36 Fabulous Rainbow Nails Design Ideas For All Tastes

Updated on February 9, 2024
Quan Wen By Quan Wen
Quan Wen

Lead editor at Zohna, yogi and clean beauty fanatic

Table Of Contents

    Rainbow NailsPIN

    36 Fabulous Rainbow Nails Design Ideas For All Tastes

    Feeling a bit blah with your nails? Perhaps you will find inspiration somewhere over the rainbow. While we can’t ask a wizard from Oz to give us the manicure we’ve never had, we can find plenty of inspiration on the internet. Rainbows have been a staple of fashion, art, and film for years. Most notably, rainbows have been a symbol of social change and peace since the 16th century. In this article, we’ll cover a variety of styles and rainbow designs to inspire your individual creativity.

    How to do Rainbow Nails

    Learn how to do these adorable rainbow nails yourself in this simple step-by-step video tutorial.

    Pastel Rainbow Nails

    Pastel colors might conjure up images of the Easter bunny, plastic easter eggs, and spring decor. But a pastel rainbow nails palette is just a traditional rainbow palette with a bit of white polish added to each color. You probably remember a little acronym called ROYGBIV, or

    • Red
    • Orange
    • Yellow
    • Green
    • Blue
    • Indigo
    • Violet

    Most of us were taught that these are the colors of the rainbow, although today, cyan is often used in place of indigo.

    Summer Rainbow Nails

    Summer and rainbows go together like Dorothy and Toto, In fact, rainbows are most often spotted during the summer season. And yes, rainbow nails are too. Rainbow nails are one of this summer’s trendiest nail styles worn by celebrities and non-celebrities alike. The style is incredibly bright, cheerful, and fun. Good vibes all around!

    Rainbow Acrylic Nails

    Rainbow nails have so many different styles. You can create a rainbow on each nail or wear the entire rainbow on both hands. What’s great is that you don’t have to hunt for each individual color. 

    Rainbow Neon Nails

    Rainbow Neon NailsInstagram@katenehtyPIN

    Wait, is neon even actually considered a color? Just because we can’t see neon colors doesn’t make them any less real. Neon rainbow nails prove it!! Neon colors include but aren’t limited to:

    • Hot pink
    • Bright purple
    • Electric blue
    • Highlighter yellow
    • Lime green

    Rainbow Ombre Nails

    We talk a lot about ombre nails here and it’s because there are so many options when it comes to this design, such as:

    • French ombre
    • Glitter ombre
    • Two-toned ombre
    • Tri-colored ombre
    • Pastel ombre

    Ombre nails exploded in popularity when baby boomer nails made their debut. Ombre put a twist on the classic french manicure and soon ombre nail designs come in every color of the rainbow. And ombre rainbow nails were born.

    Coffin Rainbow Acrylic Nails

    Speaking of tie-dye, it’s not only for old white tees. Tie-dye rainbow nails are all over Instagram. Best part? They’re super easy to do at home. So if you want a cool look that’s low maintenance, just DIY. See how below!

    What you’ll need:

    1. 3 or 4 rainbow colors using traditional or gel nail polish. You can try red, orange, and blue for tie-dye rainbow nails.
    2. Clear or neutral base coat.
    3. Clear top coat
    4. Toothpick
    No. Description
    Steps 1 Apply your base coat and let it dry. Using a base coat can help protect your nails from chipping, staining, and becoming brittle.

    For the following steps, do one finger at a time.

    Step 2 Use the red polish to create a thin strip that curves with the top of the nail plate horizontally across your nail bed. Don’t worry about allowing it to dry.
    Step 3 Use the orange polish to create another strip right underneath the red one. And then use the blue to create another strip beneath the orange.
    Step 4 Take the toothpick and draw a thin line starting from the red polish. Draw the line straight down from one color into the next to create the signature “tie-dye spikes”. Allow each nail to dry.
    Step 5 For extra color and a more robust design, you can repeat the steps on the nail tips. Once the nails are dry, apply the top coat.

    Rainbow Nails Short

    Unlike press-on nails, nail wraps bond to nails much like a sticker. Usually, they’re shorter and easier to maintain. Like stickers, nail wraps, stick to the nail like a second skin, or a layer of polish. Just stick them directly to the nails and you’re done!

    Rainbow Coffin Nails

    A matte finish never looks dull! Rainbow nails that flaunt a solid-colored matte design suddenly appear bolder. And have you ever noticed how a matte finish can level up the look of nearly any color. There’s a sleekness to a matte look that you don’t get with traditional glossy polish. But there’s a practical side to getting a matte manicure, too. Unlike a glossy finish which may showcase every tiny imperfection on the nails, a matte finish does an excellent job of hiding them.

    Rainbow Toe Nails

    While some make it a point to match fingers and toes, sometimes, toenails are left bare. It’s a shame because rainbow nails aren’t just for hands. Matching toenails and fingernails is that small detail that can look very cute but not everyone agrees and that’s a good thing. Others feel that while toenails don’t need to match, they should at least look like they’re going to the same party.

