53 Unique Emoji Nail Ideas to Revive a Boring Manicure

Emoji nail designs come in a wide variety of options. You have the classic look, which features smiley faces painted on top of a solid color. Yet there are so many more choices! You can choose whatever expression fits your mood. Maybe today you’re feeling the winking emoji and tomorrow the heart eyes. Or maybe you don’t want to use a smiley face at all. Unicorns, rainbows, and even the ever-popular poo emoji have all been used for emoji nail art before. If none of those strikes your fancy, create your own emoji design! Use nail art pens to draw in whatever shapes and expressions you want.

While blue or purple is a great color for an emoji manicure due to its high contrast with yellow, you can use anything from glitter polish to matte white. A translucent yellow polish or acrylic nails can work with the yellow of your smiley faces without obscuring them. Start with a color that seems the most fun to you, and then pick your images based on that color scheme. Mix and match two or three colors, or try a different color for every finger! This look is so versatile and allows you to experiment to make it your own.

Make your emoji nails last for weeks to come by following proper prep and care instructions. For an at-home manicure, start with clean, trimmed nails and push back your cuticles with a rosewood cuticle stick. Prime the nail with a clear base coat and let it dry fully before starting on your manicure. Let each layer dry completely before adding the next one. We know it’s tempting to rush — but don’t! You’ll end up with uneven or even bumpy polish.

Once your base color is complete, add your design or nail decals. Use a hair dryer on a low setting to make the stickers more pliable and to smooth out any bubbles. Now you can add a glitter coat if desired. Finally, finish off with a layer of clear top coat to seal it all in. It’s tempting to skip the top coat, but it’s crucial for a long-lasting manicure. Plus it gives you an extra layer of shine that will look super professional in the Instagram snaps of your new nails!

Now that you know how to prep and care for your manicure, it’s time to get to the emoji nail ideas! The following fifty ideas are all super pretty and cover a wide range of styles. You’re sure to find one you love!