9 Nail-Design Ideas for Conservative or Creative Work Environments
Maybe you work in a more corporate environment where a flashy manicure would be frowned upon. Or maybe you’re a creative professional whose nail designs can say a lot about, well, their creativity. Either way, you shouldn’t be deprived of great-looking nails.
We scoured some of our favorite nail artists’ Instagram pages to find both conservative and creative styles to help give you fun nail design ideas for your next manicure, whether you’re visiting a nail salon or doing your nails at home.
We could see this pink-and-black riff on a traditional french-tip nail design working somewhere sophisticated yet stylish, like five-star hotels or high-end retailers.
By choosing ultra-pale colors, this two-tone wave effect is so subtle your farsighted boss probably won’t even notice it.
Dotting your Is
For the pro who prizes elegance—a wedding planner, perhaps?—may we suggest this minimalist nail design? The dots are subtle, yet striking, and the bride will appreciate your attention to detail.
Layering matte and shiny polishes is way more fun than, well, not layering. But the effect is still faint enough to fly under the radar in a more reserved workplace.
Manicure image by M.P. Nails, New York
Florists could try a manicure inspired by this beautiful botanical pattern. Capped off by rose-red tips, it makes for the good kind of taking your work home with you.
Spend your days wrangling little ones in a classroom or at a daycare? That whole clap-once-to-get-their-attention thing will work a lot better when the kids can ooh and aah over the playful, colorful nail art on your hands.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s colorful, geometric style translates perfectly to nail art for a budding architect. No one will be able to focus on the blueprints once they see your masterfully painted digits clutching the T-square. (Is that even how architects architect?)
Works of art
Whether you’re a volunteer docent or head curator, if you spend your days at an art museum you won’t have to look far for nail-art so beautiful it’s been in a museum. London artist Maria-Ines Gul inspired this manicure, but the work of Lichtenstein, Pollock, or Rothko would be equally worthy source material.
No photographer lugs their portfolio around everywhere they go. But thanks to this technique of rendering photos onto nail stickers, you can always have your best work literally on hand.
Want to try your hand at even more nail art? Read on:
Chicago-based artist Ashley "Astrowifey" Crowe ended up in the Museum of Contemporary Art—but only after she started using her painting talents to create nail art.
Unsteady hands? Nostalgic for the days of body glitter? We've got five manicures you should try like, now.
Kelly's first concert was Fleetwood Mac and her first career was in the beauty industry. Now a style and music writer, she loves Project Runway and her dog, Watson.