Nail Art

Swirl Nails Are The Easiest Abstract Manicure To DIY — See 20 Ideas

It may be silly to think about or say out loud, but certain nail art can make you super happy. There’s no real scientific reasoning behind it, but these decals and designs just put a smile on everyone’s face. No nail art better defines this euphoric feeling than swirl nails.

Aptly named, swirl nails can include any design ranging from colorful, 1970s-inspired psychedelic waves to minimalistic, white spirals. They can even be a bunch of squiggly lines thrown together for an abstract nail look that looks impressive but takes minimal artistic skill. They can be super simple, with one swirl drawn on down the middle against a bare, neutral nail. They can also be mixed and matched with other hot nail trends (eg daisy nails and the beloved Barbiecore).

If you’re in a nail art slump (because sometimes you just want more for yourself than a French manicure or sheer glazed donut manicure) and have been dying for your next wave of nail inspiration to hit, consider this your lightbulb moment. Below are 20 swirl nail art ideas that are super easy for you to recreate at home — and they might even convince you to cancel your next salon appointment.


Metallic Center

Simple and minimal, dress up a cute French manicure by drawing a single metallic swirl down the middle for a dynamic nail look.


Barbiecore Swirls

Lean into Barbiecore with these neon pink swirls for a bold statement.


Soft Pastel Swirls

Go for the throw-the-kitchen-sink approach and mix swirl nails with other nail trends. It’s the perfect mix of designs for those who can’t just decide on one.


Keep It Groovy

Mix bold, 1970s-inspired swirls for a groovy nail look that brings all the psychedelic vibes.


French Tip Swirls

Instead of a classic white curve along the tip of the nail, opt for a French manicure with multi-colored swirls and a glossy, neutral base.


Geometric Swirls

Mix geometric shapes and thin swirls for a really pretty nail design that’s uniquely gorgeous.


Sweet Swirls

Dubbed “Ice Cream Swirlies” by makeup artist Hannah Taylor, these bright light pink and blue pastel swirls on top of classic, square-shaped tips are super fun and sweet.


Shimmer Swirls

Opt for a bare nail with shimmer as your base to put an unexpected twist on your swirl nail. This pink swirl is especially eye-catching and matches the faint shimmer perfectly.


White Out

You can’t go wrong with classic white swirls. Mix in a neutral shade to make the design stand out.


Abstract Swirls

These abstract swirls are mesmerizing and make for a perfect fall nail.


Burst Of Color

Mix bright colored swirls like neon pink, lime green, pastel orange, and electric yellow on top of a base coat of white nail polish. It’s a great look to savor the last days of summer.


Strawberry Fields

Here’s another Barbiecore-inspired look for all the pink polish lovers.


Bare Your Soul

This barely-there neutral nail is so sleek that it will warm all minimalist lovers’ hearts. Simply draw on a thin delicate white swirl against a tan, neutral base for a chic and subtle look.


Enjoy Your Greens

Paint your nails with an olive green base, then draw on a lighter lime swirl for a fresh take on the monochromatic nail art look.


Mix & Match

Mix a whole bunch of different trends onto one hand because why not? Along with minimal swirls against a bare nail, go for some popular daisy decals and fun pastel colors on the other nails for a super fun nail look.


Get Jelly With It

Jelly nails give that nostalgic vibe and it doesn’t take much to really elevate them. Draw a simple white swirl across the middle and it will instantly increase the coolness factor.


Pretty Pastels

These swirls blend into one another to make a maze-like look that’s just mesmerizing. Paint them against a different pastel background to make them very playful.


Ocean Blue

Nautical lovers will love these ocean-inspired swirl nails. A combination of mermaid-esque light blue and turquoise swirls is reminiscent of ocean waves.


Go Matte

Don’t forget that you always have the option of playing with textures. Choose a matte finish and different-colored swirls across your nails for a unique look.


Purple Reign

Another combo of swirls and French tips, this manicure features different (yet equally gorgeous) shades of purple.