POPSUGAR Celebrity

Polish Pros Weigh In on This Summer's Best Mani-Pedi Combos

May 28 2014 - 7:30am

Ready to show off Summer's boldest manicure and pedicure combos? InStyle [1] offers up the freshest polish combinations of the season.

With sandals finally taking the place of slush-soaked boots, nails are in dire need of some TLC. We delved into the creative genius of three of the best celebrity nail experts in the business: Jin Soon Choi, Jenna Hipp, and Julie Kandalec. They shared their picks for Summer's best mani-pedi pairings. Whether you prefer a more classic combo, or embrace the bold options this season has to offer, we've got a look for you.

More from InStyle:

The Best Products For a Makeup-Free Look [2]
Ten Metallic Makeup Products We Love [3]
Phase Out Microbeads From Your Skin Care Routine [4]

Blue and Off-White

Jin Soon Choi suggests squashing nail protocol, swapping the bold color to the nails, with the more subtle on the toes, as "it’s more fun to mix them up." For a "cool, sporty Summer look," top with her Kookie White topping over Cool Blue.

JINsoon Cool Blue [5] ($18), JINsoon Kookie White [6] ($18)

Buff and Bright

Summer is primetime for brightly colored polish, but going au naturel, especially with RGB's vitamin-fortified Buff in a Bottle [7] ($18), is a healthy alternative for nails. Add a punch of color to the look with Sheswai’s Hot Damn [8] ($16) fuchsia shade on the toes.

Cherry and Rosie Beige

Indulge in the ultimate girlie pairing that, Choi says, "can be classic and modern at the same time."

JINsoon Cherry Berry [9] ($18), Michael Kors Hint [10]($18)


Essie’s Butler Please [11] ($9) (our 2014 Best Beauty Buys winner for Best Bright Nail Polish) is one of our favorites. Add it to your nail game by pairing it with complementary shade Clambake [12] ($9), a technique Kandalec claims to be "the most bold nail move."

Nail Wraps and Nail Polish

Hipp points to the ease of nail wraps, which can last up to two weeks, as a go-to for long, lazy Summer days. RGB’s fittingly named Peacock is a universally appealing shade that Hipp feels would look best with a slight tan.

NCLA + Nailing Hollywood Nail Wraps in Fowl Play [13] ($16), RBG Cosmetics Peacock [14] ($18)

Neon and Neutral

For this unlikely duo, Kandalec says, “let one shine and one take the backseat. I love a perfectly clean pedi — especially juxtaposed with a neon nail."

Estée Lauder Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Nudite [15] ($21), Floss Gloss in Lean [16] ($8)

Orange and Light Blue

Drawing inspiration from a pop art palette, Choi declares this mix, a pool-toned blue and sherbet orange, "fun and young — a great mood lifter!"

JINsoon Poppy Blue [17] ($18), Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Distraction [18] ($27)

Tonal Colors

If your workplace is on the more conservative side, Kandalec advises wearing varying shades of the same color. "A shell pink like Dolly Pink is feminine but not boring, and she can kick it up with a bright fuchsia hue on toes for after the sun sets."

Jin Soon Dolly Pink [19] ($18), Deborah Lippmann in Whip It [20] ($18)

Tone on Tone

Don’t be afraid of being matchy-matchy, even in an unexpected color. Kandalec declares, "Green can be universally flattering — in the right tones. A semi-opaque (think of skim milk — that thin opaque tone) light green on toes is hyperfresh, and a statement green on hands ties it all together."

RGB Nail Polish in Dew [21] ($18), Essie in First Timer [22] ($9)


When sticking to the same color family, Hipp suggests selecting a shade slightly darker on your hands than on your toes, or vice versa. "This gives your overall look a planned consistency," she says. To get the look, try out Hipp’s eco-friendly polish Throwing Shade (loved by Jennifer Garner [23]) on the nails, paired with Better Slate Than Never on the toes. Both are available in an eight-piece collection [24], out in June for $10.

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