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In early 19th century Greece, women in the higher echelons of society often wore empty pistachio shells over their nails, whereas in Egypt, women wore nail extensions made from bone, ivory and gold. Wearing long nails and particularly artificial extensions was a sign of status since these materials were luxuries available only to the wealthy.
When Fred Slack, a dentist, broke his fingernail at work, he replaced it with an artificial nail as a realistic-looking temporary replacement, and thus, acrylic nails were born!
From there it was just a matter of time before natural looking nail replacements evolved into outlandish 3D decorations to fit every taste and style.
Nowadays, we can mix and match styles, add rhinestones, flowers, and more to fit our craziest ideas.
Get inspired with these 3d nail styles, we guarantee there is something for everyone in this super packed list!
The Best 3D Nails
Cute Flower and Rhinestone Coffin Nails
These nails are to die for! They harmoniously combine a french manicure, a pink matte nail polish and a metallic shine nail polish. As if that was not enough they also have rhinestones, a full pinkie nail made of silvery crystals and a golden rhinestone centered flower with yellow ombre petals.
Bloody Rose Vampiric Stiletto Manicure
The sharp tip on these stiletto nails and the red rhinestones combine with the dark red nail polish to make a bloody good manicure.
Enchanted Long Coffin Nails in Crystal Design
The inspiration for this manicure could come from a Disney Princess movie, My Little Pony or even She-Ra, who knows? But the crystal and 3D nails goodness is 100% there. You could not ask for a more sparkly design.
Lovely St. Valentine’s Long Stiletto Nails
If you are feeling like doing a hearts design for that special dating day, try a heart on glitter gloss nail polish, add a soft french manicure with a tiny heart on the point and toss in a bright pink nail polish in the mix.
Delightful Almond Shaped Pastel Manicure
Bright shades of pink and turquoise, a cute stick on, colorful rhinestones and pastel goodness all around make for a striking combination in this long round manicure.
Minnie Mouse Red and White Inspired Design
Red with white dots its Minnie Mouse’s print signature, add a cute bow to white nails and a couple of red hearts to the mix for a striking 3D nail design! See more Minnie Mouse nail designs here.
Delicate Ombre Neutral and Gold Coffin Nails
Natural colored long square nails with beautiful white flowers make for a striking effect when combined with golden foil and rhinestones.
Barbie Princess Long Square Pink Manicure
We all know Barbie is known for a pink on pink color scheme, but this particular manicure could teach her a thing or two about combining pink, pink glitter and rhinestones.
Antique Romantic Stiletto Design
We cannot be sure about the inspiration behind this manicure. It could be a romantic take on the Edwardian era or an ode to Paris. Truth be told, the detail involved in the postcards and partiture alone is amazing enough, we are in awe!
Musical Almond Shaped Roses Nails
We know for sure that music played a big part when this artist was creating this amazing floral design. The long almond shaped nails look delightful with painted and 3D flowers.
Maroon Rhinestones Flowery Manicure
This has got to be one of our favorite 3D flower nails ideas. The dark nail polish contrasts with the pink and makes the 3D designs pop that much more!
Shiny Multi-colored Rhinestones Flowers Design
Another great example of contrasting colors is this dark red matte 3D nail polish design with 3D pink flowers and multi-colored rhinestones.
Naive Pink Pastel Hearts Nails
The pastel colored nails, softly round tips and cartoony drawn hearts make this the sweetest manicure ever.
Daring Poker Short Square Manicure
Visiting Las Vegas for a poker game? This is the design for you! The short square nails won’t get in your way and that red and black color palette will go nicely with your gambler vibe for the night.
Glittering Red Nail Polish and Rhinestones Flower Design
Metallic nail polish always looks amazing with its iridescent hues. Red also tends to make pink 3D acrylic nails stand out, even more so with flower appliques. That is what makes this combination a total show stopper!
Glossy Pink Flower and Red Square Nails
Even if you decide to keep your nail polish a simple classic red hue, the pink 3D flowers on top of it will pop like crazy.
Dainty Pink Glitter Ombre with Flower Manicure
Pink never looked so good before. This manicure with pink ombre square nails has a touch of glitter and delicate flowers with rhinestone centers as focal point.
