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June 17, 2022  |  Beauty & Personal Care

12 best summer nail trends to keep your look cool in 2022

Bold and bright, delicate and detailed: Here’s how to DIY summer’s top nail trends

Whether you’re replicating an influencer’s look at home or treating yourself to a trip to the nail salon, getting a fresh, fun manicure for the summer couldn’t be easier. Summer is all about bright colors and bold patterns, but there’s room for softer shades too. Plus, brushes and tools let you easily create intricate designs — or just slide on a nail decal that does all the work for you. With the right tools and on-trend shades, you can enjoy coordinated manicures all season long.

Summer 2022 nail colors

Bright colors are always a safe bet for summer nails, but this year, neons are making a festival-ready statement. Try out highlighter-bright shades of orange and pink, and add a matte top coat for an even more distinctive look. If neon is too much, consider other vibrant shades like coral, yellow and watermelon pink.

On the other side of the spectrum, pastel shades, such as sheer pink, matcha green and even ice blue, are all great picks for this summer. If you want, you can make them more exciting by applying stickers or painting the tips with a corresponding darker color.

Last but not least, clear or jelly nails make the perfect canvas to show off your nail art skills or your favorite summery stickers. Negative-space nail designs play with expectations and open up new creative possibilities, whether you’re layering bold stripes or painting a soft ombre.

Summer 2022 nail trends

Groovy shapes

Marbling and abstract waves are popular shapes this year. Blob two or more colors onto your nails in ’70s-inspired shapes, or play with negative space by using a nail art brush to create groovy lines on bare nails.

French tips with a twist

Make this classic look fresh by painting your white tips with a sharp V-shape instead of a smile line. Another fun summer twist on a French manicure uses metallic rose gold or silver tips instead of white.

Color blocking and stripes

Can’t decide between two colors? Wear both! Use nail tape and nail art brushes to paint bold stripes on all your nails or just an accent. Modernize French tips by picking pastel and saturated shades of the same color for the tip and the base — for example, butter yellow with tangerine or baby blue with pool blue.

Dotty

Cute and endlessly customizable, tiny dots are one of the simplest manicures to DIY. Nail art kits are affordable and user-friendly: Just use the tiny brush to apply minuscule amounts of polish to your base color.

Best trendy nail lacquer

Top nail lacquer

Butter London Patent Shine 10x Nail Lacquer

Butter London Patent Shine 10x Nail Lacquer

What you need to know: These pigmented nail polishes contain fewer harmful chemicals than other mainstream brands, but they last just as long.

What you’ll love: They’re made without 10 harmful chemicals, including formaldehyde, toluene and DBP. The chip-resistant formula includes bamboo extract for stronger, healthier-looking nails. For summer, try the hot pink Flusher Blusher or sage green Good Vibes shades.

What you should consider: Some colors chip or peel worse than others. A streak-free application can be challenging in some shades.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s and Amazon

Top nail lacquer for the money

OPI Nail Lacquer

OPI Nail Lacquer

What you need to know: With a huge shade range and lasting quality, this nail polish lets you have perfectly matched nails all season.

What you’ll love: Its fast-drying, long-lasting formula makes it a popular pick for both nail salons and at-home manicures. Bright yellow shade Exotic Birds Do Not Tweet and fuchsia shade Strawberry Margarita are great picks for summer.

What you should consider: A few shades may look different after drying.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty and Amazon

Best trendy nail stickers

Top nail stickers

Graffiti Fun Nail Art Stickers

Graffiti Fun Nail Art Stickers

What you need to know: These stickers make it easy to replicate on-trend line art and abstract designs.

What you’ll love: The six sticker sheets include uncommon designs, such as faces and multicolored shapes, which can be layered for unique nail art. The self-adhesive stickers apply easily.

What you should consider: Applying a protective top coat can make the edges curl up visibly.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top nail stickers for the money

Macute Nail Stickers

Macute Nail Stickers

What you need to know: This sticker set contains 29 sheets featuring a variety of botanical and tropical designs.

