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 • Nails  • Design Ideas  • 35 of the Cutest Smiley Face Nail Designs to Release Your Inner Child
multicoloured smiley face nails design 35 of the Cutest Smiley Face Nail Designs

35 of the Cutest Smiley Face Nail Designs to Release Your Inner Child

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Main Image – @jazzynailsx/instagram

It’s official. Smiley face nail designs are going to be *huge* in 2024 – and we are so here for it.

The smiley face logo became popular in the 50s and 60s, leading to tens of thousands of variations.

From graphic designer Harvey Ball’s smiley created to boost employee morale at an insurance company, to being plastered all over our walls in the form of Blink 182s album artwork (IYKYK), and gracing the fingertips of Harry Styles – the smiley is a now a classic.

Whether you’re no stranger to getting your nails done at the salon or you prefer to take a night of self-care painting from the comfort of your own couch – there’s a smiley face nail design for you in our carefully created list.

We guarantee these will brighten up your look (and your day)!


1. Black smiley face nails

Go all-out black or reverse it up like the set below.

black nails with smiley faces

Image – @@majesticnailsbyamy/instagram


2. Monochrome smiley face nails

This set combines a few trends – monochrome, colour blocks, checkered print and smiley faces. Nailed it.

black and white smiley face nail designs

Image – @nailedbyrebeka/instagram


3. Yellow smiley face nails with gems

A shimmery and shiny twist on the classic neon smiley.

yellow nails with smiley face nail design

Image – @nailsbloodynails/instagram


4. Pink smiley mani with orange

Pink and orange are the perfect pair, IMO.

orange pink smiley face nail design ericasata

Image – @ericasata/instagram


5. Hot pink nails with yellow smiley faces

Pink nails look amazing in any shade (yep, I’m a real pink girly ATM), but hot pink and yellow smileys are just *perfect*.

hot pink smiley face nail design

Image – @madnails.ut/instagram


6. Brown nails with smiley faces and swirls

Brown nails are having a bit of a moment lately, add some flowers, swirls, and smileys are you’ve nailed a multitude of trends!

brown smiley face nail design

Image – @nails_by_annabel_m/instagram


7. Classic Frenchies with green smiley faces

Want to brighten up the classic French mani? Smiley faces are the way to go!

You can literally choose any colour (or all the colours) and have a face on each nail or just a couple of feature nails like the set below.

green smiley face nails design

Image – @charsgelnails_/instagram


8. Clear mani with classic smiley faces

The classic yellow smiley face doesn’t need anything but a clear base.

yellow smiley face nail designs clear nails

Image – @xglitzandpolishx/instagram


9. Orange mix and match smileys

Smiley faces don’t have to be the classic round face, 2 dots and a smile – channel your inner Blink 182 pop-punk vibes with these crosses and tongues.

orange smiley face nail design

Image – @pressedbycharlotte_/instagram


10. Red and pink negative space smiley face nails

Does anyone remember constantly using this smiley face on Myspace in the 2000s :] ?!

red nails with smiley face design

Image – @thehangedit/instagram


11. Baby blue nails with shades of blue smiley faces

This mani is super on trend as we are seeing baby blue everywhere lately. But it would also work in basically any colour shades.

blue smiley face nail designs

Image – @ells__nails/instagram


12. Purple nails with checkered print and classic smiley faces

The checkered print nail is going to be huge this year, mix it with some smiley faces and you’ve got a mani to transcend trends.

purple smiley face nail designs

Image – @luminary_nail_systems/instagram


13. Multicoloured smiley faces on nude nails

If you love a colourful mani then this one’s for you.

multicoloured smiley face nails design

Image – @jazzynailsx/instagram


14. Cute frog pattern smiley face nails

The clear base works perfectly on this mani, complete with classic yellow smileys, smiling frogs and cute alien faces.

cute smiley face nails design

Image – @gxbbydoesnails/instagram


15. Preppy muted smiley face nails

Smiley nails don’t have to be bold and bright, this set screams luxe.

preppy smiley face nails

Image – @elias.nails


16. Rainbow print nails with smiley faces and flowers

This is the cutest set for spring, and how good do smiley faces look paired with rainbows and flowers?! Adorable.

rainbow smiley face nails

Image – @emmap_nailtechnician./instagram


17. Pastel smiley nails with glitter

If you like a toned-down mani that still packs a punch, pastels are for you. This set is super understated with ombre pastel shades and barely-there nail art.

pastel smiley face nails design

Image – @rosebnails/instagram


18. Neon smiley faces and mismatched prints

I am seriously loving the mismatched nail trend that’s all over my feed at the moment, perfect for spring and summer.

