40 Yellow Nail Designs For A Bright, Sunny Manicure

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Move over, red nail theory. There's a new primary color in town, and it's ready to brighten up your day and your fingernails. Yellow is certainly not one of the most commonly sported nail colors out there, but there are quite a few designs incorporating it that are sure to make you consider yellow for your next manicure. As The Zoe Report notes, the wild, daring nail art trends of the past few seasons are set to continue when spring and summer roll around.

Among the nail designs everyone will be asking for, fancy finishes and bold designs will reign supreme. However, each of these trends is made just a little bit more interesting when they're done in a shade of yellow. If you're ready to jump on the bandwagon, prepare for designs that will have you saying "out with the old, and in with the yellow." Your manicure is overdue for a bit of spring cleaning, and we know just the hues to pull you out of your slump. 

Here comes the sun

A yellow manicure makes a statement all by itself. As celebrity nail artist Holly Falcone told The Zoe Report: "While 2023 nail art will definitely have an element of maximalism, the trend towards natural, shorter shapes and subtle styles ... also indicates a concurrent demand for minimalist nail art." She added, "Long nails are always going to be iconic, but I foresee shorter nails becoming more popular in 2023." Further, "The trending shape is likely to be more square or squoval." So, try a slick of yellow polish, like OPI's "Don't Tell a Sol" with a trending nail shape for fashion-forward minimalism. 

Daisy accents

While the modern minimalist mani is about to have a major moment, according to Vogue, the detailed, intricate nail art that ramped up in popularity over the past few years isn't going anywhere either. The best nail designs to pair with your yellow nails are ones that naturally coordinate with the sunny tone. For that reason, daisy-themed nail sets are an undeniably adorable choice for your yellow nail art. This example features a mild yellow polish on some fingers and a pale pink shade on the middle and ring fingers to create a neutral backdrop for pretty painted daisies. 


Glitz is definitely in these days. As L'Officiel reported, a rise in maximalism and eye-catching textures has brought about a love of sparkles in fashion and beauty alike. Glitter nail polish is a great way to rock this trend. Apply a few coats of yellow glitter polish, like the Imtiti Glitter Gel Nail Polish on its own or on top of a solid yellow polish to replicate this look. A different shade of glitter on top of a bright yellow manicure is another creative way to go about making your yellow nails sparkle. 


Butterflies are everywhere in fashion lately. Culture editor Biz Sherbert told The Zoe Report, "We were all caterpillars during lockdown, cocooned in our daily athleisure uniforms, friendship bubbles, and the anxieties and hardships of the pandemic ... We're re-emerging as butterflies — at least stylistically." He continued, "Since the butterfly is a symbol of transformation, hope, and freedom across a variety of cultures, it tracks that many would gravitate towards the aesthetic use of a symbol that has a direct parallel to our particular cultural and social moment." So, why not wear your emergence from your cocoon on your nails? 


If you want the fun effect of fancy nail art without doing more work than a normal manicure requires, we're with you. Luckily, the gradient manicure is trending, and it offers the best of both worlds. Byrdie explains that this technique is all about painting each nail a different hue, often slightly different shades of one color, like a paint strip. There are so many ways to execute this trend in yellow, but we recommend OPI polish in shades "Don't Tell a Sol," "Exotic Birds Do Not Tweet," and "Sun, Sea, and Sand in My Pants." 

Decorated with dots

While nail art is all-the-rage, and getting a mani from a masterful artist is always an A+ way to treat yourself, sometimes we just want something simple that we can do on our own. Consequently, as complex nail art designs have gained popularity, so too have minimalist at-home manicures. One of our favorite versions is this single-dot nail art that has increasingly come to the fore in recent years. The contrast of the blue accent on the yellow here looks especially unexpected and bright. You can get the Jsdoin Dotting Pen Tool to help you replicate this super-cute look yourself. 

