The Hottest Nail Art Trends for Summer

Nail Art

When summer rolls around, it’s time to bring out the vibrant colors, fun patterns, and fresh nail shapes. Warmer weather calls for bright, eye-catching manicures that add a pop of color and personality. This season, nail art is all about cheerful shades, creative designs, and tropical vibes.

From pretty pastels to bold neons, check out the hottest nail trends you’ll be seeing everywhere this summer. Upgrade your mani and make a stylish statement with these trendy nails.

Retro Summer Brights

Nail polish brands are taking it back with their summer 2023 collections featuring highly-pigmented shades reminiscent of retro decades. Think glossy reds, electric pinks, disco glitters, and saturated corals perfect for backyard barbecues and beach vacations.

Revive classic cool nail moments with polishes like:

– Vibrant cherry red – an iconic color a la 1950s Hollywood glam

– Bold coral and orange hues – tropical tones fit for 1970s pool party style

– Neon pink and green – electric pop shades channeling the 80s and 90s

– Metallic silver chrome and blue – futuristic iridescents that catch the sun

Have fun mixing and matching these bright retro-inspired colors for an eye-catching summer mani that’s lighthearted and cheerful. A perfect match for your favorite vintage tee and high-waisted shorts!

Tie Dye for the Summer

What’s more nostalgic than a tie dye print? This familiar swirling pattern is making its way onto nails for a groovy punch of color. Paint each nail a different vibrant shade or use varying colors on one nail to create the tie dye effect.

You can easily DIY this look at home with a makeup sponge, painting different diagonal stripes across the nail and lightly dabbing to blend. Or go for polish like Orly’s Tie Dye for Two with a pre-mixed ombre tie dye effect in shades of pink, purple, and teal.

This trend combines swirly psychedelic style with a refreshing color palette perfect for summer. Pair with sun-faded denim cutoffs and get ready for compliments!

Tropical Paradise Vibes

Transport your nails to a tropical paradise getaway with lush colors and nature-inspired designs. Pastel mint and lilac communicate tranquility, while corals, oranges, greens, and turquoise channel vacation vibes.

Add palm leaves, hibiscus flowers, pineapples, parrots, seashells, and more for a major island mood. Use nail vinyls and stripers to get those perfect palm frond shapes. Detailed tropical prints let you bring a piece of paradise to your manicure.

An accent nail with a simple palm tree decal against a seafoam green background keeps the look breezy. For beach night festivities, add touches of island glam with metallic gold foil and iridescent glitter polishes.

All The Fruity Colors

This summer embraces juicy, succulent hues thatlook good enough to eat. From mouthwatering watermelon to tangy lime slices, brands are taking flavor inspiration from our favorite fruits. The sweet, fresh colors pair perfectly with sundresses and sandals.

Some of the fruity polish picks we love include:

– Essie’s Pep Squad – a bright cherry red -and Make The Cut – a deep plum

– OPI’s Candlelightin’ Lemon Cake and Suzi Loves Cowboy – creamy peaches

– Zoya’s Joy, Rue, and Knockout – luscious pink to red nectarine shades

– Olive & June’s HH – a true melon green hue

Mix and match to create a fresh fruit salad mani. A dainty bow or floral accent pulls the look together. One thing’s for certain – your nails will leave everyone thirsty!

Pretty Pastel Rainbow

While neons have their place, soft pastels feel more free-spirited and dreamy. Powdery shades of pink, blue, lilac, mint, and peach evoke images of ice cream parlors and dreamy sunsets. The rising pastel rainbow trend is ideal for the warmer season.

Paint each nail a different subtle pastel shade, or do alternating colors on accent nails. To jazz it up, add mini rhinestones, pearls, or a holographic clear topcoat for ethereal iridescence and shine.

You can even sheer out deeper shades by layering over a pearly white base to create a faded, washed-out pastel look. However you style it, this trend combines femininity and charm for an irresistible mani.

Ornate Gold Accents

Metallics add flair and luxury to any manicure, and this summer it’s all about accenting tips and cuticles with dazzling gold touches. The glimmering embellishments dress up a bright color or neutral nail with opulence.

Look for polishes like Christian Louboutin’s Loubi Under Red that have actual flecks of real 22-karat gold foil inside for next-level glitter and shine. Or rim your tips with shimmering gold striping tape.

Tasteful gold jewelry-inspired accents along the perimeter of the nails or undersides transform a regular mani into something regal. Add as much or as little bling as you wish – these glimmering touches instantly level up your look.

Fresh Striper Designs

Time to elevate your basic polish with some graphic details! Striping tape allows you to create fine lines, artistic patterns, and fun designs for an intricate mani that’s easy to DIY.

Make diagonal stripes, horizontal color blocks, chevron patterns, or shapes like hearts and stars. Stagger and overlap for abstract effects. You can also sandwich glitter or pearl strands between taped lines for further dimension.

Stripers guide you to perfect symmetry. Outline sections and fill in with your desired shades. Remove the tape to reveal super crisp edges. Take your nail art up a notch with these graphic touches! 

Minimalist French Mani Twist

The classic french manicure has been modernized this season with thinner reverse tips, abstract shapes, and sheer color. These pared down interpretations feel fresher.

Use thin striping tape to create a reverse french tip or dainty corner accents instead of coating the whole tip. Try tonal shades of beige and brown for softer contrast. Trade stark white tips for hints of ivory, gray, blush, or neon.

Shapes like triangles, crescents, and squiggles put a modern spin on the french nail. Sheer out bright colors rather than intense opaque white on the tip. These artsy touches reinvent a vintage mani for now.

Nature-Inspired 3D Art

Realistic florals, butterflies, and animals rendered in 3D acrylic, gel, or dip powder give your nails an eye-catching tactile element. From intricate petals to actual pearls, jewelry, and charms embedded in product, anything goes with this dimensional trend.

Encapsulate small decorative objects in clear acrylic or gel for cool one-of-a-kind texture. Sculpt striking flowers like orchids and roses to look like they’re growing off your nails. Paint precise monarch butterflies mid-flight using a steady hand.

This customizable statement trend works best done professionally in-salon, but DIYers can try their hand with nail stickers and embellishments. However you interpret it, 3D art makes your mani pop right off your fingertips!

Minimalist Nude Nails

On the opposite end of the spectrum, understated nude manicures let your natural nails shine through for an effortlessly chic look. Sheer beiges, pale pinks, and neutrals keep the focus on your beautiful bare nails.

The minimalist mani pairs perfectly with both causal everyday wear and elegant occasions. Buff nails to a natural sheen or layer on a hint of sheer pale polish.

Clean up cuticles and tips for flawless finesse. Less truly is more with this gracefully naked trend – holiday colors need not apply!

Short Squares and Round Nails

Summer’s signature nail shapes are short, symmetrical square and round styles. These chic options offer a classy look that’s both youthful and professional.

Square nails with straight edges flatter most finger shapes. Use striping tape for an expert straight line across the tip. Round nails are elegant and understated. File into a symmetrical oval avoiding any pointy corners.

Go for short to medium lengths and a consistent shape on all 10 digits for balance. These crisp, shapely summer nail designs highlight healthy, well-manicured hands.

The Hottest Trends to Try

Whatever colors and styles you love, don’t be afraid to get creative and express your personal flair this summer! Have fun with different vivid shades, patterns, accessories, and shapes to show off your unique personality.

Stay on top of trends by following nail artists on Instagram and Pinterest to discover inspiring designs. This seasonal guide offers trendy ideas on where to start crafting your perfect summer mani!


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Written by Henri Johnson

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