21 Pastel Nails That Are Surprisingly Cool for 2021

Here's proof that pastel doesn't have to be predictable.


Pastel nails may bring to mind country-club sweaters and Easter egg hunts, but they don't have to be so predicable. Pale pink will always be a classic, of course. There's a reason Ballet Slippers is one of the top-selling shades of all time. But there are also plenty of unexpected twists to try now: Think creamy lilacs, offbeat greens, and sky blues. And paired with trendy nail art like checkers and French tips or elongated acrylics, pastels feel fresher than ever. (They're also the perfect contrast to all the black sweaters we'll be wearing until spring really gets going.)


More of a classic kind of gal? No worries, pastels have you covered as well. Try a ballerina pink or almost-nude peach. No matter what your vibe, we rounded up the best pastel nails to try from now until well through the fall. Already know which style that you love, The Shampoo Lounge'll get you covered. We have HOT DEALS PROMO, CND Shellac Mani-Pedi only 450K by online booking : https://www.shampoolounge.com/tslhotdeals (valid until end of March 2021)



@paintedbyjoolz_

1/23

Creamy Lilac

This cool purple manages to be a bright and a pastel at the same time, and it looks incredible on darker skin tones. To get the same super-opaque look as the above, start with a layer of white polish before going in with a lilac like Essie Play Date.



@overglowedit

2/23

Metallic Swirls

This metallic ombré situation couldn't be any prettier. For a similar effect, dab a few different shades of polish on a wedge makeup sponge, and then press it on your nails.



@thehangedit

3/23

Lavender Smiles

Paired with chocolate brown and celeb-approved smiley faces, lavender has never looked cooler.



@themaniclub

4/23

Sage Green

Herby, muted greens are the coolest take on pastels for this year and beyond. Try WKF by Olive & June for the perfect olive shade.



@thehangedit

5/23

Pastel Checkers

Checker nail art is having a major moment, and done up in springy pastels, it feels twice as timely. Try Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Crying Out Cloud and Street Flair for a similar look.



@paintedbyjools_

6/23

Minty French

Thin mint green tips over a nude nail or sheer base is so chic. A super-shiny topcoat like Essie Gel Couture ups the impact.



@overglowedit

7/23

Rainbow Swoops

Playful patterns in an array of pastel shades makes a sweet color palette feel less saccharine.



@thehangedit

8/23

Half Daisies

Put a cool spin on a classic by keeping the polish on half your nail only. For a superclean line, try using some nail tape to divide your nails.



@overglowedit

9/23

Shimmering Violet

For a shade worthy of the Sugar Plum Fairy, try Orosa's Arabesque.




@themaniclub

10/23

Pink Ombré

Put your polish collection to work with a different shade of pastel pink on each finger (or just mix increasing amounts of white polish with your base shade). A pop of hot pink keeps things interesting.



@amyytran

11/23

Pastel Stars

Nothing is cuter than a smattering of stars, and pastel shades are a much more unexpected choice than classic metallics. Try Nailtopia polish in Harlem Shake, Mellow Yellow, and Juice Cleanse for a similar vibe.




@themaniclub

12/23

Peachy Keen

Peach polish is the best of both worlds since it's just as versatile as nude but slightly more interesting. Try Olive & June's Wild & Free for a peach that flatters all skin tones.



@yeswhatnails

13/23

Pastel French

It doesn't get any cooler than a matte finish, skinny French tips, and contrasting pastels. We love Essie Expressie in Skip the Track for the base and We Don't Mesh for the tips.



@overglowedit

14/23

Pink Ombré

Zhuzh up your go-to pale pinks with a pretty ombré fade. After painting on a base layer of light pink, dab on a darker layer of pink with a disposable makeup sponge. Easy-peasy.



@overglowedit

15/23

Key Lime Pie

Last year was all about slime green, but this year's spin on the cool-girl shade is a pastel lime that's muted but still poppy. Blogger Melanie at Overglowedit used OPI in How Does Your Zen Garden Grow to perfectly nail the trend.



@jessicawashick

16/23

Pastel Tips

Is there anything sweeter than an assortment of candy-colored tips? Didn't think so.



@betina_goldstein

17/23

Pastel Skittles Mani

The “Skittles” nail trend (a different shade on each finger) isn't going anywhere. Make it feel ready for spring with varying shades of lavender, peach, and pale coral.



@themaniclub

18/23

Pretty Periwinkle

Not quite blue, not quite purple, totally pretty. Essie's Gel Couture in Perfect Posture has a similar vibe.



@overglowedit

19/23

Floral Tips

If you're skilled with the tiniest of brushes (or are planning on taking a masked-up trip to the salon soon), go for ditsy daisies on pastel tips. This mani will instantly feel like spring, even if the weather says otherwise.


@overglowedit

20/23

Funky Pastels

Tie-dye pastels, checkerboards, and retro flowers are all having major nail moments, so why not combine them all? Keep things from getting too crazy by sticking with the same color palette across each nail.



@color_camp

21/23

Simple Smile

If a full mani of happy faces feels like a bit much, keep it simple with a minimal smiley face on one finger. A creamy lemon shade like Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Lemon Chilo makes the perfect backdrop.



@overglowedit

22/23

Pastel Marble

One way to make shades of blue and green even cooler? Marble it with white, and alternate shades on each nail.



@color_camp

23/23

Lilac Sparkle

Bring out the icy tones in lilac with a cool silver sparkle. While any glitter will do, a tiny dot of foil is extra cool.


article written by for Glamour21 Pastel Nails That Are Surprisingly Cool for 2021


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