25 Latest Smiley Face Nail Designs To Try In 2023!

by Zoe Scott
Smiley Face Nails

Hey there, today, we’re diving into the whimsical world of Smiley Face Nails – a trend that’s been popping up everywhere, from your next-door neighbor to the latest high-profile Instagram feeds. This isn’t just your average nail design; it’s a cheerful statement in a world that could always use a bit more grinning.

You’ll learn the essentials – from the basic dot-and-curve technique that even a beginner can master to some clever twists for those ready to level up their nail art game. Whether you keep a steady hand with a nail art brush or just starting to explore the fun side of manicures, this post has something for you. Plus, I’ll be sharing my personal tips for making those little faces last longer and express just the vibe you’re aiming for. So grab your favorite polish, and let’s get those nails smiling back!

Good Vibes Only: One Love Smiley Nails

One Love Smileys
@nailing_painting via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Pink glitter coffin nails are the epitome of playful glam, sparkling with every flick of the hand, and when adorned with smiley faces, they bring a cheeky twist to the mix, guaranteeing to turn heads and uplift moods with their whimsical charm. The contrast of the edgy coffin shape with the youthful pop of smileys creates a nail statement that’s both trendy and touchingly nostalgic.

Sunshine On Tap: Bright Yellow Smiley Nails

Bright Yellow Smiley Nails
@manime.co via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Bright Yellow Smiley Nails are the OGs of the smiley nail world. Every swipe of that sunny polish is like a dose of Vitamin D, and you can’t help but feel a little brighter inside.

Express Yourself: Colorful Emoji Nails

Colorful Emoji Nails
@flynnskye via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Clear almond nails offer a sleek and modern canvas for nail art, and when you pop a smiley face on them, you get a delightfully unexpected twist that’s both sophisticated and playful. The smiley faces bring a dash of whimsy to the minimalist aesthetic of the almond shape, creating a look that’s as fun as it is chic.

Chic Contrasts: Two-Tone Smile Mani

Two-Tone Smile Mani
@naildbymika via Instagram – click to buy this polish

And for my fashion-forward friends, imagine classic yellow smileys paired with matte black nails. This look is sophisticated with a wink, literally. It’s a manicure that dresses up or down and always leaves an impression.

The New Sophisticate: Matte Smiley Nails

Matte Smiley Nails
@teresa.beauty.nails via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Patel Smiley Nails are the understated cool kids on the block. They might require a steadier hand or a visit to your favorite nail tech, but the result? Utterly chic.

Short And Sweet: Short Smiley Nails

Short Smiley Nails
@manime.co via Instagram – click to buy this polish

This trend doesn’t discriminate based on nail length. Short nails can flaunt cute smileys just as fabulously as their longer counterparts. It’s all about the art, not the canvas size.

Trend Fusion: Mismatch Emoji Nails

Mismatch Emoji Nails
@polishedpinkiespro via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Now, about tackling two trends with one fabulous mani—enter the mismatch emoji nails. This isn’t your garden-variety nail design; it’s a conversation starter. Party Rainbow Smileys

Tie Dye Smiley Face Nails

Tie-Dye Smileys
@jessiepnails via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Are you feeling more adventurous? How about a throwback with tie-dye smileys on one hand and rasta vibes on the other? It’s a celebration of color that says, “I’m laid back” and “I love fun” in equal measure.

Color Me Happy: Multicolored Smileys

Multicolored Smileys
@sassnailartistry via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Need help deciding on a color? Why not go for all of them? It’s a candy jar of shades that’ll make your nails the center of attention at any get-together.

Mood Nails: Classic Yellow Smileys

Classic Yellow Smileys
@beautybyjd_ via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Classic yellow smileys on nails are like sunshine at your fingertips, a timeless nod to the happy-go-lucky spirit that instantly brightens your mood and your look. They’re a cheerful homage to the original emoticon, adding a punch of retro fun to any outfit, and a guaranteed conversation starter!

Electrifying Enthusiasm: Electric Smiles

@its_rubytime via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Let’s kick things off with a little electric shock of joy – Electric Smiles on coffin nails are super cool!

Glow On: Neon Smiley Nails

Neon Smiley Nails
@saviland_official via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Neon Smiley Nails, my friends, is where simplicity meets pizzazz. With a pop of neon yellow and a little DIY action with a toothpick (yes, that’s my secret weapon for the perfect dot), these nails bring the fun of summer nights to your hands.

Taste The Rainbow: Bright Smile Nails

Bright Smile Nails
@springwithfriends via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Candy lovers, unite! A Skittles manicure smothered in smiles? Sign me up. Every time I sport this look, I swear I get an extra sprinkle of joy with my day. Plus, who doesn’t love a rainbow at their fingertips?

Smiley Face Melting On Pink Coffin Nails

@jo.design_nailart via instagram – click to buy this polish

Smiley face melting designs on pink coffin nails infuse a splash of edgy whimsy into your manicure, marrying the sweet softness of pink with a bold, surrealist twist. This playful, artsy take on nail art brings an unexpected and eye-catching vibe, perfect for those who love to make a statement with their nails.

Smiley Faces On Long Acrylic Nails

@nailsbybiancab via instagram – click to buy this polish

Adorning long acrylic nails with smiley faces transforms your fingertips into a canvas of joy, elevating the classic length with a touch of lighthearted charm. It’s a playful style statement that combines the boldness of length with the simplicity of happiness, perfect for those who love their nails to spark conversations and smiles.

Amazing Rave Nails On Long Acrylics

@dallasalexiaxo via instagram – click to buy this polish

Long acrylic nails turned rave-worthy are a fantastic expression of personal style, pulsating with the energy and vibrancy of the dance floor. Adorned with neon colors, glitter, and bold designs, they’re not just nails – they’re wearable art for the bold and the spirited, ready to glow under the blacklights of any amazing rave.

