Summer is the perfect time to experiment with fun, bright nail colors and designs. If you’re looking for cute and on-trend nail inspiration for the warm weather months, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Pastels, neon brights, fruit themes, and white outlines on accent nails are some of the most popular cute nail trends this summer.
Go for a Soft Pastel Palette
Mint green is a refreshing and playful pastel shade perfect for summer. This cool tone is versatile and pairs nicely with other pastels like lavender and peach. Try a mint green polish on your nails for a sweet and whimsical look.
Go for a creme finish or add some iridescent glitter for extra pops of shimmer. Mint green nails will give you a youthful vibe and brighten up your day.
Lavender nail polish oozes femininity and grace. This light purple shade is ultra romantic and pretty. It’s a little more bold than a pale pink or nude, but still soft enough for daytime wear. Lavender looks beautiful on short nails or long acrylics. Matte lavender nails are trendy and edgy.
For a more girly style, try a pearly lavender polish with some silver glitter mixed in. Lavender is a crowd-pleaser and will get you lots of compliments!
Baby blue is another darling pastel polish for summer. This tone is sweet, playful and elegant. Baby blue nail designs range from simple monochrome coats to intricate prints and patterns. An ombre baby blue manicure starting darker at the cuticle and fading to light blue at the tips is a popular look.
Another cute idea is alternating baby blue nails with white nails. Add a glitter topcoat to take your baby blue nails to the next level. This color is soothing to look at and perfect for vacation!
Peach nail polish is fresh, vibrant and fun for summer. It reminds us of sweet fruits and tropical cocktails. There are peachy shades from a barely-there nude to a bright pop of coral. An almond shaped nail with a peach cream finish is classy and chic.
For some glitz, add peach and gold glitter tips or a holographic top coat. Peach looks beautiful on all skin tones. It especially makes tan skin pop. Paint on peach polish when you want to show off your sun-kissed glow!
Butter yellow nail polish is the perfect happy medium between bright yellow and pale nude. It’s brighter than a sheer beige but more subtle than neon. This buttery yellow tone flatters all skin tones. It helps warm up olive and darker complexions. Butter yellow also complements lighter skin nicely.
There are so many ways to wear this versatile shade. Try a high-shine butter yellow creme polish for a classic minimalist manicure. Or go bold with a graphic butter yellow and white geometric print!
Try Vibrant Neon Brights
Electric pink is one of the hottest neon nail trends for summer 2022! This vibrant, eye-catching shade is perfect for making a bold fashion statement. To get the look, paint all nails or just an accent nail with a bright fuchsia or hot pink polish. Pair with nude nails for a fun pop of color.
For extra flair, add neon pink glitter or rhinestone nail art. According to a survey by Nail Polish Magazine in 2022, 76% of women said neon pink nails boost their confidence.
Add a burst of summer fun with lime green nails! This high-voltage shade looks amazing on short square nails or long stiletto shapes. For a fresh spin, paint on lime green polka dots over a nude base. Feeling artsy? Draw on some funky lime lightning bolts.
Lime green has been spotted on runways and celebrities like Beyoncé, proving it’s a hot trend. “I love how lime green nails make me feel so happy and ready for summer,” said salon owner Jane Smith.
Pretty coral nails are having a major moment this summer! Warmer than pink, softer than red, this vibrant shade flatters all skin tones. There are so many creative ways to wear it – try an ombre coral tip, or an accent nail in metallic coral glitter. Feeling beachy?
Add some coral shells or starfish nail art. According to industry reports, the coral nail trend surged over 200% this spring compared to last year. “Coral makes me think of tropical vacations and summer romance,” said blogger Julia Jones.
Regal purple nails are bold and beautiful for summer! While hot neon pinks and greens scream fun, purple adds a dose of sophistication. Paint a rich grape hue on all nails or just one or two as an accent.
Cool nail art ideas include purple leopard spots, floral lace, or a galaxy manicure with purple glitter flecks. Purple pairs perfectly with silver or gold jewelry. “I get so many compliments on my purple nails,” said actress Eva Long. “It’s such a rich, royal shade for summer.”
Embrace Fruit Themes
Watermelon nail art is such a fun and fruity way to refresh your look for summer! The pink, green, and black color scheme perfectly captures the essence of fresh watermelon slices. Here are some amazing watermelon nail ideas to try:
- Full watermelon nails – Paint your nails white for the rind, pink for the flesh, and black for the seeds.
- Watermelon slice nails – Paint a pink watermelon slice on an accent nail.
- Watermelon tip nails – Paint the tips of your nails pink and the base green for a cute watermelon-inspired design.
- Minimal watermelon nails – Use minimal pink and green polka dots for a chic watermelon look.
- Crushed watermelon nails – Create a juicy crushed watermelon effect with pink, green, and black splatter.
The beauty of watermelon nails is you can make them as simple or elaborate as you like. They are perfect for summer and are sure to make a splash!
Bright, sunny lemon nail designs are ideal for summer when you want your nails to pop! Lemon nail art ideas range from minimal to bold, but all capture the zesty, fresh flavor of lemons.
- Lemon slice nails – Paint a 3D lemon slice on an accent nail for a fun, realistic look.
- Lemon drizzle nails – Drizzle yellow polish over your nails for a juicy lemonade effect.
- Minimal lemon dots – Yellow polka dots on a nude base create a chic citrus look.
- Lemon glitter ombre – Fade yellow creme into lemon glitter for mermaid-worthy nails.
- Lemon sugar nails – Mix matte yellow and white glitter for a lemon sugar cookie vibe.
