These Butterfly Nail Art Designs Will Transform Your Summer

This Y2K trend is here to stay.


Mariah Carey’s sequin butterfly crop top introduced the butterfly trend to Y2K fashion. Soon, butterflies dominated the 2000s, appearing on plastic hair clips, belts, tattoos and patched or printed onto t-shirts. When the trend reemerged in 2020, celebrities from Dua Lipa to Olivia Rodrigo incorporated butterflies into red-carpet fashion. Now, as the summer begins in the northern hemisphere, the latest installment of the trend is butterfly nail imagery. In pastel and neon colors, cartoonish and realistic designs, butterfly nails can fit endless aesthetics. 

For a subtle way to add fun and color to any outfit, try these butterfly nail designs

Butterflies and Clouds 

Nail artist Anh, creator of Nails9 Powder Design (@nailsniceofficial), recently posted a butterfly-inspired look on Instagram. The soft blue to pink gradient paired with clouds evokes the cottage core aesthetic. These nails offer a more subtle interpretation of the butterfly trend and could complement a pastel outfit nicely. 

Full Glitter

Chanel nail artist Betina R. Goldstein has worked with countless stars over the years, from Zoë Kravitz, to Shawn Mendes to Emma Chamberlain. And Goldstein too has explored the butterfly nail art trend. Painted entirely from silver glitter polish, she sketched ascending butterflies in the nail bed corners. This look mirrors the immoderate sparkle the Y2K era embraced. 

Neutral Colors  

I love a twist on a french mani, so of all the designs on this list, I might be drawn to this @artofkia look most. The butterflies’ golden thoraxes provide just enough summer shimmer, and the pairing of dark brown tips with light brown butterflies creates a cohesive, subtle design. 


A post shared by Nails By Kia (@artofkia)

Detailed and Realistic 

Nail artist Iman Gabrielle (@imangabrielle) demonstrated the butterfly trend’s intricacy with this design. Above clear polish, the butterflies float through pink petals and flutter in different angles across each nail. 

Monochromatic Butterfly Nails 

There’s nothing like a classic monochromatic nail design. To channel Olivia Rodrigo’s latest Met Gala look, pair purple nails with purple butterflies. Or, follow the monarchs with neon orange nails. 

Whichever design you choose, you can’t go wrong with this trend! 


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