Trend Alert: Cow Print Nail Art for Summer

Get ready to embrace your wild side this summer with the hottest nail art trend – cow prints! Whether you’re heading to a music festival or just want to show your free-spirited personality, cow patterned nails are a must-try. From black and white spots to soft pastel cow hides, this is one manicure that will have everyone staring at your fingertips.

The Origins of Cow Print Nail Art

Cow and leopard prints first emerged in the 1980s and became staples of ’80s fashion. While leopard print nails have always been popular, cow print nails are just now gaining momentum. As retro trends from the ’80s and ’90s make a comeback, cow print nail art feels fresh and on-trend for summer.

pinterest cow print nail art

The Return of the Western Aesthetic

Part of what’s driving the cow print nail trend is the return of western wear’s influence on fashion. From fringed bags to cowboy boots, western accents are everywhere this summer. Cow print nails perfectly capture the bold yet playful spirit of modern western style.

Classic Black and White Cow Spots

The most classic take on cow print nails features simple black and white spots. Paint your nails white first, then use a small dotting tool to paint on black spots in random sizes. Focus most of the spots toward the tip of the nail for a fade effect.

pinterest black and white cow print nails

Color Pop Accents

Jazz up basic black and white cow spots by adding pops of color. Try painting just your ring finger nail in a bright crimson red. Or paint single dots of neon orange, yellow, or green scattered throughout the spots for a fun colorful touch.

Soft Pastel Cow Hide

For a more feminine cow print, opt for soft cowhide spots in light pastel colors. Paint your nails a pale lilac, pink, or blue base. Then use a makeup wedge sponge to dab on white cow spots for an airy watercolor look.

pinterest pastel cow print nails

Rainbow Cows

Pastel cow print nails are the perfect background for a bright rainbow look. Paint your cowhide base in a light color like yellow or pink. Then paint individual rainbow spots, alternating the color order on each nail for a fun effect.

Gilded Accents

Elevate the look of soft cow print by accenting with metallic touches. Add a gold or silver cow spot to each accent nail. Or paint a single stripe of holographic glitter polish across the lower edge of the nail.

Chic Cow Print French Tips

For a classy take on the cow nail trend, try cow print French tips. Paint the base of your nails a nude pink. Then paint black and white cow spots only on the tip area for stylish contrast.

pinterest cow print french nails

Cow Print Half Moons

Make your cow French tip unique by painting the cow pattern only on the bottom half moons of the nail tip. Leave the upper arch bare for a modern cow look.

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Glitter Cow Tips

For extra bling, paint glitter polish onto the tips before adding your cow spots. Holographic glitter tips look futuristic against the retro cow pattern.

Freehand Cow Print Brushwork

If you’re feeling artistic, try freehanding your cow pattern with striping polish and a detail brush. Sweep random spots, stripes, and patches onto the nail for an abstract painterly cow print.

pinterest freehand cow print nails

Distressed Cowhide

Freehand cow prints easily achieve a worn, distressed look. Drag your brush across the nail to blur and feather the edges. Pair with nude and brown polishes for a rustic cowhide style.

Micro Florals

Draw delicate floral shapes like daisies over your freehand cow pattern. The contrast between edgy cow prints and soft florals is ultra-chic.

Negative Space Cow Print

Negative space nail art is huge right now. Try this cool technique with cow spots. Paint single random cow spots on each nail, leaving lots of bare nail visible around them.

pinterest negative space cow print nails

Minimalist Cows

For minimal negative space cow nails, paint on just three cow spots – one on the top, one on bottom left, one on bottom right. Fill the surrounding nail with a sheer pink or nude polish.

Bold Contrast

Make your negative cow spots pop by painting the bare nail a deep contrasting color like black, navy, or maroon.

Milk Carton Nail Art

For cow print nail art with a clever twist, recreate vintage milk cartons on your nails. Paint the full nail a light cream color. Use striping polish to add black and white cow spots and cartoon milk details.

pinterest milk carton nails

Chocolate Milk

For a yummy take on milk carton nails, paint the base color a chocolate brown. Add drips and splatters in white for spills and extra dimension.

Cow Print Accent Nails

If you don’t want full-on cow print, just add it to some accent nails. Do an index finger or thumbs in cow spots. Or paint cow spots on top of one solid color nail.

pinterest cow print accent nail

Minimal Accents

Keep your cow accents subtle with delicate details. Try mini polka dots, a single stripe, or outline shape like a heart or star in cow print.

Metallic Accents

Make your cow print accents shine by outlining them in metallic polish like silver, gold, or rose gold.

How to Seal and Protect Cow Print Nails

Cow print nail art takes patience and precision. Make it last by properly sealing and protecting your design.

Quick-Dry Topcoat

Always finish off your cow print nails with a smooth topcoat. This seals the artwork and prevents smudging and chipping.

Avoid Chipping

Prevent your cow spots from getting damaged by avoiding nail stress. Don’t use your nails as tools and wear gloves for cleaning and gardening.

Nail Oil

Keep nails flexible and strong by massaging in cuticle oil daily. This prevents the layers of polish from cracking.

How to Remove Cow Print Nail Art

Taking off intricate cow print designs takes some patience. Avoid staining by using pure acetone and foil wraps to lift off all traces of polish.

Cotton Balls

Soak cotton balls in acetone and place one on each nail. Wrap nails in foil and let sit for 10 minutes. The polish will transfer onto the cotton.

Wooden Sticks

Use flat wooden sticks to gently push back your cuticles and swipe away any remaining spots of polish still clinging to the nail.

Buff Away Stains

If you notice staining on your nail beds, buff them gently with a fine grit file to remove the remaining pigment.

Do-It-Yourself Cow Print Nail Tutorials

Want step-by-step video instructions for recreating cute cow nails? Check out these easy Youtube DIY tutorials:

Black and White Spotted

Ombre Cow Print

Pastel Cowhide

Gel Cow French Tip

Let Your Inner Cowgirl Shine Through

Have fun channeling your bold wild side this season with on-trend cow print nails. Whether you’re headed to Coachella or just want to spice up your summer style, cow patterned nails will get you noticed. So grab your lasso and get ready to rock these playful country-chic designs!

Frequently Asked Questions

What colors go well with cow print nails?

Black, white, pink, nude, red, silver, gold, and pastel colors complement and highlight cow print nails nicely.

How long does cow print nail art last?

With proper topcoat sealing and nail care, cow print designs can last over a week without major smudging or damage.

What nail shape works best?

Square or slightly squared oval nails show off cow prints best. Avoid pointy or super-rounded shapes that will distort the pattern.

Should I do full nails or accent nails?

Both look great! Full cow print nails are bold and eye-catching. Accent nails let you work the trend subtly.

What do I need to DIY cow nails?

You’ll need base colors, black and white polish, dotting tools, makeup sponges, striping brushes, and topcoat to seal the finished design.

Kimberly J West
Kimberly J West is an experienced SEO writer and copywriter with a passion for nail art and a love for house plants. With five years of experience, she combines her writing expertise with her creative spirit at Contact Kimberly at for collaborations and inquiries about her writing services.