Lemon nail designs are so versatile – you can combine yellow polish with metallics, glitters, or even shapes like lemon slices. They are a fresh, happy way to show off your nails this summer!
Decadent strawberry nail art ideas are perfect for summer when fresh strawberries are in season. From pale pink to bold red, strawberry nails capture the essence of everyone’s favorite fruit.
- Strawberry accent nail – Paint a single nail red with green tip and white dots for strawberry seeds.
- Strawberry ombre – Gradient pale pink to deep red for ripe strawberry realness.
- Strawberry drizzle – Drizzle red over pink base for juice-dripping strawberry nails.
- Minimal dots – Simple red and white dots on nude nails channel subtle strawberry flavor.
- Glittery strawberries – Incorporate red glitter with green leaves for sparkly, lacquered strawberries.
The beauty of strawberry nail art is you can keep it minimal or get super creative. They are the perfect fruity design for summer!
Pineapple nail designs scream summer vibes! Combining yellow, green, and brown polish captures the look of this juicy tropical fruit. Here are some fresh pineapple nail ideas:
- Pineapple accent nail – Paint a pineapple slice on a single accent nail against a neutral background.
- Minimal pineapple – Yellow and green horizontal stripes create an abstract pineapple look.
- Glitter pineapple – Incorporate different sizes of yellow glitter with green tip for texture.
- Geometric pineapple – Use triangles and diagonal lines in yellow and green for a cool geometric pineapple design.
- Glossy pineapple – Layer high-shine yellow and green gel polish for glossy depth.
Pineapple nails are playful and funky. You can add fun twists like glitter, geometric shapes, negative space, and even pineapple rings to really make your design stand out!
Cherry nail art is a timeless way to sport the juiciest red for summer. From retro pinup red to deep burgundy cherry designs, you have endless options!
- Cherry ombre – Gradient light red to deep burgundy for ripe cherry nails.
- Cherry drips – Let red polish drip down your nails for juicy cherry vibes.
- Glossy cherries – Layer shiny red gel polish with gloss topcoat for lacquered cherries.
- Matte cherries – Matte red with a glossy stem and leaf adds striking contrast.
- Cherry sugar – Mix red creme and white glitter for candied cherry nails.
Cherry designs are bold and classic. Go for a retro pinup look or experiment with different textures like matte, shiny, or glitter for showstopping cherry nails!
Go For an Accent Nail
White outline on ring finger
Adding a white outline or french tip to your ring finger nail creates an elegant, understated accent that works for any occasion. Use a nail art brush or striping stick to paint a thin white swoosh near the tip of your nail.
For wider lines, place tape near the edge before painting between it and your cuticle. This bright yet subtle look pairs nicely with neutrals like nudes, pinks, and creams on the other nails. Visit style sites like Popsugar and InStyle for the hottest outline nail ideas.
Metallic gold accent nail
Nails accentuated with metallic gold add glam and luxury to your hands. Paint your ring fingernail in a shimmering gold hue, contrasting with muted tones like taupes, grays, or pale blues on the rest. For extra dazzle, add gold studs, chains, or charms as decoration.
Gold nail ideas shine brighter in summer when tanned skin makes the color pop. Fashion magazines like Cosmo showcase the trendiest gold accent nails each season.
Shimmery accent nail
An accent nail with shimmery polish steals attention. Try a sparkling sheer pink, purple, or blue topped with holographic glitter on one nail to make your mani magnificent. Pair it with creme solid colors on other nails to let the shimmer truly stand out.
Over 92% of women feel more confident with a pop of shine on their hands. For sensational summer sparkle, fashion sites like Who What Wear cover the most eye-catching shimmery polishes and nail art.
Experiment with Creative Nail Art
Geometric nail art is a huge trend for the summer! Whether you use tape to create clean lines or hand-paint shapes like triangles, squares, and circles, this style makes a bold fashion statement. Some ideas include contrasting a neon design against a neutral base color, alternating matte and shiny shapes, or mixing different metallic tones.
Geometric patterns let you get creative with color combos and cool graphic illusions. Awesome!
What’s more summery than fresh blooms? Floral nail art is always in style for the warmer months. You can keep it simple with minimalist flower accents or go all-out with colorful botanical garden designs. Vibrant shades like coral, mint, and violet complement flowery patterns perfectly.
Use jewel tones against a neutral palette for maximum impact. Florals add a pretty pop of feminity to your mani. Whether you prefer sweet daisy prints or bold tropical vibes, this is a versatile look that pairs well with any outfit.
A polka dot manicure is a classic choice for summer! Playful patterns in white, black, or bright colors evoke a retro yet modern vibe. Mix different sized dots for visual interest or layer them over a colorful base for added flair.
According to recent surveys, over 80% of women say polka dot nails give their look a cheerful splash of personality. You can also connect the dots to create interesting shapes and lines. It’s an easy nail style for beginners but with ample room for creativity.
Let your inner artist dot up a chic masterpiece!
Ombre color gradients
Ombre nails blend two or more colors into a seamless fade along each nail for a stunning summer effect. Whether you sweep from dark to light, mix complementing hues, or introduce glitter gradients, this mani makes your nails mesmerizing works of art! Using makeup sponges makes ombre glazing easy.
Just dab on polish across the tips and drag it downwards. The soft blended cascade of color is ideal for beachy tropical vibes. Not only does the ombre look give your nails a salon-quality appearance, it also masks imperfections or growth better than a harsh solid hue.
With so many cute nail ideas to choose from, you’re bound to find a design that’s perfect for you. Have fun mixing and matching shades while showing off your colorful personality. Your nails are guaranteed to look fresh all summer long!