Life Style

31 Elevated Nail Designs For Special Occasions

gold plated manicure

So often, people assume that nail art must be inherently bold. On the contrary, we’re here to shed a little light on elevated nail designs that are subtle enough for conservative work environments and sophisticated enough for black-tie affairs. The color palettes are largely more neutral and the designs more simple, but let us be clear: These nail art ideas are anything but boring.

Keep reading to discover dozens of subtle-yet-elevated nail art ideas. Be sure to screenshot the ones you want to recreate so that you have an inspiration image on hand for your manicurist (or yourself).

01of 31

Pale Pink Marble

Classy Nail Designs Pink Marble

You can embrace one of the season’s prettiest nail trends while still embracing an office-friendly nail look. Case in point: These pretty pale pink marble nails. Here’s hoping they’ll give you the power of rose quartz while you wear them.

02of 31

Peachy Nude

Classy Nail Designs Nude

An elevated nail look can be as simple as picking a gorgeous subtle hue. Take one look at these peachy nails, and you’ll know what we mean.

03of 31

Stacked Jewels

Classy Nail Designs Stacked Jewels

Gemstones go a long way when it comes to creating elegant nail looks. This one would be perfect for a bride (or anyone who loves a little bling).

04of 31

Abstract Champagne

Classy Nail Designs Abstract Champagne

This manicure might be abstract, but thanks to the subtle, glimmering nail shade, it offers a sophisticated, artsy vibe. Best of all, since it’s abstract, it’s easy to recreate. Dip a toothpick or dotting tool into rose gold nail polish and twirl it along each nail. Finish with topcoat.

05of 31

Traced in White

Classy Nail Designs White Border

Achieving an elevated nail look doesn’t require covering all of your nails in full coats of color. Here, you can see how stunning white outlines and well-placed gems and dots can enhance your look in a minimalist way.

06of 31

Short Acrylics

Classy Nail Designs Short Acrylics

Milky pink ombré nails? Talk about the most gorgeous subtle acrylics.

07of 31

Glitter Ombré

Classy Nail Designs Glitter Ombre

Pale purple glitter ombré? Yes, please!

08of 31

Rounded French Tips

Classy Nail Designs Rounded French Tips

Point blank: You can never go wrong with a classic French manicure.

09of 31

Gold Glitter Chevron

Classy Nail Designs Gold Glitter Chevron

Gold glitter chevron over dark berry creates an eye-catching contrast that’s sophisticated and fun.

10of 31

Moody French Mani

Classy Nail Designs Moody French

If you love a French mani’s look but want to get creative with the colors, opting for a fall-and-winter-friendly palette maintains an elevated vibe.

11of 31

Black French Tips

Classy Nail Designs Black French

Another option is to transform the classic French manicure into a black-tipped beauty. It’s a particularly fabulous option for black-tie affairs.

12of 31

Sparkly Mauve

Classy Nail Designs Sparkly Mauve

Glittery pink nails can look sophisticated, too. Just opt for a mauve hue and trace the bottom with a solid metallic silver to balance the whimsical hue.

13of 31

Subtle Acrylics

Classy Nail Designs Subtle Acrylics

Acrylic nails don’t have to be incredibly long. These square-tipped nails prove it. They also show just how alluring an asymmetric take on French tips can look.

14of 31

Milky Brown Diagonal Tips

Classy Nail Designs Milky Brown Tips

Minimalist brown-dipped tips? Absolutely. (P.S. Nail striping tape will make recreating this nail look a cinch.)

15of 31

Khaki and Gold

Classy Nail Designs Khaki and Gold

Khaki and gold can make for quite the pairing. Plus, negative space gives the manicure a clean grow-out.

16of 31

Nude Hearts

Classy Nail Designs Nude Hearts

Even seasonal nails can look sophisticated with the right design elements. Just look at these heart nails. With nude backgrounds and ultra-fine white lining, they look positively demure.

17of 31

Geometric Negative Space

Classy Nail Designs Geometric Negative Space

Looking for a sophisticated manicure worthy of a black-tie affair? Look no further than these geometric stunners.

18of 31

Gold Foil Speckles

Classy Nail Designs Gold Foil Speckles

Diagonal mauve tips with gold flakes throughout? It’s one abstract design that looks subtle and undoubtedly elevated.

19of 31

Velvet Nails

Classy Nail Designs Velvet

Velvet nails are a great option for elevated nails, as the polish alone creates an sophisticated end look.

20of 31

Mauve Diagonals

Classy Nail Designs Mauve Diagonals

Of course, if you prefer to keep it as simple as possible, opting to keep gold flakes out of the picture makes for a pretty manicure, too.

21of 31

Cloud-Like Tips

Classy Nail Designs Cloud Tips

Whether you see hearts or clouds, these playful gold and white nails offer a fun yet sophisticated vibe.

22of 31

Berry Fade

Classy Nail Designs Berry Fade

Want to get in on the rainbow nail trend without actually wearing a bold rainbow? This pink-to-berry ombré grasps the trend while looking office-friendly.

23of 31

Minimalist Art Deco

Classy Nail Designs Minimalist Art Deco

Prefer to make more of a statement with your nails? These subtle art deco nails will make you swoon.

24of 31

Neutral Acrylics

Acrylic nails are often automatically viewed as bold. However, if you opt for a neutral polish color, you can embrace the idea of subtle acrylics.

25of 31

Tortoiseshell Tips

Classy Nail Designs Tortoiseshell Tips

Tortoiseshell tips are the perfect option for the person who wants to get in on the latest nail trends without rocking a fully bold manicure.

26of 31

Chocolate Drip

Classy Nail Designs Chocolate Drip

This water-marbled brown ombre manicure is giving us major milk chocolate-caramel vibes. It’s a sweet look.

27of 31

Lilac Stunners

Classy Nail Designs Lilac

Carefully placed gold foil can go a long way. One look at these proves that they’re magically elegant.

28of 31

Glitter Halfsies

Classy Nail Designs Half Glitter

Opting for only half a nail’s worth of glitter makes for a fun-yet-elegant nail look. And good news: It’s easy to recreate. Start with a base coat, then apply a strip of nail tape down the middle of each nail, and paint glitter polish on the side of the tape. Remove the tape once fully dry and finish with a topcoat.

29of 31

Nude Fade

Classy Nail Designs Nude Fade

This is probably the subtlest rainbow mani we’ve ever seen. We love the mix of neutral tones.

30of 31

Tiny Evil Eyes

Classy Nail Designs Evil Eyes

Teeny evil eyes make for almost undetectable nail art. In other words, très elevated.

31of 31

Nude Abstract

Classy Nail Designs Nude Abstract

Nude and white always pair beautifully for a simple (but stunning) look. This one, in particular, is easy to DIY. All you need is a nude base with white squiggles and dots on top.

Related posts

The Best Glitter Cut Crease Eyeshadow Looks to Make Your Eyes Pop


Nail Wraps Are the Mani Shortcut You Didn’t Know You Needed—Here’s How to Apply Them


These ’70s Men’s Hairstyles Have Made a Comeback


Meet 6 of the Best Female Groomers in Hollywood


35 of Lady Gaga’s Most Iconic Hair Moments Over the Years


The 15 Best Nursing Bras of 2023 That Are Both Comfortable and Functional


Leave a Comment