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With summer officially in full swing, it’s time to say sayonara to the moody manicures you donned all winter long and rock some new, brighter nail looks that serve up summertime energy. Not sure where to start? Worry not—we scoured social media to find the hottest summer nail designs and they don’t disappoint, so all the inspo you need for your next manicure is right here. Without further ado, keep reading to discover 15 trendy summer nail designs to try this season.

Our Favorites

Rainbow chrome nails

Favorite #1: Rainbow Chrome 

  • It’s fun and colorful
  • Can be created with any bright colors you want
  • The chrome effect makes nails look super shiny
sunset ombre nails

Favorite #2: Sunset Ombre

  • Blend of orange and hot pink screams summertime
  • Head-turning design is sure to get compliments 
  • The gradient effect is actually very easy to execute

Favorite #3: Watermelon French 

  • Super adorable and summery
  • Beautifully detailed and attention-grabbing
  • The colors are very complementary and flattering on all skin tones

Jump To Your Section

What are the top 15 summer 2024 nail design ideas?

Rainbow Chrome

Bright and colorful, this dazzling nail look is the epitome of a perfect summer manicure. The vibrant colors pop beautifully against all skin tones, and the chrome effect takes the look to the next level. All you need is five vibrant rainbow hues and some chrome powder to create it — or you can always head to your local salon and have them work their magic.

Why We Love It: It’s bold, colorful, and fun, yet still sophisticated-looking at the same time.

Sunset Ombre

This sunset-inspired mani makes such a fun summery statement, especially when paired with neutral-toned outfits which makes the look really pop. The creator used Beetle’s gel polishes in pink and orange to get the look — all she did was blend them together with a brush to achieve the gorgeous sunset effect.

Why We Love It: The blend of bright pink and orange tones is a match made in heaven and really mimics a sunset.

Watermelon French

If you’re a fan of cutesy nail art, you simply can’t go wrong with this watermelon-inspired design. The creator used gel polishes from Beetle’s Floral Rhapsody collection, along with a fine line brush and a dotting tool for the tiny watermelon and daisy designs. If you’re comfortable with DIY nail art, you should definitely give this look a shot — and if you aren’t, simply have your resident manicurist do the job for you. 

Why We Love It: It’s unique, intricate, and gives off supreme summertime vibes.

Orange Crush

If you’re a fan of cutesy nail art, you simply can’t go wrong with this watermelon-inspired design. The creator used gel polishes from Beetle’s Floral Rhapsody collection, along with a fine line brush and a dotting tool for the tiny watermelon and daisy designs. If you’re comfortable with DIY nail art, you should definitely give this look a shot — and if you aren’t, simply have your resident manicurist do the job for you. 

Why We Love It: It’s unique, intricate, and gives off supreme summertime vibes.

Rainbow French Tips

This technicolor graphic look is a super-fun twist on the ever-classic French manicure. All you need are an array of rainbow polishes and a steady hand, along with a stencil and fine line brush to make the tips as clean and precise as possible. We recommend finishing the look off with a shiny top coat to make nails look super healthy.

Why We Love It: It’s colorful, eye-catching, and the graphic element gives it a modern feel. 

Complementary Colors

Blue and orange are opposites on the color wheel for a reason: they go together like salt and pepper. This super cute look includes a reverse French design — along with two or three bold solid color nails — and can be done using just two vibrant hues. We highly recommend giving it a go if you’re into low-maintenance looks, or if you’re a beginner who’s still new to nail art.

Why We Love It: Because it’s proof that pairing orange and blue together is always a good eye.

Neon Lemon Lime

If you’re intimidated by nail art or just happen to be a fan of solid color manicures, definitely try this neon lime look this summer. It’s vibrant, in-your-face, and looks fabulous on all skin tones. As for the perfect neon yellow-green shade, we suggest trying Madam Glam’s gel polish in Neon Sun

Why We Love It: It’s a minimal look that packs a major punch because it’s so bright and striking.

Flower Power

We can’t get over how cute this abstract floral manicure is — especially for the summer months. It’ll look great on any nail length or shape, and as we noted above, pink and orange go together like peanut butter and jelly. We’d recommend taking this look to your local nail artist if you’re intimidated by the idea of doing it yourself, or you can try a similar press-on style like these cuties from Amazon.

Why We Love It: The bubbly floral design is anything-but-basic and has a super summery feel.

Creamsicle Tips

This two-toned orange French manicure just works. The monochromatic effect makes a subtle yet impactful splash, and you only need a few hues to get the full look. You can also switch up the tones and do any color combination that sparks your fancy. 