Yellow hearts

Whoever said hearts have to be red or pink hasn't seen how adorable a yellow take can be. According to Bloom and Wild, gifting yellow roses can signify friendship and happiness, as opposed to their more romantic counterparts. For this reason, yellow hearts give off a friendly, happy vibe that signifies love for others but doesn't necessarily have to be about romance. This look pairs that sweet and happy, friendly love symbol with a neutral color for accent nails and a classic lemon-yellow polish for the rest. 

Patterned stripes

Stripes are a fun, graphic way to add a bit of interest to your nails, but this technique takes stripes just a bit further. Certain nails are painted bright yellow while others are a dusty pink with just a stripe of bold yellow in the center. These accents include a black leopard print design that adds contrast without being overwhelming. The color combination here feels fresh and different. We would recommend experimenting with versions of this look with different black designs down the yellow stripes. Think horizontal stripes, polka dots, or even tiny flowers. 

Glitz and glam

The beauty trend cycle lately has been all about things that shimmer and shine. An easy way to get that effect on your nails without dealing with ever-difficult glitter nail polish is with stick-on gemstones, like these from OUTUXED. This design does a great job of balancing glitz with toned-down hues for a more wearable look. Pairing the rhinestone accent nails with coarse glitter makes the look pop even more, while the pale yellow and nude backgrounds keep the vibes subtle. 


Is there any nail design out there that's quite as summery as this one? There's something unexpected about pairing a bright yellow polish with accent nails covered in vivid green leaves, but somehow it works perfectly. This is the go-to look if you want something that will instantly transport you to a bright, sunny summer day. You can even snag these KADS Nail Art Stamping Plates for less than $4 to give yourself the perfect leaf design without even needing a steady hand. 

Blue print

Blue and yellow is the unique color combination that we're totally obsessed with. We especially love this pairing of hues in pretty pastels. Take your inspo from this delicate blue leafy design on a yellow mani, or go even simpler and give yourself a pale yellow manicure with a robin's egg blue accent nail on your ring finger. We reckon the matte finish on these nails is the perfect addition to this simple and sweet look, and we love the idea of sporting these nails with our go-to jeans or a white maxi dress when the warm weather finally returns. 

Modern French with lavender

Another offbeat color combo we're loving for a fresh yellow mani? Lavender. Pairing cool hues with your warm yellow nails makes for a look that's the perfect temperature for spring. As yellow's complementary color, purple is always a surprising and eye-catching choice to decorate your yellow mani, and the modern French manicure is a perfectly on-trend way to do it. JINsoon founder and celebrity nail artist Jin Soon Choi says, "A more artistic version of the French manicure will be in" particularly as the weather warms up (via The Zoe Report). More specifically, metallic or pastel French tips are everything. 

Black accents

"Black and yellow" isn't just the name of a hit Wiz Khalifa song that gives us major 2010 flashbacks; it's also a color combination with some serious psychology behind it. According to Simplified, black and yellow is a popular color combination in advertising, because its contrast makes it one of the best pairs of hues for grabbing attention. So, if you want a particularly attention-grabbing manicure, black and yellow is the way to go. This matte finish on bold yellow nails and yellow and nude accent nails with black leafy designs is daring and dramatic while still being effortlessly chic. 

Floral accents

Right about now, you might be remembering the words of "The Devil Wears Prada" icon Miranda Priestly: "Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking." Well, as far as we're concerned, a classic is a classic for a reason, and a simple floral accent nail is one clever way to make a refreshing pastel yellow manicure even more ready for the change of the seasons. Go with a classic pale pink on the accent nails, like Essie's "Ballet Slippers" and a muted opaque yellow, like OPI's "Bee-hind the Scenes." And, don't be afraid to experiment with different floral prints to make it your own either. 

Floral French tips

For another nail design that makes you want to wake up and smell the flowers, replace your classic French tips with florals instead. The choice to pair a bright yellow polish with nude accent nails that have the floral tip effect is cute and subtle, but don't be afraid to put these on every finger, or swap out the baby pink flowers for lavender or something in a deeper hue like navy blue. You can use a toothpick or dotting tool dipped in nail polish to carefully create your tiny flower petals. 

