Our social media algorithms finally seem to understand what we want to see, and that’s a steady stream of puppies and nail art. These summer nail ideas have us dreaming of showing off our perfectly-manicured hands at the beach or while enjoying a few scoops of our favorite ice cream.
But, until then, try these nail trends and tag us because we literally can’t get enough of it in our feed. Don’t let the puppies win!
20 Summer Nail Ideas
1. Abstract Nail Art
Hopefully you didn’t Marie Kondo all your summer nail polish colors while spring cleaning, because you’ll need it for this multicolored Miro-inspired look that sparks a lot of joy.
2. Simple Gothic Lettering
If you’re not at the “freehand calligraphy” stage of your nail art game yet, you can find letter decals on Amazon. Spell out any eight-letter words of wisdom you want. Ten if you use your thumbs. Twelve if you’re a panda! It’s like the manicure version of Words With Friends.
3. Evil Eye Nail Art
Give your fingers a break from rage-tweeting and let this subtle evil eye nail design ward off negative energy for you. It’s understated enough to wear on a work Zoom, but has that perfect “per my last email” vibe we’re going for.
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4. French Manicure with Neon Outlines
Neon is all the rage right now, but if you’re not ready to let hot pink nails back into your life just yet, try this day-glow yellow twist on the classic French tip. This summer nail idea is classy, fun, and a worthy tribute to our favorite office supply: the highlighter.
5. Half Tortoiseshell Nail Art
This design looks great on every skin tone and matches every pair of cozy sweatpants you own. Use a toothpick or a nail pen to paint the metallic line down the middle of each nail. Then switch hands and use a toothpick to find out how much worse it looks when you try to do it with your left hand.
6. Breaking Bad-Inspired Nails
This is a nod to Heisenberg — the character, not the physicist. It incorporates two major nail trends: minimalism and line art. More importantly, it’s ridiculously easy to do with a bit of nail polish. The hardest part is avoiding awkward conversations with men in fedoras.
7. Faux Louis Vuitton Nails
Want to let the world know you have expensive taste and a DIY attitude? And by attitude, we mean bank account? These Louis Vuitton-inspired nails are way cuter than any of the LV knockoffs we’ve seen in our targeted ads. While you might want to wait until you can get to a nail artist for a perfect french manicure, you can get the LV stickers here.
8. Euphoria Summer Nail Art
We’ve all done Euphoria makeup looks — why not try some over-the-top nail art to go with your rhinestone freckles and glittery winged eyeliner? This look can be done with any two contrasting colors of your choice and will take you right back to your reckless teen years.
9. Stamp and Go Nails
Did we mention neon is all the rage now? Paint your nails a bright neon, then use a stamping plate to add the design. and you’ve got a mani that’s made for sipping pina coladas by the pool. (You can get the pineapple stamp here.)
10. Tie Dye Nails
Tie dye is still a thing. This swirly, colorful nail design makes our inner hippie happy. We know a few other things that work, but for now, this’ll do.
11. Seashell Nail Art
Shell yeah! These super summery shell nails look just like something you’d find lying on the shore. And, in this case, we don’t mean an old boot!
12. Colorful Negative Space Summer Nails
Negative space manicures — a.k.a. designs that don’t cover the entire nail — are all the rage right now. We love this concept because we can do half as much work and end up looking like we just walked out of an art gallery. Without a painting this time, we swear.
13. Cherry Nails
Unless you’re a pro with a nail brush, these fruity nails are going to be hard to nail at home, but it’s worth a try! Paint a pink base color, then add circles for the cherries, and green lines for their stems. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?
14. Summer of Love Nail Art
These Woodstock-inspired nails are great unless your friend suggests you take a mind-expanding trip to the desert and you end up staring at these for 9 hours. The universe. It’s in there, you know?
15. Sprinkles Nail Design
If you can’t bring your nails to the party, bring the party to your nails. We love this colorful drippy design, which reminds us of chasing down the ice cream truck to order a vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles.
16. Rainbow Nails
Pride celebrations have been cancelled this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rock the rainbow look this summer. Plus, even if you’re a real klutz with the nail polish brush, you can rock rainbow nails. (We’re mostly talking about ourselves here. Yeah, again.)
17. Pastel Galaxy Nails
We leaned way in to the galaxy nails trend, so there was already a 100 percent chance we were getting on board with the summery pastel version — but the Baby Yoda design on this one clinches it.
18. Watermelon Nails
Let’s be honest. We’d rather spend our time eating a juicy watermelon than attempting watermelon nail art that’s just going to looks like a Picasso. This summer nail design captures the essence of the watermelon, and lets us get back to important things. Like playing the remake of Final Fantasy 7.
19. Welcome to the Jungle Nails
Even if you can’t yet escape to the jungle, this badass-meet-girly nail design would look great at a Zoom rock concert or on your daily walk. That’s the same thing, right?
20. All of the Things
If you can’t decide which summer nails ideas you want to try first, this one is a mix of several trends. Neon? Check. Negative space? Check. Minimalist line art? Check. New take on the French manicure? Check. Signs you might need to prioritize? Check.
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