Smiley Face Nails On Hot Pink Almond Nails

@stylebyreags via instagram – click to buy this polish

Smiley face nails on a hot pink almond base blend the sassiness of vibrant color with the playful charm of emoticons, making for a manicure that’s both eye-catchingly bold and delightfully cheerful. This design is a perfect pick-me-up, turning each nail into a statement of joy and fashion-forward flair.

@springwithfriends via instagram – click to buy this polish

Classic Rave Nails On Short Coffin Nails

image @jo.design_nailart via instagram – click to buy this polish

Classic rave nails on short coffin nails are the perfect mix of edgy and manageable, letting you enjoy the electric atmosphere of a rave with a practical nail length. They bring the party to your fingertips with bold neons and flashy designs, encapsulating the rave spirit in a compact, dance-ready form.

Soft Whispers: Muted Smile Nails

Muted Smile Nails
@samrosenails via Instagram – click to buy this polish

For those who prefer a whisper over a shout, Muted Smile Nails are your go-to.

One In A Rainbow: Creative Rainbow Smile Nails

Creative Rainbow Smile Nails
@colormefancynails via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Obsession doesn’t even cover how I feel about Creative Rainbow Smile Nails. Choosing one nail as the star of the show? Genius.

Emotional Spectrum: Happy/Sad Nails

Happy/Sad Nails
@la_luna_nailstudio via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Life’s not all sunshine, and Happy/Sad Nails get that. I’ve found solace in painting a little duality on my nails; it feels authentic and therapeutic. A toothpick, your favorite colors, and you’ve got a look that speaks to life’s ups and downs.

Picnic Perfect: Colorful Print Nails

Colorful Print Nails
@bellacurebeautylounge via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Now, who doesn’t love an excellent sunny-day picnic? Colorful Print Nails are like that, but better because no ants are invited.

Jelly Smileys: See-Through Happiness

Jelly Smileys
@mydumbnails via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Have you ever tried jelly nails? Picture those, but with a playful. They’re like little windows to joy.

Shimmer And Shine: Ombré Rainbow Smileys

Ombré Rainbow Smileys
@_nailsbykey_ via Instagram – click to buy this polish

For a bold twist, try ombré nails with just a hint of shimmer in those smiles. It’s a big take on the smiley that’s like a whisper of joy on your fingertips.

The Full Spectrum: Mix-And-Match Emoji Nails

Mix-And-Match Emoji Nails
@nylove_nail via Instagram – click to buy this polish

Why settle for one design when your nails can be a gallery of tiny art? Throw in a smiley flower for a touch of fun.

The Dot-And-Curve Technique To Master To Get These Nails

The dot-and-curve technique is a simple yet effective method for painting smiley faces on nails, and it’s perfect for both novices and seasoned nail artists alike. Here’s how it works:

  1. Dotting for Eyes: After you’ve laid down your base color and it’s scorched, you’ll use a dotting tool—or the rounded end of a toothpick or bobby pin if you’re improvising—to create two small dots for the eyes. It’s essential to have a steady hand and gentle dot to create uniform and symmetrical dots.
  2. Curving for Smiles: Next comes the smile. You’ll use a fine brush or the pointed end of the toothpick to paint a curved line beneath the dots to represent the smile. The key is to keep the curve steady and even, making sure it aligns well with the dots above.

For best results, you’ll want to dip your tool lightly into the polish to get just enough for a clean dot or curve without causing it to blob or smudge. If you’re using a brush for the curve, a smooth, fluid motion will help create a crisp line. This technique allows for much creative expression; you can adjust the curve’s angle to create different expressions on your smiley faces. Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t worry if your first few tries turn out differently than you envisioned. With each attempt, you’ll refine your skills, and soon, you’ll be creating perfect little smiles on your nails with ease!

Why A Toothpick Should Be Your Secret Weapon

The toothpick’s secret weapon for creating neon smiley nails is all about precision. Here’s why it’s such a game-changer:

  1. Dotting Eyes: When painting something as tiny as eyes on a smiley face, you need a tool that gives you control. The pointed end of a toothpick is perfect for this. Dipped lightly in black polish, it can create the perfect dot without the risk of the polish spreading or blobbing, which can happen with more extensive dotting tools or brushes.
  2. Drawing Smiles: The same toothpick, when used at a slight angle, can help draw the tiny, precise curve of the smile. Its fine point gives you the control necessary to create a smooth, even line.
  3. Color Application: If you’re adding any additional details to your neon smileys, such as colorful accents or tiny hearts, a toothpick helps to place just the right amount of polish exactly where you need it.

In summary, the toothpick is your DIY nail art friend because it’s cheap, easily accessible, and perfect for detailed work like smiley faces, especially when working with bold, bright neon colors where mistakes can be pretty noticeable. Plus, using a toothpick can feel less intimidating than professional nail tools, making it a great entry point for beginners trying nail art at home.


That’s a wrap on our smiley nail saga! Whether you’ve fallen for the neon buzz of Electric Smiles or keeping it cool with the Matte Smiley elegance, there’s a smiley for every soul out there. Remember, a dotting tool—or your trusty toothpick—is your best friend for those cute details. And for those intricate designs, don’t shy away from asking a pro to lend a hand; it’s all about that picture-perfect finish! My top tip? Permanently seal your artwork with an excellent top coat; the secret is keeping those smiley faces beaming daily. Dive into this trend, mix it up, and let your nails reflect the happy, quirky, and wonderfully complex person you are. Here’s to nails that make you—and everyone around you—smile slightly brighter. Keep shining, keep smiling, and let those tips do the talking!

Feature Image Photo By deco.beauty on Instagram

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