What you’ll love: The stickers apply with just water and a clear top coat. Designs include summer vacation-worthy styles, such as flamingos and hibiscus, as well as simple black-and-white art.

What you should consider: Application takes some practice to avoid bubbling or curling. The smallest stickers can be challenging to apply.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best trendy nail polish top coat

Top nail polish top coat

OPI Matte Top Coat

OPI Matte Top Coat

What you need to know: Layer this top coat over your nails to mattify any nail polish.

What you’ll love: It is easy to apply and dries quickly. It can help protect nails for several more days of wear.

What you should consider: The matte finish can wear off after a few days. Some users found that the brush lifted away their nail polish color during application.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty and Amazon

Top nail polish top coat for the money

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

What you need to know: This industry-favorite top coat locks in your nail polish without affecting its color.

What you’ll love: It dries fast and leaves a glossy finish. Manicures can last for more than two weeks with this top coat.

What you should consider: It has a strong odor and can be prone to chipping.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty and Amazon

Best trendy French nail kit

Top French nail kit

Le Mini Macaron

Le Mini Macaron Le Frenchie French Manicure Set

What you need to know: This kit comes with two mini gel polishes plus 120 sticker stencils for your tips.

What you’ll love: The classic color combination is fast and easy to apply — your nails will be done in just 15 minutes. The vegan, cruelty-free polish is formulated without harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde.

What you should consider: This gel polish needs an LED lamp for curing, which is sold separately.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty

Top French nail kit for the money

TailaiMei French Manicure Strips

TailaiMei French Manicure Strips

What you need to know: Customize your French tips to any shape, color or pattern with these easy-to-use stickers.

What you’ll love: It comes with 12 sheets that feature three different smile line shapes. The vinyl stickers work for any kind of nail polish.

What you should consider: Be sure to apply them firmly to get clean lines, especially on the corners.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best trendy nail art tool kit

Top nail art tool kit

Sally Hansen Nail Pro Tool Kit

Sally Hansen Nail Pro Tool Kit

What you need to know: This three-piece kit helps you create salon-quality nail art at home.

What you’ll love: It comes with a dotting tool, a detailer brush and a striping brush for creating fine lines, marbling, polka dots and more.

What you should consider: The brushes are small and don’t come with instructions.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Top nail art tool kit for the money

Beetles Nail Art Brush Set

Beetles Nail Art Brush Set

What you need to know: With six different brushes, you’ll have everything you need to recreate the nail art you see on social media.

What you’ll love: The tools feature synthetic bristles and comfortable and cute pastel bodies. The brushes can help create designs as well as clean up the edges.

What you should consider: The bristles arrive with a protective wax coating that must be soaked in warm water to remove before using.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best trendy cuticle oil

Top cuticle oil

Butter London P.D. Quick Dry Conditioning Drops

Butter London P.D. Quick Dry Conditioning Drops

What you need to know: This multitasking serum helps your manicure dry faster, protects it from chipping and conditions your cuticles.

What you’ll love: The cruelty-free, gluten-free and vegan formula omits harmful chemicals. It’s a particularly helpful pick if you find yourself smudging your nail polish before it’s fully dry. Rosehip seed oil helps make nails and cuticles healthier.

What you should consider: The skinny bottle is prone to tipping over.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s and Amazon

Top cuticle oil for the money

Ella + Mila Oil Me Up Cuticle Oil

Ella + Mila Oil Me Up Cuticle Oil

What you need to know: This natural oil blend helps soften cuticles and strengthen nails.

What you’ll love: The safflower seed oil base is rich in vitamin E to help prevent peeling or splitting nails. The formula is free from animal-derived ingredients as well as gluten, toluene, parabens and more.

What you should consider: Not everyone is a fan of its added lavender scent.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty


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Laura Duerr writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.