20 Simple and Cute Nail Design Ideas for 2024

Elegant styles for short nails, long nails, acrylic, gel-x and everything in between.

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20 Simple and Cute Nail Design Ideas for 2024

Your biweekly nail appointment can be a self-care ritual that steadies you and reinvigorates your week. From the time you sit down in the chair at the salon or pull out your collection of nail polishes to DIY your favorite designs at home, the relaxation begins. Virtually nothing can interfere with these moments of pure bliss. That is unless you can’t think of what to get this time. That’s where our list of simple and cute nail designs comes in.

The best part about this inspo is that it can be used year-round and for practically any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a moody winter nail design, prefer the warm hues of fall nails, embrace the vivid colors of summer nails or are preparing for spring with tons of pastels, you can find several innovative ideas below.

We’ve got designs with adorable hearts that are great options for Valentine’s Day. There are also various renditions of a French manicure and neutral toned nails accentuated with glitter, gold, pearls or white that could work as wedding day nails. Whether you’re a gel mani girl, dip powder lover, or a tried and true acrylic nail devotee, there’s something here for you.

Sparkle and shine with these glossy, glittery stars. If you're new to drawing designs with paint, you'll want to create small triangles and connect them. The best part is you don't have to create full stars to get the idea across.

A fresh take on a French tip incorporates lively flames. Try out this design in white or mix it up with neon or primary colors.

This sweet design may remind you of a popular Valentine's Day candy. Take a break from your typical red and hot pink hearts and opt for this variation of pastel tones.

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Not quite a French tip, but these elegant gold and green accents on the tip of the nail make for an interesting negative space nail design.

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Add a pop of color to an otherwise subtle manicure by filling in half moons at the base of your nail. Yellow is the star here, but feel free to explore other shades as well.

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If you ask us, these nails have the perfect amount of bling. The heart-shaped jewels at the center of the nail and golden starburst surrounding it are both eye-catching and easy to execute.

Bold colors make this design a fun option but the blooming gel base is the true star. When you arrange five dots of your favorite color polish on top of the base watch it "bloom" on its own as the colored dots will slowly expand and disperse to create petals.

Little beads of nearly translucent gel hues are turned into the most adorable fruits with just a few flicks of green polish. Add them to a neutral base as seen here or paint them onto a bright color of your choice.

Anyone who's partial to a classic French tip will love this innovative variation. Instead of creating a full arch at the top of your nail, concentrate double white lines to the left of your nail for this sporty look.

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Understated doesn't mean boring. In fact, these horizontal and vertical white lines add just the right level of interest to a fairly simple mani.

Classic black and white will always make your nails look chic and sophisticated. These abstract white bands placed over a black French tip accomplish just that.

With a few squiggles of your brush and strategically placed dots, you can achieve these animated smileys.

A little glitter goes a long way. This single line of glitter placed at the base of the nail makes for a fun and fresh design.

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Chrome topped with pearl accents is the way to go if you're looking for an It-girl take on the Hailey Bieber "glazed donut nails" trend.

Make a splash with this innovative design. Simply swirl together blue and white polish shades on a plate or palette and gently lay them onto a nude base for a crashing wave effect.

While French tips always achieve a classic look, that can be easily elevated with the introduction of a bright color and matte top coat.

Use a dotting tool to create a single dot at the base of each nail. Think of it as an uncomplicated way to add subtle embellishment to your go-to baby pink mani.

Start with a bead of glitter polish and slowly dab it down the center of your nail to create an ombre effect. Use this technique over a bare nail or a nude base.

When you can't choose just one color, pick three. Whether you decide on complementary hues, as shown here, or prefer vibrant contrasting colors, you can't really go wrong.

Swirling a few white lines into a light pink base makes for a classy marbled design.

Cameron (she/her) is a staff writer for Good Housekeeping, where she covers everything from holidays to food. She is a graduate of Syracuse University, where she received a B.A. in magazine journalism. In her spare-time she can be found scrolling TikTok for the latest cleaning hacks and restaurant openings, binge-watching seasons of Project Runway or online shopping.

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20 Simple and Cute Nail Design Ideas for 2024

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