HomeFashionSummer Nails Inspo: 5 Vibrant Manicures You'll Want to Recreate

Summer Nails Inspo: 5 Vibrant Manicures You’ll Want to Recreate

Plus, the products you need to DIY the looks.

By Lauren Knowles

Date July 6, 2023

If April showers bring May flowers, then June brings balmy days, and July brings a total heatwave—and even hotter manicures.

As temperatures rise, we’ve got a high dose of tropical tips, mermaidcore-inspired nails, and sunset-shaded polish on the forecast this season. With Instagram as our guide, we’ve sourced the brightest and boldest manicures sure to inspire your next set of summer nails — no matter the occasion. Pool parties? Cocktails on the patio? A summer in Europe? You name it, these looks have got you and your nails covered. The only question is: which set will you choose?

RELATED: Vanilla Chrome Nails Are the Sweetest Spring Manicure Trend

Ahead, scroll through five of our favourite summer nails to recreate this season.

Tropical floral tips

Give your springtime floral nails a seasonal makeover with this vacay-ready manicure. Summery shades of lime green, fiery tangerine, hot pink and Caribbean blue serve as the perfect base for colourfully contrasting floral details that pop. To add a bit of depth and dimension, try switching up the size and placement of your flower designs on each nail for a more abstract and unique-to-you look.

Photography Courtesy of OPI

To nail this look, shop OPI’s “Me, Myself, and OPI,” collection. Shade’s like orange “Silicon Valley Girl,” and blue “NFTease Me,” will give you that summery burst of colour. Plus, its fast-drying formula makes last-minute mani’s a breeze.

Buy it here: OPI Lacquer Silicon Valley, $13

Photography Courtesy of Makartt

If you’re not quite ready to tackle drawing your own floral nail designs, then you need this set in your life! Makartt’s nail art foil sticker is equipped with all the floral add-ons you could ever need, and more. For best results, cure the foil transfer beneath a UV lamp (which you can also pick up from Makartt!).

Buy it here: Makartt Nail Art Foil Set, $32

Under the sea-inspired shell nails

It’s mermaidcore season, folks! That means it’s time to unleash your inner mermaid with these oyster shell-inspired nails. Elevate a standard blue manicure by introducing a layer of opalescent polish on top of a translucent jelly shade of aqua to create this velvety, aquatic-looking finish. We’re sure this look would get The Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey’s approval.

Photography courtesy of L.A Colours

Want to get the jelly look without the gel? First, grab a blue polish like this one by L.A Colours. Then, mix a little polish together with a clear base coat to create that sheer finish. No gel needed!

Buy it here: L.A. Colours Craze Sea Siren Polish, $9 

Photography Courtesy of Revlon

To add that oceanic shimmer, top off your “jelly” shade with this pearlescent polish. This sheer shade makes the perfect final coat overtop any colour of your choice. What’s more, it’s chip free — so you can rest assured knowing your manicure will withstand any summer activity.

Buy it here: Revlon Pure Pearl Polish, $7

Elevate your aura

If you’ve been looking for a sign to hop on the aura nail trend, here it is! This rainbow-hued set is sure to radiate good vibes and positive energy, so you can feel confident that this summer will be a good one. Using a blush pink polish as the base, layer droplets of your favourite summertime shades to create the “aura” effect. To take the look one step further, incorporate colourful, miniature beads to add a three-dimensional element to your manicure.

Photography Courtesy of Saviland

Nail art brand Saviland offers up a collection of nail brushes that can be used for all sorts of designs. To recreate the aura trend, dip into your desired shade with the dotting tool included in the set. Then, add the droplet overtop your pink base shade.

Buy it here: Saviland Brush Set, $12 

Colour block French claws

For this mani, bring back two classic trends: French manicures and good ol’ colour blocking. If you can never decide on a single shade of polish, why settle for one when you can have them all? Pro tip: Draw inspiration from your summertime wardrobe palette; that way your manis will always match your look!

Photography Courtesy of Sally Hansen

Loving this set’s matte finish? Give Sally Hansen’s Big Matte Top Coat a try. Sure you can shop a single matte-coloured polish, but this way you can mattify any colour you’d like — which makes achieving a uniform finish on a multicoloured look like this much easier.

Buy it here: Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat, $11

Photography Courtesy of Saviland

Achieve perfect French tips *every* time with a nail stamp. You’ve probably seen this tool on TikTok before, and we’re here to tell you it’s worth the hype. Simply add a swipe of polish onto the stamp, press the tip of your nail into it, and there you have it!

Buy it here: Saviland French Tip Nail Set, $16

A summer sun set

Still loving spring pastels? Try mimicking a summer sunset with this ombré manicure. Instead of having your ombré pattern run top to bottom on each individual nail, opt for soft yellows, pinks, purples and blues to help create a sunrise-to-sunset (or vice versa) effect across all five nails on each hand. As the summer months roll on, feel free to swap your pastels out for bold neons for a tequila sunrise-inspired heatwave manicure.

Photography Courtesy of Essie

For your sun set mani, opt for pastel polishes like this one by Essie. This butter-yellow shade serves as the perfect starting point for the gradient look! And with a name like “Sunny Business,” you’ll be right on track with summer nail trends.

Buy it here: Essie Sunny Business Polish, $8


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