20 Ideas Sizzling Summer Nails: The Must-Try Manicures for Sun-Soaked Days

Summer is the season to let loose, play with colors, and embrace the warm vibes, and what better canvas than your nails to showcase summer’s joie de vivre? Whether you’re lounging poolside or clinking glasses at a rooftop soirée, your nails are your personal expression of summer’s euphoria. Let’s dive into some of the hottest summer nails ideas that promise to be as radiant as the sun.

Breezy Blue Skies and Butterflies

As a professional manicurist, I often say the best inspiration comes from nature, and what’s more reminiscent of a perfect summer day than clear blue skies dotted with butterflies? This design captures the essence of a carefree summer day. The alternating sky-blue polish with transparent nail beds sprinkled with tiny butterfly stickers is both playful and tranquil. The gold foil accents add just the right amount of sparkle, akin to sunlight dancing on the water.

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Essentials to create this look:

  • Sky-blue nail polish
  • Transparent base coat
  • Butterfly nail stickers
  • Gold foil nail art
  • A high-shine top coat

In my professional opinion, opt for a polish like Essie’s “Bikini So Teeny” for that perfect shade of blue and OPI’s “Top Coat” for a lasting gleam.

To recreate this at home, start with a clean, prepped nail. Apply a base coat followed by two coats of the sky-blue polish on alternating fingers. For the rest, a transparent base is your canvas for the butterfly stickers. Place them whimsically, not too uniform, to mimic nature. A touch of gold foil gives a luxe finish. Seal it with a top coat, and you’ve captured summer on your fingertips.

Chic Cappuccino with a Twist

Who says summer nails have to be all bright and pastel? This sophisticated cappuccino hue with a bold black accent proves that summer can do elegance too. The pointed almond shape brings a modern edge, while the speckled design is reminiscent of sandy beaches.

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Items for this manicure:

  • Nude polish, I recommend “Dulce de Leche” by OPI
  • Black nail polish, such as “Black Onyx” by OPI
  • Dotting tool or a toothpick
  • Glossy top coat

My personal tip: always go for quality over quantity with nude polishes to avoid streaks.

For DIY enthusiasts, paint your nails with the nude polish as the base. Once dry, dip your dotting tool in black polish and create the speckled pattern. Focus on the tips, letting the speckles fade towards the nail bed. Add the black accents on the tips with a steady hand or tape for guidance. Finish with a top coat for a shiny, long-lasting look.

Majestic Matte and Metallics

Summer nights call for a little drama, and this nail design is a tribute to just that. The combination of matte navy with marbled gold and purple accents is luxurious and bold. It’s a manicure that says you’re not afraid to stand out from the crowd.

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Your toolkit should include:

  • Matte navy nail polish
  • Gold and purple metallic polishes
  • A matte top coat
  • A small piece of plastic wrap or sponge

I personally adore the “Matte About You” top coat by Essie to turn any polish matte.

Start with two coats of the navy polish on all fingers, except for the accent nails. For the marble effect, apply spots of gold and purple polish on the nail, then dab lightly with plastic wrap or a sponge. The key is to be random and light-handed for that natural marble look. Apply a matte top coat to all nails for that modern finish.

Stargazer’s Delight

Gaze into the night sky with a manicure as mystical as the cosmos. This look combines the deep allure of space with the delicate veining of marble. The juxtaposition of shimmering black with wispy white marble embodies the summer night’s allure and is perfect for those sultry evening events.

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To achieve this celestial wonder, you’ll need:

  • Black glitter polish for that starry-night effect
  • White polish and a fine brush for the marble detail
  • A glossy top coat for added dimension

From my treasure trove, I’d recommend China Glaze’s “Cosmic Dust” for the sparkle and a fine brush to swirl the white polish into delicate veins that mimic marble.

Begin with the black glitter polish as your base. For the marble nails, drag thin lines of white polish over a wet clear coat with a fine brush and blend gently to create a marble effect. Apply a glossy top coat for the stars to truly twinkle on your nails.

Sunny Silhouettes

This nail design is like a burst of sunshine. The contrast of bright yellow against a soft nude base is reminiscent of summer’s vibrant energy. With glittery accents that capture the sparkle of sunlight on the ocean, these nails are for those who love to make a statement.

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You’ll need these bright essentials:

  • Sunny yellow polish for bold lines
  • Nude polish for a subtle base
  • Glitter polish for that sunshine sparkle
  • Precision brush for flawless outlines

For a sun-kissed nude, my go-to is “Ballet Slippers” by Essie, and their “Sunshine State of Mind” is perfect for the yellow details.

The technique is simple: paint your base with nude polish, then with a steady hand (or some nail tape for guidance), create bold yellow silhouettes. Use a glitter polish on the accent nail to complete the sun-soaked look. A glossy top coat will make these nails dazzle under the summer sky.

Wine and Mystique

As the summer sun sets, shift to a richer palette with this oenophilic-inspired design. Deep wine reds coupled with a mystical transparent base and geometric accents offer a sophisticated yet edgy look, ideal for transitioning from day to night.

