13 Cute Ways To Wear Blue Nail Polish

From baby blue to cobalt.

Expert-approved blue nail polish ideas to try for your next manicure.
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While classic neutrals, pinks, and red nail polishes will always be in style, there’s something about the color blue that looks so fun on the fingertips — and there’s no shortage of blue nail ideas that make it incredibly versatile for your manicures.

Nail pros predicted royal hues would be must-try mani shades in 2021, and the blue nail trend shows no sign of stopping for this fall or winter season. “In general, saturated colors are trending,” Brittney Boyce, a celebrity nail artist and founder of NAILS OF LA, tells Bustle. Blue is extra popular, she says, because it comes in a variety of undertones and finishes, so you can find a shade that looks good on everyone.

Whether you’re talking baby, navy, or cobalt, blue nails also go perfectly with the ’90s and 2000s aesthetics currently cycling through everyone’s closets. In fact, Michelle Saunders, a celebrity nail artist with Nailtopia, says blue first became a must-have manicure hue in the ’90s, she says, when brands like Hard Candy (remember them?) made it popular. Alicia Silverstone even famously rocked the brand’s baby blue polish — named Sky — back in the day. So while it may not be totally new in the manicure world, blue still feels cool.

Of course, you can still opt for darker hues if they’re more your speed in the cold weather seasons. “The bright sapphire blues are trending because they are more jewel-toned,” Boyce says. “This looks great when we do minimal nail art as it's so rich and gives that bold pop of color to make it super striking.” Basically: The blue nail color options are pretty endless.

Need some inspo? Here are 13 blue nail ideas to paint on yourself or ask for on your next trip to the salon.


Teal & Blue Dots

This teal and blue combo adds a nice touch of color to your hands, while also helping you to hang onto warm weather vibes just a little bit longer. “Teal looks tropical and gives the feel of a vacation that so many of us are still craving,” says Boyce.

A small dot design is also a good option if you want to ease into the bolder shade. “If you find that blue is too much or too saturated for the full nail, use it as a pop of color for nail art,” she says.


A Hint Of Blue

Boyce suggests looking for blue finishes that work well with your skin tone. Lighter skin tones pair well with cool undertones, like the cobalt you see in this manicure. “If you have more olive or warmer skin tones, look for a blue with a warm undertone,” she says, pointing to Blue Tango from Orly.


Blue French Manicure

You can also rock a more unexpected take on the French manicure by swiping on a blue hue across your tips. Rachel Apfel Glass, founder of the membership-based manicure studio GLOSSLAB, recommends going with a deeper shade, like Mystic Blue from Dazzle Dry, to really make the design really stand out.


Navy Blue + Geometric Accent

If you’re ever feeling bored with your nails, try turning to blue polish. “Navy, cobalt, and bold blues can provide a much-needed departure from your usual manicures,” Glass says. Consider adding a cute geometric print, like this one, for a statement nail.


Electric Blue

If you want something extra vibrant, go with an electric blue. Bonus points if you get extra long nails to show it off on. (OK, now try not to feel happy every time you look down at your hands.)


Neon Blue

Nothing will give you flashbacks to the ’90s and 2000s quite like a bright blue hue. Neons go perfectly with nostalgic manicure designs, after all. Fun fact: Celebrity nail artist Julie Kandalec tells Bustle she just painted a bright blue design on Joe Jonas’ tips recently, so allow that to inspire your next mani.


Blue Marble

This ridiculously pretty marble manicure is a funky way to wear a jewel-toned blue. It gives off regal vibes, proving blue doesn’t have to be super bright.


Matte Baby Blue + Foil

Blues like this robin’s egg shade have been making the rounds in bridal parties, Saunders says, adding she’s had a lot of requests from brides who want it to add “something blue” to their outfit, in the form of a manicure, pedicure, or nail art. Try it in a matte finish with foil touches for a uniquely chic mani.


Gray Blue

If you still aren’t so sure about blue, go for a subtle blue-gray instead. As Glass points out, certain shades really do give that perfect moody fall vibe. This one is begging to be worn with a big cozy sweater, perhaps whilst you sip a pumpkin spice latte.


Touch Of Blue

This is another fun, modern way to wear blue — without having to fully commit. According to Kandalec, a light blue manicure with negative space is a chic way to ease in.


Matte & Metallic

Nothing says, “It’s almost Halloween!” quite like a gothic, dark matte nail. Opt for a blue-black or rich navy for the look, and maybe add a metallic accent nail for good measure.


Baby Blue + Holographic

Blue goes decidedly well with holographic polish, as it picks up all the flecks of light. While pastel nails are often reserved for spring, light blue has the magic ability to work all year round, so don’t hold back if you want to wear it right now.

In fact, Boyce believes light blues are the trendiest of them all. “They give a bit more dimension and edge,” she says.


Cobalt Blue

Even though blue can serve playful, funky vibes, Kandelec says it is one of the most wearable and versatile colors. This deep cobalt is the perfect example of a manicure shade that will spruce up any outfit.