18 ideas and inspiration for purple nails - Nail Art Aesthetics (2023)

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phoebe berley

Phoebe is a self-taught nail expert. She has experience with a variety of nail techniques, from acrylic and gel nails to powder coating. She keeps abreast of all the new nail trends and is excited to share everything from her latest creations to her in-depth knowledge on how to do it yourself.

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  • 18 ideas and inspiration for purple nails- April 16, 2022

Now that spring has arrived, there is no better time than painting some beautiful purple nails! I have to say that purple is my favorite color and by far my favorite shade to use on my nails.

In fact, Pantone's 2022 color of the year has been announced as Very Peri, a gorgeous violet-blue. With so many shades of purple, the options are almost endless.

The great thing about purple is that it complements many other colors, so no matter what you wear, you don't have to worry about your nails clashing.

In this guide, I'm happy to introduce you to 18 unique purple nail ideas, along with some application tips so you can recreate them at home. Let's get started, okay?

selection criteria

18 ideas and inspiration for purple nails - Nail Art Aesthetics (3)

For this list, I like to choose nail styles with a mix of difficulty, from easy to hard, so that there is an option for everyone, no matter their experience.

Keep in mind that you may need to go out and buy a few items like glitter and nail art stickers if you want to achieve the same look.

If you are a beginner my advice is to start with simpler designs and as you practice you can work on some of the more technical arts later on. Some of these ideas are suggested by experts or experienced nail technicians, so don't be discouraged at first. If you have one, you can go to your local nail salon and ask them to recreate it for you.

Simple Pure Purple Nails

deep purple nails

If super bright colors for spring aren't your thing, this is a great option for you! I love how the light reflections create the illusion of several different shades of purple.

To achieve this effect, be sure to use a good quality gloss finish. If you want to make a different statement, you can always apply a matte top coat on top!

medium purple nails

This O.P.I color is so pretty! They have an excellent polish that lasts forever and does not chip immediately. This particular color is called "One Heckla Of A Color". I personally think this shade would look great on longer false nails. However, you can stretch it to any length.

lavender nails

Another great shade from O.P.I! Lavender is probably one of my favorite shades of purple; perfect for spring. I think this shade is perfect for shorter round nail styles. I would go for a shiny top coat to make the nails really pop!

blue purple nails

18 ideas and inspiration for purple nails - Nail Art Aesthetics (4)

If you are looking for something with a more neon effect, this is a great option. I don't usually see this color on my nails, but I love it!

If you really want to express your individuality, paint this color on a longer coffin extension and top it with a matte finish. However, a glossy finish would look just as nice, as you can see in the photos.

gradient purple nails

Nude to Dark Purple Nails

Here's a bolder ombré look. Instead of going from light purple, the artist decided to start with a bare nail bed. One thing I like about the tip is the subtle shimmer; adds a bit of pop.

To create this look, I find it easiest to use a dipping powder so you can easily create color transitions.

You should be able to find purple shimmer dipping powder. Another benefit of these nails is that the growth will not be as noticeable due to the nude color.

Light Pink Lavender with Gemstone Nails

This is a more subtle ombré look that goes from nude to lilac at the ends. To add some vibrancy some gems have been added which I think is an interesting twist!

Probably the easiest way to achieve this look is to go to a salon and have them airbrush the fade, as completing the transition at home can be a bit tricky.

If you want to recreate this look at home, you can always alternate nude and lilac nails and add some gems.

Cool Lavender with Clear Butterfly Nail Art

Here's a fun twist on ombré nails. You can create nail extensions using clear acrylic or clear biogel instead of painting each nail an ombré. Between each layer of gel, place some butterfly stickers to seal them.

This ombré might be easier to recreate at home with dipping powder, since most nails are a lavender color. I'll start with a few coats of nude powder and then a few drops of lavender powder on the middle of the nail.

Purple Nails With Glitter

some shiny nails

If the shiny look is not your thing, this is a great option for you. I think gel is better for this manicure because it creates a long-lasting shine and holds shape better on longer nails.

If those nails are too long for you, you can choose shorter nails or even your natural nails.

Purple Galaxy Nails

This look makes me want to explore the galaxy! If you want to achieve this effect, I recommend that you apply two nail polish products. I find that gel polishes that already have glitter on them are not very stylish.

Start with a layer of deep purple on your nails; I recommend two coats. Then apply two coats of glitter nail polish. It's best to look for glitter in lots of different colors, as this will give you a galaxy effect.

Lavender with Deep Purple Glitter Nails

These nails remind me of confetti balloons! You can even combine two manicures in one by wearing the lavender color for a few days and then layering it with glitter.

