It’s time to ditch your winter wardrobe staples and look forward to summer Friday’s, popsicles, sunsets, and (our favorite of course) upgrading your beauty routine. You’ll want to swap out those ultra-hydrating skincare products while making sure you’re stocked on SPF and essentials to keep your skin calm, cool, and collected with the rising temps.
But there’s one thing you can’t forget to spruce up in the name of beauty; your summer nail polish collection. As always, it’s the best season of nail art and funky colors. Summer nail colors truly never disappoint. Nail expert Evelyn Lim has a few nail related words to live by. For one, she encourages DIY nail artists to never be afraid to wear any nail polish color they feel a connection with. If you plan to experiment with summer nail trends and nail art, Lim suggests choosing shades within the same color family for a harmonious look.
About the Expert:
Below are 30 summer nail polish colors you're about to see everywhere this year. Read on to find your new fave (or faves!) so you can plan your nails all summer long.
This color screams happy. It will match your Outdoor Voices tote bag and will complement more outfits than you think. It’s bright and bold but for some reason ties things all-together. Electric Blues are great colors to try a colored french tip nail look too.
You may be thinking bright yellow is odd for a nail color but trust us! Yellow nails are in and they’re SO summery. You’ll see just how cute they look when you serve a fresh pitcher of lemonade at your next summer BBQ. Pair with white or orange nail art to really elevate the look or break up the bright color and its boldness.
Peach will always be in for summer. It’s not quite coral and it’s not even close to orange. You might find a peach nail complements your skin tone if you have peachy or slightly red undertones. In a way, peach is kind of the new neutral? But definitely more fun.
We have been seeing green nails EVERYWHERE. And they’re not going away anytime soon. This viral nail polish from Gucci can be seen all over Instagram. Despite being picture-worthy, the Melinda Green color looks stunning on. It’s not a neon green so it pairs well with all skin tones & gives an editorial feel.
In our opinion, the best neutral nail leans a bit more on the white/cream colored side. Urban Jungle is the perfect neutral nail color for summer with an alabaster finish. You can wear this on your nails as is or couple with nail art or decals.
Periwinkle nail trends are taking the lead from the Pantone color of the year, Very Peri. Periwinkle nail polishes are a staple in any collection. They’re the perfect mix of pastel purples and light blues and can put the finishing touches on any summer sundress.
To pair with sunkissed skin and salty hair, orange nails with a hint of iridescence are incredibly unique. Fade the Sun by Smith + Cult has both orange poppy undertones and a bit of fiery red. We’re definitely trying this shade this summer.
Harry Styles approved of course. This punchy watermelon color will go with just about anything. You can dress it up or down. It’s an age-old eyecatching color that looks great on all skintones. Try pairing it with some rose gold nail art!
Coachella may be over but this nail color still has much to experience all summer long. This festival-ready color is so simple yet such a statement with its iridescence. You can wear on its own or use as a top coat to a brighter color. This color shimmers blue and purple tones but Cirque Colors has an entire array of these magical nail polishes.
A dialed down terracotta perfect for lighter skin tones. This is an ideal color to pair with floral or swirl nail art designs. Let this color be your ode to summer as fall rolls in. It’s an ideal transition color.
Dark colors can be great for summer too! Navy will always be a nautical staple from clothing to accessories. The same goes for your nails! The color will look sleek against tan skin and your favorite coastal grandmother white button up shirt.
Similar to what a rosy cheek tint does to your cheeks, this nail polish gives a quick swash of pink color to your nails. You’ll look like you came straight from the salon, cuticle oil and all. It’s an ideal base for intricate nail art, a french manicure, or to complement your natural nails on their own. This product is a must-have for anyone who’s nail polish obsessed.
Hot pink is a reigning summer-nail champion! Perfect as a nail art accent or painted on each of your fingers. Neons will always look great with tan skin and summer styles. We love Fierce & Loving by Olive & June to create the perfect Barbie Pink nail.
Don’t be fooled by its cool appearance - this color is great for any season. However, it really shines in the summer time when pastels are having their moment. Mints & seafoam greens are must-try colors reminding us of Easter Eggs and the sounds of the ocean.
