47 Smiley Face Nails For A Trendy Manicure

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In many design motifs, smiley faces and similar emoji-style icons have created unique and fun designs. It’s a symbol of happiness and cheerfulness that many of us can use in our lives. 

Given the way the world is, any form of positivity is welcome, and one way to exude this is with cute smiley face nail art.

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with black nail polish that has polka dots and smiley face nail designs

From the classic yellow and black smiley faces to more trippy and psychedelic iterations, the smiley face can become a versatile design. You can use them all year round and in many different instances. 

Ready to try some? Here are smiley face nails you can try for your next manicure.

Why Smiley Nail Art Designs?

A smiley face design is not new. The yellow-and-black smiley face with oval eyes that we know of now was created in 1962 by Harvey Ball. 

Though that was decades ago, the smiley face has recently grown in popularity. Celebrities like Harry Styles and Gigi Hadid have helped popularize the motif. 

However, it’s also partly due to new trends being inspired by Y2K motifs, where smileys were still famous.

While the smiley face design is usually paired with similar Y2K motifs, you may commonly see it with bright neon multicolored nails. 

It may also be one of the numerous loud graphic art designs drawn on with thick outlines. However, the smiley can also be a soft and subtle way to add a twist to more subdued nail art. 

Short Smiley Face Nails

1. Simple, Multicolored Smileys

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with nude nail polish that has smiley face designs in different colors for each nail
Image courtesy of @nailsby_avril

Looking for something exciting yet simple? Recreate these smiley face designs using different colors for each nail on a clear base. You can even use glitter!

2. Mocha Smileys

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with mocha shades nail polish that has smiley face, checker patterns, stars, and swirls nail art designs
Image courtesy of @nailsbycarhendy

Another muted smiley nail look you can try is by using gorgeous mocha shades. Juxtapose it with other nail art designs like checker patterns, stars, and swirls. 

3. Spring Nails with Subtle Smiley Faces

A woman's fingernails with a pastel tie-dye nails that has white-outlined smiley faces nail designs
Image courtesy of @speakeasynails_

Add a bit of fun to your spring nails. For a subtle twist, draw white-outlined smiley faces on your pastel tie-dye nails!

4. Subtle Retro Flower Smileys

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with different pastel shade nail polish that has checkerboards and flowers with smiley faces nail designs
Image courtesy of @speakeasynails_

Impress your friends with a retro-inspired motif of checkerboards and flowers with smiley faces on pastel shades.

5. Bright Retro Flower Nails with Smiley Face

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with a mix of nude and pastel nail polish that has a checkerboard pattern, and a smiley on a flower for the accent nail
Image courtesy of @speakeasynails_

You can also make the retro theme pop by using paler colors for your base color and a dipped checkerboard pattern. Add a lively touch by drawing a smiley on a flower for your accent nail.

6. Trippy Checkerboard Smileys and Dripping Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with a glittery nude nail polish that has trippy, skewed checkerboards with smiley faces
Image courtesy of @speakeasynails_

Another way to make things retro is by adding trippy, skewed checkerboards with smiley faces. Juxtapose them with black dripping nail art on the rest of the nails for a unique nail set. 

7. Strawberries and Smiley Faces Nail Designs

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with glossy nude nail polish that has smileys on either round or heart-shaped faces and strawberry nail art designs
Image courtesy of @nails.by.iz_

Try a berry color scheme for a gorgeous nail set with smileys. Draw smileys on either round or even heart-shaped faces on a neutral base. Add strawberry nail art on accent nails. 

8. Pastel Sky Smileys

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with pastel blue, pink, and lavender ombre nail polish that has clouds, rainbows, and stars drawn on accent nails
Image courtesy of @nails.by.iz_

Why not have pastel skies on your nails? Create pastel blue, pink, and lavender ombre nails with clouds, rainbows, and stars drawn on accent nails. Draw smiley faces using the same color scheme on other nails against a neutral base. 

9. Retro Motif With a Smiley Accent Nail

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with retro color combinations nail polish that has checkers, flowers, and a heart nail designs
Image courtesy of @mynailgirlness

Use bright retro color combinations to draw checkers, flowers, and a heart. Make your smiley accent nail pop by drawing it on a neutral base. 

10. Pastel Smiley Face Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with a glossy nude nail polish base that has multiple smiley faces in different pastel colors
Image courtesy of @natalie_thedollshouse

Looking for a simple smiley face nail look? A good design for short nails that you can use is by adding multiple smiley faces in different pastel colors. To make them pop, paint your smileys on a nude base.