Hello sunshine

There's no color sunnier than yellow, so if you're already opting for nails that make you look and feel like sunshine, why not take the theme all the way to its logical conclusion? There are so many ways to give your nails the sunshine treatment, but we love the whimsy and simplicity of these white sun outlines and polka dots. And, if you spent any time drawing landscapes with a sun in the corner as a kid, you can probably do this nail art yourself at home. Swap the white for black if you want a bit more contrast. 

Go bananas

If fun in the sun isn't quite funky enough for you, consider going bananas instead. This manicure is fun, cheeky, and utterly summery, but it may also be good luck. Per Symbolism and Metaphor, bananas in dreams symbolize health and wealth, so carrying them with you can only be a good thing. And, if bananas seem too hard to paint freehand and a set of banana nail stickers looks too good to be true, you're seriously underestimating the nail art market. This set has any type of fruit you could possibly want on your nails. 


Speaking of any type of fruit you could want on your nails, when life gives you yellow nail polish, make lemonade — or rather, lemon nail art. If you prefer the summery sweetness of a lemon-themed look over a banana-centric design, try some yellow nails with nude lemon-printed accents on for size. Whether you want whole lemons or slices, these Fentsai Nail Stickers can get you exactly what you're looking for in a citrusy accent nail. If you love to commit to a bit, pair your nail stickers with this China Glaze Nail Polish, aptly named "Lemon Fizz." 


Another classic spring staple is the buzz of bees around fresh flowers. Make your polish an ode to the numerous pollinators of the world by adding a bee-themed accent nail to your yellow manicure. We especially love that this design pairs its bee-utiful nail art with a pastel shade of yellow and an extra shiny top coat, instead of the brighter hue you might typically associate with bees. Layer the OPI shade, "Make my Daisy" with a super shiny top coat to get the look. 

Stay smiling

It's hard to be in a bad mood with a hand full of happy yellow nail art, but if you want to take your merry mani one step further, just put on a happy face — on your nails, that is. There are so many versions of smiley face nails, from turning your whole nail into one big happy face like this multicolored nail look on Instagram to tiny smileys on a solid background as pictured above. However you choose to put a smile on your nails, we think yellow is the perfect, emoji-inspired color choice. 

Mix and match fun patterns

Can't choose just one pattern? No problem. If patience isn't one of your virtues, and you simply can't wait for your next appointment to test out another yellow nail design, why not try them all at once? It may seem like overkill, but this manicure is actually just enough. The trick is to use the same shade of yellow and accent colors so that all of the different prints coordinate. In this case, the bright yellow is paired with white and occasional tiny pops of orange, and it makes for the ultimate yellow nail art extravaganza. 


You've probably seen the minimalist half-moon manicure trending as of late. According to Refinery29, starring roles in Taylor Swift's "Bejeweled" music video and on Olivia Wilde's fingertips in "Don't Worry, Darling" earned half-moon nails their day in the sun. This relatively simple nail design, which includes a half-moon shape at the base of your nail bed in a different shade from your main color, was originally popular back in the '50s, and it's back in the spotlight again for its clean look. This bright yellow and white combination is the perfect way to rock it. 

Solids and prints

While solid colors with printed accent nails are common, we aren't used to seeing one hand of solid nails, while the other one boasts cute designs. Looking at this vibrant neon yellow and hot pink nail set, though, we can't imagine why this mismatched look isn't more popular. The key to making something like this work is incorporating the color of your solid nails into the pattern of your nail art, as you can see above. Get the look with Color Club Neon Nail Lacquer in "Yellin' Yellow" and OPI's "Charged Up Cherry." 

