Getting my nails done is my payday treat to myself, and usually I have my sets planned months in advance – typically based around events, outfits or emerging trends. My monthly mani is an act of self care that makes me feel ready to take on the day. If I’m wearing no makeup, scruffs, and a messy bun – at least my claws are perfectly filed and polished.
My nails were previously short, brittle and regularly bitten, but I started getting professional builder gel manicures back in 2019, and have had them almost religiously since, getting new sets every 4-6 weeks – with the exception of the pandemic where I had to leave one set on for a whopping 17 weeks. Nearly five years on and I’ve not broken a nail for as long as I can remember.
I always document my new nails over on Instagram and take great pleasure in picking out and planning sets. My saved folder is brimming with inspo, so it’s probably unsurprising that I’ve already chosen some of my 2024 designs. But if you need a little help, that’s where this post comes in. This blog post is continually updated each month, making it the perfect place to find inspiration for your next manicure.
Each of these sets were completed by my wonderful nail tech Chloe Birks – an artist with over 45,000 Instagram followers – who I started visiting in January 2022. Chloe’s studio opened during the pandemic in August 2020, offering brow lamination, lash extensions and nail services inside her photo-worthy space at St James House, in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.
So, if you’re looking to indulge in some nail-related self-care in 2024, here are my favourite nail art designs you’re more than welcome to steal for your next appointment. Just remember to bookmark this post and bring it along to your next appointment.
Remember, nail trends are ever-evolving, and it’s essential to let your own personal style shine through. Feel free to mix and match these trends, adapt them to your preferences, and create nail art designs that make a statement and reflect your unique personality.
It’s giving anti-Valentine, Saltburn, Romeo and Juliet star-crossed lover vibes. This alternative take on Valentine’s nails is to die for. Black french tips, sunbursts and a dagger through the heart? Romantic.
Bows and cherries? A walking trend cliche but in the best way. These pop of red frenchies are gorgeous and the perfect not-Valentine’s-y Valentine’s nails
You’re So Golden
Dress your digits with gold glitter and timeless tortoise shell. The pièce de résistance? A delicate gold cuff at the cuticle for a touch of opulence. I think Harry Styles would approve.
Celestial Cat Eye
This cosmic design is sure to add a touch of mystique to your manicure. Created using magnet-activated cat-eye nail polish, they’re ultra-sparkly and enhanced with celestial chrome art.
Blue Tortoise Tips
Infuse a cool, oceanic vibe with blue nails featuring tortoise shell French tips. This fusion of colours and patterns brings together the tranquillity of blue and the timeless appeal of tortoise shell.
Embrace the wild side with nails divided into leopard print and vibrant lilac-orange florals. This daring combination is a fierce statement that merges animal print and botanical charm.
I love a mix and match set, and there’s no better opportunity for them than festival season. Match them to an outfit, the bands you’re going to see, or even the colour theme of the festival to make them feel like a really special set. Bright, fun and ready for the fields.
The ultimate holiday nails, these textured sea shells have been created using gel polish and acrylic powder. It combines creamy French shapes and half moons with little scallops and gold detailing in my favourite Art Deco shade for a fun twist on a neutral set.
In A While, Crocodile
Using a product called blooming gel, your nail tech can recreate this crocodile print look in any colourway. Relatively simple but super effective, you can create a range of styles with this pattern, such as the on-trend ‘pool nails’ in blue hues, to snake print in cool toned neutrals. The result is a textured and eye-catching design that’s both trendy and untamed.
Lime Green Accent
Make a statement with tortoise shell nails featuring a bold lime green cuff at the cuticle. This unexpected pop of colour adds a modern twist to a classic pattern.
Amber and gold
These gemstone inspired nails feature a gorgeous caramel pattern that has so much depth, finished off with gold chrome details for that finishing touch.This luxurious combination exudes glamour and refinement.
Elevate traditional French tips with pink scallops in gradient shades, finished with chrome sparkles and pink gems. This is a totally timeless set that could be worn year-round, but they’re especially cute for Valentine’s.
Art Deco Duo
Combine cow print and tortoise shell in art deco-inspired arches, adorned with gold glitter. This eclectic design is a nod to both retro and contemporary aesthetics.
Dress your nails in regal emerald with a half-moon accent in gold glitter. Sometimes less is more, and this is one of those times.
Reminiscent of tinsel or twinkly fairy lights, celebrate festivities with these multi-coloured glitter tips, complemented by chrome stars. And because they contain every colour – they go with everything, too!
Transport your nails to the ’70s with an orange and brown set featuring flower patterns inspired by the groovy era. This design is a playful nod to retro chic.
Half and Half Tortie
No longer reserved for handbag hardware, sunnies and ankle boots, tortoise shell promises to be the manicure of the moment well into 2024. This particular design sees each nail half tortoise shell, and the other half a coloured French manicure and the shade options are endless.
If you’re heading to a festival, why not turn your nails into their own tiny disco, with highly reflective glitter, chrome hearts and dazzling stars? In the sunlight, these nails come into their own creating a rainbow of colours and practically blinding anyone in a three metre radius as light bounces off the glitter. This set really proved to me that you can have a lot of fun with a black manicure, too.
This set was inspired by the fact I was going to see Red Hot Chili Peppers, and so we created a fun neon design around some tiny chillis and fried eggs. Chloe handpainted the whole design, including flowers, checkerboard and French tips completing the festival vibe, but it just goes to show how you can use your upcoming plans to inspire your set.
Blonde Tortoise Shell
Tortoise shell nails have taken over the nail industry since 2020 and are showing no signs of slowing down as technicians across the globe continue to adapt the trend and create fun new looks with the caramel coloured glass-like art. And while traditional tortie nails are synonomous with autumn, with their depth and warm tones, its little sister design is the perfect pattern to ask your nail tech for this spring and summer. Blonde tortie is totally gorgeous and really does match every outfit in your wardrobe.
Mix and Match
Unleash your creativity with pink and green mix-and-match nails featuring crocodile print Frenchies, flames, and swirls. This eclectic combination is a bold and trendy expression of individuality.
Be My Valentine?
If you’re looking for something a bit different for your Valentine’s nails, this vibrant mix and match set is perfect. I’m obsessed with the triple French tip and the heart eye with chrome detailing, and the squiggly lines and 50/50 heart are to die for.