It’s finally open-toe sandal season, and we’re ready for lounge chairs, beach reads, and nail polish pick-me-ups.
So what’s new in the world of nails?
“This spring and summer we’ll be seeing colorful matte as well as neutrals with a subtle, geometric touch of nail art,” Sarah Bland, the brand ambassador for Smith & Cult, told Modern Salon.
“[Nails] with negative space with a pop of glitter is going to be very hot this year too,” Bland added.
From manicures that show off your sweet tooth to classic by-the-beach glam, here are some of the hottest off-the-runway trends for this summer:
Meet Me in Miami
Feel like a telenovela star with a bright and bold color palette that’s made for lounging at the beach. If this sounds like your ideal look, build your manicure around deep corals, bright aquamarines, sunshine yellows, and sandy bronzes. Your friends might just think you’ve taken up residence in a Miami cabana straight out of the CW’s Jane the Virgin.
For more inspiration, check out Elle’s beachy nail polish picks for summer.
From our catalogue: Our Cornflower blue polish calls to mind hazy summer skies and oceanfront views, while terra cotta Cantaloupe will leave you sitting pretty in the shade. Looking for something more neutral? This shimmery bronze Sugar goes perfect with sun and surf.
Bring the Ocean to You
As stylist Steph Stone reminded Refinery29, navy blue “is typically viewed as a risky color to pull off.” But we bet you can do it. This trendsetting jewel tone is cropping up everywhere this summer – notably with a little sparkle. If you shift your mani pedi just right, you’ll feel like you’re gazing into the Pacific.
From our catalogue: There’s nothing like slowing down on vacation to really appreciate the starry night sky. Our violet-blue Midsummer Night’s Dream will help you embrace your inner dazzle.
You can take the latest seafoam greens and cotton candy pinks way past spring time and right to the pool.
Polish that makes you think of mint chocolate chip ice cream? It’ll go perfect with the pair of black thong sandals you’ve been dying to bring out of storage. Dreaming of lavender fields? Get gussied up for a country wedding with a sophisticated violet and chalk blue combination.
Often neutrals are supposed to stay in the background – like invisible visual anchors. This season, stylists are bringing neutrals out to play with bolder, more vibrant shades. From slate grey to sandy beige, contrast bright, pretty sundresses or neon accessories with a grounded palette.
From our catalogue: Our Custard polish goes on smooth and has just enough of a peach undertone to give it a little extra oomph. Want to go bolder? You’ll have a major moment in our mocha-inspired hue, Pudding.
With #coven all over Instagram and Twitter – not to mention this wild evil eye mani on the runway – it might just pay to embrace your dark side this summer. You don’t have to go pitch dark when there’s a whole range of charcoal, cherry black, and deep plumb to conjure a spell with.
From our catalogue: If you’re not quite ready to shout your powers from the rooftops, opt for the subtle and classy Gelato. Ready to play up your wild side? Try a deep red with hints of black like Pie or the shimmering Souffle.
If Marilyn was right – and diamonds are a girl’s best friend – then you can bring a whole lot of sparkle to your look without rocking a giant rock.
Not only will a metallic hue with a bit of sparkle help you feel like a million bucks, but a sharp jacket – and sandals with metallic accessories – can give you a confident, large-and-in-charge attitude.
Flawless Summer Nail Care
You might be on vacation, enjoying the sun, sand, and surf – but your nails probably aren’t thanking you for all that extra action.
Here are seven ways to protect your nails from drying out in the heat or suffering from one too many dips in the pool:
1. Invest in a top-notch moisturizer
Spending your days by the pool or in the ocean – not to mention catching tons of rays on the beach – can majorly dry out your skin.
Retaliate with a top-notch moisturizer – like a heavenly scented essential oil – that has amazing staying power.
Take a little extra TLC for your hands in the summertime, and you’ll prevent scaly skin from ruining your afternoon at the cabana.
2. Care for your cuticles
Unless you’re a die-hard mani-pedi girl, it’s easy to forget about your cuticles.
What’s more, “ocean water can dry out your skin,” reminds Good Housekeeping’s beauty editor Amy Keller.
Don’t leave your cuticles hanging (pun intended!). Invest in a softening cuticle oil to make your digits extra happy this summer
3. Ditch hand sanitizer
If you’re stuck in the city rubbing elbows on the subway this summer, this will be the last piece of advice you want to hear.
But all that alcohol can contribute to dry, brittle nails – which are already susceptible to the high chlorine contents of most public pools.
4. A helping hand
At this point you’re well aware of how important it is to lather up with sunscreen before a day on the beach. Just remember to include your hands in that equation, too.
5. Clean your plate
With all the slathering up you’ll be doing this summer – sunscreen, moisturizer, cuticle cream – remember to wipe off your nail plates before you actually get down to business with your manicure.
You can even use nail polish remover before putting on a coat of polish to make sure your nails are prepped and ready to go.
6. Double up on your base coat
While it may be tempting to ditch your base coat – don’t! Summertime stress on nails calls for an extra layer.
“To prevent this, try prepping nails with two layers of a base coat and choose light polish colors,” she adds.
A good base coat can also help you eke out every last second of your fabulous new manicure.
7. File with caution
You picked your playful summer palette, booked an appointment at the salon, and are turning heads with your new look.
Stay on-trend long into the summer by taking care with how you file those nails. “When you file your nails back and forth, it weakens them, and can cause them to break later on,” Martin told Real Simple.
Instead, she suggests starting from the center of the nail and filing in outward, only brushing the file in one direction.
This technique will keep your gorgeous new nails nice and strong all summer long.
Whether you’re ready to dive head-first into summer’s wild nail art craze or just want to punch up your sundress, we found six colorful polish palettes that’ll keep you ahead of the curve.
And don’t forget to shower your nails with love this summer, especially if you’re planning on vacationing at the shore. You may be ready for a little summer TLC, but beauty never sleeps.
What new polish colors have got you excited for summer? Tell us about your favorites in the comments below: