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The Summer Nail Trends You Won’t Be Able To Get Enough Of

More color, more nail art, more drama.

Are you a frequent flyer at your nail salon, or an avid DIY nail artist (whose manicures get done while sitting on your bathroom floor)? Either way, you no doubt have a few favorite colors you cycle between throughout the year — light colors for spring, darks for winter, you know. Well, this year’s summer nail trends are all about bright colors, bold designs, and edgy shapes. They’re perfect for your tropical beach getaway, a poolside staycation, or wherever you’re headed in this summer heat. Yes, your kids’ camp drop-off line is a good enough destination for fun nails, too.

Romper spoke with leaders in the nail care industry about what they expect to trend this summer. Some of their answers won’t shock you — neon hues, for example, are more popular than usual every summer — but others might take you by surprise (like the fact that square nails are officially back, baby). So, read on to see which summer nail trend you want to try first. And second, and third. Because hey, there is plenty of this sunny, sandy season left to try every neon color out there, and while you’re at it, a few bold graphic designs in between.


Square & Squoval Nails


The almond nail shape has reigned supreme for years now, but we are finally seeing a shift back to square tips (and, for those who prefer less of an edge, the more rounded squoval). “Natural nail shapes will continue with variations on squoval, which allows for extra length, ease of maintenance, and strength,” says Rebecca Isa, creative director of Zoya.

“This summer, we anticipate a blend of classic and modern shapes that cater to every preference. Almond and coffin-shaped nails will continue to be popular choices, offering elegance and sophistication. For those craving something edgier, stiletto and square shapes will make a comeback, adding a bold and dramatic touch to any manicure,” adds Rianna Basurto, director of marketing and brand development at Bellacures.


Iridescent Polishes

Chrome had its moment, and it paved the way for polishes with a subtler sheen to take center stage. “With bold, iridescent tones prevailing, the spirit of summer encourages experimentation when it comes to nail art with layering and embellishment,” says Jan Arnold, co-founder of CND.


Bold Neon Colors

I know, I know, I can hear Miranda Priestly’s voice now: “Neons, for summer? Groundbreaking.” But bright neon hues come back in style every single summer because no other colors enhance a good tan quite so beautifully.

“From neon pink to electric green, these eye-catching colors will make a statement wherever you go,” says Basurto. “Additionally, expect to see a resurgence of pastel tones, offering a softer and more whimsical alternative for those seeking a more understated yet stylish look.”

Besides, the brightness of the colors just matches the season, Arnold says. “This seasonal transition is reflected in our color palettes, evolving from cool and distant winter hues to playful pastels in spring, and finally to the highly charged and dynamic shades of summer.”


Negative Space Nail Art

When playing with big, bold colors, leaving some negative space on the nail can make them less overwhelming (especially when you’ll have them on your nails for weeks). Incorporate a little bit of your natural nail base into your next manicure, why don’t you?

“Negative space manicures will also gain traction, incorporating bare nails into intricate designs for a modern and minimalist look,” says Basurto.


Gradient Nails

Gradient nails will continue to be a popular choice, offering a seamless blend of colors that transition effortlessly from one shade to another. Metallic accents — like chunky glitters and chrome — will catch the summer sun nicely this season, too, according to Basurto.


Graphic Nail Art

Big, bold designs are in this summer according to all of these experts. “Geometric designs will take center stage, offering a modern and chic aesthetic that pairs perfectly with any outfit. Floral motifs will also bloom across nails, adding a touch of femininity and charm. For the more adventurous, graphic prints and animal-inspired designs will provide endless opportunities for self-expression and experimentation,” says Basurto.

Aura nails and blooming gel designs will both gain even more traction, says Nailboo Creator Lesley Stanger. “These have been trending over the last few months but rest assured they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. The options are endless when it comes to the design and colors you can use. These are especially fun when mixing multiple colors and designs together for a funky mani that is sure to catch people’s attention. This summer, step outside of your comfort zone and try one of these trendy ideas for your nails!”


3-D Nail Art


If color alone isn’t doing it for you, take your nails into another dimension — like, the third dimension. With special gels and nail charms, your mani designs can quite literally reach new heights.

“You can achieve 3-D looks with both gel polish and dip powder, and again, the options are endless when it comes to the design and colors,” Stanger says. “I love seashell 3-D nails for the summer to create the perfect beachy mermaid nails. This is a fun way to add texture to the nails for a unique manicure.”

You may not want a raised design on your nail, but using glitters, you can still get lots of depth in your design. “We expect to see nail art utilizing both textured and neon glitters to create 3-D effects,” Isa says. “Neon glitters can be sponged over a pastel, textured glitters can be used as an off-centered dotted line in tone on tone colors. Crystal glitters can be applied to the free edge to create a disco ball French mani.”

Sure, you could stick to your favorite nude polish as usual. But wouldn’t it be fun to lean into one of these trends this summer?