Why We Love It: It’s a fun summery twist on your classic French manicure.

Aquamarine Swirl

If you want a really groovy summer manicure, look no further than this epic ‘70s-inspired swirl look. The artist used four different gel polish shades from Mylee, which have an ultra salon-quality feel to them. You’ll also need a thin brush and a steady hand to achieve this retro mani.

Why We Love It: It has a fun retro feel and incorporates bright, summery colors that pair really well together.

Almond Milk

If bright and bold manicures aren’t your thing, keep it simple with a creamy white look like this, which features a subtle ombre effect. The minimal style requires very little precision and effort, and will look amazing on all nail types, which we love. It’s also a timeless look for any summer occasion. 

Why We Love It: It’s minimal, incredibly sophisticated, and works for every nail type.

Floral French Tips

Floral French tips? We love to see it. This ultra-feminine, dainty manicure is easier to create than it looks — all you need are a couple different tools, like a thin brush and dotting tool. The creator used brushes by Nails-Luxe, which was founded by professional nail artist Isabel May. 

Why We Love It: It’s an innovative take on a French manicure that feels really summery and feminine. 

Pink Chrome

These Barbie-esque chrome nails are so glamorous and pretty — plus the look is extremely easy to create since it doesn’t involve any nail art. The artist used polishes from The GelBottle Inc., which offers over 500 vegan and cruelty-free colors. 

Why We Love It: It’s very Barbie-inspired, glam, and easy to DIY. 

Pastel Tips

These asymmetrical pastel tips are perfect for anyone who’s not huge on bold colors, but still wants to rock a head-turning design. The artist used a blend of polishes from Glitterbels, including a metallic hue that makes for a beautiful contrast against the pastel shades. 

Why We Love It: Asymmetrical French tips aren’t a design you see too often — plus we love the blend of creamy pastel hues paired with a single metallic stripe. 

Cherry French

Who doesn’t love a cherry manicure moment? This look combines classic red French tips with adorable cherry nail art and we can’t get enough. The artist, @_by_rach on Instagram, used polishes by The GelBottle Inc to achieve this super cute, fruit-inspired look. 

Why We Love It: It combines two of our favorite things: French tips and cherry designs!

Sunshine Nails

This bold sunshine-inspired manicure features several different summer trends all in one look: You have ‘70s swirls, negative space, and a French tip. Because there’s so much going on, we recommend leaving this look to the pros, but if you’re a nail art connoisseur, definitely give it a go. Practice makes perfect!

Why We Love It: Despite having so much going on, it’s still wearable and really fun.

Summer Nail Designs FAQs

Are there any celebrity-inspired summer nail trends we should know about?

Neon nails and out-of-the-box French manicures! We’ve seen everyone from Kylie Jenner to Hailey Beiber and so many more rock these attention-grabbing styles. 

What are the most popular nail colors for summer 2024?

We’re definitely seeing a lot of pink, blue, yellow, and white this summer — but honestly, you can’t go wrong with any color (or mix of hues) so long as the look feels like summer.

How do I prevent my nails from getting damaged by sun exposure during the summer?

To shield your nails from the sun’s harmful rays, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your hands and nails regularly. Opt for a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to ensure adequate protection. It’s also worth noting that wearing nail polish can act as a barrier, providing an extra layer of defense against UV radiation. Finally, consider wearing gloves while spending prolonged periods in direct sunlight to further safeguard your nails from damage.

Are there any nail design trends from previous summers making a comeback?

French manicures, for sure. The popular nail look was in full force last summer, too, and is still going strong a year later. That just goes to show how timeless and iconic the French manicure really is. 

How can I choose the perfect nail design to complement my summer outfits?

There’s no one-size-fits all answer to this — however, you may want to consider factors like color coordination and occasion, as well as your own personal style. If you tend to wear a lot of prints, you may want to opt for more minimal looks so your clothes and nails aren’t competing against each other, but ultimately it’s up to you and what makes you feel best. 


Summertime is the perfect time to experiment with bright, eye-catching nail looks — and these are easily some of the hottest trending manicures of the season. Whether you do them at home or take them to your nail salon as inspiration, one thing’s for sure: You’re bound to amass a slew of compliments no matter which look you choose.

Kaleigh Fasanella, a seasoned beauty and wellness expert hailing from Brooklyn, NY, brings over five years of digital writing and editing experience to The Girl's List. With a background that includes roles at Teen Vogue and Allure, Kaleigh's insights empower readers to navigate the world of beauty and wellness with confidence and authenticity.

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