45 Butterfly Nails Designs for Girls Who Love the 90s

It’s no secret that the 2010s have been all about rediscovering, bringing back, and falling in love all over again with the 90s. It makes sense. Style experts usually say that fashion is cyclical. Trends tend to come back around every 20 years or so. As a result, the 90s came back in the 2010s. As we’re moving into the 2020s, we will be seeing more of the 2000s in terms of style and fashion. That’s when butterfly nails were a gigantic hit with girls all around the world. 

Butterfly nail art was a big trend in the summers and falls of the late 90s and early 2000s along with lava lamp nails and pastel colored nails. Butterfly nails represented hope as well as perseverance and were used as a symbol of coping with changes and challenges. Remember when Mariah Carey used the butterfly as her own personal symbol? Let’s delve deeper into this beautiful nail trend and discover all the ways in which you can wear butterfly nails today. 


Let’s Define Butterfly Nails 

They might look simple enough or even retro and homemade. But butterfly nails actually have quite a complex and complicated technique behind them. When you visit a professional nail salon to get a set of butterfly nails you will see that nail technicians use a process called “encapsulated nail art. 

This type of nail art requires the technician to encase very small stickers, sequins or any other type of nail accessories between two clear layers of acrylic gel. They start with one super thin layer of the aforementioned acrylic gel which goes directly on the nail. This layer has to be cured under UV lights until it becomes somewhat sticky. The butterflies of your choice are applied to the nail.  

Before they have time to dry the technician applies the covering layer which will lock or set the butterflies in. If you want, you can also add confetti, rhinestonespearls, or any other type of nail accessories you want to this basic butterfly aesthetic. Your butterfly nails are done! 

Can I Do My Own Butterfly Nails at Home? 

Evidently you can also do butterfly nails at home, provided that you buy the proper products that you need. This means that you will have to purchase both types of clear acrylic nail gel polish as well as your choice of assorted butterfly stickers. Plus other accessories that you might want to add to your new nail aesthetic. 

Butterfly Nails FAQs 

Let’s go through a quick list of frequently asked questions about this beautiful and retro nail art design style. We know you have a lot of questions, and we are here to help you out and answer them all. 

  • How much do butterfly nails cost? 

The price of a full set of butterfly nails depends on a wide range of factors. This means that the cost will depend on the salon you visit for your appointment, the nail technician that will install your new butterfly nails and how experienced or good he or she is, as well as the type and brand of nail polish that is used, and the cost of the accessories in themselves. As a result, the price of a set of butterfly nails can vary between $30 and a few hundred dollars. That’s if you choose a high end brand of nail polish or if the accessories you have selected are Swarovski crystals or even real gemstones. 

  • Do I need long nails for the butterfly design? 

No, you do not. Butterfly stickers can be applied to any length of nail. However, as a rule of thumb the longer your nails are the more space you will have for nail art. Therefore, if you want to get an intricate design on your nails you might want to consider also getting a set of fake acrylic nails. 

  • Can I get 3D butterfly nails? 

Yes of course! 3D butterfly nails are a beloved variation on the original basic 90s design. In the 90s when the butterfly nails design originated, girls used to apply 2D stickers to their nails and simply finish off the look with a clear polish top coat that could keep them in place. However, today nail artists have come up with a modern version of the classic trend in which 3D butterflies made of different fabrics such as textile or paper can be applied to your nails. 

  • Can I use fake butterfly nails? 

Yes, you can. If you are not a fan of going to a nail salon every other week, if you don’t have time or if a trip to a nail salon is simply not in your budget right now then you can do your own butterfly nails at home. However, if nail art just isn’t your thing or you think that you might not have the skill necessary to pull off this type of nail art then you can buy a set of fake acrylic nails that already have a butterfly pattern painted on them. All you have to do is press them onto your natural nails and you are good to go. 

Nude Pink Butterfly Nails 

If you have to comply with a dress code either for when you go to the office or at school this is the perfect solution to embellish your nails. To be able to keep up with the dress codes of either one of these institutions use a nude pink nail polish. You can always add a beautiful butterfly sticker to one of your nails that will transform your nude pink nail aesthetic into this 90s glamorous look. The best thing about it is the fact that you can do this at home in only a few minutes.

Multiple Butterfly Stickers 

This nail design is for advanced nail artists who love to do there manicures at home. In other words we recommend that you try this butterfly nails design when you have already gained some experience with this trend. The example modeled here shows a stack of three butterfly stickers that have been applied one on top of the other on the same fingernail. 

It looks pretty and simple but it could actually be more complicated than you think. The reason is that the butterfly stickers don’t come as a set. Therefore you will have to apply each and every little butterfly on its own and on top of the other. We recommend that you use a pair of tweezers to be able to place the tiny butterfly stickers exactly where you want them on the nail. 

Autumn Butterfly Nails 

As mentioned in the paragraphs above, this trend first emerged and grew in popularity with girls all over the world back in the 90s. At that point in time, girls used to wear butterfly nails during the summer and fall seasons. Therefore it would only make sense that you revive this trend now. Wear butterfly stickers during the same months of the year. 

Here is a perfect example of the way in which you can wear butterfly nails during autumn. The color story you have to use comprises orange, black, and white. These are the basic and most typical colors that we associate with autumn. Feel free to create a design that resembles butterfly wings on your nails using these beautiful fall shades.

