15 Butterfly Nail Art Designs That Feel Wonderfully Y2K

Give your mani a metamorphosis.

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From party girl makeup to low-rise jeans and braided tendrils, Y2K style is currently dominating fashion and beauty — and nail art. As Brittney Boyce, celebrity manicurist and founder of press-on brand Nails of LA, previously told Bustle, the things that defined the late ’90s and early 2000s are regularly showing up in nail art designs. One such example: butterfly nail art designs are popping up on manis everywhere.

It totally makes sense. Alongside designer logos, gothic hearts and camo print, the era was all about the butterfly. The cute creatures were everywhere: t-shirts, notebooks, lockers, you name it. Celebrity nail artist Britney Tokyo notes that butterfly nail art interpretations can be as varied as the winged insects themselves.

You might spot manicures donned with sticker-like decals, bedazzled charms, whimsical drawings, or something else — all nod to the ultra nostalgic Y2K wave, but are made modern by on-trend almond- and coffin-shaped nails, or modern takes on the classic French manicure. The vibe could be soft and subtle, or extra in all the best ways.

Ahead, take a trip down memory lane, and discover 15 pretty butterfly nail art designs that are sure to inspire a passionate convo with your manicurist.


Speckled Matte

For a contemporary take on butterfly nail art, consider a mani like this almond-shaped set that features a speckled egg-like base, French tips, and a artsy black-and-white butterfly.


Glittery French

Get inspired to go heavy on the sparkle by this glitter-French mashup that features iridescent butterfly decals.


French With Charms

Bejeweled charms ruled the early 2000s, and this French manicure perfectly captures that Y2K vibe with its ornate rhinestone butterflies.


Jelly Nails

The jelly sandals that ruled the ’90s and early 2000s are making a revival ... and jelly nails are the perfect complement. Take inspiration from this dramatic black set and its translucent butterflies.


Simple Decals

Keep things subtle like with this simple mani, painted lavender and stamped with single butterfly decals.


Graphic Lines

This almond-shaped with inky black butterflies are the perfect marriage of bold and elegant.


Butterfly Glitter

These stiletto nails feature the winged insects by way of pink butterfly-shaped glitter. The soft pink polish makes it the perfect summer look.


Wing Details

Zoom in and capture just the details like the ones on this purple manicure, and be sure to complete it with adorable polka dots.


Pastels With Charms

Consider a rainbow of pastel tips that are perfect for summertime — and don’t forget the sparkle. This set’s silver butterfly charms have plenty.


Multicolored Neon

Let this coffin-shaped set inspire you to lean into the Y2K-era extra-ness with bright neon swirls and dreamy butterflies.


Rainbow Butterfly

Add extra interest to an otherwise simple milky white manicure by donning a few rainbow-colored accents.


French Butterfly Tips

For a quirky take on a classic French manicure, consider letting the top half of little butterflies serve as the tips.


Gold Flecks

A mani like this one is all elegance with its super soft pink color, flecks of gold, and barely-there butterflies.


Artsy & Abstract

Consider something like these tropical punch-colored nails and their wispy butterflies for an island vacay.


Pop Star Pink & Blue

Even Dua Lipa loves the trend. The singer’s nail artist Chaun Legend decked out her digits with glittery tips and multicolored butterflies for the 2021 Grammy Awards.

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