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Valentine's Day nails: design inspiration, romantic nail polishes and kits

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Hot Valentine's Day nail designs

Valentine's Day and its spin-off, Galentine's Day, are a time for celebrating love in all forms. As people increasingly make Valentine's Day celebrations their own, nail designs are becoming just as distinctive. Classic red and pink Valentine's Day nails will always be popular, but high-shine metallics, gothic black accents and golden embellishments are also hot this year. This Valentine's Day, show off with these fun nail trends, polishes and nail kits.

Shop this article: 786 Cosmetics Breathable Nail Polish, Butter London Nail Lacquer and Teenitor Nail Art Kit

Valentine's Day nail ideas

These nail designs for Valentine's Day are easy enough to do at home. Nail art tools will help, but a simple toothpick will do in a pinch. If the more detailed designs seem like they'll stretch your artistic ability, try trendy nail art stickers or decals instead.

  • Use a nail art tool to draw single tiny hearts in a contrasting color atop a solid base coat. Apply a dot of nail polish with a nail art tool or toothpick, then gently drag the tip upwards to form a heart shape. Alternatively, keep it simple by applying nail sequins or stickers.
  • Try a trendy twist on classic French tips by painting tiny hearts or flowers in the tips. Painting V-shaped French tips, which extend down the sides of the fingernail, or extra-large half-moons can give you more surface area to decorate.
  • Create a retro-inspired swirl in shades of pink and red. This groovy design is a fun way to play with negative space on nude nails.
  • Take inspiration from your favorite Valentine's Day candy and paint on chocolate drops, conversation hearts or boxes of truffles.
  • If you don't want to deal with the hassle of nail art, create an artistic ombre effect by painting each nail a different shade of red.
  • Add dramatic shine to a simple design by outlining elements in gold chrome nail polish. Try tracing the edges of hearts, adding a sun-ray effect or outlining the boundary of a French manicure.
  • Pale, milky shades are popular this year. Try translucent single coats of white or pale pink followed by glossy top coat for the "glazed donut" look. Top with a Valentine-inspired heart design in your favorite color.

Best nail polish for Valentine's Day

OPI Infinite Shine Nail Lacquer

A best-seller for a reason, this reliable brand comes in a huge range of long-lasting colors. The lacquer is easy to apply and has an impressive lifespan. Try a classic red, such as shimmery red-wine "I'm Not Really a Waitress," or go vampy with "Lincoln Park After Dark."

786 Cosmetics Breathable Nail Polish

Play with this year's "milky" nail trend by using this brand's shades "Ostuni" (a pale, cool gray), "Alexandria" (a pale peach) or "Abu Dhabi" (bright white). Use a single coat and apply a top coat for extra shine and longevity.

Butter London Nail Lacquer

This Butter London nail lacquer uses fewer harmful chemicals so you can enjoy a worry-free manicure. The formula is free from formaldehyde, DBP, toluene and more. Choose from more than 40 colors, from pale pastel pink "Piece of Cake" to glossy, warm "Her Majesty's Red."

Orly Breathable Treatment Nail Lacquer

This nourishing formula helps hydrate nails and resists chipping and peeling. It comes in festive shades, such as "She's A Wildflower," a duo-chrome blue and pink sparkle, and "Cran-Barely Believe It," a shimmery candy-apple red.

Best nail art kits for Valentine's Day

Teenitor Nail Art Kit

Great for beginners, this nail art kit includes everything you need to experiment with your manicure. It includes stickers, striping tape, rhinestones and more than a dozen tools. With 14 different brushes and multiple sizes of dotting tools, you can create any look your heart desires.

Biutee Nail Stamp Kit

If you want to make a statement for Valentine's Day, try this kit, which comes with 19 pieces, including 12 nail plates, one nail scraper, one stamper and a storage bag. Be sure to choose a polish that is compatible with nail stamping.

Modelones Nail Art Brushes Set

If you're looking for a more curated nail kit, consider this option, which comes with only brushes and dotting tools. It includes six brushes, two of which are dual-ended with dotting tools on the other side. The brush handles are a nice, ergonomic size and easy for beginners to use.

Best nail stickers and wraps for Valentine's Day

Dashing Diva Alpine Retreat Gloss Ultra Shine Gel Palette

These gel nail strips are easy to apply and last up to 14 days. This set features an elegant mauve accented with glittery rose gold and deep plum. It comes with 32 nail strips in 12 sizes.

Danni and Toni Pink Glitters Gel Nail Stickers

You don't need professional art skills if you use these ombre gel stickers featuring pink glitter. Just apply the sticker, trim to fit your nail and cure using a curing lamp for long-lasting nail art.


Valuu 40 Sheets Black Lace Nail Art Decals

Layer these black lace decals over nude nails, bold reds or soft pink nails for a subtly sexy, lingerie-insired Valentine's manicure. Choose between multiple nail art designs across 40 sheets of decals.

Worth checking out

Prices listed reflect time and date of publication and are subject to change.

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