I’ll admit a year-plus of quarantining left me pretty neglectful in terms of my nails. With nowhere to go and no one to see, why put in the effort to paint them and painstakingly wait for them to dry? Of course, that all changed once summer came around and my social calendar filled up. Now, I’m obsessed with giving myself DIY manicures at home, being sure to switch up my polish on a weekly basis.
We typically associate bright and neon colors with summer, but 2021’s current nail color trends span a range of shade categories—from chic neutrals to pretty pastels, and yes, of course, still plenty of brights. And while these shades look great on a basic solid manicure, they’re also perfect for incorporating into your choice of nail art designs.
Ahead, I’ve rounded up the seven cute nail colors of the summer. Whatever nail shape you choose—whether short and round or lengthy stilettos—gracing your fingertips with any of these shades is the key to elevating your summer look.
1. Citrus Green
While I love all the colors on this list, this one has to be my favorite by far. What screams “summer” more than painting your nails a refreshing shade of citrus green? Opt for pale pastel shades for a subtler look, or go bold with a brighter hue.
Vibes Beauty Vegan Nail Polish in Flora Green ($9)
Defy & Inspire Vita Fit Nail Polish in Can't Stop, Won't Stop ($3)
I love a good neutral (who doesn’t?), and I must say, this terra-cotta shade seen on Betina Goldstein is perfect for summer. With tinges of red and orange, it makes for a great alternative to classic bold red while not feeling bland. Plus, it'll blend in with any of your sartorial choices seamlessly.
Tenoverten Nail Polish in Cliff ($12)
Glam & Grace Non-Toxic Creme Nail Polish in Rustbelt ($10)
J.Hannah Nail Polish in Ghost Ranch ($19)
3. Bright White
I know, I know. It’s notoriously tough to paint your nails white without any irksome streaks. But if you’re up for the challenge, know that bright, opaque white nails are on-trend for summer. It makes a big statement, yet it goes with literally everything.
Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Color in White On ($4)
Gucci Vernis à Ongles Nail Polish in Winterset Snow ($30)
In case you haven’t heard, orange is the new pink. And when it comes to our nails, bold, vibrant hues of tangerine reign supreme. This shade is certainly a statement, so treat it as the pièce de résistance in any summer look.
Olive & June Nail Polish in You're a 10 ($8)
Base Coat Breathable & Halal Nail Polish in Marigold ($20)
JinSoon Nail Polish in Enflammée ($18)
Nails.Inc Naked in Neon Nail Polish in Walker's Court ($8)
5. Deep Forest Green
A dark nail is always chic. Instead of flat black, consider opting for a deep shade of forest green. It lends itself an understated pop of color while remaining pretty neutral.
Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in Darjeeling Darling ($18)
Orly Breathable Nail Lacquer in Pine-Ing for You ($10)
For Tmrw Nail Polish in For Ever ($18)
6. Baby Blue
And now for some pastels: Channel the summer sky with these gorgeous shades of baby blue. They'll look great incorporated into your nail art, but they're also stunning on their own over a full nail.
Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish in Woke ($20)
Urban Outfitters UO The Mattes Nail Polish in Glass Slipper ($5)
Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour ($28)
Another pastel hue that’s having a big moment? Lilac. This light pinky-purple hue is equal parts soft and bold, and I couldn’t be more about it.
Paintbox Single Nail Lacquer in Like Lilac ($22)
Essie Pinks Nail Polish in Baguette Me Not ($9)
Guishem Premium Nail Lacquer in Bouquet ($16)
Butter London Patent Shine 10x Nail Lacquer in English Lavender ($18)
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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