11. Lavender, Daisies, Hearts, and Smileys

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with combination of lavender, white, and baby pink nail polish that has hearts, daisies, and smileys nail designs
Image courtesy of @bysarahnailartist

A classic color combination of lavender, white, and pastel yellows always makes for pretty nails. Up the ante by drawing on hearts, daisies, and smileys. 

12. Sage-Colored Smiley Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with a combination of nude and sage green nail polish that has muted orange and some black and white smiley faces on flowers nail designs
Image courtesy of @bysarahnailartist

Although muted, sage green is an elegant color for your nails. Add more to its gorgeous charm by using a contrasting muted orange and some black and white smiley faces on flowers. 

13. Neons, Black, and White

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with a nude nail polish base that has black and white nail art graphics, like smiley flowers, checkerboards, yin-yang symbols, and neon pink and neon orange accents
Image courtesy of @bysarahnailartist

Black and white nail art graphics, like smiley flowers, checkerboards, yin-yang symbols, and neon pink and neon orange accents, bring bright and striking fun to an otherwise bland manicure. 

14. Happy Face Nail Designs

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with bright blues, purples, and pinks nail polish that has smiling, happy faces and daisy petals nail designs
Image courtesy of @polishedbykiah

Smiling, happy faces are always a cute addition to any manicure. But if you want something worthy of showing off, go with daisy petals and bold colors like bright blues, purples, and pinks. 

15. Black and Yellow Smiley Face Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with multicolored pastel nail polish that has checkerboards, half-and-half backgrounds, or solid backgrounds and a black smiley face nail deisgns
Image courtesy of @polishedbykiah

A smiley face drawn with black polish on a yellow background has always been a classic design. Make it pop even more on pastel designs like checkerboards, half-and-half backgrounds, or solid backgrounds. 

16. Small Smileys and Lavender and Aqua Nails

A woman's fingernails with lavender, aqua, and orange nail design that has multicolored smiley faces nail designs
Image courtesy of @polishedbykiah

If you want your smileys to be subtle, you can go small. Use a color scheme of lavender, aqua, and orange for this nail design for a cute nail look. 

17. Neon Graphic Smiley Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with a nude nail polish that has a multicolored pastel smileys nail designs
Image courtesy of @leannehaycock_

A cute summer nail look can have bold-colored accents like smileys on a neutral base. Make this set even more interesting by pairing neon colors with pastel ones like hot pink, orange, pale yellow, and baby blue. 

18. Smiley Black and Yellow Nails and Stars

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with a nude nail polish that has yellow smiley faces, stars and rhinestones nail designs
Image courtesy of @leannehaycock_

Yellow smiley faces on a neutral base can also give off a bold look. Draw them on nude nails and paint stars on accent nails. Add a couple of rhinestones to complete the set.

19. Minimalist White Smiley Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with baby pink nail polish base that has a smiley face, white fire and red dots nail designs
Image courtesy of @leannehaycock_

Make a white smiley the focal point of your nail art set using minimalist designs for the rest of your fingers. You can make it pop even more by drawing it on a neutral base.

20. Quirky Smiley Nail Designs

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with a multicolored nail polish that has checkered design, a flower and a classic happy face nail designs
Image courtesy of @nails.byabb

Having unique and eccentric nails can be fun for any time of the year. Use complementary and analogous color families for an eye-catching mani. Of course, a classic happy face for your accent nail is always a cute addition. 

21. Silver Glitter Smileys

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with nude nail polish that has silver glittery smiley faces and pastel pink heart nail designs
Image courtesy of @nails.byabb

Want to make your neutral-colored manicure a bit more interesting? Try adding silver glittery smiley faces to make them look blingy. You can also add pastel pink heart faces for an even cuter retro design.

22. Classic Spring Pastel Glitter Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with blue, yellow, and pink nail polish that has smileys on pastel hearts, white dots and silver glitter
Image courtesy of @jellybayn_nails

Use pastel colors like blue, yellow, and pink for your main palette for a spring-inspired look. Add smileys on pastel hearts and white dots for accent nails. Make it more glam by sprinkling silver glitter on other nails.

23. Pastel Half-and-Half Smiley Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with complementing pastel colors in halves  nail polish that has a smiley face in black nail designs
Image courtesy of @jellybayn_nails

Smileys and pastels work well together. Paint each nail with complementing pastel colors in halves and add a smiley face in black for a quirky twist. 

24. Flower Smiley Face Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with nude nail polish that has smiley flower art nail designs on each nail
Image courtesy of @rmnailtech

You don’t have to overcomplicate your smiley face nail look. Recreate this nail art design by scattering flower art on nude nails. Paint your classic smiley face in the middle of each flower. 

