New Year, New Mani | Nail Inspiration

How’re your nails doing? Go on, take a look. Do you see literally any tiny little blemish or scratch? Yep, that’s a good enough excuse, go get your nails done girl, you deserve it.

Deciding to get a nail refresh is easy, but deciding what to get is a whole other story. Long gone are the days of a simple colour wheel, oh no now there’s a whole world of shapes, colours, patterns, designs to choose from. Nail art is an easy way to step your game up, elevate any look from day to night, and looking incredible against your favourite handbag. Bold nails can add a whole other element to an outfit, giving you a punchy contrast or creating the illusion that your life is totally put together like your manicure. To help you decide and add to the ever-growing album on your phone, here’s some nail inspiration to go with your fave bag.

#1 Minimalist abstract art


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For nail art that packs a punch without needing bold, tricky-to-style colours, these abstract etchings are the only nail inspiration you need. These Picasso inspired faces have been everywhere from t-shirts to vases, to earrings, and now we’re loving them on our nails set against a neutral of white base coat. Alternatively, minimalist illustrations like flowers or celestial symbols are also big on our radar. Neutral enough to look good against anything and everything, but bold enough to draw in all the compliments, we’d be opting for these nails to go with our all-black-everything looks, looking clean and sleek against a simple black bag. Against black, a bold colour might be too much for your minimalist aesthetic, but this more pared-down option is the nail inspiration you’ve been looking for. 

#2 Fire red

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If you’re not one to shy away from bright colours, look no further than these fire red talons. This orange-toned red is a hot trending colour at the minute seen all over the SS20 runways, so why not get ahead of the curve. Looking especially good in a stiletto shape, this is definitely one for those that can handle longer nails to give the style the full drama it deserves. Whether you opt for a matte finish or jelly effect, make sure the colour is so bold it’s almost fluorescent, this isn’t a trend to shy away from. For the maximalist at heart, fluorescent is the new black and you’ll be unphased sporting your red talons every day. But for a big dose of maximalism and an extra splash of impact, we’d be pairing our fire red nails with a pattered bag like this leopard Nunoo. The thought of that leopard and red combo is the only nail inspiration we need to book an appointment.

#3 Flames


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Looking for something hotter? How about some flames.

Flame nail art has been all over our feed and we need it. In all different colours, on all styles of nails, this design is the perfect balance between enough and too much. Set against a neutral base coat, this design is ideal for a toe in the water of nail art as it doesn’t cover the whole nail, can be any colour you want, and won’t leave you with obvious grow out, helping them look sleek for longer. We love this design in a fresh white, looking amazing against a bold coloured bag. But this pink and red combo by Nancy Loves Nails is getting heart eyes from us if you’re ready to go a little heavier on the colour. Such a versatile design, you can take this nail inspiration and customise it to fit your style to a T, add glitter, extra colours and finer details if you want to be a bit more extra. 

#4 Watercolour

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For colour that’s gentle without any graphic detailing, watercolour manis are the ultimate nail inspiration for people with a softer touch. From varied blue hues to peachy pink splashes, we’re head over heels for this trend, adding a little depth to a simple mani. Giving you nails that look like fluffy clouds or instagrammable sunsets, there’s something so calming about this trend that sets it apart from all the bolder, in-your-face nails we see when we’re scrolling. Helping you avoid the hyper-femininity of a pale pink gel manicure, we’re loving these pink, orange and yellow-toned watercolour nails by Park Eunkyung, giving you an on-trend subtle clash when set against your favourite bubblegum pink bag. Like primary school art class but make it fashion, we know what we’re getting next.

#5 Updated French tips




A classic french tip is a go-to for so many of us, you really can’t go wrong. But how about refreshing the look for 2020? So many artists are providing us with nail inspiration for an updated take on the staple style, adding different colours and textures. For a chic and shiny take, we’re all over these gold dipped nails. Make your mani seem 10x more expensive and pair perfectly with a timeless shape like the Coach Tabby, which matches with the gold detailing on the bag. If you want a little more texture, rougher gold-leaf tips are also on our nail inspiration board. Lily-Rose Depp updated her tips with an iridescent glitter base for a Chanel party, giving the refreshed classics a tick of approval from an actual french girl. Definitely, the quickest and lowest maintenance style of them all, your tips can be changed and swapped out for a different colour whenever you feel like, costing far less than a full nail art mani. Whether you go for gold, rainbow or glitter tips, you can’t go wrong with this timeless nail inspiration. 

#6 Skittles manicure

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Can’t decide on a colour? Here, have them all. 

Ever since we caught a glimpse of Harry Styles’s multicoloured manicure on SNL, we’ve been all over this trend. Be still our indecisive heart, this mani lets you have it all, slicking a new colour onto each nail or combining your top 3 for a playful, spontaneous finish. This is also a great one for people that don’t want to spend ages in the salon chair, being a quick job involving no small details. No need to worry about matching when you’ve got every colour of the rainbow featured, this mani was made to stand out, adding some brightness into your day. We love Harry’s pink and turquoise nails or tone it down by opting for a hue-blocking gradient mani like Megan Ellaby’s denim blue shades. If you’re ready to commit and have some fun with your nail inspiration, a true rainbow skittles mani will look incredible against a more neutral, grey-toned bag


Lucy Harbron

Lucy Harbron

Writer and expert

Inspired by the most iconic women in history, my style is informed by the Monroes, Sedgwicks and Birkins. Forever torn between maximalism and minimalism, you'll find me stomping around in heeled boots and trying to refrain from buying another pair of earrings.

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