Royal Outlandish Rhinestone Crown Design
Feeling like releasing your inner Queen? Pile those rhinestones sky high on top of some shiny pink nail polish and do not hesitate to add some crown jewels to that manicure.
Adorable Bear Short Round French Style Nails
Among our 3D french nails, this one has got to be the cutest short round nail inspo. Isn’t that strawberry the sweetest detail?
Pointy Long Stiletto Rhinestone Manicure
Super long stiletto nails in bright feminine shades, covered with multicolored glitter and rhinestones never looked so good as in this candy fest!
Dreamy Long Square Glitter Pink Design
This demure, delicate looking manicure is the polar opposite from our previous inspiration. The neutral tones, soft silver glitter and tiny rhinestones make it perfect for brides and bridesmaids.
Hearts and Rhinestones Pink Nails
Speaking of bride-to-be… Let’s consider this long coffin pink nails with a shiny red rhinestone heart for that bachelorette party!
Matte Black on Pink Rhinestones Manicure
There is nothing as lovely as a bright pink and black matte nail polish combination. Especially when you add a little shine to the design in the shape of pink crystals!
Rococo Rhinestones and Glitter Long Coffin Design
Glitter and extra shiny golden foil decorate these long coffin nails done in glittery white and filled to the brim with black and golden rhinestones. As far as 3D nail ideas go, it tops our most elegant list!
Sushi Inspired Short Round Nails
Did you ever entertain the idea of making yourself a sushi manicure? Well, guess you never thought it would look this good!
Bridal French Square with White Flower Manicure
Another great bridal example. This innocent looking french manicure with 3D white flowers is perfect for that big day.
Jelly Super Pink Glitter Long Coffin Design
Long coffin nails done in bright pink with red glitter tips and rhinestones combine together to create this colorful Candy Crush manicure.
Iridescent and Striped Extra Long Coffin Nails
Red and Iridescent nail polish are amazingly not the high notes in this otherworldly design. Neither are those black and white stripes and glued rhinestones that add a second layer of decoration. The real star here is the red hearts made with glitter on top of it all!
Transparent Multi-colored Glitter Stiletto Manicure
There is a style for every taste in this inspiration picture with both long stiletto nails and short round ones filled with glitter. A tiny pink 3D rose makes the most of the area in the long style manicure.
Cloudy Pink on Sky-blue Ombre Rhinestone Design
A rhinestone covered tip makes this ombre pink on sky-blue design look fantastic on long coffin acrylic nails. A pretty and shiny example of great 3D nail art.
Contrasting Black & White Stripes Nails
The best Black & White design you will ever see, these long square nails are a monochrome dream. The added geometric lines and rhinestones make it that much more unique.
Lovely Kisses and Hearts Glitter Manicure
These Gossip Girls nails are absolutely divine. The black and pink color combination, filled to be brim with hearts and silver glitter is a great design for this XOXO manicure.
Japanese Inspired Ombre Long Almond Design
Long almond shape nails are the best canvas for dense designs like this black on blue ombre with Japanese characters and wild boar stickers.
Happy Black & Red Rhinestone Long Almond Shaped Nails
Black, white and red combine in a lovely design in this manicure. The love inspiration is reflected in the red and black rhinestones that form a heart on the pinkie finger.
Artsy Polock Inspired Manicure
Long coffin blue nails with a super glitter Jackson Polock design make this manicure super artsy, colorful and unique!
Airy Long Stiletto Sky-blue Polish and Bow Design
A super cute nail polish in different shades of blue and sky-blue makes up this design, with transparent jelly nails and a cutesy bow glued on top of these 3D stiletto nails.
What do you think of these amazing designs? 3D nail manicures are one of the toughest to make because they require complete mastery by the nail artist. The glueing has to be done right, the finishing details have to be extra careful and so on.
To top it all off, the wearer has to be extra careful too. A bad movement like scraping your nail over a hard surface can result in damage to the natural nail underneath or detaching of the most prominent 3d parts. It is certainly not for the casual wearer, but we can all agree after seeing some of these inspiration designs that they are so worth the trouble!