25. Smiley Face on Fuschia Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with fuchsia nail polish that has pale yellow smiley face accents, pastel flowers, hearts and checkers on white polish
Image courtesy of @rmnailtech

Looking for a stunning manicure? Try this fuchsia nail set with pale yellow smiley face accents. Decorate your other nails with pastel flowers on nude polish and hearts and checkers on white polish. 

26. Monochromatic Blue and Purple Smiley Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with blue and purple nail polish that has a smiley face, dots and clouds nail designs
Image courtesy of @rmnailtech

Blues and purples always look good together. Paint one hand’s nails with light and dark blue nail art and make a matching set on the other hand with purple. Draw a smiley on one of each set and dots and clouds on others.

27. Smiley Face Nail Art with Purple Tips

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with a nude nail polish base that has French tips in different shades of purple and a classic yellow smiley face nail design
Image courtesy of @rmnailtech

Purple and yellow are well-known complementary colors. Get French tips in different shades of purple with a neutral base. Add a small, classic yellow smiley next to them for an accent. 

28. Trippy Smiley Face Nails

A woman's fingernails with neon blues, pinks, yellows, and greens nail polish that has skewed smiley faces, flowers, and marble patterns
Image courtesy of @omayra.nails

Y2K designs are making a comeback. Using neon blues, pinks, yellows, and greens, draw some skewed smiley faces, flowers, marble patterns, and other loud designs on your manicure to capture that Y2K effect. 

Medium Smiley Face Nails

29. Smiley Summer Nails 

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with yellow, pink, and orange nail polish base that has strawberries, flowers, smiley faces, and yin-yang symbols nail designs
Image courtesy of @nailsbycarhendy

Make your smiley nails pop using warm summery base colors, like yellow, pink, orange, and nail art motifs. Draw strawberries, flowers, and yin-yang symbols on other nails to accompany the smiles.

30. Colorful Facial Expressions

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with peach nude nail polish that has a sunny-side up egg, purple flame, shark, heart, and more nail designs
Image courtesy of @nailsby_avril

A smiley isn’t the only facial expression you can draw on nails. Experiment with other quirky expressions on nails of different colors and random designs like a sunny-side up egg, purple flame, shark, heart, and more.

31. Peach and White Smileys

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with nude nail polish that has lines, checkers, and French tips on other nails
Image courtesy of @nailsbycarhendy

Want to incorporate a smiley into something more muted and elegant? Draw your smiley on a peach-nude nails and combine it with more classic nail art designs like lines, checkers, and French tips on other nails. 

32. Neon Green Smiley Nails with Black and White Squiggles

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with nude nail polish that has black, white, neon green squiggles and neon green smiley face
Image courtesy of @leannehaycock_

Neon green is always a lively nail color. Make it your set’s centerpiece by using it as the face color of your smiley. Add some with black, white, and neon green squiggles for your other nails. 

33. Retro French Tips

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with a glossy nude nail polish that has multicolored French tips, hearts, animal prints, and smiley face nail designs
Image courtesy of @holliebedsbeauty

Nail art tips are a unique way to step up your manicure. Instead of opting for the classic French tip or a simple colored tip, why not hearts, animal prints, and smileys? 

34. Bright-Colored Smiling Face Nails 

A woman's fingernails with a glossy nude nail polish that has rainbows, flowers, smiley faces and light flares nail designs
Image courtesy of @nails.by.iz_

Adding smiley faces to your nail art is always fun. Up the ante using pastel nail polish colors and designs like rainbows and light flares on a glossy nude base.

35. Orange and Fuschia Smileys

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with a color combination of orange and fuschia nail polish that has French tips, halves, smiley faces, and a checkerboard nail designs
Image courtesy of @mynailgirlness

Bright and cheerful, the color combination of orange and fuschia is always a head turner. Make it more interesting by using your colors as French tips, halves, and a checkerboard.

36. Blue, Teal, and Pink

A woman's fingernails with white nail polish base that has smileys, flowers, and checkerboards in blue and pink polish
Image courtesy of @anges.nails

Make blue and pink nails unique by adding a third accent color: teal. Make them even more impressive by using them to draw smileys, flowers, and checkerboards on a white base. 

37. Cafe Mocha Smiley Nails

A woman's fingernails with a different shades of brown nail polish that has smileys, lines, French tips, and checkerboards nail designs
Image courtesy of @kuypernailart

Want neutral colors but still have unique and fun nails? Add bold designs to your base. You can even use different shades of brown for drawing smileys, lines, French tips, and checkerboards.

