Accent nail makes all the difference

Accent nail makes the difference

Hi there! Do you want to “spice up” your manicure? Don’t worry – no actual spice is needed. I’m talking about the accent nail.

If you wondering what exactly I’m talking about, I guess you’re new to this. That’s cool. Accent nail is one nail that stands out of your manicure or pattern on your nails which attracts attention.

The idea of accent nails is old news, I know! But it’s also still in use, even if you don’t realize it. And it will stay a great trick for both: new nail polish addicts AND experienced nail artists (most of us are more likely to be somewhere in the middle, so we qualify for this list!)

Anyway, back to the topic. I want to show you how you can use a simple (or very complicated, depending on your style and skill) accent nail in your daily mani to make it look very-very-very special and attract some “Wow!” comments. Let’s go from simple to complicated, shall we? So scroll down if you are a PRO.

Ahh, the glitter accent nail

The simplest way to go is to choose a glitter polish that goes well with your main color. The only choice to make is choose which nail will be your accent one (generally middle or ring finger).

Gold manicure with gold glitter accent nail

Make a compliment to your accent nail

More interesting and creative way of using this super simple trick is to find a complimentary color OR a glitter mix. Give me a second to explain. Some colors can just go really well together (like red and white) and you can use them to make striking accent nails. And I really mean Striking! You can basically mix & match any colors, but be aware – at some point it can start looking as “kids got their hands on paint”.

But if your accent nail mimics your main color, then your mani will look more natural and subtle. For example, take a second color that has main color’s glitter in it, like Starry Night have gold micro glitter => will go well with gold! Just look at it:

Gold manicure with Starry Night accent nail

Paint all over that nail

Same as with glitter you can paint something special on your accent nail. It can be a pattern, a face, practically anything. And other nails will just compliment your painting with a matching color. Here is a great example of this by @ultranail.

ultranail nail art

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

A great trick is reversing the colors on your accent nail. Say you have a white base with black crossed lines on all of your nails. Then make black accent nail with white crossed lines. Easy, right? And with this you know that colors will match!

Look at this example from @simplynailogical:

simplynailogical nail art

Just a little bit here, and full package there

Another cool trick is to draw your accent nail in full (for example, in my recent nail art I’ve drawn 1 nail full of leaves) and lightly repeat the pattern on other nails (again coming back to my nail art, I’ve drawn a couple of leaves of the same color on other nails). So your accent nail will be full-nail-art and others will compliment it.


Daria's nail art Autumn leaves

Double that accent

The concept of an accent nail is to have only one. But, hey, it’s nail art, not labor law! So you can do whatever and still follow the “rules”.

I personally really like to have middle and ring fingers as accents with a different design or colors to compliment my mani.

A simple example is here using exactly the same colors but a different pattern:

Delicate lace nail art by Daria


One or two accent nails can be the best choice for an elegant mani as some patterns will make your nails look cluttered. Believe me: overdoing it is not an answer! LOL

Whenever you want to do something special on your mani but somewhat out of ideas, just get that accent nail right 😉

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