Looking for a modern twist on the classic pink nail? Bring in a hint of gold. As this ultra-elegant shade features an even mix of both cool and warm tones, it's a perfect pick for any undertone or skin tone. Plus, golds tend to be the perfect complement to sun-kissed summer skin.
As much as we love testing out the trending color of the season, there are some classic shades that will simply never go out of style. So it goes with a cherry red, a punchy color that pairs perfectly with the intensity of summer. This bright, slightly coral-toned version of the shade gives the nails an ultra-glossy, high-shine gel finish with the durability of gel polish.
The warm, clear nights of summer are perfect for stargazing. When you want to add a little bit of that dreamy after-hours pastime into your day, reach for a shimmery shade of deep purple. With blue specks of shimmer, this grape hue instantly becomes 10 tiny portals into outer space—no telescope required.
If you tend to prefer more muted colors, try a sophisticated olive shade. It still embraces all the vegetation summer brings but has a more elegant, understated effect. Plus, this shade will look absolutely stunning on those with olive or dark skin tones.
Looking for an orange polish that's a little bit brighter? Channel the abundance of fresh fruit that summer brings with this tangerine-inspired shade of ESSIE nail polish. This glossy shade looks stunning on its own, but top it with a glitter top coat and it'll be pure summertime magic.
Sport a polish inspired by the happiest party favor there is: confetti. With a clear base, this polish is packed with rainbow flecks that add a potent punch of fun to an otherwise classic mani. Use alone or on top of a bright color of your choice!
While many of summer's best shades are bright, that doesn't mean neutrals are out of the question. However, now is a great time to add a touch of fun to the minimalistic shades by adding in a touch of sparkle. This dreamy cream color is a bit softer than a stark white, making it a top pick for anyone in search of a delicate manicure that still feels fresh and fun.
As the weather helps your flower pots take off, you may feel like using your garden's color palette as inspiration. To do just that, try using an earthy terracotta shade as a base. For something sweet and simple, you can stop here. But if you feel like going the extra mile, adding a little bit of floral nail art will make your fingertips look just like your collection of blooming buds.
This ultra-vibrant neon green color will instantly make a statement, whether you use it as your primary color or as part of a nail art design. The shade will look great on any skin tone, but for those with dark skin tones, this electric green will make those fingertips absolutely glow.
If that electric green polish from LAW BEAUTY wasn't quite bright enough for you, here's the neon nail polish of your dreams. If your M.O. is to make as much of a statement as possible as you reenter the world this summer, these fluorescent fingertips are sure to direct all eyes to you.
Here's another shade of blue that will work against tanned summer skin. Reminiscent of both blue skies and the waves on your favorite beach, it's a transitional shade that works flawlessly whether you sport it when it's 60℉ or 110℉.
When you need a reset from the trendy, saturated summer nail colors, opt for a barely-there pink. This polish from the clean nail care brand SUNDAYS makes for an ideal happy medium: It's subtle but still has an ever-so-slight iridescent sheen to incorporate a little bit of summer fun.
This soft, pastel shade is a seamless way to transition from spring to summer. It matches all the blooming blossoms of spring, yet still feels fresh and fun to wear in the warmer months. For a multi-colored manicure, try pairing this with a soft peach or a golden green—two colors Lim is especially excited to wear this summer.
If you want to make your summer tan look particularly striking, pair it with pure white nails. The one tricky part about white nail polish is that sometimes the color can begin to yellow. To keep this from happening, Lim suggests wearing gloves while doing cooking or cleaning tasks around the house, as harsh chemicals can react with polish and cause discoloration. UV light can also cause white polish to turn color. To prevent this, try using a top coat that contains UV protection.
For those with warm undertones, a bronzed mani is the perfect match for your skin's golden glow. When paired with gold jewelry and that summertime tan, these nails will add both sophistication and glam to any occasion.
There's a reason coral shades are a top-selling summer polish year after year. The certified summer classic is universally flattering, pops well against tanned skin, and pairs perfectly with the other warm, bright colors that are so popular during the warmer months.
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