This post is all about summer nails, summer nail trends and summer nail designs.
That summer vacation that you booked months ago is approaching soon. You’ve bought some cute bikinis and invested in some of your favorite luxury resort wear brands, the luggage has been taken out of the closet and your new beach reads are packed, but wait … you look down at your nails and see that you’re still sporting that black nail trend that was oh so cute last month.
Or perhaps, there’s no vacation on the cards right now, but the warmer summer months are approaching and you’re in need of some bright summer nails to get you into that sunshine state of mind.
Whatever your reason for needing a new summer mani and pedi, we’ve put together a list of the prettiest summer nails for your next manicure. Whether you have acrylic nails, gel nails or natural nails, here are some of the coolest summer nails to try in 2023!
- The classic French Manicure
- The Revamped French Manicure
- Ombre Nails
- White Nails
- Nudes and Neutrals
- Pale Pastels
- Bright Shades / Neon
- Rainbow Nails
- Summer Lemons
- Pretty in Peach
- Perfectly Pink
- Ocean Marble
- White Swirls
- Summer Swirls
- Metallic Nails
- Shades of Blues and Teals
- Maiolica Nails
- Fruit Inspired
- Flower Inspired
- Gold Glitter
- Shell Nails / Shell Tips
- Summer Glazed Donut Nails
- Tortoise Shell Nails / Tortoise Tips
- Sea Life Nail Art
- Delicate Pearl Nail Art
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25 Gorgeous Summer Nails You Need to Try in 2023
If you’re an avid reader of Dukes Avenue, you’ll know we’re all about understated elegance – but that doesn’t mean we can’t be a little more adventurous when it comes to our summer nail ideas.
In this list you’ll find a balance of simple summer nail colors to try, as well as some more daring designs that we think are equally as beautiful! Kicking off with the simpler styles…
The Classic French Manicure
Starting with a classic, a French manicure on oval shaped nails will forever be timeless. It may be simple, but this is one style where you really can be sure that your nails will match with whatever vacation look you have planned, whether that’s a relaxed beach look or a more glitzy ensemble for a glamorous beach club.
The Revamped French Manicure
This one is perfect for anyone who is after the elegance of French tips, but with a little bit of a twist – and that twist can be anything you like! Whether that’s swapping out the traditional white tip for a bolder shade of nail polish or trying out a different shape like ballerina, the summer period is a chance for you to get a little experimental and make the French manicure your own!
Baby Boomer Nails and Ombré Nails
Even though it’s been around a few years, we absolutely love the baby boomer nails trend. It’s a trend that works all year round, no matter the season and no matter the outfit. Just clean, smart and polished and that’s exactly what we look for in the perfect summer’s mani. But what exactly is it?!
Put simply, the baby boomer nail technique (aka the French ombré or French fade) is when a light pink or nude color is applied to the base of the nail and seamlessly merges into white by the tip of the nail. It’s almost like a French manicure, only without that clear cut divide between the white and the pink. You could argue that it’s a modern twist on the traditional French manicure!
For those wanting to be a little more daring than traditional white, the baby boomer technique can also be applied using different colors – these are simply known as ombré nails! Warning – this is not available at every nail salon so always call up to check if they have the required products beforehand!
If you’re more of a full color kind of nail girl, an all-white nail is beautiful for the summer months. Just like the French manicure, it matches every outfit and looks clean and elegant, especially on short nails. Here are some of our all-white nail looks.
Neutrals and Nude Nails
Slowly working through the color chart, we’re moving from whites to neutrals and nude nails, with shades of beige, camel, blush and browns. This kind of color is perfect for adding some dainty nail art, particularly in gold or silver. Here’s some inspiration:
Pretty in Peach
Just a little bit more color than a nude, but still so pretty for those summer months under the sun.
Or perhaps a pink is more up your street?
Pastel nails are ideal for the warmer months, whether that’s during the spring or summer. Pretty shades of lavenders, aquas, blues, yellows and pink are just the kind of calming colors you’ll want to see everyday on your summer getaway to a warm destination.
If you’re looking to adorn your nails with more than just one color, then gradient nails are for you! As Glamour U.K. says, gradient nails ‘use two or more shades to create the illusion of a subtly shifting rainbow of colors.‘ Take a look!
Bright Shades / Neon
Because if there’s one time of year to rock a bright neon color, it’s the summer! Neon shades may not always feel so appropriate, especially if working in a formal office environment or living in colder climates, but vacations are different! They are the perfect time to be a little more daring and try something that you might not normally go for!
More Cute Summer Nails You’ll Want To Copy This Year
With the simpler styles covered, it’s now time to bring out our wilder and more creative side! Check out these artistic – yet always tasteful! – nail ideas that we came across on Pinterest.
Why not try injecting a little rainbow fun into your upcoming manicure? Here are some examples of how you can do just that!
It’s fair to say that the ocean is one of the first things we think about when we dream of summer holidays in the sunshine, so why not show off your love of the sea with a beautiful ocean marble design at your next manicure?
Summer swirls are such a fun and creative way to inject a pop of color into your next summer manicure!
For more of a futuristic vibe, metallic nails are the way to go. We particularly love metallic nails in summery shades such as blush or gold.
This one is inspired by the gorgeous Italian-brand Dolce and Gabbana, who frequently pay homage to their Italian and Sicilian roots. The Maiolica print was a key pattern in their SS2018 collection, so why not try a similar pattern on your nails during the summer period?
Adding a little fruit-inspired detail can be just what your nails need to turn them around from evergreen nails to summer sunshine nails that belong on a beach somewhere.
But if fruit is a little too out there for you, there’s always the more traditional floral nails – just as summery, just as pretty!
Glitter nails always look celebratory, and after all, a summer vacation is definitely something to celebrate! If a full glitter nail isn’t for you, try experimenting with just applying glitter on the tip in an ombré-like fashion. Just think how they’ll sparkle on the beach!
Seashell Nails / Shell Tips
There’s only one place to show off this type of nail design – and that’s the beach! Again, this is another nail trend that you’ll need to check with your nail technician first, to see if they have all the required products and know-how to create the shell-like effect.
Summer Glazed Donut Nails
Hailey Bieber definitely reignited what’s now known as the ‘glazed donut trend‘ in 2022, and it looks like it’s here to stay. The great thing about this trend is that it is created by simply by rubbing a chrome effect powder onto any shade of polish to create that ultra shiny chrome effect that we all know and see everywhere. All you need to do is select your favorite summer shade and leave it in your nail tech’s hands!
Tortoise Shell Nails / Tortoise Tips
We all love a good animal print thanks to designers such as Roberto Cavalli, but how about adding that print to our nails?
Now it’s true that tortoise shell nails may be more synonymous with the fall, but that doesn’t mean we can’t rock them on a summer beach holiday! We happen to think they look pretty awesome against the sand and our summer linens! Here are some examples:
Sea Life Nail Art
Lovers of sea life might place this one right at the top of their list. For your summer mani, why not try adding some pretty sea life nail art to what would otherwise be plain nails. Take a look at these for some inspiration:
Delicate Pearl Nail Art
Delicate pearl-like nail art is beautiful for any time of year, but particularly pretty for those smarter summer events, like destination weddings somewhere warm by the sea.
If you’re always on the look out for nail inspiration and nail trends to try, be sure to check out these articles:
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