Getting cute nails used to mean making a trip to the salon for a professional manicure. Not anymore! Today, just about every social media site is overflowing with amazingly simple and cute nail ideas that you can achieve from the comfort of your own home.

Add in the convenience of press-on nail kits from most drugstores and you've eliminated the need to spend a lot of money on a salon appointment.

While traditional nails, like French Tips, are still popular, women today are branching out and trying more eccentric colors and textures. Nail design is becoming a form of self-expression and the possibilities are endless.

Here are just a few of our favorite designs:

Ombre

Ombre isn't just a hair trend! It's popular for nails too! This look is incredibly simple to achieve. To start, pick a dark-colored nail polish. Then, select four additional colors in the same palette, just in lighter shades. Starting with the darkest color on your thumb, paint each nail a different color, using lighter shades the closer you get to your pinky finger.

Ombre Polka-Dots

If you love Ombre nails, but want something a little more unique, try painting your thumbnail white. Then, add polka-dots in colors that match your other fingers. Use a small brush or toothpick to make the tiny dots. A slanted line of dots in contrasting colors can add visual appeal.

Animals

From giraffes to pandas to owls, there are tons of Internet tutorials on how to replicate these cute creatures on your nails. But our favorite has to be the owls, mainly because of the simplicity. We got this photo tutorial from the blog "Let Them Have Polish." To start, paint the majority of your nail in a solid color, leaving the middle of your cuticle unpainted. Next, paint on two yellow circles for eyes and put a dot of black in the center of each. Using a lighter color than your main polish, paint a small circle at the tip of your nail for the owl's tummy. Use some teeny-tiny polka-dots to resemble feathers. Finally, add an orange beak and you are done!

Solid Color

Vibrant pops of unusual color are also increasing in popularity. We couldn't decide which we liked more- the bright blue or the salmon. Both are pretty and cheerful!

Sources

http://www.pinterest.com
http://www.letthemhavepolish.com/2011/11/31-day-challenge-day-30-inspired-by.html