a classic for a reason! Try picking out two complimentary pink colors (one light, one dark) for this look.

23. Hearts & Stars Valentine’s Day Nails

What a great spin on the confetti nail trend! These nails feature hearts, sparkles, and cute little polka dots. We can’t wait to try this one on ourselves and play around with colors.

24. Maroon Tips

Pink and red aren’t quite your jam? Try maroon! This deep, burgundy mani looks so classic whether you do all French tips or incorporate a heart.  Pick up COLOR CLUB Nail Polish in Rocky Mountain High nail polish, it’s the perfect deep color for this mani.

25. Mix & Match Valentine’s Day Mani

A mix and match manicure will always have someone asking about it. The key to pulling it together is having a common color or theme. If you don’t love this example, pull a couple inspiration photos from this entire article and borrow ideas from many manicure photos. But how sweet is that little peach? Too cute!

26. Light Pink French Valentine’s Day Nails

We had to throw in a fool-proof option. Something that you can quickly do on your nails when you’re running late to your Galentine’s Day dinner or in the uber to your date (we’ve been there). You just need two colors, you pale pink and your shiny top coat.

27. Glitter Candy Hearts

Does anyone actually eat conversation hearts? Whatever the case, we can certainly all agree that they’re super cute and a Valentine’s Day staple. Try these conversation hearts inspired nails – you could even write a message in a big heart on your thumb nail.

28. Spring Fever

For many, Valentine’s Day is the beginning of Spring. So who says your V-Day manicure can’t have cute pink butterflies and bright spring colors? This set reminds us of the pink heart and sparkle emojis.

29. Sweet Cherries

Receiving chocolate covered strawberries or cherries from your Valentine is always such a treat. If you look closely, this manicure uses tiny hearts as the cherries on the stem! Not feeling confident with your hand-painting skills? No problem! There are a ton of press-on nails and nail stickers that can help you get the look if you can’t get a pro nail appointment.

30. Cupid’s Bow Tips

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These are actual press ons! But there’s on catch, they’re custom fit to each fingernail size. If you love these Cupid’s bow tips, you can easily recreate the look with a set of nude and red nail polish and a little patience. Just start with a nude base, let it dry completely, then use the red bottle brush to create the heart-shaped tips.

If you love these nail art ideas and are looking for more beauty inspo and products personalized just for you, we’ve got tons more for you. Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own IPSY beauty subscription. Already an IPSY member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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About the author
Olivia Cefalu
Olivia Cefalu
Olivia is a freelance beauty writer. With experience in influencer marketing at Tata Harper Skincare and editorial at Very Good Light, she loves covering Gen Z beauty, wellness, and nail trends. Read her work on Very Good Light and Well + Good.
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Article Last Updated January 26, 2024 12:00 AM