It’s hard to believe we’re just weeks away from the official start of summer. And yes, we’ll be missing our usual beachside barbecues with friends this year, but you better believe we’ll still celebrate the return to warmer weather with some festive pops of color on our fingertips and toes. Because now more than ever it’s important to enjoy the little things. Here, the 16 best summer nail colors to try.
1. Jin Soon Nail Lacquer in “Aero”
Clear eyes, full hearts, baby blues. That’s how the saying goes, right? This calming shade reminds us of perfectly clear summer skies and makes us just as happy whenever we swipe it over our nails.
2. Olive and June Nail Polish in “Bold & Unshaken”
It’s hard to put your finger on this purple polish at first glance. It’s a touch brighter than lilac, but not as deep as royal purple and there’s an almost backlit fluorescence to it. Though the color itself is ambiguous, the bold finish is inarguably impactful.
3. Orly Nail Lacquer in “After Glow”
Is it even summer if you don’t rock a bright coral polish? This peach-toned hue is so bright, it’s almost glowing (which is especially great for pedicures).
4. NCLA x Sivan Ayla Nail Lacquer in “Rose Spritz”
A brilliant pinky mauve just might be our summer 2020 shade. It’s the rare color that looks just as good on your fingertips as it does on your toes.
5. Nails Inc. Life Hack Personality Nail Polish in “Living Your Best Life”
Need a pick me up? Don’t we all. This sunny shade has a high-shine finish and really stands out against your skin. Try it on all ten fingers or use it as an accent color.
6. Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in “Exit the Void”
At once calming and bewitching, a periwinkle blue never fails to put us in a good mood.
7. Orly Nail Lacquer in “Blazing Sunset“
Fact: Orly is our go-to for brights and neons because the shades are always opaque, never streaky and they dry quickly. A favorite this summer? This fluorescent pink, which brightens up our sallow winter skin instantly.
8. Essie Nail Lacquer in “Kaf-tan”
For a more unexpected summer mani shade, try an earthy nude. This warm neutral looks a bit richer or brighter depending on the light. Wear it now and wear it later.
9. Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in “590 Verde Pastillo”
Chanel’s take on turquoise is unsurprisingly elegant. (It’s more sea glass and less Easter egg.) Plus, the formula features ceramides to strengthen weak tips over time.
10. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Donut Shop Collection in “Drive Me Glazy”
For our pink loyalists out there, you’ll love this pretty pastel hue that just makes your nails look polished and sweet (like the strawberry glazed donut it’s named after).
11. Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Color in “Amazing Grace”
Ahh, there is nothing quite as clean and crisp as a bright white mani (or pedi). This ultra-shiny formula from Deborah Lippman has a cushiony finish.
12. Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in “Scarlet Chinois“
This juicy red was made for strappy sandals and white caftans. No matter how pale, tan or dark your skin is, the pigmented hue will pop against your complexion.
13. Essie Expressie Quick-Dry Nail Polish in “Taxi Hopping”
Calling all cool girls: This chartreuse polish is a beautiful blend of yellow and green tones and is delightfully unexpected in a sea of predictable manis.
14. Dior Vernis Gel Shine & Long Wear Nail Lacquer in “618 Vibrato“
For a fancy gilded mani, look no further than this bronze polish (from Dior, no less). Flecked with tiny gold specks that glimmer wherever the sunlight hits, it’s a festive hue for any occasion—yes, even if the “occasion” is just laundry day.
15. Sundays Nail Polish in “No. 44”
Doesn’t this muted mint make you want to just stop everything and take a deep breath? The creamy color is instantly calming and looks as clean on your fingertips as its non-toxic formula actually is.
16. Sundays Nail Polish in “No. 10”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re looking for a jolt of energy, give this bubblegum pink a try. Better yet, pair it with the muted mint above and take the guesswork out of coordinating your mani-pedi.