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Here’s what to have in your wine cellar:

  • Deep wine red polish
  • A clear base coat
  • Matte top coat for a contemporary finish
  • Stencils for geometric precision

“Malaga Wine” by OPI is the red of choice here, with its depth and intensity.

Layer your nails with the clear base before adding a touch of wine red, leaving part of the nail transparent for a modern twist. A stencil can help achieve the sharp geometric designs for an added element of intrigue. Finish with a matte top coat to envelop your nails in the mystique of a starlit vineyard.

Cobalt Cool

A hue that captivates like a splash in the ocean or the endless summer sky – cobalt blue is the definitive statement of the season. Complemented by crisp white and geometric patterns, this nail art is a nod to the classic summer stripe with a trendy twist.

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Dive into these essentials:

  • Cobalt blue polish as vibrant as the summer sky
  • White polish for contrast
  • Striping tape or stickers for geometric precision
  • A shimmering top coat for a hint of summer sparkle

I recommend “Butler Please” by Essie for that bold blue that never fades into the background.

Coat your nails with cobalt blue, leaving one or two for a white base. Use striping tape to outline your geometric designs and fill in with the contrasting color. On a blue base, add a layer of sparkle with a shimmering top coat to reflect the summer’s glow.

Abstract Oceanic Art

The first design is an abstract representation of the ocean’s depth, capturing the serene blues and foamy whites of the sea, crowned with a touch of gold leaf that resembles the glistening summer sun. This nail art is for those who carry the spirit of the ocean with them.

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For this maritime masterpiece, gather:

  • A deep blue polish for the oceanic base
  • White polish for the frothy waves
  • Gold leaf for the sun-kissed shimmer
  • A clear glossy top coat

The deep blue of “Midnight Cami” by Essie will serve as an excellent ocean base. Apply it unevenly and use a thin brush to add white to mimic the chaotic beauty of waves. Apply the gold leaf sparsely for a luxurious effect. Finish with a glossy top coat for a look that’s as deep as the sea.

Sunrise Gradient

As the name suggests, this manicure takes inspiration from the soft hues of a sunrise. The gradient of yellow to pink captures the gentle morning light, perfect for those early summer mornings spent sipping coffee on the porch.

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You’ll need:

  • A yellow polish for the sunrise’s first light
  • A pink polish for the softer rays of dawn
  • A makeup sponge for the gradient effect
  • A protective top coat for a smooth finish

For a vibrant sunrise, I’d recommend “Sun Bleached” by CND for the yellow and “Mod Square” by Essie for the pink. Use a sponge to dab the transition for a flawless gradient. A layer of top coat will ensure your sunrise stays bright all day.

Midnight Sparkle

Nothing says summer nights like a sky full of stars. This design, with its sparkling black and contrasting muted blue, evokes the night sky on a clear summer evening, perfect for star-gazing or a night out under the stars.

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To recreate the night sky, have on hand:

  • Black glitter polish for the starry night
  • Muted blue polish for the twilight glow
  • A fine-tipped brush for detail work
  • A top coat for lasting shine

Consider “Gunmetal” by Sally Hansen for the shimmering black. The contrast with “Find Me an Oasis” by Essie will give you the perfect twilight. Use the brush to blend the blue into the black for a subtle contrast and finish with a top coat for enduring sparkle.

Tidal Rhapsody

Our final design is inspired by the ebbs and flows of the tide. The sharp contrast of black against a cerulean blue creates a dramatic effect, like the ocean’s waves crashing against the shore at midnight.

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To make these waves crash, you’ll need:

  • Black polish for the depth of the ocean at night
  • Cerulean blue polish for the vibrant color of sea waves
  • A detail brush or sponge for the marbling effect
  • A high-gloss top coat to seal the design

A true black like “Licorice” by Essie works well for this design. Pair it with “Butler Please” by Essie for the striking blue. Use the brush to swirl the two colors together on the nail for a marbled effect, then seal it with a top coat to protect your tidal artwork.

Minimalist Chic

The first design exudes a sophisticated simplicity that’s all the rage this summer. The stark contrast between the pure white tips and the naked nail is elevated by a delicate strip of silver glitter, creating a minimalist but luxe effect.

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For this refined look, you’ll need:

  • A crisp white polish for the tips
  • Silver glitter striping tape for that hint of sparkle
  • A high-gloss top coat for a seamless finish

Begin by painting a clean, white tip — think of it as a modern take on the French manicure. Carefully place the silver glitter striping just below the white line. Seal with a glossy top coat to merge elegance with endurance.

Denim & Diamonds

Nothing screams casual summer days like denim, and this nail design pairs it with the unexpected opulence of diamond-like embellishments. The off-white base with grey marbling echoes the texture of denim, while the crystals add a dash of extravagance.

