It's not like we need an excuse to be a lil bit (okay, a lot bit) EXTRA, but there's no better time to do exactly that than your freakin' birthday! If your special day is coming up, surely you have your going-out outfit, birthday dinner, and cute bday insta caption ready to go, but let's not forget the unsung star of the show—those nails, bb! While you could sport your chipped gel manicure from weeks ago and call it a day, we're here to remind you that your special day calls for an even more special set of nails.
So, to get those creative juices flowing, we rounded up 18 nail art ideas fit for any birthday celebrations. Ahead, you'll find the perfect manicure for your big day, whether you're more into subtle sophistication or bold patterns. And while we're all for treating yo' self every single day of the year, ESPECIALLY on your birthday, we understand that sometimes getting a fresh mani just isn't in the budget. Enter stage right: press-on nails that look like you just left the salon. Yep, that's right, similar designs to the nail ideas below can probably found at your local drugstore, so don't let a tight budget keep you from being the birthday queen you're meant to be.
1. Silver Star Nails
It's your birthday, and what better way to show that you're the star of the show than with eye-catching chrome star stickers on those freshly manicured bday nails?
2. Pastel Wave Nails
Wavy nail art has been living in our minds rent-free since first becoming a trend, but this cool-toned pastel take has us literally counting down the days to our birthday week. Just make sure you have your nail art brushes ready!
3. Aura Nails
We've seen these aura-inspired nails allll over our feeds lately, and no matter the colors you choose, they always manage to absolutely slay.
4. Ballerina Bow Nails
Baby pink nail polish will always have a special place in our hearts, but when you add these oh-so-adorable bows to the equation, well, they deserve to be front and center.
5. Mix and Match Nails
Can't decide on one design? Then, don't! Go ahead and get creative by popping a different aesthetic on every single finger ya got.
6. Minimal Iridescent Nails
If it's Sofia Richie-esque nails you want, then it's Sofia Richie-esque nails you'll get, bb! If you prefer simplicity, these minimal nails dolled up with dreamy iridescent polish are perfect for you.
7. Blue Denim Nails
If there's one day to go bold with your manicure, it's 100% your birthday, and this unique design with electric blue polish is giving what it needs to give.
8. Flame Heart Nails
Have you ever seen a mani that deserves both the heart eyes and fire flames? Well, you're looking at it. These fiery nails are a unique take on the classic French mani, and we're here for it.
9. Gemstone French Tips
If you're a French mani stan but want to try something a little different for your big celebration, give these celestial gemstones a try. After all, you can never have enough birthday bling.
10. Glitter Nails
Consider this your reminder that not all birthday nails have to be an elaborate design. These golden glitter nails have all the 24k magic you'll need to shine brighter than your candles.
11. Chrome Tips
Chrome gives bad b*tch energy, and you can't convince us otherwise. Honestly, who needs to go searching for the perfect bday accessories when your finger tips are the star of the show? Plus, now that we've been seeing chrome nail powder all over out feeds, it's not a want but a n-e-e-d.
12. Funfetti Nails
Our inner 12-year-old is screaming, crying, throwing up with excitement that funfetti has managed to make it onto manicures. After all, the colorful nail rhinestones match perfectly with the party decorations.
13. Barbie Pink Nails
14. Asymmetric French Tips
Okay, so here's the thing—we're a sucker for a classic French manicure. But, since it's your birthday, switch it up with this asymmetric design that's classy, but worthy of its own photoshoot.
15. Tuxedo Nails
Go shawty! It's ya birthday, and you mean b-u-s-i-n-e-s-s. If your birthday theme is as classic as you, try these fun tuxedo nails for something a lil more elevated.
16. Neon Meets Pastel Nails
If you haven't picked up on it yet, we're biggg French tip girlies over here. For yet another fun twist on the look, try a mix of unexpected colors, like pastel polishes and neon accents, to liven up your bday.
17. Mermaid-Inspired Nails
Whether you're falling head over heels for the mermaid-core trend or just want something fun and unexpected for your big day, this metallic blue polish will have everyone swooning.
18. Tortoise Nails
Okay, we always thought tortoise shell was just for sunglasses, but now that we've seen it in nail art form, you can bet we're gonna try this design for our next birthday mani. Plus, the red pop of polish is to. die. for.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.