Summer Nail Designs: Ideas to Obsess Over in 2024

Joanna Elizabeth


Updated April 23, 2024

Summer Nail Designs
Dive into these summer nail designs.

Warm weather is perfect for experimenting with bold, vibrant, and whimsical summer nail designs. From psychedelic swirls on stiletto shapes to ethereal floral accents on short nails, this season’s manicures offer an array of options to suit any style.

Whether you prefer soft pastel hues, juicy fruit motifs, or dazzling metallic finishes, there’s a summer look to capture your imagination. DIY enthusiasts can showcase their creativity with the help of vegan nail polish, while gel manicures provide long-lasting shine even in the heat.

With so many inspiring ideas to choose from, your nails can reflect the carefree spirit of the season.

Popular Summer Nail Designs

Ethereal Flowers

White Flowers Summer Nails

The artistry of these stiletto nails channels summer serenity with delicate white flowers cascading over a crystal-clear backdrop. For such detailed work, a fine-tipped dotting tool can be your best ally, allowing for easy petal-perfect application.

Soft Pastels

Soft Pastels Summer Nails

A soothing palette of pastel hues graces these short square nails, offering a playful yet refined touch. Each nail stands as a minimalist canvas, adorned with a single, carefully placed dot that acts as a subtle focal point.

Remember, when working with pastels, apply a solid base coat to prevent staining and ensure the colors pop beautifully.

Strawberry & Cherry Delight

Strawberry Cherry Summer Manicure

Lusciously ripe strawberries and cherries burst with summer flavor on these almond-shaped nails, inviting a taste of sunny days and picnics. The bold reds and playful dots offer a retro vibe with a fresh twist.

When painting fruit designs, use a dotting tool for the seeds and a fine brush for delicate leaf details to keep the look juicy.

Pink & Pretty

Pink Stripes Dots Summer Nails

These nails feature a gentle almond shape, blushing in soft pink tones with delicate white stripes and polka dots. They’re the perfect accessory for denim cutoffs and lazy beach days.

To achieve crisp lines in designs like these, use striping tape to guide your brush and ensure flawless, straight edges.

Rainbow Burst

Rainbow Burst Summer Nails

Imagine a kaleidoscope of summer sunsets with these long square rainbow nails, boasting a radiant splash of tie-dye colors that exude festival season. When working with multiple hues for a tie-dye effect, blend while the polish is still wet to achieve seamless transitions.

Blush & Wild

Pink Animal Print Accent Nails

These oval-shaped nails present a sophisticated blush base with a wild animal print twist on accent nails. The look brings an adventurous vibe to a classic look. Use a matte topcoat on the blush base to add a modern twist to the glossy animal print design.

Citrus Orange Ombre

Orange Red Ombre Summer Manicure

These nails bring to mind the vibrant hues of a summer citrus grove, with a fiery ombre that fades from a bright, zesty orange into a red tip. They’re like a sunset at your fingertips, warm and inviting.

Achieve a flawless ombre by applying a sponge to the gradient, allowing each layer to dry slightly before sponging on the next for a smooth blend.

Psychedelic Yellow & Purple

Yellow Purple Psychedelic Summer Manicure

Vivacious yellow meets deep purple in a swirl of creativity, a bold choice for those who embrace contrast and vibrancy. The design features a playful dance of colors, with precise swirls as well as one maroon and one yellow nail.

To achieve such an intricate design, use a fine brush and a slow-drying polish, allowing for smooth lines without the rush.

Chrome Blue

Chrome Blue Nails

Dive into metallic chrome blue nails sculpted into a sleek almond shape. Their iridescence captures the enchanting play of light on water.

Avoid matte finishes to maintain the mirror-like sheen of chrome nails. Instead, opt for a glossy topcoat to enhance and protect the metallic finish.

Neon Green Tips

Neon Green Tips Summer Manicure

Sporting a coffin shape, these nails make a daring statement with neon green tips contrasting against a nude base. It brings a flash of electric summer into every gesture.

Make sure your neon tips remain razor-sharp by using adhesive stencils or tape to create a precise boundary.

Dainty Bow Accents

Pink Bows Nails

These nails blend pink polish, delicate bows, and flower accents by adorning long, clear extensions. The bows add enchanting three-dimensional charm while tying into the girly fashion trend.

To attach these delicate adornments, use a dab of nail glue and set them in place with tweezers for precision, ensuring they stay secure from day to night.

Romantic Pink & Red

Pink Red Hearts Summer Manicure

Long coffin nails become the canvas for a romance-inspired theme, with deep crimson and soft pink playing the lead. Embrace the ease of nail stickers for the heart patterns to achieve crisp edges and uniform shapes. From glitter accents to more plain designs, there are plenty of choices.

Modern French Manicure

Modern French Manicure

This updated French manicure reimagines the classic with a nude base and white tips in a subtle v-shape. It’s a nod to tradition with a fresh, modern edge and is ideal for wedding or engagement photos. Apply a high-shine topcoat for that pristine glossy finish after your manicure has dried.

Blue & White Swirls

Blue White Swirls Nails

Almond nails make a splash with blue and white swirls, creating an aquatic dance reminiscent of summer waves. This design brings the sea to your fingertips, perfect for beach outings or poolside lounging.

Achieve the fluid swirls by alternating colors with each brushstroke while the polish is still wet, using a fine brush to blend the edges seamlessly.

Gradient Hues

Gradient Summer Nails

Extra long square nails unfold in a vibrant display of gradient hues, transitioning from a gentle pink to a mellow yellow, vibrant purple, and concluding with a tranquil blue.

Each shade flows into the next like a softly melting sunset. For the ideal gradient, use a makeup sponge to dab and diffuse the polishes, creating a dreamy blend.

Mirrored Gold

Mirrored Gold Summer Nails

The allure of these almond-shaped nails lies in their luxurious gold finish that gleams with every flicker of light. Like treasures unearthed, they bring a touch of opulence to the everyday.

To keep the gold polish as stunning as the day it was applied, use a topcoat designed for metallics to prevent tarnishing and maintain that luster.

Hot Pink

Hot Pink Summer Manicure

These hot pink nails boast a sassy, oval silhouette and a bold striped accent for a pop of personality. Their vibrant hue captures the exuberance of the season.

Seal your artwork with a UV topcoat for extra durability and to keep that hot pink hue from fading, even under the sizzling sun.

Gold & Neutral

Gold Neutral Summer Nails

Almond-shaped nails are elegantly coated in a neutral tone, then kissed with strokes of gold leaf, combining understated chic with luxury. The gold adds a handcrafted touch of opulence to the muted base, perfect for any party.

When applying gold leaf, use a light touch and a clean dry brush to manipulate the delicate pieces into your design.

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