St. Patrick's Day nail art is a good idea for multiple reasons. For starters, it can add some flair to any "cheers" pictures you may consider posting from the holiday. (Priorities.) And if you forget to dress for the occasion, festive St. Patrick's Day nail designs might be enough to persuade someone not to pinch you for failing to wear green. Heck, they might even serve as a good luck charm.
Now that you're convinced, you can start sourcing some inspiration in anticipation of the holiday. You've got plenty of options, whether you're after a loud, icon-heavy design to complement your "Kiss Me I'm Irish" shirt or prefer a more subtle nod to the occasion. Keep scrolling for a selection of the best St. Patrick's Day nail ideas.
Marble with Chrome
Pink perfectly compliments the classic green and gold St. Patrick's Day color scheme. To achieve this look, New York-based celebrity nail artist Elle Gerstein painted the index and pinky fingers green, adding a silver shimmer and matte top coat to the pinky and a rainbow chrome coat to the pointer finger. For the middle fingers, she swirled together two purple shades before laquering on bronze transfer foil.
Green and Gold Marble
For a beautiful design you won't get tired of once St. Patrick's Day has passed, channel this mani from Gerstein. The nail artist marbleized two shades of green on the pointer and pinky fingers, adding gold flakes to the pinky, index, and ring fingers for a end result that's equal parts polished and festive.
Clear Tips with Gel Overlay
Partially-painted clear tips make for an unexpected St. Patrick's Day nail design. Here, Gerstein painted on a swatch of green gel polish then added gold metallic flakes. Gerstein used Mia Secrets Metallic Flakes (Buy It, $10, amazon.com), which you can scoop up online if you're interested in adding some shine to your at-home manicures, be it for the holiday or any other time of the year.
Gnome with Glitter
If you're after cute Saint Patrick's Day nails, look no further then this gnome-themed set from Jordan Andruss, a nail artist who's partnered with Cupcake Polish. Andruss used Cupcake Polish in Plumpy (Buy It, $13, cupcakepolish.com) for the glittery, grass-green pointer and pinky fingers and Uberchic Beauty St.Patrick's Day 05 Stamping Plate (Buy It, $8, uberchicbeauty.com) to create the gnomes.
Searching for a super shimmery paint job?You might want to copy this manicure from Andruss. She used Cupcake Polish in Leaf Me Alone (Buy It, $13, cupcakepolish.com) on the index and pinky fingers and Maniology M286 Stamping Plate (Buy It, $8, maniology.com) to add St. Patrick's Day designs to the middle and ring fingers.
When it comes to St. Patrick's Day nails, you don't have to take the obvious route with shamrocks or green shades. Feel free to reference rainbows that lead to pots of gold with a multicolored design like this one instead. To achieve this ROYGBIV manicure, Julie Kandalec, nail artist and founder of Julie K Nail Artelier, dipped a size 1 liner brush (Buy It, $12, dickblick.com) into the colors, forming three curved lines on each nail. To save yourself from cleaning your brush more than necessary, she recommends completing each red line, then each orange line, and so on.
Green and Gold Swirls
You can't go wrong with a swirly glitter-accented manicure, such as this abstract creation from Riyah Martin, nail artist and color mixologist at ORLY Color Labs. To try this St. Patrick's Day nail art at home, Martin suggests using a milky-nude as a base, ORLY Pine-ing For You (Buy It, $10, orlybeauty.com) and Plastic Jungle (Buy It, $10, orlybeauty.com) for the green shades, and a gold such as Smith & Cult Shattered Souls (Buy It, $18, smithandcult.com).
Speckles with Glitter
To create this more complicated design, Martin used multiple shades of green with glitter accent nails and painted on spots using an ORLY striper brush (Buy It, $10, orlybeauty.com). "You want a chunkier glitter for this look, like ORLY's Halo," she notes.
Stripes with Negative Space
For simple St. Patrick's Day nails, take a cue from this negative space mani from nail artist Samantha Gowe. Gowe painted on Essie Sugar Daddy (Buy It, $9, target.com) as a base before painting half of each nail with Butter London Jack The Lad (no longer available) and drawing thin stripes down the middle with Essie On The Roadie (Buy It, from $20, amazon.com). If you find painting a straight lines down the center of each nail to be an overwhelming task, don't fret: You can totally rock this St. Patrick's Day nail art without 'em.
Chrome and Shamrocks
If St. Patrick's Day is one of your favorite holidays, you can go all out with a design such as this creation from nail artist and LeChat ambassador Syreeta Aaron. Using gel polish, Aaron painted each nail black then layered chrome shades on top, blending the metallic colors together for seamless transitions. She then added black and white four leaf clovers using a stamping tool.
To accomplish this ombre nail art, Aaron painted stripes with LeChat Perfect Match in Mood Shamrock (Buy It, $18, lechatnails.com), Nene (Buy It, $18, lechatnails.com), and Neptune (Buy It, $18, lechatnails.com), blending them together along the way. She alternated the order of the colors with each finger.
If you know of a nail artist who's down to try intricate designs (or you can pull them off yourself!), you can achieve the likes of these St. Patrick's Day nails from Anais Flores, a nail artist who's partnered with LeChat. Flores used a fine detailing brush to hand-paint each finger.
St. Patrick's Day is the perfect occasion to get in on the jade nail art trend — just make sure you have a detail brush for the signature white swirls. Nail artist Rachel Messick used gel for this look, "but you can create a similar vibe with Cirque Colors Jade Jelly Polish, a touch of sheer white polish like Funny Bunny, and some soft gold foil flecks," she says.
Messick also came up with this dreamy take on green swirls. "I love the juxtaposition of the classic nude base and the groovy mix of white, green and navy swirls," she says. "To recreate this look at home grab your favorite polishes and a great liner brush — I love Double Moss Arte's Primero Brush set."
Clover Accent Nail
For these St. Patrick's Day nails, nail artist Taryn VanAlfen opted for an energizing bright green when painting most of the fingers, but really took the mani to the next level by painting a cluster of clovers as an accent nail. For a similar effect, you could add shamrock nail stickers (Buy It, $13, amazon.com) to each ring finger.
If you aren't married to the classic shade of green on the flag of Ireland, you can combine dark winter green with mint, as nail artist Nicole Rios Soto did here. And with more muted hues and the abstract design, you sure won't tired of this gorgeous mani for days (if not weeks) after March 17.
Mismatched Green Shades
Rios Soto opted for a similar palate when creating this mismatched design that alternates between full coverage and French tips. Rotate a gold polish in if you want to add some shine.
Rios Soto is also behind this marbleized design, which was inspired by the Chicago River which gets dyed green ever year on St. Patrick's Day, she says. Nail artists often create marbleized designs using a detail brush, but water marbling (adding polish to water and dipping your fingers in) offers a more beginner-friendly method.
The arrival of Saint Patrick's Day means that spring is on the horizon. Take a cue from Rios Soto's client and copy their plant-inspired manicure to celebrate the impending change in season (hello, warm weather!) while still nodding to St. Patrick's Day with green. (See also: Easy Spring Nail Designs for Celebrating Warmer Weather)
Green with Gold Flakes
Simple green nails scream "St. Patrick's Day" without running the risk of potentially looking a bit, well, cheesey. Rios Soto went with an almond shape and gold flakes to keep them from feeling too boring. (Related: How to File Your Nails Like a Pro)