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The essentials for this look include:

  • An off-white base polish for the denim-like backdrop
  • Grey polish and a detail brush for the marbling effect
  • Small rhinestones for the diamond touch
  • A strong-hold top coat to keep everything in place

Apply the off-white base, then use a detail brush to add grey marbled lines to mimic denim’s threads. Strategically place rhinestones for a diamond effect and finish with a top coat that ensures your bling stays on from beach to barbeque.

Cosmic Dust

For those summer nights when you want to mirror the starry sky, this matte black manicure with gold flecks is your go-to. It’s as if the night sky was distilled onto your nails, making for a truly cosmic experience.

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Gather these stardust essentials:

  • Matte black polish for the vastness of space
  • Gold leaf for the stars
  • A matte top coat to enhance the celestial feel

Paint your nails with the matte black polish as the universe’s canvas. Then, delicately apply gold leaf flakes to represent the stars. A matte top coat over the design keeps the cosmos at your fingertips.

Frosted Elegance

The final design brings to mind the refreshing coolness of a summer sorbet. It starts with a transparent base and ends in a frosted tip, sprinkled with delicate silver glitter like morning dew on petals.

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You’ll need:

  • A clear base polish for natural transparency
  • Frosted white polish for the icy tips
  • Silver glitter for a subtle sparkle
  • A top coat to ensure the frostiness lasts

Apply the clear base polish for a natural look. Gradually build up the frosted white from the tip downwards, and while it’s still tacky, dust over the silver glitter. Finish with a top coat to capture the essence of a frosty summer morning.

Verdant Dreams

Here we have a refreshing pop of green that’s as bold and vivacious as the lush gardens of summer. The vibrant green is complemented by a soft floral design on a clear background, presenting a harmonious blend of audacity and grace.

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To cultivate this garden-inspired design, you’ll need:

  • A bright green polish for a statement of verdant vigor
  • Clear polish for the base of the floral accent nails
  • Nail stickers or decals with a delicate floral pattern
  • A glossy top coat to seal the artistry

Swipe the bright green polish on all but one or two nails, leaving those clear for the floral touch. Adhere your chosen floral stickers on the clear polish and apply a glossy top coat to keep the design fresh and lively.

Tropical Heatwave

Ignite your summer with nails as hot as the midday sun. The neon coral is unapologetically bold, demanding attention, while the accent nails feature a playful palm design over a sizzling ombré.

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Here’s what you need to bring the heat:

  • A neon coral polish for the base
  • Black polish for the palm designs
  • A sponge for the ombré effect on the accent nails
  • A top coat for lasting brilliance

Apply the neon coral as the base, then use a sponge to create a gradient effect with the same color on the accent nails, darkening it at the tips. Once dry, paint the palm designs in black for that exotic touch. A coat of top coat ensures your nails are as enduring as they are enticing.

Nocturnal Foliage

The allure of the night is captured in this sophisticated design, featuring a matte black base with silver foliage patterns. It’s the perfect combination for a sultry summer evening out.

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For this midnight masterpiece, you’ll need:

  • Matte black polish for the sultry base
  • Silver polish to create the leaf patterns
  • A thin brush or dotting tool for precision
  • A matte top coat for a cohesive finish

Coat your nails with the matte black polish, then dip your tool into the silver polish to draw the leaf patterns. Use a light hand to achieve the delicate design. Complete with a matte top coat to preserve the mysterious allure of the night.

Pastel Patina

Last but not least, this design speaks to the softer side of summer with a delicate pastel pink base that whispers of early dawn skies. The texture resembles aged patina, offering a vintage feel that’s both elegant and understated.

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The recipe for this retro look includes:

  • A pastel pink polish for the soft base
  • A sponge for the textured patina effect
  • Silver leaf for a hint of antique charm
  • A top coat for a smooth and lasting finish

Apply the pastel pink polish evenly, then dab lightly with a sponge dipped in the same color to create a textured look. Place bits of silver leaf randomly for a vintage vibe. Seal with a top coat to ensure your nails remain timeless.

Whispering Shimmer

This nail design is the epitome of understated elegance. The soft beige base carries the warmth of a sandy beach, while the accent nail adorned with silver foil whispers of luxurious summer nights under a cascade of stars.

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For this subtle yet luxurious look, you’ll want:

  • A beige polish for a warm, neutral base reminiscent of summer sands
  • Silver foil for a touch of opulent shimmer
  • A high-gloss top coat to ensure a seamless blend between sophistication and simplicity

Apply the beige polish across all nails, ensuring a creamy and even coat. For the accent nail, carefully apply pieces of silver foil, creating a dispersed pattern that captures the light with every movement. Complete the design with a high-gloss top coat for a finish that speaks of nothing but class.

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Нетребич Анастасія

Anastasia is a co-founder of the online publication 'Beauty and Fashion' and an experienced entrepreneur in the fashion and beauty industry. She has years of experience in this field, including managing the women's clothing store USAshop.ks in Kherson. Anastasia is known for her deep understanding of fashion trends and is committed to maintaining high standards of quality and reliability in her publications.

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