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Move over mismatched nails, it’s time for a new nail trend to shine: indie nails!

Last year, we covered how mismatched nails took the world by storm, and while indie nails share some similarities such as the haphazard colours and prints all rolled into one manicure, there are a couple of things that set this rising nail trend apart.

Indie nails

When we hear “indie”, we think of alternative rock or pop-rock, and bands like Arcade Fire and Arctic Monkeys. But in the world of beauty and fashion, indie refers to an individual style, and that’s what this new nail trend is all about.

Truth be told, an indie mani is whatever you want it to be, with a different colour or design on every nail — except that they don’t have to match, and you can mix random elements and patterns to create a nail look that’s totally you.

Think bright, eye-catching colours, bold patterns, and the most random things all thrown into a mani where anything goes.

Is it all coming together in your head… but not really? Don’t worry, because we’ll break down this up-and-coming nail trend for you with some pictures for inspiration too!

Colours to try

Indie nails typically sport bright and fun colours, and some are even bold enough to go for a mix of neon shades or pastel candies on all 10 fingers!

If you want something more muted, you can always go for a nude, white, or black base and have some bright colours here and there to spice it up.

Colour Palette

Colour Palette

We’ve even curated a Pinterest board of colour palettes that’ll help you get started with the shades and hues of your next mani.

Patterns to play with

Weird. Funky. Random. That’s how we’ll describe the patterns we’ve seen in indie nails. The patterns in indie nails are mixed to create a very cohesive look that no one would have thought would look this good together.

And when we say random, we really mean random. Checkered, cow print, dalmatian spots, neon squiggles, smileys just to name a few.


We’ve curated a Pinterest board of colour palettes that’ll help you get started with the shades and hues for your next nail appointment.

Elements and accents

When we say go ham, we really mean go ham. Think of the most random object, or what you had for breakfast, and we’re sure it can go on your nails too.

You can get practically any design you want on your nails, some of the popular ones being

  • Eggs
  • Dinosaurs
  • Smiley faces
  • Evil eye
  • Rainbows
  • Snakes
  • Moon

You’ll be surprised at how well a smiley egg will look on your nails (trust us, we didn’t think that was going to be a look either). The whole point of indie nails is to go crazy, have fun, and ultimately do whatever you want!

Nail looks for some inspiration

If you’re itching to get an indie mani but don’t really have a design yet, we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ve curated 11 indie nail designs so you can get inspired for your next trip to the nail salon!

Neon pops

indie nails neon pops

Credit: @nailsbyheathere on Instagram

Back to the 2000’s

indie nails Back to the 2000

Credit: @nailsbyheathere on Instagram

Mix it all together

indie nails Mix It All Together

Credit: @hardasnails_studio on Instagram

Fired up pastel candy

indie nails Fired Up Pastel Candy

Credit: @hardasnails_studio on Instagram

Rainbow vibes

indie nails Rainbow Vibes

Credit: @hardasnails_studio on Instagram

What a mood

indie nails What a Mood

Credit: @nailsbyheathere on Instagram

Eye see you

indie nails Eye See You

Credit: @hardasnails_studio on Instagram

Smiles and frowns all ’round

indie nails Smiles and Frowns all ’round

Credit: @thehangedit on Instagram

Evil eyes

indie nails Evil Eyes

Credit: @thehangedit on Instagram

Put a smile on that face

indie nails Put A Smile On That Face

Credit: @nailsbyheathere on Instagram


indie nails Bright Eyed

Credit: @hardasnails_studio on Instagram