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9 Nail Colors and Designs That Will Become Your New Summer Staple

By Melissa Epifano

We’ve now arrived at the perfect point for transitioning those bare nails into something that reflects the happy vibes that tag along with spring and summer. It’s time for a little refresh, and rather than cracking out the usual colors there are plenty of new shades and design ideas worth considering that are making an impression this year.

If bright lemon yellow or highlighter orange often adorn your tips come summertime, the burst of retro swirls and florals will be a welcome change. On the other hand, French manicure lovers and fans of the pastel shades that line the shelves this time of year, will appreciate the reverse French mani and gently lined cuticles of this year’s trends. The options are abundant and endlessly playful.

We’ve rounded up nine different ideas you’ll be obsessed with wearing for the coming months (and longer).

1.

Splash of ’70s

 

 

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A post shared by Na Ho (Nia) (@nails_and_soul)

Groovy prints always deserve a spot in your mani lineup during the warmest seasons. A few swirled tips, like seen here, adds a playful splash of color that’s not too overbearing but far from the minimal shades you’ve been wearing the rest of the year. You can copy the stunning warm orange and browns used here or even test out greens and blues in an array of wavy designs.

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2. 

Peachy Moons

 

 

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Reverse French manicures are exceptionally stylish, especially when they feature a pop of pastel or neon. It’s a sliver of color that feels cool and fresh—a look that even nail minimalists can get on board with. A design like this can be free-handed, but a little tape goes along way if you’re adamant about precise lines.

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3.

Soft Sage

 

 

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A post shared by Jessica Rhoades (@jessicajrhoades)

A light green is the perfect happy medium between earthy tones and light pastels. It’s soft and elegant and a great staple for anyone’s nail polish collection. This neutral of a tone reads differently depending on the light that hits it or the outfit colors you pair it with, which in turn means its incredible versatile. Coat the entirety of your 10 nails in it or use it to create low-key dots and stripes. 

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4.

Faded French

 

 

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A post shared by ❤ Hang Nguyen aka Moon ❤ (@thehangedit)

An opaque coat of pink can create a stunning barely-there French mani that’ll last you from the first day of spring all the way to the last day of summer. It’s the perfect go-to for the color averse or those who can’t decide between the endless rainbow of lacquers at the salon, but it feels like a much fresher update on the more obvious lines featured in a traditional French manicure.

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5.

Kelly Green

 

 

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A post shared by Julia Diogo (@paintedbyjools_)

Green is an optimal shade for spring and summer, and this heavily saturated hue is no exception. It’s brighter than your average sage or moss, yet it’s not quite as loud as a lime or neon green. With a candy-colored tone like this on your nails, you basically have a built-in statement accessory for all your outfits.

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6.

Fresh and Fruity

 

 

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A post shared by Betina R. Goldstein (@betina_goldstein)

 

Is it really summer if you’re not eating or wearing some kind of fruit? An adorable nail design like this is simple but still fun and eye-catching. You can switch it up with ultra bright colors or metallic finishes to add a bit of personality. And even if you find drawn-on designs to be difficult, a clear coat of polish and some stickers will do the trick equally as well.

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7.

Rainbow Tips

 

 

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A post shared by NAILS OF LA (@nails_of_la)

A rainbow of shades doesn’t have to feel cheesy—in fact, it can look rather clean and modern with the right set of colors. Rather than stick with the usual order of Roy G. Biv, swap places with a few different colors to give your nails a more mid-century modern-inspired vibe. This kind of look can really work with any rainbow you choose, but grouping them by family — like neons, pastels, and jewel tones, for instance — will give you the most cohesive end result.

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8.

Slice of Sunshine

 

 

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A post shared by Melanie (@overglowedit)

More ’70s-inspired patterns? Yes, please. You truly can’t find a more spring and summer suitable mani than one that mixes pastels, swirls, and sunshine. Freestyle it across the beds of your nails or find a set of stickers or stencils to help you get a look as bright and bubbly as this one.

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9.

Punchy Yellow

 

 

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A post shared by ANYA MYATA • MANICURE • POLAND (@nails_myata)

Another stunning example to add to your Insta saves of a reverse French mani is this pretty pop of yellow. It’s sunny and bold but keeps it reserved for just the moons of your nails. You can keep the rest of your nail lacquered in a clear coat, but we’re loving this light pink lemond shade that adds just the perfect extra splash of summer to the equation. 

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