20 Nail Art Ideas That Will Have Your Manicure Birthday Ready

Nail art is a great way to express yourself, providing an outlet for creativity and offering a chance to experiment with your appearance. On top of that, it can be a fun way to add a little more sparkle to a holiday or event.

While you can play around with manicure looks all year round, there's something incredibly appealing about tailoring your art to specific festivities. For instance, Valentine's Day provides the perfect opportunity for lovey-dovey heart inspiration, while you can take a spooky approach to a Halloween manicure. Birthdays are another chance to indulge in a special set of nails.

Whether you want to experiment with something new, go all out with an expensive look, or opt for something birthday-themed, there are lots of nail art designs fitting for your special, once-a-year day. For some inspiration, here are some stellar nail art designs that are sure to have you birthday ready.

Birthday dessert sprinkles

Cake and desserts are a well-known birthday tradition, so it makes sense to take some inspiration from these delicious food items to honor your own celebrations. The sprinkle-themed nail sets we've been seeing in our social media feeds are perfect for this, often featuring a drippy, ice-cream-inspired design. 

For instance, the Instagram post from @nailedbyyei shows a minty-colored drip with pink sprinkles on a nude-y base color that looks ready to eat. More examples of sprinkle-infused nail looks come from @yessysbeautystudio and @whodidhernails.

Colorful cow print

Birthdays are a great time to let loose and get wild, so why not do the same with an animal print nail design? Cow print has been super trendy lately, showing up on everything from fluffy jackets to cow-shaped ottomans, but it's an equally great pattern choice for your nails. 

While leopard and zebra prints are always solid options, we're big fans of this colorful cow print nail design from @malliancestudio. Not only does it utilize negative space in an interesting way, but its unique coloring really makes the entire pattern stand out. 

Confetti nails

Confetti may be a party nuisance, finding its way into absolutely every furniture crevice and outfit pocket, but it makes for super festive birthday nails. That's why this confetti glitter look from @julyninetysix is perfectly suited for any birthday celebration. While this set features stars, smileys, hearts, and dots, you can customize your own party look using your favorite shapes and colors. 

For more examples of confetti nails, check out the nail sets from @danitza.pp and @velenporella.

Polka-dot design

Rainbow polka-dots are a classic birthday party pattern that makes for great nail looks. While this may sound simplistic, there's actually lots of room to customize your own dotted design. For example, we love this set from @annagasienica_, which features pastel dots on a light-pink base color. 

For something different, you can play around with the colors you use for your polka-dots, going for a Barbiecore pink design like @gelestnails or a cool-toned pink, purple, and blue color scheme as seen in the set from @malliancestudio.


When it's your birthday, you're the star of the show, and nails with star patterns or details are sure to show off that fact. If this idea appeals to you, there are so many ways you can incorporate the five-pointed shape into your own design. The nail set from @nailedby_.nevaeh uses glitter-filled stars outlined in white on top of colorful French tips to make an eye-catching statement. Similarly, you can play around with the color, size, and placement in your own nail set to create a custom birthday spread.

Get lit

We love the idea of using fiery nail art to celebrate your birthday. Not only are flame-inspired designs super cute, but they are also a great option for those ready to get lit during their festivities. As demonstrated by stars like Dua Lipa and Vanessa Hudgens, there are so many ways to customize fire-centered nail art.

We particularly love the set from @clenailslayers, which features pink and yellow ombre flame designs as accent nails. For your own lit nail design, don't be afraid to play around with colors and finishes to create a cool, unique look.

Self-love hearts

Valentine's Day isn't the only time to incorporate hearts into your nail art. As your birthday should be all about self-love, heart-themed designs are super fitting for this occasion, too. We are big fans of this love-inspired look from @abrowngirlrecommends, which shows off dainty red hearts on almond-shaped French tips.

This design is perfect for anyone looking for something soft and cute for their birthday look, but you can also take heart motifs in bolder directions, as well. For some more examples, check out the posts from @cristinabnails and @polishedbylearnahstarbuck.

Fun and floral

Floral designs are something that never goes out of style, which makes them a great contender for anyone wanting something fun and colorful for their birthday nail art. Just like with heart designs, there are so many ways to customize flower-power manicures, but we love this nail set from @samrosenails. In this look, five-petaled flowers of green, pink, blue, and orange decorate almond-shaped French tips for a cutesy, spring-inspired effect.

For more fun and floral nail designs, check out the posts from @lau_nails_artist_ and @nailshuney.

Mix-and-match patterns

Clearly, there are lots of different designs and patterns that can work really well for birthday nail art. If you're having trouble choosing just one, consider going for a mix-and-match set that combines multiple colors and patterns for a single spread. An example of this is featured by @nailssjunkie, who shows off smiley faces, one-eyed hearts, and cow print designs combined into one nail look. The result is eye-catching and bold, perfect for those wanting to experiment with something new and exciting for their birthday.


Birthdays are also a great time to play around with astrology-inspired nail art, providing the perfect opportunity to celebrate your entire zodiac season. For such designs, you can use your star sign or zodiac constellation for inspiration, incorporating other astrological imagery as details.

