Blue Nails Are Trending Right Now, And They're The Perfect Pop Of Color

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

"Feeling blue" suddenly has a new meaning thanks to the nail polish trend currently occupying space on social media. The blue manicure is vibrant, cheery, and fun without even a hint of sadness in sight. It's the perfect hue for spring days and summer nights. 

The warm-weather fashion runways were brimming with bright and bold colors, and the palette trickled down through skirts and shirts to fingers and toes. Cobalt blue is the leader of the gang as nail enthusiasts also fly into bright blue skies, dive into turquoise waters, and baby some blues in their manicure endeavors.

Before you apply any blue tones to your nails, though, there is one tiny bit of advice: Use a base coat of polish first. Nail lacquer, especially vibrant shades with more pigment, can stain your nails. The base coat provides a protective layer, not to mention a smooth surface for your nail art. Are you ready to enter your blue period, Picasso? 

True blue

Cobalt is that shade of blue that's both bright and dark at the same time; if navy blue had a neon cousin, it would look something like this. To show off the color to its fullest, try a mixed manicure that pairs it with a neutral nail color. Paint three nails with a solid blue polish, and allow them to dry. Then paint two more nails with a creamy peach hue and let that dry. On top of the peach, try a blue-tipped design on one nail, and a few curved patches on the other. Top everything with a shiny top coat.

Electric blue

To borrow the words of Danny Zuko in "Grease" — this manicure? It's electrifying! A traditional French manicure is a portrait of neutral, but this version kicks it up a notch by trading the white for blue. Amping it up even further, dab multicolored glitter over the top of the blue on just two special nails. Get the most sparkle on your nails by applying the polish to the tip of a makeup sponge, where the liquid of the polish will soak in, leaving mostly glitter. Dab the glittered sponge onto nails. 

Blue skies

Gazing at fluffy white clouds may be on your weekend agenda, but there's no reason you can't start today with a blue sky right at your fingertips — or on your fingertips. This manicure starts with applying two coats of a mild blue shade, allowing it to dry thoroughly. For the clouds, choose a pearly white hue, tinged with a little pink if you want that just-past-sunrise effect. Lightly dip a cotton swab into the polish, dab off the excess, then gently touch the swab onto the nail to form clouds. Let dry and apply a gloss top coat.

Blue streak

Looking for a way to change up your cobalt-blue manicure without having to completely redo your nails? Try a few well-placed streaks of glitter polish. On two nails, dip a thin liner brush in white glitter polish and paint on two diagonal stripes. Let dry so you don't smudge your handiwork, then paint on two streaks of blue glitter polish between the white. Apply a top coat to seal in the glitter, and you've got a new mani in seconds.

French blue

French tips are a classic look, and it's one you can easily bend to the trends of your desire. In this case, choose your blue — try turquoise or perhaps a bright, medium blue. Use a flesh-tone base coat, or try one with a pink tint, to set up the look. If you've got a steady hand, go ahead and paint on your half-moon shapes. If you need a little help, try a nail sticker designed for French manicures to cover up the base, leaving just the tips exposed for polishing.

Wild blue yonder

Beyond the basic polish, you'll find a version of the blue manicure that suits those who want to sparkle just a little bit more with glitter nails. Blue lacquer comes in all sorts of glitter versions, but if you already have the perfect blue in your beauty arsenal, you can just add the sparkle on top with a glitter top coat. Match the hue with blue glitter, or create a vision of the night sky by using silver glitter on top of your blue base. 

Blue ribbon

If there was a state fair dedicated solely to nail art, you'd be a contender for a blue ribbon with these details. To create a blue-ribbon manicure, start with a flesh-toned polish for the perfect background, then choose two contrasting shades of blue nail polish. Double-paint the tips on most nails, but save one for some curved detail. Using the edge of the polish brush, paint a curved shape from cuticle to tip and let dry. Using the second blue hue, follow the curve from the base, stopping halfway up the nail bed. 

Baby blue

Rumor has it that if you paint your nails light blue, you've got a beau. But even if you don't (or that TikTok trend blew right by you), you can still indulge in some baby-blue mani action. You can even take it one step further by topping a few of your fingers with matching baby-blue glitter for some extra sparkle and shine. Hey, if you can buy yourself flowers, you can also romance yourself with light-blue nails.

Blue plate special

This one is for the artists or the pros, as it requires lots of detailed work and an assortment of nail brushes. So many design choices, and luckily, you have ten nails so you don't have to pick just one. Two shades of blue, as well as white, are the color palette. Flowers and hearts, checks and waves, and even twinkling stars make up the artistic renderings. If you don't think you can get behind having each nail a different design all at once, choose your favorite and repeat it ten times.

Into the blue

Here's the thing about blue nail polish: It's a showstopper all on its own. So while you could add glitter, stripes, and other details, you could also just go with a solid blue for a pretty stunning finish. To stay on trend, choose a bright version of the hue, like medium aqua or the popular cobalt. Apply two coats, letting dry between each one, then finish with a shiny top coat for a glossy, smooth surface. And, yes, blue looks fab on both square and almond nails.

Out of the blue

Out of the blue come sparkling, twinkling stars. Blue as an accent color is all the things at once: It's dark enough to show up, bright enough to stand out, and versatile enough to create whatever design is flowing from your nail-polish bottle. Start with a clear nail; then, working on one nail at a time, create a small circle of blue with a dotting tool. Before it dries, use a toothpick to drag the color from the center outward to form a long star shape.

Blue blazes

Blue is the new neutral you never knew about. It goes great with so many other colors and does spectacular work holding its own against metallic accents. Set your nails on fire by combining cobalt-blue polish with either silver or gold glitter polish. Keep a few nails solid to show off the beauty of the hue, and add in a nail or two with a traditional neutral hue like a pale pink in the design. Now add the sparkle in the form of diagonal stripes or arrows. 

Blue velvet

You probably won't be surprised to find that blue nail polish looks great in a matte finish just as much as it does with a high-gloss shine. There's just something about the finished texture of perfect matte nails that reminds a girl of blue velvet dresses or maybe a pair of blue suede shoes. You can purchase nail polishes with a matte finish already built in, or you could grab a matte top coat (Sally Hansen makes one for about $7) to apply over your fave blue polish.

Blue moon

Once in a blue moon? Nope. Try twice, as in two moons at once in this double French manicure. Go ahead and create a traditional Frenchie with a neutral base and white tips. Wear it for a day or two if you want, and when you're ready for a little more moonlight, grab a bottle of bright, deep blue polish. Swipe on a curve of blue over the top of the tip, leaving a thin band of white still visible just beneath the blue.

Blue garden

Spring and summer wouldn't be the same without the blooming of flowers and sun-dappled gardens. Luckily, blue nails are the perfect background for sweet, painted daisies. To really make the florals stand out, just do a few nails with the petals. On a light blue base, use a dotting tool to create circles of five white dots and a tiny yellow jewel in the center. On darker nails, make three quick swipes of white to create half daisies, with a dot of yellow in the middle.

Bolt of blue

What's better than a bolt of blue? Twenty bolts of blue. A geometric design is the perfect way to show off not one, but two tones of blue, especially when backed by a neutral base color. Apply a nude nail color, and let dry completely. Starting with a lighter blue, paint an angled swash over the tip of the nail from side to center. After the first bolt dries completely, do the same with a brighter blue on the opposite side of the nail, overlapping the light blue just a smidge.