a close-up of a woman's hand with a nude nail look on long, natural nails

Nail design is one of my favorite topics to talk about on my blog. Glittering and shiny, matte and glossy, elaborate and trendy. But the special place in my heart is owned by the simple, minimalistic nail design. Minimal nail designs are understated and timeless. This makes them a perfect option, suitable for every occasion and mood. Whether you are heading to work or a formal event, minimal nail designs are the preferable look!

As you may have already guessed, today we will talk about the simplicity and versatility of the minimal manicure. I have also prepared my top five favorite nail looks to match the minimal style. All of them can be created using a variety of techniques and products, so you'll be able to adapt them to your preference. Let's begin?

macro shop of a stainless steel stamping plate with a snake design

#1. The Popular Accent Nail Look

A simple, one-accent nail look aka the statement nail or a feature nail is one of the most popular nail designs ever. It gained popularity in the early '00 and took over the world of nail design. The trend involves painting all the nails on one or both hands with neutral colors. Milky-white, nude, and light-gray nail polishes are the best option. All of the nails, except for the one...the chosen one. 

a close-up of a woman's hand with a minimal, accent Nail design

How to Create The Look?

There are endless options for this popular nail design! Some of the most trendy –  a solid block of color, a glitter finish, a gradient effect, or a geometric pattern on the accent nail. You can also use your accent nail as an opportunity to try a new color or trendy one. Have you always wanted to try nail jewelry? Test it out on your accent nail! Maybe want to keep the chosen nail super-long? With this trend, it won't look strange.

My personal favorite option is to accentuate one of the nails by stamping it with a nail stamper. For this look, I used Born Pretty's stamping plate featuring the serpent – an infamous Slytherin symbol. Who knows, maybe I'll use it to create something a bit more dramatic next time. Harry Potter-inspired nail look would be perfect!

In terms of manicuring, the accent nail look is a low-maintenance nail style. Depending on the chosen design, you may need to fix only one nail out of five. However, it is essential to keep the other nails on the hand well-groomed and trimmed, as they will be contrasting with the statement nail.

#2. The Versatile, Ombré Nail Look

A classic French manicure is a timeless nail trend. While its classic version involves painting the tips of the nails with a white or light-colored polish, I prefer the ombré effect. This type of manicure is achieved by starting with a light base color, and gradually adding darker shades. The key to this minimal nail design is blending!

a close-up of a woman's hand with a minimal, french ombre nail design

How to Create The Look?

To create a French manicure with the ombré effect, you'll need to start by applying a base coat to the nails. Allow them to dry completely after this step. Next, apply a light, base color to the tips of the nails. Use a thin brush to keep your minimal nail design neat. Once the base color has dried, use a darker shade of polish to create the gradient effect. I prefer to use a small sponge to blend the transition between the two colors.

Complete the French ombré manicure by adding a coat (or two) of clear top goat. A glossy coat will help with the blending, making the gradient even smoother. If you want to take one more step to elevate the look, you can add a layer of glitter or other minimalistic decorative elements to the look.

One of the great things about this nail design is that you can easily customize it. Choose an unexpected color combination, or add one more color between the nudes. You can also vary the intensity of the ombre effect, depending on how dramatic you want your nails to look.

#3. A Minimal Nail Look with Stickers

Stickers and tiny adhesives on a clear base are seriously underestimated in the nail world. They allow you simply and quickly fix chipped nail polish, or jazz up your nails without going over the top. A minimal nail design with stickers always looks neat and doesn't go over the top. This is both a low-maintenance nail style and a sophisticated manicure.

a close-up of a woman's hand with a minimal, sticker Nail design

How to Create The Look?

To start, you'll need to pick a few small nail stickers on a clear background. Preferably go for the style and color, which complements your current outfit. Don't forget to grab a base coat, a top coat, and nail polish in a neutral shade (such as nude or ). Once you have everything you need, you can begin the process of creating your minimal nail design.

As usual, apply your base coat to your nails and let them dry completely. This will help to protect your nails and ensure that your sticker design lasts longer. Next, apply your nail polish in a thin, even coat. Let the nail polish dry. You can skip the nail polish step entirely, proceeding to the stickers directly!

Once your nail polish is dry, it's time to add the stickers. Choose a sticker that you like and carefully place it on your nail. I prefer to use a pair of tweezers to grab stickers. Make sure it is positioned straight and doesn't have air bubbles under the surface. Seal this minimal nail design with a top coat, and it is done!

#4. A Simple Nail Look with Studs

Have you ever done a studded nail look? I believe these nail decorations are underestimated, just like nail stickers. They add a touch of edginess and personality to the minimal look. 

a close-up of a woman's hand with a simple, stud nail design

How to Create the Look?

To achieve this sleek nail style, prepare your nails with the base coat. Next move on to your favorite neutral nail color. It can be a very pale pink, pure white, or even black. Apply a few thin coats of the polish, allowing each layer to dry completely before adding another one. Once the polish is fully dry, it's time to add the studs. 

To apply nail studs, first, apply a small dot of clear nail glue to the nail. Gently press the stud into the glue, making sure it is aligned. Repeat this process on each nail, placing the studs in a minimalistic pattern, Finish the look by applying a clear top coat to seal in the studs and give the nails a glossy finish. A top coat will also help to ensure that the studs stay in place for as long as possible.

#5. An Orderly Tonal Nail Look

A fancy name for a pretty simplistic nail design, isn't it? The tonal nail trend has gained massive popularity in recent years. It involves creating a harmonious look by using various shades of the same color on all nails. A version of a monochromatic look, if you, please. Neat and orderly tonal nails can be achieved through the use of the same ombré techniques, or with the right nail polish shades.

One of the main benefits of tonal nail design is that it gives a more polished, sophisticated look. By using shades of the same color, the focus is on the overall color scheme rather than individual nail designs. If you are into the minimalistic look, you should give it a try!

a close-up of a woman's hand with a minimal, Tonal Nail design

How to Create the Look?

To create a tonal nail design, first, you'll need to pick out similar shades of the color you want to wear. This isn't going to be easy! When you did your choice, prepare your fingernails with the help of a base coat. Next, choose one or two accent shades (the darkest or the most vivid) and use them on a few of your nails. The colors must have the same finish and opacity to them.

Move on to the lighter and more muted shades of the same color. Add more than one coat, if it is necessary. Finally, be sure to finish your tonal nail design with a top coat to seal your minimal nail design.

Final Thoughts

Nobody should underestimate the power of simplicity! Minimal nail designs are fabulous, versatile, and, most importantly, low maintenance. Want your nail look to fit every piece in your capsule wardrobe? Choose no further. Pick one of the nail designs I've covered today. All five looks are a great option for those who have busy schedules and don't have a lot of time to spend on their nails. 

Lots of love,