An example of this type of nail look comes from @peachologybeauty_, who features the Scorpio sign on a purple ombre base with star, moon, and sparkle details. For more astrology-based nail designs, see the Instagram posts from @miss_nailicious and @solinsnaglar.

Birth year nails

Another way to honor your birthday is by centering your nail art design around your birth year. While the details of such a look are totally customizable, you can center the spread around either the entire four or last two numbers of the year you were born, having the digits hand-painted or using nail stickers.

We love how this looks in the Instagram post from @rosalia_nails1915, which shows off a teal birth year look accented with nail foil and jewels. More examples of this type of design come from @gabby_nailz and @_kcbeauty, all of which are sure to have you birthday ready.

Bejeweled details

Rhinestones and jewels have long been a popular way to spice up nail designs, seen on stars like Jennifer Lopez and Simone Ashley. For bling lovers and sparkle enthusiasts, such designs are perfect for birthday manicures.

For example, we love the nails shown off in the post from @nailsbynishi, which feature heart-shaped gems on a nude polish. Gold glitter details around the jewels really make the whole look sparkle in a way that will surely make you shine. When designing your own look, try playing around with the shapes and colors of the jewels you use.

Cutesy charms

If you're a fan of bejeweled nail looks, you might also like the idea of experimenting with nail charms. Often seen in coquette-inspired nail designs, charms are a great way to personalize and elevate your manicure. The Instagram post from @bbbeautybar__, which features ribbon charms and jewels on a jelly nail base, shows the kind of cute and girly look that can be created with charms.

If you want some more nail-charm inspiration, then take a look at the sets from @nailsbybayleigh and @diddbyells.

Chunky glitter design

Glitter is a sparkly staple of nail art. Not only is it a simple method for spicing up any nail set, but it's also a great way to make your birthday manicure shine. Chunky glitter, specifically, can be super eye-catching, making it perfect for those who want something bold without opting for a pattern.

We love the pale purple look from @alexa_dipmynails, as the chunky holographic glitter works as the perfect accent to the pastel color. There are lots of ways you can incorporate chunky glitter into your birthday nails, so check out @bubblerose.nails and @merlin_nails for more ideas.

Fine glitter details

If you like the idea of a bit of sparkle, but want something a little subtler than chunky glitter, consider incorporating fine glitter into your nail design. Just like its bulky counterpart, fine glitter can be used to add that little extra shine you need to make your birthday nail art really stand out. This can be seen in the Instagram photo from @katessimplynails, who adds a layer of golden, fine glitter to a milky-white polish. In your personal nail art looks, try creating glitter designs or adding glitter details to make your look really pop.

Blooming gel nails

For something eye-catching, we recommend trying out blooming gel nail art for your celebratory nail set. If you're unfamiliar, this nail art uses a specific gel base coat that causes additional colors to "bloom" when placed on top of it. Using this method, there are lots of potential designs you can make.

We particularly love the freestyle look created by @lewa_nails, which uses nail jewels and a variety of fun colors to really make the design stand out. For more examples, check out the sets from @lounadidem and @nailsbysmf.

Sunset aura nails

Aura nails have been pretty trendy lately, seen on the hands of stars like Megan Fox and Dua Lipa. This gradient design can be created using blooming gel or an airbrush and results in a super soft and dreamy look. 

Using pink and orange polishes, this set from @nailsby.savi gives amazing sunset vibes that would be particularly fitting for anyone planning a tropical or sunny vacation for their birthday weekend. For your own aura mani, feel free to play around with colors to create the look best suited to celebrations and preferences.

Bold chrome color

Another way to get a bold birthday look without a pattern is by going for a futuristic chrome finish. Chrome nail art has been all the rage recently, but it's also just perfect for anyone wanting a sleek, modern style. We particularly love the striking purple color featured in the Instagram post from @pegi_nails, which is only elevated by its reflective chrome finish. If you want more examples of what you can do with chrome polish, check out the looks from @_byalyssa_, @nailsxbyfridasart, and @alexandracoveos.

Half-moon manicure

Even though it's your birthday, you might not be looking for a manicure that's bold and experimental. There are lots of more subtle and classic nail designs that are perfectly suited to special events, such as the trendy half-moon manicure. For the uninitiated, half-moon nail designs incorporate half-circle detailing at the base of the nail, usually in the form of alternate polish or negative space, as seen in the look from @iramshelton.

If you're wanting to explore more takes on half-moon manicures, we recommend taking a look at the nail sets from @polished_yogi and @themimid.

Trendy glazed donut

Glazed donut nails are another example of a lowkey nail design that is still stylish and trendy enough for your birthday manicure. This nail look, which was popularized by Hailey Bieber, employs a shimmery, iridescent shimmer that is reminiscent of a donut's glaze.

While there are many pale and nude colors that you can use to achieve this design, we love the pink-toned manicure featured by @bybelabjorvika. For some more birthday inspo, check out the Instagram posts from @chloebeautyorlando and @hdnailsmcr.