For this look, you'll want to find purple glitter suspended in a clear nail polish. This will help the lavender seep through.

Purple and green glitter nails.

These shiny nails also remind me of the Milky Way! While you wouldn't think green and purple would go together well, this combination is stunning!

If you want to recreate this look, I recommend using a glitter nail polish so you get a real sparkle. Apply several coats of purple, then create swirls of glitter in the center; use a brush to build up thin layers until desired level is achieved.

Graphic Purple Nails

Purple Swirl Nails

These nails give me a 70s vibe! For this particular look, you have to choose between three different shades of purple. Another tool you'll need is a fine nail detailing brush, which you can find at most personal care stores and even art stores.

To create this design, start by painting the underside lavender; I recommend using a gel polish to achieve this look as it can cure each layer to prevent smudging. Then first create dark purple swirls. To create sharper lines, work in small sections and join them together. Seal it with a clear top coat and you'll have that '70s vibe.

lavender and daisy

This design is perfect for spring! While the daisy may look a bit complicated, using a gel polish will allow you to cure the petals during the process, so you won't have to worry about staining.

For this look I recommend using a very fine brush, however make sure you buy a good quality one because if it's super cheap it will just wear out. If you make a mistake on one of the petals, it's easy to clean it up and start over. Don't get frustrated if it takes longer; It took me a while to get better at designing!

Plaid French Tip Nails

This one is a bit tricky! I recommend going to a nail salon to do this look as it can be a bit tricky for someone who is new to nail design. However, you may also find nail stickers with a grid pattern. In this case, you can cut them to the desired shape and glue them to the tip of the nail. To seal them, use a gel top coat and cure under an LED light.

purple flame nails

18 ideas and inspiration for purple nails - Nail Art Aesthetics (5)

This look is so much fun! I love delicate flamed nails and lavender makes them perfect for spring. If you want to try this look, you may find it easier to carve out the design with nail polish remover to create clean lines.

Try to create an outline as close to the flame as possible so you can clean less. Using a gel polish here again allows you to cure as you go to prevent staining. I guess it would be very difficult to do this design with normal nail polish.

mix and match purple nails

Nude Purple Butterfly Nails

This look is amazing. While it wasn't created using just purple, there are a lot of purple elements here, making this look a great choice for spring. If you don't have a ton of nail styling tools, I recommend getting it done at a nail salon.

It's definitely something worth striving for; If you want to practice such a difficult design, you can take a mannequin and practice. The good news about this particular design is that the butterflies look like stickers, so you won't have to worry about getting them.

purple nails in many shades

I love monochrome nail designs! The good news is that anyone, regardless of their nail design talent, can do it at home! All you need is a few different shades of purple to create the look!

You can even use any polish you like, be it shellac, regular polish, or dipping powder! I love the length of these nails, but you can use any length to complete this look!

Pointed & Swirl French Nails

This could be another salon-worthy look. All these elements are painted by hand, so you will need some good nail tools to do it. Drawing designs on oneself can sometimes be difficult, even for experienced manicurists, especially with the non-dominant hand. Using stickers and tip guides in French can be a big help if you plan to do it yourself.

Frequent questions

Question: What are the best nail polishes for purple nails?

Answer: I would definitely say that everyone has a different preference for the type of polish they use. My suggestion, however, is to use a gel polish. It lasts much longer than traditional nail polish and creates an overall professional finish. You will need an LED polishing light though, so make sure you have one before you start anything.

Q: Are purple nails just for spring?

Answer: Of course not! Purple comes in many different shades, so you can wear it all year long. Quite deep purples are perfect for winter, and any pastel purple will look beautiful in spring and summer. I always say that you can wear any color at any time of the year!

Question: Is it better to do more complex designs in a nail salon?

Answer: If you want a design that is a bit out of your experience, I definitely recommend going to a nail salon. I tried making designs I wasn't ready for and ended up in disaster. I suggest you start small and increase the difficulty of your nails as you gain experience.

the bottom line

Well, you've found it! I hope this guide has inspired you to apply a new set of purple nails. As we head into spring, this is a great option and you can't go wrong because the possibilities are endless.

My personal favorite looks from this guide include Purple Flame Nails, Galaxy Nails, and Pop Glitter Nails. I'd love to hear what you look like in the comments below!

If you want to read more nail art inspiration guides, check out the articles below:

21 fun rainbow nail ideas and inspirations

Inspiration and ideas for green nails: 20 ideas for 2022

Deep Purple Nail Inspiration and Ideas – My Favorite Deep Purple Nail Designs

Purple Ombre Nail Art Inspiration and Ideas – Concepts to Check Before Your Next Salon Visit


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