38. Simple Y2K Smiley Nail Art Design

A woman's fingernails with a multicolored nail polish that has a heart, clover, cow print and a smiley face nail designs
Image courtesy of @kuypernailart

Looking for a simple, Y2K-inspired manicure? Paint your nails in different colors and draw different icons in each like a heart, clover, cow print, and others. Paint one yellow, and add a smiley face as the focal point.

39. Smiley Face Nails on Colorful Flowers

A woman's fingernails with a nude nail polish that has Takashi Murakami’s iconic flower smiley with thick black outlines nail designs
Image courtesy of @kuypernailart

Loud, colorful, and bold nail art can impress anyone who sees them. Draw Takashi Murakami’s iconic flower smiley on nude nails, making them stand out more with thick black outlines.

40. Pastel Smiley Face Nails with Glitter

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with multicolored pastel nail polish that has  pastel smiley faces, stripes, dots, glitter French tip, glitter swipes, and grid lines
Image courtesy of @jellybayn_nails

If you want your pastel nail art to look blingy and bold, try adding pastel smiley faces, stripes, dots, and grid lines to them. Also, add a glitter French tip and glitter swipes on the stripes. 

41. Hot and Fiery Smiley Face Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with yellow, orange, and red nail polish that has bold smileys, dots, fire, and checkerboards in black and white nail designs
Image courtesy of @jellybayn_nails

Make your look fiery with extremely warm colors like yellow, orange, and red as your main palette. Make them pop by drawing bold smileys, dots, fire, and checkerboards in black and white. 

42. Smiley Face With Glitter Accents

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with a nude nail polish that has hearts, flower petals, and egg shapes as the base of the smileys nail designs
Image courtesy of @jellybayn_nails

Experiment using different French tip designs like hearts, flower petals, and egg shapes as the base of your smileys. Make them look cute by adding different colors of glitter or chrome polish as outlines.

Long Smiley Face Nails

43. Cute Smiley Face Nails in Lavender and Soft Pink

A woman's fingernails with a light pink and lavender manicure that has little smiley face, clouds, French tip, dots, and curves nail designs
Image courtesy of @nails.bylynsey

A light pink and lavender manicure is always an elegant and beautiful choice for a soft look. Of course, you can always add a bit of flair to it by adding white accents, like a fun little smiley face, clouds, French tip, dots, and curves.

44. Distorted Brown Smiley Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with a brown nail polish that has distorted smiley faces nail designs
Image courtesy of @nails.bylynsey

If you’re looking for a neutral but cheerful set of nails, why not try this one out? Choose brown and add distorted smiley faces to your nude accent nails. 

45. Yellow Smiley Face Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with multicolored pastel nail polish that has a smiley face, flame, clouds, cherries, and zebra stripes nail designs
Image courtesy of @nails.bylynsey

Pastel base colors are attractive to look at, especially in springtime. Top it by adding the smiley on a pastel yellow base as an homage to the classic smiley. Use a flame, clouds, cherries, and zebra stipes on other nails.

46. Neon Pastel Smiley Almond Nails

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with peach, lavender, and pale mocha nail polish that has a smiley face nail designs on select nails
Image courtesy of @nails.bylynsey

Looking to rock almond nails? Try painting them peach, lavender, and pale mocha for a nice subtle pop. Use the same colors to make a smiley face on the mocha base.

47. Smiley Faces on a Sunset Sky 

A closeup of a woman's fingernails with a pink nail polish base that has clouds and multiple yellow smiley faces nail designs
Image courtesy of @studio_c_k

Want quirky sunset nails? Create a pink base and draw some clouds on it to get that gorgeous sunset glow. Make it fun by drawing multiple yellow smiley faces throughout your design.  

Surprisingly Versatile, Pleasantly Eccentric

Putting on smiley faces or other emojis and expressions on your nails is nothing but bold and loud. 

However, there are many creative ways that you can use to make it softer or bolder than it already is. It’s a fantastic nail art motif to use for every season.

Hopefully, this list has helped you gain inspiration for your next nail art set. Add positivity and cheer to your next manicure with some of these smiley-face nails. 

Want to Find More Nail Art Inspiration?

Author

  • Ashley Pena

    Ashley Pena brings over 13 years of seasoned writing and editing expertise, fortified by her Bachelor of Science in Management. Esteemed in the beauty domain, her content captivates readers with its depth and authenticity. While she navigates a broad spectrum of beauty trends, Ashley shines particularly as our resident K-beauty guru. Her articles are a harmonious blend of passion and profound knowledge, inspiring readers on their unique beauty journeys.

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