Summer is traditionally a season made for embracing your wildest beauty whims. The coming months are sure to be filled with glamorous routines that feature luminescence highlighter and vibrant blushes, especially as life post-COVID resumes with a bit of normalcy. That same inventive use of color seems to be extending to manicures, too, as celebrities are filling Instagram feeds with neon-colored nails for summer.
Conventional nail colors, including a fiery shade of red and a soft silver, will always have their place on the polish shelf, but this summer, unexpected shades are proving just as popular. Nails don't have to match your outfit or your makeup, and as Gigi Hadid proved, you can even take part in some color clashing.
If you're feeling particularly colorful, you could take a cue from H.E.R. and Hadid, turning your manicure into a multi-colored work of art. Both of these nail art options pack as many bright polish options as possible into the look.
For a more subtle take on the bright trend, look to Kylie Jenner. She went with the always popular French tip manicure, but chose to add a dash of green. With the addition of a clear basecoat, she kept her neon nails looking more subtle, and recreating a similar look would make for a perfect WFH manicure.
In order to recreate this look at home, Brittney Boyce, celebrity nail artist and founder of NAILS OF LA, shared her polish application secrets with InStyle.
"Think a simple neon pink stripe down the middle of the nail, a simple classic French tip, or even angled French tips on the top and the bottom of the nail in complementary shades," she suggested.
Taking some time to really get creative with your manicure coloring might not be an option for everyone. If your summer schedule is packed with events, or endless days of lounging, you could always go with a monochromatic manicure. Cardi B and Jennifer Lopez are both confirmed fans of the look. Cardi B went all out with her color choice, matching a purple manicure to her outfit and hair. As for Lopez, she chose to channel the beachside vibes of the season, matching a top covered in palm trees to a sunny yellow nail color.
No matter which neon hue you choose, there is one extra step in applying the color that you may want to consider. Boyce pointed out that bright colors can stain the nails. To avoid a color that won't lift, she recommended using a base coat. If the polish still sticks around during the removal process, you can then use a polish stain remover or whitening toothpaste.
Ready to take the neon nail plunge? See and shop some of the brightest and best options in nail colors for your summer 2021 manicure, below.
ORLY Nail Lacquer in Purple Crush
This is no ordinary shade of purple polish. ORLY gives grape an electrifying makeover with a hue that Cardi B would love.
Shop now: $10, ulta.com
Essie Nail Polish in Tangerine Tease
This vibrant tangerine-inspired shade would be the perfect paint for your tips. You could also go completely bright and coat every nail in a color loved by Jenner.
Shop now: $9; amazon.com
Olive & June Nail Polish in XOXO
Don’t wait around until Valentine’s Day to don this pink polish. The summer-ready shade gives your usual pink hue a bright, bold makeover.
Shop now: $8; oliveandjune.com
Zoya Nail Polish in Breezi
This ocean blue polish will bring the beachside getaway vibes to your WFH manicure.
Shop now: $10; amazon.com
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish in Flash-ionista
When neon just isn’t enough, you can add some sparkle, too.
Shop now: $6; amazon.com
ORLY Nail Lacquer in Oh Snap
Don’t let this shocking shade of yellow scare you off. The neon hue might take its cue from a glowstick, but it’s one color that can be used as a colorful accent.
Shop now: $10; ulta.com