neon smiley face nails

Image – @sophrainbownails/instagram


19. Black wavy smiley faces on nude nails

The classic smiley has had a bit of an update over the past year, turning into a trippy wavy print. If you like line art, this is the perfect way to take on the trend without being too ‘out there’.

drippy smiley face nail design

Image – @nailsbyheather.errington/instagram


20. Drippy melted smiley face nails

These smileys are the perfect nod to the 90s acid trip trend.

wavy smiley face nail design

Image – @truebeautybycarrie/instagram


21. Cow print nails with smiley faces and gems

Who would have thought to mix cow print with smileys AND gems?!

cow print nails smiley faces rebeccabarcleigh_nails

Image – @rebeccabarcleigh_nails/instagram


22. Daisy smiley faces on nude nails

Incorporating smiley faces into daisies *might* just be our fave thing ATM.  Plus a nude nail is always a classic.

daisy smiley face nail design

Image – @nailsbyheather.errington/instagram


23. Pastel flame smiley face nails

Flames don’t have to be red and yellow! For a more feminine twist on the trend, use pastel colours and add cute smileys.

flame smiley face nails

Image – @nailsgeraldinj/instagram


24. Flower smiley face nails

Another take on the cutest flowery nails, complete with ice cream rainbows *swoon*.

flower smiley face nail design

Image – @ohmylorb/instagram


25. Emoji smiley face nails with sunglasses

I’ve seen a lot of emoji nails on my feeds lately, and how cute are these kissing and sunglasses ones?!

emoji nails

Image – @beauty_by_hayleigh_jayne/instagram


26. French smiley face nails

If you love a French mani but still want to be on trend, all you need is some smiley nail art.

You could just add the smileys to classic French tips, or go for a bright colour like this set.

smiley face french tip nails

Image – @colourparlormiami/instagram


27. Gel smiley face nails

This set was created using The Gel Bottle Inc *everything*.

gel smiley face nails

Image – @emily__meraki/instagram


28. Smiley face nail stickers

Prefer to do your nails at home but haven’t got a steady hand/the time/millions of different coloured nail polishes?

Ciate London has got you with these cute and colourful nail stickers that are super easy to use (£16.00/$18.00 on the Ciate London website).

smiley face nail stickers

Image – Ciate London


29. Dip powder chrome nails with yellow smiley faces

Chrome is the perfect backdrop for any nail art, and yellow smileys are no exception.

dip powder smiley face nails

Image – @sophiadoesnails/instagram


30. Acrylic smiley face nails

Acrylics are a great way to add some length to your nails, making it even easier to go all out on the nail art.

acrylic smiley face nails

Image – @sophrainbownails/instagram


31. Short 90s inspo smiley face nails

90s inspo is everywhere at the moment (urm hello Gen Z, we were here first!), and I am absolutely loving it! Think tie-dye, smiley faces, yin and yang, and neon hues.

short smiley face nails

Image – @kdnailedit/instagram


32. Monochrome almond mix-and-match smiley face nails

Monochrome lends itself really well to mix-and-match manis that incorporate a different pattern on each fingertip.

mix and match black and white smiley face nail design

Image – @thenailbarmia/instagram


33. Chrome coffin nails with purple and green smiley faces

Coffin nails are usually long making them perfect for crazy designs.

coffin smiley face nails

Image – @glammertized/instagram


34. Square smiley face nails

Keep it short and sweet with a square mani and simple smiley nail art.

square smiley face nail design

Image – @thehandedit/instagram


35. Stiletto smiley face nails with dots

Stiletto nails leave so much room for art and designs – the perfect canvas for some crazy smiley face prints!

stiletto smiley face nails simplysonja_m

Image – @simplysonja_m/instagram


The takeaway

Well, if that doesn’t cheer you up, we don’t know what will!

The smiley face trend is here for 2024 in the form of nail art and designs, t-shirt prints, interior design (yep, I’ve seen this all over my TikTok and it’s *so* cool), phone cases, and keyrings.

The 90s never really goes out of style (in my head, at least), so you’ll definitely nail the trend on this.


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Senior Beauty Editor

Laura Kemp started her journalism career as a news reporter for one of the largest newspaper groups in Europe before moving into features and editorial writing. Combining her love of hard-hitting journalism with her passion for beauty, she’s now Beauty Editor at Live That Glow. When she’s not writing, researching, or interviewing her favourite experts, you’ll find Laura practicing her downward dog or drifting on her paddleboard.

Expertise: Hair care, nails
Education: University of Salford

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