7 Nail Art Styles That Scream Summer

by Natalie Gontcharova

Summer is a wonderfully lazy season, and one during which I'm much more likely to feel whimsical and artsy. Things like "let's go to the Mermaid Parade" or "look at all these free concerts happening" or "I'm going to spend 10 days doing nothing but yoga" tend to escape my mouth. And where there is creativity and more free time (or feels like there is because the days are longer), there is elaborate nail art. Full disclosure: At the moment, my nails are a peachy hue and have Swarovski crystals glued to the accent nail, and my toes are painted with a hot pink, sparkly polish. It's a nail awakening. No, a nail-wakening. During the winter, though, it's all dark colors (hello, Chinchilly), heavily chipped.

So while late December is the most wonderful time of the year when it comes to sparkly holiday nail art, summer calls for nails that remind us of sunny vacays, even if we're not headed anywhere beachy anytime soon. Stuck making copies in an overly conditioned office all summer? Your tropical tips can be a small consolation for your office-monkey woes. Because summer is just about my favorite thing ever, I've found some awesomely inspiring (and not too hard) nail art tutorials you should definitely try before Labor Day.

Red, White, Blue, and Glitter

Celebrate the 4th of July with this nautical mani from Pink, You Rock.

Vintage Flowers

Little Tip Off painted little retro-inspired flowers over a polka dot pattern for a girlie effect.


Create a tropical paradise on your fingertips with little pineapples (posted on The Hunt via Wondrously Polished). I swear, they aren't as hard as they look!


Shiny press-on shells complete this dreamy under-the-sea manicure by Lissa's Loves.

Tropical Sunset

Can't watch the sunset from a cliffside in Malibu? Cupcakes & Curves has the next best thing.

Ice Cream Cones

Show your friends just the "cone" hand of this manicure by LuLu's, and they might not get it. But put all 10 digits together, and you'll be showing off some sweet tips.


This sea-creature themed manicure by Chalkboard Nails makes a colorful splash.

Main image: Other images: Pink, You Rock; Little Tip Off; The Hunt via Wondrously Polished; Lissa's Loves; Cupcakes & Curves; LuLu's; Chalkboard Nails