    And if you feel like it’s too much work to bother with toenail aesthetics at all, well, that’s what press-on nails are for.

    Pride Rainbow Nails

    Pride month is a month-long celebration in June involving parades, picnics, parties, and events celebrating the ongoing work toward civil rights and equal justice for LGBTQ individuals. It became nationally recognized in the US in 1999. However, the challenges facing equality and fair treatment are ongoing and anything but new.

    Rainbow Tips Nails

    We love this super fun design with multi-colored nail tips. Follow complimentary shades on the color wheel, or just roll with your favourite colors as you can’t go wrong with this beautiful combination of rainbow nail tips.

    Rainbow French Nails

    You might already know that the French tip manicure was not created in France. But according to some sources, the look didn’t take off until it took off on Paris runways.

    So, if you’re in the area and are dead set on getting a French manicure, in France, stop by at Le Boudoir de Paris and say, Je voudrais une manucure ????

    Rainbow Marble Nails

    Colors in the visible world exist on a spectrum. So, while magenta, for instance, is not considered a color existing in a natural rainbow color scheme, you can often see a purplish hue where the colors blend together when you see a rainbow in the sky. And that’s just the colors we’re able to see with our own eyes!

    Zohna Tip

    Create a rainbow marble effect by rolling plastic wrap into a ball to use as a tool. Use one color for your base coat and another color for the marbling texture.

    Rainbow Outline Nails

    Rainbow nails are often big and bold. The dramatic length of these coffin nails in combination with the luminescent colored outlines are absolutely jaw-dropping. Not for the faint of heart, these rainbow outline nails make a big statement!

    Rainbow Gel Nails

    Yes, you can get a great gel manicure from a professional, but you can bring the salon home and DIY just as well. To create rainbow nails from home, you need:

    To get awesome gel rainbow nails at home, there are a few things to consider, for instance:

    1. Why choose a glass board over a traditional emery board?
    2. What’s the difference between nail polish remover and acetone?
    3. Which type of lamp should you get?

    See below where we break it down.

    Tools for Gel Rainbow Nails At Home Why You Need it
    LED or UV lamp Gel nails require UV or LED light to harden. Without it, gel polish will remain goupy.
    • UV light cures faster (8-10min) than LED (30-45min) but LED bulbs last longer (50,000 hrs) than UV bulbs (10,000 hrs).
    • LED light is more green and less harmful than UV light.
    Base coat A base coat helps gel polish hold much better. So you may not need it for traditional lacquer, but for gel polish it’s essential.
    Top coat A top coat helps seal the gel polish as well as the rainbow design. Unlike a traditional top coat or a quick dry top coat, a gel top coat is more durable and helps prevent cracking and chipping.
    Glass nail file Like a traditional nail file, or emery board, a glass nail file is also used to grind down the edge of the nail. But glass files don’t cause the nails to splinter and are easier to keep sterilized.
    Nail Buffer Buffing the nails before applying gel polish is crucial. While you could apply traditional polish without buffing, gel polish needs a very dry and clean surface to bind to the nail properly. A nail buffer does the trick.
    Rubbing alcohol pads Using rubbing alcohol pads is better than using a cotton swab because you don’t have to worry about tiny strings of cotton getting left behind and caught underneath the polish. Cleaning the nails with rubbing alcohol ensures excess oils and debris are removed and the nail is dry and prepped for applying gel polish.
    Gel polish Gel polish is why we’re here! There are endless varieties of gel polish out there. But some contain toxic ingredients dubbed, the toxic trio. Opt for cleaner gels that don’t contain:
    1. Formaldehyde
    2. Toluene
    3. Dibutyl phthalate
    Acetone The safest way to remove gel polish is with acetone. Acetone is different from nail polish remover, which may contain acetone, but also contains other ingredients like colors, fragrance, and oils.
    Cuticle Oil Acetone can be rough on cuticles because it dries them out. Cuticle oil can help keep cuticles moisturized and healthy after removing gel polish.

    Short Rainbow Nails

    Not everyone has long, natural nails to work with. Even if you prefer short nails, some nail styles may not be an option. Good thing rainbow nails look fab on super short nails, super long nails, and every kind of nail shape you can imagine.

    Rainbow Stiletto Nails

    Stiletto nail shapes are typically done using gel extensions or acrylics. But if you can’t commit to the upkeep of super long nails but kinda sorta want them, you can try getting a full set of press-on nails.

    Zohna Tip

    If you like a certain style, but the press-on nails are too long, simply file them down. You can even clip them like natural nails to the length you prefer!

    Rainbow Swirl Nails

    Rainbow swirl nails are another one to add to the minimalist design lovers list. They’re so simple and also easy to do. Many prefer a more subtle approach and simple swirly rainbow nails offer subtlety and simplicity.

    Rainbow Fake Nails

    The easiest press-on nails by far are gel because you don’t even need nail glue. Gel press-on nails come with an adhesive back. Just slap them on, and presto,  you’re Edward Scissorhands.

    White Nails With Rainbow Tips

    Rainbow nails can use mostly negative space, making the design surprisingly stunning, thanks to the details.

