Let’s Talk About Accent Nails!

It seems like accent nails are EVERYWHERE! Nail art has been around in the salons for decades, but it’s recently made quite the comeback, makings its way from the runways at Fashion Week into your at-home manicure routine. While some of the designs can get pretty complicated, accent nails are perfect for amateur artists.

Accent nails are a great way to spice up your regular manicure. It showcases a bit of your creativity, without taking it over the top, because it only involves one or two nails. You can add some glitter (aka a party nail!), a complimentary shade of polish, a splash of shimmer, or maybe an animal print or a floral design if you’ve got a steady hand. It can be as simple or as intricate as you’d like, the possibilities are endless. There are almost no rules when it comes to nails, you just have to do what feels right for you.

But, how are you supposed to decide which finger to accent?

I bet some of y’all have already dabbled in this trend, but what’s stopping you from accenting different nails? Let’s discuss your various options.

PINKY FINGER: Way back in my middle school days, I used to always painted my pinkies pink, no matter what color the rest of my nails were. An accented pinky nail is very feminine, but rarely utilized. You can make this work for the upcoming winter months by using a darker polish shade for your manicure, like navy, hunter green, dark purple or black, and using a pastel polish on your pinky for an accent. It would also look great with lighter shades of pink and pearly neutrals when the weather warms back up.

Let’s be honest, you really can’t ever go wrong with a glitter party nail. And, taking glitter polish off of one nail is a lot easier than removing it from all ten fingers. I created this half moon manicure, inspired by Dita Von Teese, but added a GaGa inspired black glitter accent nail for some added glamour.

RING FINGER: Ahhh, the ring finger is, without a doubt, the most popular of the accent nails. It always looks so chic. Apparently, this is also how you let potential suitors know that you’re single. That doesn’t mean you can’t also rock it with a wedding ring, or a serious boyfriend. I mean, our girl Beyonce makes it look good.

I don’t think I could ever get burnt out on the ring finger accent. It looks so perfect with a small, girly accessory. This bow manicure will forever be one of my favorites.

This is usually the go-to accent nail, so if this has been your look for a while, switch it up and experiment with something new!

MIDDLE FINGER: The middle finger is the most rebellious of accent nails. I figure that if you have to resort to giving someone the finger, at least give them something nice to look at on your nails. There was a short period of my life where I was heartbroken and incorporated glitter middle fingers into all of my manicures, on the off chance I ran into the dreaded ex (which I never did, thank goodness).

The middle finger accent is my personal favorite, because it’s the most symmetrical (two fingers on each side). It also makes you seem a little rough around the edge, and even slightly mysterious.

Accenting your middle fingers doesn’t necessarily have to be rebellious, it can also be classy and sophisticated.

INDEX FINGER: An accented index finger makes a unique, bold statement. It shows that you’re your number one fan! I think that it makes the wearer look like a super fierce female. For fall, give yourself a Halloween-inspired mani with a bright, fiery orange polish paired with a gorgeous gold lacquer on your pointer fingers.

If you’re in a time crunch and can’t to commit to a full manicure, accents also look amazing when they stand alone.

THUMB: The thumb gives you the biggest canvas for artwork, but I rarely see just a thumb accent. I mean, I totally get it, photographing thumbs can be a bit of a challenge and they’re just kind of awkward (but also totally awesome). A lot of people like to pair their thumb with another finger, like the index or ring, which looks great when wearing a contrasting color combo.

I like to use my thumbs to write reminders to myself, since I’m the only one that sees them. In this specific example, I had a gigantic zit that was growing on my face and I was trying SO SO SO hard not to pick it. This turned out to be surprisingly helpful! If you’ve got some ambidexterity, or a habit you’re trying to kick, you should try this trick as well!

I hope this inspires some of you aspiring nail artists to experiment with your nails! What’s your go-to accent nail?

Beyonce photo via, index accents via, classy middle finger accents via, all other photos are my own

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