Sry, but can we all just take a collective sigh of relief that summer is finally on the horizon? IDK about you, but the first thing I start thinking about when the weather warms up is all the cute nail designs I’m about to try out. I mean, summer is basically the perfect time to play around with your nails, whether you’re going for bright and vibrant polishes ('sup, turquoise and violet) or celeb-inspired nail art (liiike, am I Dua Lipa yet?).
That’s why I’ve already gone ahead and found the 30 prettiest, coolest summer nail art designs you’ll want to wear all season long. No need to thank me—just grab your polishes and get ready to screenshot your favorites.
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1. This peach nail art for summer
Peach and lavender nail polish make for an unexpectedly cute summer nail design that's great for long nails. BTW: If you’re attempting any DIY manicures this summer, make sure you have a few essentials on hand before you get started:
2. This checkered nail design for summer
There's a reason you keep seeing this checkered print all over your IG feed: It's the prettiest combination of subtle and bold and it translates to the perfect summer nail art. Go for classic black like this design, or switch things up with a splash of pink or red nail polish.
3. These cherry tips for summer
Sometimes the subtler the nail art, the better. This summer, try out this bright cherry design just on the tips of your nails (almost like an elevated French mani). And if DIY nail art isn't really in your skill set, enlist the help of a few nail stickers to get the job done.
4. This graphic nail design for summer
Clean, graphic lines are always a great option for summer nail designs. Don't you love this sleek combination of mint green polish with blue and white detailing? Pro tip: You'll def need a nail-art brush to recreate this look.
5. This '70s nail art for summer
Feeling the '70s vibes this summer? Have your nail artist swirl together a few shades of vibrant polish (think: neon pink, electric blue, and bright yellow) and finish off the look with a super-glossy top coat.
6. This blue flame design for summer
Turn your classic flame mani into a cute design for summer by going for lighter, brighter nail polish colors (like this turquoise blue). P.S. Clean, round edges are a great way to show off this nail art.
7. This statement nail design for summer
Not sure you want to go full throttle with your summer nail design? Go for a neutral base (like white or light pink) and paint two accent nails on either hand. This pink heart design is definitely on my list.
8. This swirly nail art for summer
IMO, swirly nail art will never go out of style but it's especially cute for summer. I love the idea of incorporating a different nail polish color on each nail—how pretty are these blues, purples, and yellows? Another plus: There's no need to get super technical with this design, so have fun with it.
9. This butterfly nail design for summer
Of course Dua Lipa showed up to the 2021 Grammys with the coolest nail design from celeb nail artist Chaun Legend. Channel the singer's butterfly vibe this summer with a few nail decals and some acrylics.
10. This multi-colored nail art for summer
Pull a Kylie Jenner this summer and go for a multi-colored mani like so. A longer nail length is super fun for this design (and v Kylie) so pop on a few press-ons to really bring the look home1
11. This rainbow nail art for summer
Can’t decide on a single color scheme for your summer 2021 nail art? Mix and match your polish on each nail until you’re left with a kickass rainbow manicure like this one.
12. This cow-print nail design for summer
There’s a reason you keep seeing cow-print nail art on your Insta feed. It’s neutral enough to wear for weeks on end (like, who would get sick of black and white?) and since it doesn’t require any clean or sharp lines, it’s fairly easy to DIY too. BRB while I recreate this super-creative approach from Alicia Torello.
13. This daisy nail design for summer
I love everything about this daisy nail design for summer, from the muted color palette (liiike, can you just with that moody yellow-green base?) to the itty-bitty detailing. It’s super wearable too, so you can plan on pairing it with any damn nail shape you please.
14. This star nail art for summer
The best thing about this summer nail design is that it’s suuuper easy to recreate. All you’ll need is a light pink nail polish, a shiny top coat, and a pack of nail art stickers. Prepare for everyone to think you got your mani professionally done.
15. This yellow French manicure for summer
You already know the French mani is having a ~moment~ right now, so why not jump on board with this cute yellow design for summer? The key to recreating this look is choosing the right yellow nail polish—you want something brighter than a pastel but not quite neon.
16. This ice-cream nail design for summer
Get that perfect holding-an-ice-cream-cone-whilst-looking-cute pic this summer with this ice-cream drip mani in alternating colors. To get this look, use a bobby pin (or a dotter tool if you’re fancy) to drop a spot of polish where you want your drip to be, and then drag it toward the tip of your nail.
17. This picnic nail art for summer
Give your nails the picnic-blanket treatment with a bold red-and-white checkered pattern. The key to this nail art? A thin striper brush to make sure the edge of each square is super sharp.
18. This fruit nail design for summer
Basically all your favorite fruits are in season during summer—so what better way to show them love than by painting them all over your nails? BTW: If nail art isn’t really your thing, you can def get away with using a few stickers here.
19. This paint splatter nail art for summer
These multicolored paint splatters make the perfect summertime mani, thanks to the bright colors and super-easy application. Pick your favorite shades, simply dot the polish onto your nails, and finish the look off with a clear top coat.
20. This cherry nail art for summer
If you’re going for a retro summery look, you’ll love these fun cherries. Keep the design limited to a few nails and paint the rest neutral, or go to the max and throw a cherry on each nail. Either way, you’ll need the perfect red nail polish.
21. This floral nail design for summer
You can’t go wrong with floral decals for summer. Start by drawing pastel florals on top of a bold pink nail by dotting on each petal, filling it in with polish, and finishing it off with a different color in the center.
22. This colorful nail design for summer
Don’t feel like you need to stick with basics and nudes this summer. Instead, opt for an OTT rainbow look like this one. To copy it, paint your nails like you would a French manicure, but instead of white tips, swap them out for colorful free edges.
23. This minimalist nail design for summer
If you want a simple design that still stands out, try these neutral nails with a minimal dot of color by each of your cuticles. Oh, and speaking of cuticles, you might as well invest in a good serum while you’re at it:
24. This holographic nail design for summer
Shiny, holographic nail polish liiiiives for summer. And because a mani like this changes colors in sunlight, it’s like having two or three colors on your nails all at once.
25. This color-blocked nail design for summer
Pick four colors to paint on each nail in a gradient from light to dark and you’ll be left with a super cool nail design for summer. Anyone else going to try out this purple, red, and black combo?
26. This striped nail art for summer
If you aren’t afraid of asymmetrical nail art, you should try these wavy lines. The way these stripes curve differently on each nail offers a look that’s a hundred percent unique.
27. This abstract nail design for summer
An abstract tropical print like this is so spot on for summer. Between the vibrant leaves and the bold colors, this manicure pretty much looks like a Hawaiian shirt.
28. This succulent nail art for summer
Succulents are great plants to grow in summer—especially since they are easy to maintain and don’t need that much water—so why not feature the cute lil guys on your nails?
29. This tie-dye nail design for summer
Tie-dye prints are basically synonymous with summer, and these teal, pink, and yellow swirls will definitely pop on each of your nails. Just make sure you bring the whole look together with a shiny top coat.
30. This multicolor nail design for summer
Don’t shy away from color this summer. If you have a lot of nail polish colors to choose from and can’t decide on just one, this multicolor mani is the way to go.
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