If there’s one motif that captures the essence of the Y2K era, it’s the butterfly. Featured across many trends throughout the the whole decade—think everything from butterfly clips to tramp stamps— the design also made its way into some of the most iconic fashion moments and runway shows of the time. There was Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2008 La Dame Bleue Show and Naomi Campbell’s 1999 Versace gown (you know the one) both of which influenced fashion for years to come. Now that Gen Z is looking back to the 2000s for trend inspiration the butterfly is in the midst of a full swing comeback.
While butterfly tops and hair clips will forever be favorites, butterfly nails have become another favorite way to wear the trend and a clear winner when it comes to versatility. A staple of the 2000s, the butterfly design has once again been popularized in the nail art scene over the past two years having been given the celeb stamp of approval by Dua Lipa, Normani, and Kylie Jenner.
To jump on the revival and (quite literally) metamorphose your next manicure with an adorable detail, here are seven different ways you can try out the butterfly nails trend.
This manicure with the butterfly design painted across two nails in the classic orange and black Monarch butterfly color scheme is on theme without being too obvious.
If you’re already opting for a fun and flirty butterfly manicure, why not fully commit to the magic and opt for some fantasy nail art in a rainbow of pastel colors?
Blue Butterfly Emoji
Use the emoji on your phone as inspiration and go for large, bright blue butterflies.
Negative Space Wings
If you’re looking to elevate a simple French mani, butterfly stencil nail art might be for you. This hand-painted red line art by Nelsy B (aka @thenaillord) is elegant and refined.
The Butterfly French
Or, instead of adding butterflies over your French, try using the butterfly design as the French tips, themselves. This creative design will have people stopping to look twice at your new manicure.
Sunset gradient nails are already on trend, but adding colorful butterfly friends ups the fun factor.
For those who usually opt for marble white or natural nails, accenting with gold or silver butterfly decals or stickers are subtle and sweet.
Double Y2K Trends
Pair up ’00s butterflies with equally nostalgic barbed wire designs for a very Y2K team up.