Clear with gold accents

Yellow and gold go together like a warm and sunny PB&J. This bold lemon yellow alternated with clear, gold-printed nails are wonderfully fresh. Plus, this is a great way to hop on the 3D nail art trend that is fast gaining popularity online (via Refinery29). Nail artist Sojin Oh noted: "I think people are starting to realize [3D art] is not as intimidating as it seems. [The art looks] more like little sculptures on your hands, rather than just polished nails." Get the look with these 5D Gold Nail Art Stickers

Abstract French tips

If you love putting modern twists on old classics, this is definitely the design for you. Nail artist Betina R. Goldstein told Allure: "I like to think of a [French manicure] as a blazer. It will never go out of style, it goes with everything, but there are also a lot of ways to make it feel more young, fresh, and updated ... Color choices, shape, width, [and] pattern can make it really feel new and different." Alternating between yellow French tips and yellow, black, and white abstract shapes is such a fun way to update a French manicure. 

Yellow-on-yellow squiggly lines

Yellow is such a fun color on its own, but these squiggles are kicking the whimsy up a notch. If you're intimidated by painting your own nail art, these squiggles are a great place to start, since they don't require precision or perfection. Start with a pale yellow base and draw on a bright, deeper yellow squiggle. If this still feels too daunting to do freehand, luckily, you can get nail stickers in basically any shape you want, including squiggles of all colors. Try these TBRZTR Nail Art Stickers on your yellow base for instant fun. 

Black and white and yellow ombre all over

If you want fingertips that scream fun, try your hand (no pun intended) at this zany manicure. It features a yellow ombre effect with accent nails covered in complex black and white designs. The result is graphic and striking. Nail artist Lauren Dunne recommends cutting a "wedge makeup sponge to make the flat edge more narrow (based on the size of your nail)" (via Byrdie). Dip the sponge in OPI Marigolden Hour and blot the nail for the ombre effect. Paint the accent nails white, and finish with EBANKU Nail Art Stickers


If you love the deep yellow ombre effect but want something a bit less statement-making than pairing it with black and white patterns, this ombre sunflower nail set is the perfect solution. Alternatively, swap the ombre effect with an extra skinny golden-yellow French tip. Harper's Bazaar points out that dainty French tips, particularly in bold colors, are one of the biggest nail trends around right now. Whether you opt for ombre or French tips, the sunflower is the star of the show. Luckily, you can grab tons of Sunflower Nail Art Stickers to try for less than $10. 

Warm hues with gold stripes

This look pairs gradient nails that move from yellows into oranges with gold squiggly stripes. This manicure is on the short side and super shiny, which is a look that's about to be very on-trend, per Byrdie. Celebrity nail artist Brittney Boyce says, "When it comes to nail length, the trends always go from really long to really short." Likewise, shorter, extra-shiny nails — AKA "patent leather nails" — are coming more and more into style. This idea pairs perfectly with this colorful look. 

Retro squiggles

For another, subtler way to get your squiggle fix, this manicure is making our grooviest dreams come true. According to Semilac, this nail art style — sometimes referred to as "swirl nails" — actually originated back in the '70s. The light, subtle color palette here is key to making this manicure more springy and dreamy. Try the OPI shade "Put it in Neutral" for your base, and use Essie expressie "Busy Beeline" for your lines. 

Triangular modern French tips

If you're looking for yet another way to make the French tip trend more bold and different, allow us to introduce you to triangular French tips. These are bold and geometric and they look surprisingly cool on many different nail shapes. We think these tips are a perfect way to work yellow into your look, too. And, yes, there are nail stickers to help you get the precise edges exactly right. These BSBTBZ French Manicure Edge Auxiliary Nail Stickers should be ideal. 

Neon lines

What is it about this edgy, cool nail look that reminds us of late summers growing up shopping for school supplies? Maybe it's because it pays homage to the feeling of opening up a new highlighter and making that first bright line in your new textbook. This manicure is as chic as it is nostalgic, and it's super easy to replicate on your own. While we love the whimsy of the mix-and-match look here, feel free to give yourself a full manicure in neon french tips or only neon lines down the middle of your otherwise neutral nails. 

