12 Summer Nail Ideas to Try This Season

summer nail ideas - frosted neutral nails

There are few things that make me feel more put together than a fresh manicure, particularly during the summer time. Plus, with an uptick in summer travel, weddings, and other special events, I find that having a pretty coat of paint on my nails is one small detail that I totally indulge in.

With that being said, I know that if you’re someone who gets their nails done regularly (or if you give yourself at-home manicures), coming up with nail polish ideas can be tough. The warmer days that this season provides call for brighter colors, fun patterns, and pastel hues, but if you need more inspo, this post is for you.

Below, I’m sharing a roundup of nail ideas that I personally love to wear throughout summer, and that I’m confident you’ll swoon over too.

12 Summer Nail Ideas

Light Purple

There’s nothing wrong with a simple manicure that consists of just one polish color, and light purple happens to be a great choice when transitioning from spring to summer.

light purple nail idea
Photo: Cirque Colors via Pinterest

Pastel Colored Tips

I tend to skew toward the more neutral polish colors, but from time to time, it’s nice to test out something that’s more statement making. If you’re in the same boat as me and you don’t want to commit to an overly bright manicure, try painting just the tips with pastel polish.

pastel colored tip manicure
Photo: Anne f4f via Pinterest

Solid White

I know this idea isn’t exactly revolutionary, but I will never get tired of a basic white nail look. It’s one of the most popular nail colors, and for good reason—it will pair well with any outfit you wear and will complement a summer tan perfectly.

Light Florals

If you used to love getting floral designs on your nails when you were younger (who didn’t?), this is a great way to replicate that look in a more “grown up” way. I’d personally stick to lighter colors for both the base and flower detailing so that it feels more mature, but you do you!

neutral floral nail ideas
Photo: @elbebeauty

Pastel Yellow

There’s no denying that pastel yellow has been the color of the season, so consider testing it out on your nails. The result is bright, cheerful, and totally appropriate for the warm summer days ahead.

pastel yellow nail ideas
Photo: Paint Box

Polka Dots

Looking for a print that isn’t too in your face? Try tiny polka dots in pastel or neutral colors to give off a fun and girly vibe. Finish with a clear coat of polish for a slightly shimmery look.

pastel polka dot nail ideas
Photo: The KA Edit via Pinterest


If you’re in a busy season of life, a low maintenance manicure is probably a wise choice. Clear polish has a rep for being bland, but I think there’s something so chic about the glossy, healthy look. This is also a great option if you’re trying to give your nails a break from gel polish.

p.s. If you want to try giving yourself an at-home manicure, this post on how to apply fake nails will help you get started.

clear nail ideas
Photo: @matejanova

Blue and Orange Designs

Vibrant and colorful nail designs aren’t exactly my thing, but I thought I’d include this idea for the more daring gals out there. How cute would this be for an Italian vacation?

summer nail ideas - blue and orange floral design
Photo: Care and Cream via Pinterest

Frosted Finish

There’s something so classic about a frosted manicure, and it definitely works throughout all seasons. Simple, timeless, and understated—the ideal choice for any and all occasions.

frosted finish nail ideas

Light Blue

If you plan on spending any time by the ocean or lake this summer, play off of the color of the water with a light blue manicure. You could of course go with a deeper hue, but I think there’s something that feels particularly summery about a lighter shade.

light blue nail ideas


You might not necessarily think of mauve as a summer color, but it really works for all seasons. If you want to level things up a bit, add a coat of glittery clear polish on top.

mauve nail ideas
Photo: The KA Edit via Pinterest

Light Pink

Last but not least, you truly can’t go wrong with the iconic Ballet Slippers polish from Essie. It’s a year-round favorite for many people, providing a neutral and clean look. I’d consider this one of the best nail colors you could wear during any time of the year.

light pink nail ideas
Photo: Lenallure via Pinterest
What are your favorite summer nail ideas? Let me know in the comment section below?

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