8 Prom Nail Ideas That Will Impress

8 Prom Nail Ideas That Will Impress

No prom look is complete without the perfect manicure. Whether your client is going for red carpet elegance, Hollywood glamorous, quirky and bold, or fairytale princess, their manicure is the cherry on top. Turn your client’s nails into their prom look’s ultimate accessory with these unique, show-stopping, attention-grabbing nail ideas. 

Getting the Look

When a client comes in looking for a manicure specific for an event, talk to them about what they plan on wearing for the special evening. Talking to them about their plans will help you determine what kind of vibe they are going for. It’s your job as their “nail stylist” to be able to lead them and advise on what kind of nail look will complement their style the best! 

To help nail the look, you’ll have to be in the know on the colors your client is working with. Request they come into their nail appointment with a well-lit photograph of the colors they will be wearing, or you could even have them bring their outfit in with them for a true color comparison. 

Red Carpet Elegance

These nail designs will bring all the elegant charm for the client who is ready for their walk down the red carpet. 

1. Coffin-Shape With Crystals

The coffin shape nail is red-carpet approved and ideal for a big night. For this shape, long length is an absolute must to get the most out of the look. File the nails similar to the way you would the almond shape, by slimming the nail as it extends from the fingertip. Instead of rounding off the corners, file it straight across. This shape is also known as the ballerina shape because it looks like a ballerina’s pointe shoe. 

Subtle yet stand-out embellishments are a great move for those with a show-stopping prom outfit. Choose a large embellishment like a diamond-shaped crystal or vertically stacked gemstones for a perfect touch of elegance and class. This nail style makes a minimal statement that has maximum impact.

2. Square-Shaped Silver Surprise

If your nail client doesn’t want to deviate too much from their normal look because they will be rocking this set for a couple of weeks, offer a classic option with a little surprise accent. File their acrylic nails into a square shape and paint a classic pink and white french manicure. 

To make this set a little more exciting for the special occasion dab on some glitter of their choice to the white tip. 

Fairytale Princess

For the client who’s looking for a Fairy Godmother of nails, offer them the following options that are fit for a princess. 

3. Almond-Shaped Ombre Glitter

For a soft look with a sprinkle of glam, shape your client’s nails into an almond shape by rounding off the edges, reminiscent of the shape of an almond. This look can be accomplished with nails of any length. 

To achieve the ombre glitter design, have your client decide on a color — chances are it will be a color that matches their prom outfit. Decide on both a cream color and glitter in matching hues. 

Paint on the base cream color first then add the sparkly glitter to the top half or tip of the nail. The best part about this design is that sparkly polish makes lines less noticeable, so don’t worry too much about making the lines perfectly straight. Sometimes rogue sparkles give the look an extra edge, anyway! 

4. Tonal Ombre

The tonal ombre looks great on your short nail clients and is super fun to do. Choose a color that pairs well with their prom outfit, and color match four other colors in a similar shade that each gets a little darker or a little lighter. 

Paint every fingernail on each hand in the five different colors, alternating in a way that each color compliments the one before it. 

Hollywood Glamorous

For your client to feel like they just stepped off the cover of a magazine, cue the paparazzi for these showstopping looks. 

5. Stiletto-Shaped Gold Glitter

To nail this look, shape your client’s acrylic nails into long stilettos. The stiletto nail shape extends far off the fingertip into the shape of a sharp point, resembling a stiletto high heel. For the sparkly polish and to create a full-on glitter look, you’ll need to start with a base color to add complexity. Add two coats of gold nail polish to create a solid color beneath the glitter, helping the glitter appear denser. 

After the base coat is applied and before curing, shake the loose gold glitter onto the tacky nail. Tap the sides of the nail to shake off any on the skin and then cure for 60 seconds. Use a fluffy brush to knock off any glitter remaining on the fingertip that’s not adhered to the gel polish. Add your topcoat and cure again for 60 seconds. 

6. Almond-Shaped Metallic

For a look that’s different, edgy, and all the rage, go for metallic. Shape your client’s acrylic nails into the almond shape, long or short, and agree on a metallic that will compliment their outfit. You can find metallic polish colors that have different undertones like gold with silver tones, silver with pink tones, and more. They reflect beautifully in the sunlight for pictures and look awesome underneath the lights on the dance floor. 

Quirky and Bold

If your client’s prom vision is to stand out and do something different from the rest of the crowd, offer them these designs to kick their quirky and bold look up a few notches. 

7. Mountain Peak-Shaped Abstract Swirls

Mountain peak-shaped nails are an untraditional look that is quirky and bold all on its own. To get this shape, file the nails into a short point. While it’s similar to stiletto, it’s much shorter and the nail leading up to the point will appear wider than the lengthy, sharp stiletto. It should resemble a mountain peak, as you may have guessed. 

This is an edgy, yet functional nail look that can be taken to the next level with an abstract swirl polish design. To achieve this look, have your client choose three colors that she likes. Now, the fun part: using your creative eye, paint swirls in different patterns on each nail. You should use each of the three colors on each nail in an abstract design that is cohesive. 

8. Almond-Shaped Splashes of Color

Almond-shaped nails are a chic look that works with any style, especially the client who wants their nails to be just as much of an accessory as their shoes and earrings. To splash on some color, your client can pick up to five colors and you can go to work painting on different shapes. Circles, triangles, long rectangles, large dots, and random stripes or lines all go well for this abstract look. 

Polish Colors To Compliment the Fit

Not all of your client’s coming in for a prom nail set will want the same color as their dress. This is your time to shine, nail techs! The shade you paint on your client’s fingernails can do a lot for their prom fit. The right color can add complexity to the look and complement the other colors extraordinarily. Here are some great polish colors to choose from that will look stand-out stunning with each dress color. 

White Dress

White dresses tend to be simple and understated. To keep in line with this aesthetic, suggest these colors: 

  • Light pink 
  • Coral 
  • Aqua 

Black Dress

For those rockin’ a black outfit to prom, suggest a bold color. The following colors will add some spice and excitement to any classic black outfit. 

  • Neon pink, purple, or orange
  • Bold yellow
  • Bright blue 

Red Dress

Red is a bold move. When it comes to this nail look, we can maximize even further on that snazzy color by painting the nails the same color red, a few shades deeper, or a few shades brighter. 

  • Bright red
  • Deep red
  • Pink 
  • White

Jewel-Toned Dress

Jewel-toned dresses are gowns that are the color of sapphire, ruby, emerald. They are highly saturated colors that are quite eye-catching and dynamic. 

  • Deep red
  • Metallic purple
  • Metallic gold or silver
  • Black 

In Conclusion

When it comes to painting your client’s nails for their prom night, it’s an extra special responsibility. Don’t forget to turn to V Beauty Pure for tips, tricks, and all the tools you need to help turn your nail client into the belle of the ball. 


  1. 29 Prom Nails: How to Match Your Nail Polish to Your Dress Perfectly | Teen Vogue
  2. The 22 Best Abstract Nail Designs to Try | BYRDIE
  3. 31 Classy Nail Designs For Special Occasions | BYRDIE