Prom and graduation season is a right of passage into adulthood for many teens. High school graduates are heading off to college life (or whatever lies ahead).
As moms we want to support our children on their journeys in life.
What better way for a mother to have bonding time with her daughter(s) than a couple hours at the nail salon. Or, if your budget conscious, spending some time at home doing one another’s nails.
In person Graduation is back! That means graduation photos, parties, and graduation trips ahead! You want that perfect look to celebrate all that hard work that went into your years of school and earning your diploma.
We’re here to help share cute and trendy ideas with you to help you look your best for all of your graduation events.
Table of Contents
What color nails should I get for graduation?
Consider choosing colors that match or complement your graduation dress, graduation cap, or graduation gown. You can also consider your school color. If you want an elegant look for an intimate day you may consider experimenting with matte nail finishes.
8 best Graduation nails styles for 2023
What nail art ideas are trending now? Below are the top styles and colors for nail designs this year. Keep in mind that nail color is part of the design. The two work hand and hand to ensure beautiful trendy nails.
- Marble nails. Marble nail is proving to be the most popular nail style this year.
- Minimal Nail (aka a nude manicure)
- Velveteen Nails
- Rhinestone Nails
- Classic White Nail
- Steampunk Gold Ascent Nails
- Pastels Nail Color
- Black Nails
Marble effect with the polish is a fun way to add flavor to a classic manicure for graduation. Polish is dropped into water and then the nail dipped in to create a marble and swirl effect on the nail bed.
2) Nude nails (aka Minimal Nails)
Nude nails are an excellent idea for graduation. Nude Nails are minimalistic, but they also look amazing on graduation day!
A simple nude or natural nail color is also sleek, and gives a clean polished look. If you are looking for classy nails, consider nude nails.
3) Velveteen nails
While the Velveteen nail trend looks like nails are covered in velvet fabric, it’s actually just polish, applied to look like velvet.
The polish and glitter polish is layered in such a way that gives your nails a multi dimensional look to appear as though you they’re covered in velvet.
It’s a cute and clever way to have your nails stand out on your graduation day.
4) Rhinestone nailing
Rhinestone nails are a great way to make any basic manicure flashy and is always sure to get noticed. Small rhinestones are glued to polished nails to add design and sparkle.
A popular rhinestone fashion is to have small stones added to the line of French Tips on either 1 single finger, or a finger and thumb.
It’s also popular to add several rhinestones near the cuticles of 1 accent nail.
Reverse French Tip Manicure where the traditional white tip is painted near the cuticle is another way to paint your nails, and add rhinestone details.
With the reverse method, you have more opportunities to add a different color than traditional white. Try a bold pink, or pale blue in a thin line to change things up a bit.
Once the stones are applied they’re covered in a top coat of polish to help ensure they last the duration of the manicure.
5) Easy white nails for graduation party
Solid white nail designs are the simplest. White nails pair perfectly with just about any grad ceremony outfit. White nails also go well with a white dress and a white graduation.
6) Steampunk Gold manicure
This Instagram trend inspired idea has gained popularity lately. It’s a steampunk nail with gold accents and will definitely stand out at your graduation. Is your creativity sufficient to make this project a reality? Certainly!
7) Colorful pastel nail design
It seems that pastel colors are also winners of the year. Romantic nail designs are universal and you can also wear this mani with geometric shapes for a proud addition to any outfit during the following weeks.
Because prom and most graduations occur during spring, having pink or blue pastel color palate for your nails is seasonably appropriate.
8) Black Nails For Graduation
Is a black manicure classy? Black nails are definitely a stylish choice. It has been rated as one of your most chic colours and goes with practically any item that is available.
While black nails were at one time considered “gothic” the new trend is black nails, because they go with everything.
More Popular Graduation Nails This year
But wait, there is more! The above list were ideas that are trending. But this is your big day. Below are more ideas to help you celebrate graduation.
Minimal Nails With Crystal
Glam decoration of crystals is a great way to gives nails the sparkle they lack in the nude way. It’s a cute graduation nail idea.
Coffin shaped nails have become one of the most popular styles for shaping nails in recent years. Coffin nails are typically longer in length and the sides are tapered, with the tops filed flat.
The coffin shape is fun to wear to get noticed at your graduation party. Another way to ensure people notice your freshly designed nails is to add a glitter accent nail.
With this trend 4 of your nails are painted 1 solid color, and then 1 nail is painted a glitter shade of the same color family.
Acrylic nail design for graduation Day
Time to show acrylic nail designs at graduation. This is especially popular at graduation parties.
If you have short nails but wish for some added length acrylic will do just that! The long acrylic nails look amazing in any design you choose.
Acrylic nails are incredibly popular lately. This can be an excellent way to boost your manicures. Do you hate glossy surfaces? Then matte finish will make your nails more attractive.
Adding a glitter accent to your ring finger on each hand if a fun way to add a touch of sparkle.
Feminine pink French with 3D gel roses
You wont find a better French style nail art for graduation. Make your nails look fresh by putting pink shade on your nails and white on your lips.
A traditional French manicure is a pale pink base coat with a French Tip painted on in a arching design.
French Tips are very timeless and always a simple way to show elegance. Accent nails should be placed between the palms. 3d Rose Flower are great for a Graduation Party. We love this beautiful nail design.
Blue ombre nails for graduation
A blue dress is usually worn at a graduation party. Blue graduation nails are an ideal accessory. The ombre is festive through an ombre design and a decorative nail trimmed with precious gems.
This beautiful manicure is perfect for special occasions like graduation.
If you have opted for a solid nail color (think any shade of pink or blue) adding a glitter gradient to 1 nail adds a touch of flair.
Gradient is where the tip of 1 nail is polished with a clear glitter- usually gold or silver. Toward the cuticle there is very little glitter, and more is added moving toward the nail tip.
Punk-rock nail design for special day
A nude base nail may have many different accents added to them. But details matter. Instead of adding neutral shades, add some punkrock flare to simple nails to show off your personality on your special day!
Adding a single thin white line to a solid colored nail also makes a statement without being too bold, and in your face.
Purple and white manicure with feathers
This gorgeous manicure would be ideal to wear with dresses in purple, violet or rose colours. Feathering makes it more interesting to look for. I love that!
Geometric blue and pink ombre nails
Create a brighter color to your white graduation nail art by replicating this trendy prom idea.
Pink or blue Ombre nails are each nail a different shade from the same color family. This style offers a little depth and variation to any manicure.
How do you do gradient nails?
Apply the same color clear glitter nail polish. Bring your nail up about 1/3 way. This builds on the nails already in place creating a gradient effect. Avoid applying the nails polish at a higher angle than on the previous coat.
How do you pose your nails for pictures?
To take the perfect photos, nourish the nail and make them moisturize. Pose client hands in an appropriate shape as the client’s hands twist.
Usually, my thumb is closer to the hand. It’s a wonderful place to display your nails!
In Conclusion: Graduation Nails
Congratulations on making it this far. I don’t mean in this article! We hope we left you inspired with cute ideas for your big day. Enjoy your graduation party!
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Erin is the mother of identical twin girls and their slightly older brother. She is a domestic engineer, and previously had a career leading customer service teams for a major HVAC company. Cleaning without harsh chemicals, and cooking easy and usually healthy meals are part of Erin's daily life. She volunteers with youth leaders, and genuinely wants to help others win. Erin has a degree in Communications, with a focus on Broadcast Journalism.