Festival season comes around so quickly. Before you know it it’s time to revamp your wardrobe, dye your hair and plan what your festival manicure.
If you’re lucky enough to be attending more than one festival this summer, change up your nails for each line up. The fashions can vary from festival to festival so don’t let your nails show you up.
Whether you’re painting your nails at home or heading to the salon for a fresh set, you’re bound to need some festival nail inspiration.
This massive list of festival nails ideas is a great place to start.
19 Awesome Ideas for Festival Nails 2023
You’ve bought your tickets, booked the time off work and now you’re counting down the days ‘til you go.
In between packing your bag and stocking up on dry shampoo, you’ll need to make time to get your festival nails ready.
Not sure what to go for? Check out the huge list of summer festival nails ideas below.
Bright Festival Nails
Festivals are almost synonymous with bright colours, so look into ways to incorporate this into your manicure.
There are several ways you can do bright festival nails. Below are a list of some tried and tested styles.
Mix & Match Bright & Dark Nails
Mix up your bright manicure with a darker tone. Try yellow and black like in the picture, or orange and navy blue. Any combination can work, providing you go for a bright colour paired with a dark counterpart.
If you love to commit, pick a bright shade and stick to it. Double down on your favourite colour by painting every nail the same – even your toes! Pinks, yellows and oranges look great at festivals so try our favourite bright shades are Watermelon Sugar, Sicily and Fiji.
When it comes to festival nails, neon is a fave. You’re probably packing some neon clothes and maybe even some neon face paint, so you might as well go all out with neon nails too.
Different on Every Nail
If you’re a fun-loving festival-goer, you might fall in love with all the colours. So why bother trying to choose? Paint every nail a different shade. You could match each hand (or foot) in a pattern, or go wild and have every single nail painted a different colour.
Pastels are the perfect way to dress up your festival nails if you’ve got a really girly style. If festivals are all about flower crowns and floaty dresses, these pastel festival nail ideas will be right up your street.
Sweet Like Milkshake
Milkshake tones like pastel pink and pastel yellow are big for 2023. Our Cally Gel milkshake colours are cute as can be. Choose Blush Dream for a hint or strawberry milk, or Maldives if banana shakes are more your thing.
Candy Coated Manicure
Deep and richly coloured pastels also work well. Get your nails covered in candy tones for a fun festival manicure.
Semi Sensible Nails
If you love your festivals but you’re a corporate girlie right up until set off, you might need something suitable for a few days in the office. These manicure ideas are sun and trendy, without being unprofessional.
The Enhanced French Tip
The business world is full of French manicures, but a traditional French tip doesn’t cut it for festival nail designs. An enhanced French tip makes a bit more of the style you’re used to by being discreetly glam.
Add glitter, jewels, or an accent nail to take your French manicure up a notch and get your manicure festival ready.
want to know more on french manicure
During office hours, a plain white manicure looks sleek and sensible. Get under a blacklight in a festival tent and your manicure will come to life. Blacklights make white things glow, so chances are your nail polish will transform and be ultra-bright.
If your job is really strict, consider a classic red. It’s a nail colour that’s timelessly glam and can be dressed up or down. It’ll look fun and funky next to your festival outfits, but it’s sleek enough to wear to work and still look serious.
Add Some 3D Sparkle
Jewels are fab addition to your festival look. Anything shiny is perfect for festival season, so it’s woth adding some to your nails.
If you don’t want to get them done at a salon, you can buy the jewels yourself and attach them with nail glue or cure them into a gel nail polish top coat.
The OTT Jewel Manicure
Want jewels on every finger? So what! It’s a festival – no one will bat an eyelid! Choose a different formation for each nail and look at those talons sparkle.
Jewel Accent Finger
For a hint of sparkle that doesn’t dominate, just add jewels to one finger on each hand. Most people choose their ring finger to stand out, but any will work. Why not choose your thumb to be a bit different?
Sequins and Stars
Not all 3D sparkles need to be big chunky jewels. You can achieve some great results with fun shaped sequins and sparkles. Apply them to a wet gel topcoat, cure them under the UV lamp and apply a final topcoat to make it’s a smooth and seamless shiny manicure.
All That Glitters
Glitter is a festival must-have. Wear glitter eyeshadow, paint it on your face, have glitter tattoos and scatter it on your hair. Everything looks better covered in glitter, so apply that knowledge to your nails.
If you’re opting for festival acrylic nails or you’re happy painting your natural nail, glitter will look great.
There are different ways to incorporate glitter into your manicure and they are as follows:
Use a clear glitter coat to make any festival gel nails sparkle. They can be added to any colour and create a fantastic finish.
This is another one that requires a clear glitter gel. Create a glitter ombre by having one end of the nail covered in concentrated glitter, with it dispersing towards the other end. The most popular way to do this is a glitter tip, fading as is reaches the cuticle but the other way round works too.
Full Glitter Colour
For ultimate sparkle, choose a glitter colour with glitter mixed into it. That way layers of glitter will catch the light and your nails will look amazing. Our shade Starry Night is a captivating glittery black shade that’s just perfect for festivals.
Festival Nail Art
If you want to go all out for your festival manicure then festival nail art is ideal for you. Don’t settle for something plain when you can have extra designs painted on your nails.
Having tiny flowers painted on your nails is a cool festival nail art trend that never goes away. You can have big daubs of colour for a more abstract look, or small, bright flowers printed on your nails.
Want nail art but can’t decide on a design? Pick the colours and let your nail tech do whatever they fancy. Splashes, sweeps and swirls make for a great pattern that’s totally individual.
Ring Finger Art
Most nail techs will charge for nail art by the finger, so if you want to look flash but save cash, just go for an accent nail. Choose nail art on just the ring finger and have the rest of your nails painted in complementary colours to match.
Lines and Swirls
For nail art that only takes a few seconds, sweeping lines look great. They’re also handy if you want to do the manicure yourself. If you’re not trying to do a uniform pattern, you can quickly sweep a long, fine brush over the nail to create some interesting lines.
Even if you’re hoping for a more symmetrical pattern, it shouldn’t be too hard to do using this method.
Choosing any gel nail polishes from the Cally Gel range will set you up for some perfect festival nails!