How To Rock The Abstract Nails Trend

Suns out, nails out! Summer always brings out new nail art trends and with the fashion world leaning heavily on the '60s and '70s for style inspiration these days, it's no surprise nails are following the trend.

Rather than taking in the neatly spaced swirls and polka dots, nail-art aficionados are now obsessed with abstract nail art. Unlike complicated nail trends of the past – we're still trying to forget the image of teeth and plant nails, and don't even get us started on the tortoiseshell nails – abstract nails are meant to be messy (via Elle). This makes them incredibly easy to DIY at home; simply have a toothpick or a thin brush on hand and you'll be set to try the hottest nail designs yourself.

Asymmetry and accidents are almost key to the abstract look. Relying on negative space, the custom shapes and lines are entirely customizable depending on your mood or outfit (via Southern Living).

So whether you're going all-natural with your nails, getting acrylic extensions, or going the press-ons route, it all works. So here's how to make your nail art really pop!

Groovy nails are back in style

Found alongside A-line dresses and bell-bottom pants, trippy squiggles are a staple of '70s fashion. Add in bright colors and you have a nail design that's recognizable from miles (and decades) away.

Nail artists have adopted the technique and adapted it to the smaller nail space. These styles tend to play with the negative space of the nail so with some designs, simply adding a single pop of color can make all the difference. Others have completely covered the nail in an array of colors to create a funky design pattern.

The most popular color trends with the trippy lines seem to enjoy using the reds and pinks, with cherry and pink being some of the most used combinations (via Southern Living). A mixture of cranberry and burgundy gives us a hint of the iconic Jenna Rink dress on top of a clear base (via Byrdie).

If squiggles and lines are not your vibe, or you've been rocking the '70s swirls and are looking for a change, don't forget about polka dots! Easy to do and ranging in size, adding colorful dots to your neutral manicure, or adding some white spots to your bright base coat can be the perfect way to try out a new pattern.

Celebrate the female form with art

Perhaps less abstract than the other trends, nail designs featuring the outline of the female form have also gained popularity. With a greater focus on women empowerment both on the technicians and client side, it's no surprise that showcasing female bodies on nails is part of the 2021 abstract nail trend (via Nail Pro).

The feminine lines start by covering your nails in clear gel and then painting the nude outlines with either toothpicks or a fine brush (via Byrdie). Designs on all nails or just a couple are both popular options within clients who choose to celebrate the female form on their nails.

But with the fine and precise work it takes to draw the outlines on such a small surface area, you may be better along going to a professional for this particular abstract iteration.

While most opt to add the female outline onto a neutral base, others have stepped it up a notch. Artists on Instagram, like Jade Tang, started with an already abstract base filled with burgundy and cherry hues and overlaid the outline in a neon yellow on top (via Nail Pro).

Getting messy with your designs can incorporate all of your fave colors

Regardless of the abstract pattern, you choose to go for, picking the right color can make or break your vision. While the summer usually means bright colors, there is something to be said about an abstract neutral nail. If neutral is your comfort zone, enlist the help of a professional for perfect white lines on a tan, beige, or nude nail (via Byrdie).

Some colors also stick out as nail polish classics – bright red, baby pink, black, and even white in the warmer months. But can you mix and match them all for an elevated fun look? The newest trend within abstract nails includes mixing black and gold, with bonus points for using gold foil (via Cosmopolitan). Whether you're choosing to go for dalmatian spots, abstract lines, a slanted french manicure, or black and gold splatters, black and gold manicure may just be the way to elevate your abstract nail.

If you really want your nails to stand out, why not just go full out and opt for a neon abstract nail? You can keep it a bit more simple with only one shade as the main attraction, opting for a neon pink or yellow as the accent to a clear base. For an even more adventurous look combine swirls of multiple neon colors for a "cheekier" look (via Elle).