Shades of yellow accents

You don't have to opt for a gradient manicure to use multiple shades of yellow on your nails at once. This yellow-on-yellow look proves that pale nails with a brighter accent on just your ring fingers are unexpected and add a bit of interest to an otherwise plain look. We think this would look just as cool reversed, as well. Pair it with a super-shiny top coat and some dainty gold jewelry and you've got the ultimate sunny nail look. 

Dotted line

If you're ready to commit to a marvelously modern manicure, sign here on the dotted line. These dotted-line nails are cool and graphic, while also being super on-trend. According to Allure, pointillist nail art isn't just trendy; it's also easy to do. You can give your yellow mani the dotted outline treatment at home with some black polish, a toothpick, and a steady hand. Of course, you could just take a fine-point Sharpie to your nails to get this look too. Try these Mcduyant Nail Polish Pens if you're brave enough. 


Filigree prints are pretty and detailed, and this manicure shows just how much they can pop on yellow nails. This design uses the blue and yellow color combo we love, but don't be afraid to experiment with it — a black and white filigree design on a bright yellow base would be incredibly chic. However, according to celebrity nail artist Jin Soon Choi, shades of blue are very in this year. She informed The Zoe Report: "I see blues in 2023 — from pastels to hot blues — which may have been influenced by the return of the washed-out denim fashion." 

Patterned tips

By now, you've probably realized that basically any and all fun and unusual twists on the French manicure are having a moment, and we think they make for an amazing way to spice up a set of yellow nails. You'll need long nails to make this look work, but it is such a unique way to combine the French tip trend with the popularity of abstract nail art. This is a look that requires a super-skilled nail artist to perfect, so try OCOUYVD French Nail Stickers on a nude or pale pink background if you're looking for a cheaper, DIY solution. 

Polka dots

There's something so happy and playful about a yellow manicure. And, what's a happier and more playful pattern than polka dots? There are plenty of fun ways to add polka dots to a yellow manicure. From yellow dots on a navy nail to white dots on a deep yellow nail, feel free to experiment with color combinations to find the ideal dotted design for you. We particularly love these glittery yellow polka dots on a pastel yellow background, because they'll look great on nails of any shape, length, or finish. Try the ILNP Funshine Smoothie Holographic Nail Polish for your sparkly dots. 


Yellow nails are unexpected in general, but they're especially surprising on a day that's all about pink and red. We wouldn't have thought of creating a nail design around a red, pastel yellow, and baby pink palette, but this manicure proves just how unexpectedly pretty this color combination can be. Whether it's Valentine's Day or a regular old Tuesday, show a little love with light pink and yellow patterned nails adorned with red hearts. This set of KRTBKR Nail Stickers has red hearts of all different shapes and sizes. 

Cartoon-y outline

For a cartoonishly cool set of nails, this manicure will make you look like you've just been plucked straight out of a comic book. This technique is so simple, yet executing it isn't actually much more work than a plain manicure. All you need is a black nail polish or nail polish pen to create the borders. You'll want to top off the look with an extra shiny top coat, too. We recommend the OPI Infinite Shine ProStay Primer and Gloss paired with OPI Infinite Shine 2 Long-Wear Lacquer, Sun, Sea, and Sand in My Pants for that glossy look. 

Iridescent accents

Sparkly nails are definitely on trend, and this is a chic and simple way to build a yellow manicure around that idea. Sport a super-shiny, bright yellow polish on all your nails, except one of your ring fingers and one of your index fingers. We recommend Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in "Daisy Dukes." Then, paint your blank nails with a light yellow shade, like OPI's "I Just Can't Cope-acabana" and top it off with ILNP Iridescent Topper Nail Polish in "Head Start." You'll have the perfect subtly sparkly yellow manicure to put just a little spring in your step.