Embrace The Wild West With The Latest Beauty Trend, The Cowboy Manicure

By Charlie Colville

2 months ago

This ain't Texas – but it might as well be

Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter has taken yet another (very willing) victim: the nail salon. Countrycore is taking over the music scene, runways and beauty bars this season, and has us craving a good western-themed manicure – here’s how to request cowboy nails at the salon.

More 2024 Nail Trends

What Is A Cowboy Manicure?

Taking its cues from the aesthetics of the Wild West, a cowboy manicure is a set of nails that features artwork depicting the likes of cowboy hats, boots, horseshoes, cacti and stallions – and they’re primed to be the top choice at salons this summer. ‘Cowboy nails are taking over in a variety of ways and colours,’ confirms Holly Wolff, a nail technician at Neville Hair & Beauty. ‘The western inspiration is huge right now thanks to stars like Beyoncé , and there’s a growing interest in expressing individuality through nail art, with western motifs providing a unique and distinctive aesthetic.’

@aminaoui using @GELCARE® French Alps Klein Blue Morello ** use code AMINA to save #cowboycarter #countrynails #usanails #springnails ♬ BODYGUARD – Beyoncé

The trend has not gone unnoticed by TikTok, where searches for #cowboynails have amassed over 31 million views on the platform. Between the Beyoncé-themed nail art, cow print and rodeo themes, you’ll find the cowboy manicure in its natural habitat (the internet).

But what does a cowboy manicure look like exactly? Holly tells us that nail art for this trend falls under a broad umbrella, with everything from cow print to denim textures being fair game. ‘A cowboy manicure typically incorporates Western-inspired motifs, colours, and themes onto the nails,’ she says. ‘Designs can include cow print – either in a classic black and white, metallics, or even coco brown with orange, brown and white – as well as different shades of blues to represent denim. Depending on the nail length, you could also opt for something that acts a smaller nod to the trend, like a French mani-style cow print. As for nail shapes, pointed and almond-shaped nails seem a popular choice, as they evoke the look of cowboy boots or hat tips.’

How To Ask For A Cowboy Manicure At The Salon

Since this is a style of manicure that requires a bespoke design with plenty of personal touches, it’s important that you attend your appointment at the salon with a clear idea of what you want to try in mind. ‘When asking your nail technician for a cowboy manicure, it’s helpful to come prepared with some ideas or references of the specific Western motifs or designs you’re interested in,’ adds Holly. ‘You can also discuss with them the colours and nail shapes you prefer, to really nail down the look you want to try.’

@shaylajay pov: you told your nail tech you wanted ‘cowboy nails’ for the luke combs concert !! 😍😍🔥🔥 Artist: @Nails by Kumi #nail #nailartist #nailart #country #lukecombs #cowboy ♬ When It Rains It Pours – Luke Combs

Ideas To Try At Home

If you’re keen to try the trend at home, however, Holly has plenty of beginner-friendly ideas you can try yourself:

  1. Cow Print: ‘Start with a solid colour as the base, then using a dotting tool spread another colour in splodges to mimic the appearance of cow spots. Always add a top coat for a glossy finish.’
  2. Cowboy Boots & Horseshoes: ‘⁠Use nail polish – a long, fine brush will be easier to use for daintier designs – or nail art pens to draw on cowboy boot designs or miniature horseshoes on top of your chosen base.’
  3. Denim: ‘ ⁠Experiment with denim-inspired patterns by layering different shades of blue nail polish.’
  4. Desert Backdrop: ‘You can also create a desert landscape using a variety of different beige colours, partially layered on top of each other to give the appearance of a western backdrop.’
  5. Cowboy Glamour: ‘For a Dolly Parton-style manicure, you can add small rhinestones or studs to mimic the embellishments often found on more flamboyant cowboy attire.’

Nails Inspiration


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Meg (@_lilysnailstudio)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by (@by_millimac)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by (@jellybayn_nails)


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ⛓ Strange Love (@strangelovenails)

Featured image: @by_millimac on Instagram