Watercolor, Digital Lavender, and More of Summer's Hottest Nail Trends
Kids may look forward to summer because it means no school and lots of time off, but we look forward to summer because it means we can finally dig out the summer nail trends we've been saving over the last few months and get started crossing looks off of our bucket list. Cherry manicures? "Digital lavender" hues? Watercolor designs? Check, check, and check.
We love each season and the many beauty trends they bring, but there's something about summer manicures — the nail-polish shades get brighter; the designs, more creative — that top the rest. And something tells us this year is going to be better than ever.
"I love that everyone has been thinking outside the box in terms of inspiration," Tammy Taylor, celebrity manicurist and brand founder, tells POPSUGAR. "Inspiration can come from anywhere: summer clothing, the beach, festivals, makeup, summer holidays, and the list goes on."
So, what nail-art trends are expected to be hot this summer? Keep reading to find out.
Summer Nail Designs: Watercolor Nails
Everything about watercolor nails just screams summer — from the bright color palette to the light and airy diffused finish. Celebrity manicurist Kim Truong previously told POPSUGAR, "These nails were created using an actual airbrush machine to blend the various colors together seamlessly."
Summer Nail Designs: Cherry Nails
Cherry nails are a proven favorite of celebrities like Saweetie and Kourtney Kardashian. The manicure design is equal parts nostalgic and cutesy, and it offers lots of versatility in terms of overall look.
Summer Nail Designs: "Digital Lavender" Nails
"Digital lavender" nails are the new neutral. "This color was named by trend forecasting website WSGN — along with its sister company Coloro — as 2023's color of the year," celebrity manicurist Julie Kandalec previously told POPSUGAR. The shade is "cooler-toned and a bit more muted" than your classic lavender and makes for a great understated yet still fun manicure.
Summer Nail Designs: Color-Blocking French Manicures
The classic french manicure trend has been spun into countless other designs, but Taylor sees colorblocking french manicures taking over this summer. "Instead of doing the traditional pink and white, use pink and a bright color [for the] edge," she says. "Or, mix and match your favorite colors in a colorful french style."
Summer Nail Designs: Y2K Embellished Manicures
Trends from the early 2000s have made their way back into every area of our lives — nails included. "Nineties and early 2000s beauty will always be a favorite era for me, and its resurgence has influenced the length of nails and designs," says celebrity manicurist Leanne Woodley. Embellishments like crystals and charms have "always been trendy, but there is something about summer that makes these elements so much more amazing."
Summer Nail Designs: Chrome Nails
Chrome nails have popped up on a handful of celebrities at recent red carpet events. The nail design is coming back in a big way, but for summer, you'll want to put a twist on them. "Instead of chroming the entire nail, I've been seeing accents of chrome throughout nail art and absolutely love it," says Taylor. "I think it adds the finishing touch to any nail design."
Woodley agrees: "Chrome abstract details will have their time this summer and through the rest of the year."
Summer Nail Designs: 3D Nails
Woodley first called that 3D nail art would be a huge trend starting in 2021, and she was right. However, there's no sign that that's changing anytime soon. "3D nail art is here to stay for a while, but with a multicolored aesthetic," she says. These pop-out designs take abstract manicures to a whole new level.
Summer Nail Designs: Flower Nails
The '90s and 2000s aren't the only decades we'll be pulling inspiration from this summer. "I think bright, '70s, groovy-inspired prints heavily influence summer nail art," says Woodley. "Flower power is forever, and for sure always, a great summer design."
Summer Nail Designs: Deconstructed French Manicures
Another twist on the traditional french manicure trend that you can expect to see this summer is the "deconstructed french," which sees abstract, blob-like colors on the tips of the nails instead of a smooth stroke of color. "The entire look is more free flowing and follows more of that abstract trend that's still going strong," says Brittney Boyce, celebrity nail artist and founder of Nails of LA. "But it's more minimal compared to a swirly abstract look."
Summer Nail Designs: Abstract Nail Designs
Nail art is always better when you use your imagination to come up with abstract designs. "Fun and funky patterns have been trending and are here to stay for a while," says Taylor. Try swirls, orbs, blobs, and line work "using your favorite color scheme."