9 Colorful Summer Nail Art Trends Coming From the UK, According to the Pros
For a lot of us, the extended time at home the last few months has allowed for more time on our hands to experiment with hobbies that we miss and others we want to start up. For beauty editors, one of those hobbies is nail art. Once you have the basic equipment (think: base coat, top coat, a few polish colors, a nail brush, and even a few accessories), all it requires is imagination, a steady hand, and perhaps a little patience. To help get your creative juices flowing, we asked some of the best nail artists in the UK to share their top trends for the summer. And not only did the nail artists predict the trends that'll be huge, but they gave their top tips about recreating them so that you can give the trends a try at home.
From easy accent nails with a twist to more intricate designs like those inspired by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, you're sure to find nail art ideas to suit both your taste and your skill level.
Read on to get some fresh summer nail-art inspiration coming from the UK that we promise will have you tapping into your inner artist.
UK Nail-Art Trend: Accent Nails With a Twist
One of the simplest ways to jazz up any manicure is with an accent nail. And no, we're not talking about some glitter on your ring fingers. "We can do better than that," said London-based nail artist Kate Williamson. "Try a middle finger on one hand and little finger on the other. The more asymmetric the design, the better it actually looks. Just trust me on this one," she said. And after seeing this as inspiration, we absolutely do.
This is the perfect design if you're a bit new to nail art and bright colors scare you. Williamson recommended keeping the base light and neutral in color, then adding one nail of gems on either hand.
UK Nail-Art Trend: Colorful Dried Flowers
Williamson said if there's one thing that'll make nail technicians squeal, it's adding dried flowers to an otherwise simple manicure. "Flowers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors," and there really is no wrong way to do it. "You could create a dainty look using the smallest petals and leaves using a good quality clear top coat, or go all out covering a full nail and encapsulating it into gel extensions (as pictured) if you're more experienced."
On your next walk, why not keep your eyes peeled for some teeny tiny flowers to dry and stick on for your next manicure? Just make sure you're being careful to pick flowers that are wild in abundance before taking them; you don't want any angry neighbors by picking their flowers.
UK Nail-Art Trend: Rainbow French Manicure
Yep, French manicures aren't going anywhere, and we really aren't mad about it. There are countless ways to get your French mani fix that doesn't include a plain white shade. "These pastel ombré tips are a quirky twist on the classic French tip, and if you want something really on-trend, try an almond shape (as pictured) and with a deeper, more curved tip," said nail artist Sadie Jordan, who works with start-up Beautystack.
Again, if you're a little afraid of bright color, Jordan suggested shades that are on the lighter, paler end of the color spectrum. "A combination of a natural or semisheer base with delicate rainbow accents is the recipe for a cute AF summer nail design."
UK Nail-Art Trend: Pastel Gradient
If you aren't scared of a splash of color and want to welcome it into your new at-home manicures, Williamson suggested getting inspired by the flowers blooming whilst on your daily walk. "Instead of using 10 colors, try five, or even three," said Williamson. If you aren't sure which shades work well together, "try sticking with pastels that compliment each other, or tonal colors starting from light to dark."
Nail-Art Trend UK: Neon Hues For the Finer Details
In the summer months, many of us turn to neon shades, but Laura Southern from House of Lady Muck salon in London said you don't always have to go full-on neon to get the hue in there. She recommended using neon shades for finer details or accent nails, in addition to using black or white to make the neon hues really pop, without filling the entire nail with the color.
UK Nail-Art Trend: Up in the Clouds
Maybe it's because we're all staring our of our windows at the clouds, but this design is everywhere. It's subtle, creative, and best of all, pretty easy to recreate. Our favorite designs are the ones that don't need to be perfect, and this definitely ticks that box. With this design, take a cotton bud like Williamson does in this video, and roughly dab on a white shade to create cloud-like shapes.
Follow this by taking a light grey hue and, using the other end of the cotton bud, dab the color over the top of the white polish, making sure to only cover small areas of the white.
UK Nail-Art Trend: Takashi Murakami-Inspired Designs
Jordan is "obsessed" with designs inspired by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami (and we are too!), particularly for the summertime as the colors are so vibrant. Seen on Kylie Jenner in January, the instantly recogniZable artwork has inspired many more artists to get experimental. One of Jordan's favorite recreations is this one by London-based nail artist Anouska Anastasia. Obviously our at-home manicures won't be anywhere near as detailed, so take elements and colors from each design to inspire your own.
UK Nail-Art Trend: Giving Thanks to the NHS
While those of us who are nonessential workers might not be on the frontline helping to actively fight the coronavirus, that doesn't mean we can't show our gratitude through art — in addition to volunteering and donating where we can. Williamson showed her support and gratitude for the NHS with this simple-yet-beautiful set of nails, featuring the instantly recognizable rainbow — which many children have drawn and painted to display in their windows and on pavements — as a symbol positivity, hope, and togetherness.
UK Nail-Art Trend: Menicures
"We are seeing an increase in men's treatments since celebrity like ASAP Rocky and Harry Styles made it cool AF for guys to get nail art," said Southern. At House of Lady Muck, the team has introduced the "menicure" to "encourage and welcome all men to get their nails done," who might otherwise not feel comfortable to. We particularly love this minimalist evil eye design for the summertime.