I'll be honest: I don't do my nails often. I usually keep them bare and add a polish here and there, but my nails stay simple for the better part of the year. But when summer rolls around, I immediately get in the mood to get playful and start to save a plethora of bright and fun manicure designs to my Instagram saved folder.
While summer may not be here yet, I'm already starting to think about which designs or colors I may want to try out. There are so many options out there—just a scroll on Instagram (and TikTok, with the nail transition videos) can lead to endless possibilities. For inspiration, I tapped through some of my favorite nail accounts and pinpointed the designs that I think will be perfect for the season ahead. Hint: They're all very fun, so be prepared to smile.
Take a look below and start envisioning these on your nails. You know I've already done it for all of the options.
I've seen so much fun jewelry trending. Why not take the same kitschy designs to your nails?
A simple colorful swirl will make a statement if you want something bold that still features negative space.
Another nail-meets-fashion trend: checkerboard. Opt for the print in black and white for a more versatile look or feel free to play around with color.
Doesn't this just scream summer? Lauren actually DIY'd the strawberries onto her nails herself, so it's worth a shot to try your hand at it as well. (Or keep it to the professionals if you're like me and is a little too shaky.)
Prints and colors galore! If colorful is your vibe this summer, these are the nails to match. Choose your own color combos and save this for your next manicure appointment.
As we said, checkboard is trending. Create this design using nail tape, visit your local salon, or purchase Chillhouse's nail press-on if you want something quick but easy to remove.
It wouldn't be Hot Girl Summer without nails like these. As Y2K trends reemerge, I've seen the flame print makes its way back onto phone cases, sweatshirts, etc. You can add nails to that list.
Sometimes I don't want all my nails to be brightly colored, so this subtle daisy detail on two is perfect if you're on the same boat. Just pick a color of your choice along with a subtle design on the other nails.
Shades of blue were seen all across the runway for summer, so these nails are perfect for the season ahead. Even looking at them reminds me of hitting the beach.
Ombré has never looked so good. It sounds like a dated nail trend, but when you add it as tips and mix in a vision of unique colors, it's basically art.
I'm not usually one for French tips, but seeing colorful tips on the rise is making me think otherwise.
Not for color this summer? Opt for a sleek design using negative space and your trusty black nail polish.
In our 2000s trend report, we noted that butterflies have made a comeback. (Did you see Dua Lipa at the Grammys?) If you're not willing to add the fun detail into clothes or accessories, I think it would make a solid addition to your summer manicure.
Who said pastels had to be for spring only? If muted tones are your vibe, mix and match your favorites on each nail to create a colorful but calming scene.