    Glitter Rainbow Neon Nails

    Glitter is a part of US history from fabrics, art and crafts, and makeup to edible sparkly treats. Besides that, glitter has cultural significance. Various subcultures and music artists have used glitter to express themselves. Artists like David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and other glam rockers of the 1980s used glitter as an art form, often blurring the lines between traditional gender roles.

    Rainbow Almond Nails

    Colors, glitter, and rainbows are as significant as they are symbolic, but they aren’t the entire story. Still, aesthetics can feel like a source of comfort and belonging because for many of us they represent something about who we are.

    Long Rainbow Nails

    Like bright colors and rainbow nails, stiletto rainbow nails stand out. They look confident, especially the long ones. You may even say they’re a force not to be messed with.

    Classy Rainbow Nails Coffin

    We’re obsessed with these extra-long rainbow coffin nails with insane length. The clear nail makes the rainbow colors pop like crazy. The fun rainbow paint splatter design can be customized with anything your imagination comes up with.

    Matte Rainbow Nails

    A matte style can elevate rainbow nails by giving them a bolder look. But you don’t need to search for matte colors individually. Instead, use a matte top coat to give any polish in your collection a matte finish.

    Rainbow Cloud Nails

    While you can’t touch a rainbow or draw a clear boundary between its stripes, you know it’s real. For this reason, rainbows are mother nature’s manicure! The same idea applies to rainbow nails as colors are gently paired together to get a striking design.

    Simple Rainbow Nails

    If you’re all about styles that scream less is more, then creating simple rainbow nails with gel polish will feel like a breeze. Gel polish has become a very popular manicure option that you can do at the salon or at home.

    Rainbow Flower Nails

    Rainbow Flower NailsInstagram@theemmziePIN

    Perfect for spring, these rainbow flower nails are both fun and simple to do yourself. Rainbows symbolize coming together, peace, and inclusivity while flowers embody nature and the fresh feeling of Spring. You can paint flowers on yourself or even just order flower stickers.

    Nude Rainbow Nails

    Short rainbow nails are low-maintenance, cute, and stylish. Most everyone has short nails, at least. A rainbow nail design is super easy to do on very short nails, even on bitten nails. But if painting nails isn’t your cup of joe and press-ons seem to pop right off, then nail-wraps are going to be your new best friend.

    Rainbow Nails With Diamonds

    Glitter is another popular pride aesthetic and beloved by minimalists and bold creatives alike. Glitter can symbolize an expression of individuality. It can express the idea of celebrating, as opposed to hiding, what makes someone who they are.

    Clear Rainbow Nails

    Clear acrylic nails are becoming a hot look for the summer for obvious reasons. The clear manicure features a clear acrylic set that’s basically a regular manicure. Clear acrylic nails use a special coat of nail polish which gives them that tantalizing see-through effect. Best part? If you have short nails, here’s where they’ll be in your favor. Since natural nails aren’t perfectly clear, they’ll need to be trimmed short enough, so they don’t show through the clear acrylic.

    Light Rainbow Nails

    Long nails with stiletto, coffin, and ballerina nail shapes are trending this year. Some have observed a feminine aesthetic on the rise, and the long nails might be a reflection of that. While we can’t say for sure if that’s the case, it’s easy to see that long nails are indeed around every corner.

    Blue Rainbow Nails

    Hey, it’s art, right? Free expression to do you, and that’s what it should be.

    Rainbow Dot Nails

    Rainbow Dot NailsInstagram@emmaachanPIN

    It started in the 80s with tie-dyed shirts and accessories, and the rainbow continues to be a hot manicure design. So if you prefer a bit more heat than traditional rainbow colors offer, you can try this extreme polkadot look.

    Rainbow Multi Colored Ombre Nails

    Multi-colored ombre nails are easy when you use holographic nail polish. The ombre look happens naturally because of the way the polish is made. The pigment is made of light reflecting particles causing the color to change at different angles.

    Rainbow Watercolor Nails

    Watercolor nail design, or aquarelle, is inspired by traditional watercolor painting used to create fine art. In fact, you can use actual water color paint to do it. Here’s what you need:

    1. Watercolor paints (choose 3 colors)
    2. Small watercolor paintbrush
    3. Water
    4. White gel polish
    5. Matte top coat
    No. Description
    Step 1 Apply a white gel polish followed by a layer of matte top coat and let it cure. This is your painting palette.
    Step 2 Dip your brush in water and add a drop to the center of the nail.
    Step 3 Pick up a small dot of the first color and gently add it to the drop of water on your nail. Let it sit and settle for a few seconds.
    Step 4 The trick is to let the water work its magic, so don’t mix it into the paints, allow the paints to mix on their own. Add your second color the same way as you did in step 3.
    Step 5 Add a third color, or you can stop at two. Then, use a tissue to gently dab the water to create your texture and sop away the excess.
    Step 6 Apply a top coat to seal the design.


    Rainbow nails became popular in recent years and today the look is more popular than ever. Whatever you choose to celebrate, rainbow nails are a style for everyone.