With 2016 finally over, I’m taking a look back at all the designs I did this past year and choosing ten of my favorites! I didn’t do much nail art at the start of 2016, so many of my favorite designs are from later in the year, specifically from the 31 Day Challenge. I was super proud of myself this past year since I was able to actually complete the challenge in September, and I love the majority of the nail art I did for it! Obviously I couldn’t include every single one I loved, so here are my top picks:
#10 Witch Hats – One of my Halloween designs and I absolutely love this matte mani! I wanted to keep the witches themselves relatively simple while focusing on the designs of their hats and I’m super happy with how cute it turned out.
#9 Stamped Ducks – Although I’ve done occasional stamping in the past, last year I really got into it. This is probably my second stamped nail art that I’m 100% happy with (the first being my Stamped Fruit Nail Art). Everything seemed to work, from the color scheme to the sponged stripes, and I’m really proud of it.
#8 Nude Water Marble – Like stamping, water marbling has always been a pain for me, but unlike stamping it hasn’t gotten much better. This design is an exception though, so I had to include it in my favorites. I really like the combination of the understated nude colors with the rhinestones and glitter.
#7 Yellow Geometric – I did a lot of geometric designs for the 31 Day Challenge in 2016 but this one definitely stands out from the rest. I just love how neon and fun it looks! This was also my first (and so far only) time making DIY polish decals. It was a tricky process, but the end result was worth it.
#6 Blue Waves – This abstract nail art was inspired by one of my skirts. Not only was it fast and easy to do, but the blue shades work so well together. Similar to a camo design, but even easier since you don’t have to worry about any type of pattern, just wavy polish strokes.
#5 Sailor Moon – I had to include the mani inspired by my favorite anime and manga, Sailor Moon. This one transferred almost exactly from head to nails, except the stamping was not so flawless. Thanks to my curved nails I had a hard time stamping the full design properly, but when taken as a whole it looks pretty nice.
#4 Foil & Caviar – As soon as I finished this design I realized it reminded me of the continents on a globe. I love how the metallic blue complements the gold foil and how textured the foil looks. Though I don’t like to use caviar beads that much, as accents they really added to the design.
#3 Geometric Gradient – This mani combines two of my favorite things: gradients and geometric print. I had a lot of gradient designs to choose from in 2016, but I felt this was one of the best. This is also the third and final stamped design to make this list. The metallic gold stamped pretty well and when combined with the blues is very flattering.
#2 Tropical Palms – This one was almost number one! It’s so summery and I love how smooth the sunset gradient turned out. I freehanded the palms and in a few places they could use some work, but I love it regardless. It’s especially nice to look back at while I’m currently surrounded by snow!
#1 Faerie Tale – Inspired by Helen Frankenthaler’s painting, Faerie Tale, this abstract green and peach design is hands down my favorite of the year. There were a couple other contenders but I kept coming back to this one. I’m hoping to do more nail art inspired by her work in the future.
Honorable Mention (Inverted Zebra) – Nothing too exciting or unique about this design, but I like its simplicity. My lines turned out pretty good and the idea of inverting animal print colors is one I hadn’t tried before. Since both the color scheme and print are simple, the accents of silver glitter add a little something extra.
Honorable Mention (Watercolor Violets) – I can’t remember if I’ve tried the watercolor technique before, but I had a lot of success with it on this design. This was another case where everything fell into place easily and what would ordinarily seem like a lot of work, such as the chevrons and flowers, wasn’t.
That’s it! A little more than ten with my two honorable mentions, but I really wanted to include those. What were some of your favorites from 2016 — whether your own, mine, or another nail blogger’s? Now that 2016 has officially drawn to a close, I look forward to all the nail designs I’ll be doing in this new year!
Check out my 2015 favorites here.