The Retro Butterfly Nails 
Back in the 90s if you really wanted to show off while wearing the butterfly nails trend this is what you would do. As a girl you would apply butterfly stickers to every single one of your nails. Consider this to be a type of flex that girls used to do during that decade. You can still do it today even though it will not have the same effect it used to have back in the day. Today, wearing a butterfly sticker on every single one of your fingers will most likely add up two a very retro but very cool nail art design.

90s Nail Designs 

Does it get anymore 90s than this? If you are a 90s kids you are bound to remember this particular aesthetic. If you are a Generation Z kid, that means you were born a little later. You did not experience with the 90s decade fully on. Therefore, chances are you have not seen this style in action yourself. 

However you might have seen it in movies or TV shows that were either made in the 90s or based in the same decade. 

This look is as 90s as it gets. The nail art comprises white nail polish. That was the height of what was considered trendy in the 90s. Every single girl who wanted to be cool wore it. On top of the white nail polish you can see the even more popular butterfly stickers in an assortment of colors. But the aesthetic doesn’t stop there. 

You are also privy to a rare glimpse of the pink gel pen with a poof at the end and glitter all along the shaft as well as the silver thumb ring. All of these accessories were what basically made the 90s such a famous era in terms of styling and fashion. If you want to recreate a 90s look these are all elements that you should wear. 

Colorful Butterfly Nails 

We bet that you will absolutely love this next idea since it’s fun, colorful, and very stylish. The nails have been painted in bright colors that include red, orange, yellow, purple, blue, and mint. They are meant to represent butterfly wings which have been drawn on the nails themselves using black nail polish. You can also see some white polka dots that are usually found on real life butterfly wings. 

Our nail art design is absolutely perfect for hot summer months thanks to its vivid and vibrant choice of beautiful colors. One of the best things about this idea is the fact that you don’t need to buy any new products or materials to use for creating it. 

You can use any colors, pigments or types of nail Polish that you already have in your vanity. Any color combination that you produce will absolutely work for this design. Don’t forget to add some butterfly stickers that you might have bought online as well as rhinestones, glitter, and sequins! 

Flowers and Pretty Nails 

When looking for a nail design for spring, you cannot go wrong with butterflies, flowers, and polka dots. This is the holy trifecta that will put everyone in mind of spring and the rebirth of nature. But here’s a tip. The design might be a little too difficult for you to do on your own at home especially if you don’t have any experience with nail art. 

As a result you can purchase stamps or patterns that will help you draw the flowers and butterflies better. Or you can simply ask a friend to draw them for you.

Butterflies and Rhinestones 

Butterfly nails are one of the most beloved trends to come out of the 90s. Mostly because they are so versatile and leave space for as much creativity as you can possibly muster. Back in the 90s one of the favorite things the girls used to love to do was to add glitter, sparkles, and rhinestones to their butterfly designs. 

You can still do that today except that you will have to modernize the look a little bit so that it can fit the aesthetic of our times. One of the things you can do is to wear square or coffin shaped nails which have been all the rage in the 2010s. The other trend you can embrace when you are trying to marry butterfly designs from the 90s and modern trends from the 2020s is nude or flesh toned shades. 

Once you use these two trends as the basis for your new nail design you can go ahead and draw your butterfly patterns. Don’t forget to add your multi colored rhinestones. and about as much glitter as you want and in any color you desire.

Stylish and Artsy Cute Nails 

The next idea that we have chosen for you is both beautiful and unique. Half the nails have been painted a simple and traditional white. This color is so reminiscent of the nail polish teenage girls used to wear in the 90s and early 2000s. While the rest of the nails have been painted a fresh spring green. 

Each green nail has been adorned with incredible butterfly art. What you can see here is part of a butterfly wing that has been painted on with dark nail polish. There are also some white polka dots meant to give the butterfly wing some texture and depth. 

This idea is stunning and incredibly creative as the combination is absolutely mesmerizing. You can definitely try your hand at painting butterfly art like this one. The best thing about this idea is that this will look amazing on short nails and long nails. 

French Tips Nails  

French tips are without a doubt one of the most beautiful nail designs of all time. They are the very definition of elegant and understated beauty. You can wear French tips on absolutely every occasion. From going to the office to going to school, to your own wedding day to meeting the Queen of England. This is how beautiful and versatile French tips are 

But what could make French tips even better than they already are? 

How about adding some butterfly designs to your lovely French tips? In order to keep this nail aesthetic as clean and elegant as it should be don’t add a butterfly nail sticker to every single one of your fingers. Instead choose one finger and press on a butterfly sticker to that nail. In this way the nail design will still have that 90s aesthetic that we we all love so much. But it will still be as classy as the French tips have always accustomed us to be. 

Pink and Black Nail Designs 

The combination of colors between pink and black is mostly reminiscent of the early 2000s. In this example the nails are adorned very heavily with pretty butterflies. They can be either white with black polka dots for your pink nails or pink and gold for your black nails. 

This idea is both beautiful and extremely easy to wear. Not to mention the fact that you can do it at home either by yourself or by asking one of your friends to do it for you. Or better yet, why not make it a recreational activity that you can do with one of your friends on the weekend?

What do you think about butterfly nails? 

Let us know in the comment section down below if you are in love with this 90s trend. Butterfly nails were considered to be the height of fashion and style for teenage girls during the 90s and early 2000s. And now they have made a comeback. Are you as excited about this nail art trend as we are? Let us know your thoughts and questions as well as all your ideas when it comes to butterfly nails!

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