14 Cute Bright Summer Nail Ideas & Colors for Fun in the Sun

We love these sunny summer nail colors and ideas for the perfect warm-weather mani.

Published May 15, 2024
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Summer isn't the time for blending in, so your manicure shouldn't either. Leave those pastels in the drawers and swap out these bright summer nail colors and fun summer nail ideas instead. 

Whether you like a bold color or a pretty design, there are tons of summer nail trends to try.

Magical Mermaid Nails

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Make your summer nail designs the stuff of legends. We think mermaid-themed nails are the cutest summer nail idea we can imagine. And we know you'll take to our 8 mermaid nail design ideas like a fish to water. From sweet sea-glass nails to seashore-themed shells, our mermaid nail ideas are fin-tastic, and we're certain you'll love them too. 

Sweet & Juicy Strawberry Red

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Love the sweetness of a June strawberry? It's the perfect color for your fingers, too! Start your summer off with a bold nail look by picking out a strawberry red for your summer solstice mani. Red is a color you can wear all year long, but the subtle changes in shades you pick will complement different seasons. Stick to warm orangey-red hues for the hot summer days. We love Essie Expressie's strawberry-red shade,Start Signs Only.

Related: 8 Summer Toenail Designs to Welcome the Sunshine 

Life of the Pool Party

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We love a short and sassy mani for summer — especially when it looks like a sparkly swimming pool. So whether you're lounging on a pool float or reaching for a frosty strawberry marg, these sparkly swimming pool nails will be the perfect accessory.

Get the look:

A Slice of Sweetness

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This super simple nail art is perfect for summer. With a steady hand, you can paint on these totally adorable watermelon-themed nails. Or, if you don't trust your painting talent, you can always use fruit-themed nail decals to get the theme, if not the exact look. 

To get the look:

Turquoise Temptress

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If you love the desert, you'll adore the desert-y feel of a turquoise mani this summer. Picking a color that's so rooted in the American Southwest is one way to pay homage to the hot temperatures that persist all summer.

We think Revlon's Ultra HD Snap! nail polish in Blue My Mind is the perfect turquoise shade to go with your best boho sundress, and it doesn't require any base coat or top coat, so it's perfect for summer nails on the go. 

Summer in Provence

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If your idea of the perfect summer is one spent wandering through lavender fields in Provence, then this is the summer nail color for you! We think OPI's nail lacquer in You're Such a BudaPest is the perfect shade of lavender. Prep your nails with OPI's base coat and finish with their top coat. Slather on some lavender-scented hand cream, and you'll feel like you're in France. 

Sizzling Summer Nights

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You know you're going to have some great summer nights when you go with these glowing green nails. ILNP nail polish in Playlist is the perfect shade for every summer dance party. 

Classic Coral

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We love classic coral as a summer nail polish color, and Essie nail lacquer in Peach Side Babe is the perfect summery shade of coral. Protect your polish with Essie Expressie quick-dry top coat, and you'll be set with the perfect beachy summer mani.

Think Pink

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You can't go wrong with pink, no matter what season it is. But we have 18 pink summer nail ideas that'll knock your socks off, from a sweet blush to vibrant fuchsia. 

Pocket Full of Sunshine

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Salute sunny summer days with pretty yellow nails that radiate warmth and light. We love Essie nail polish in Sunshine Be Mine — it's the perfect summery shade. 

Painted Posies

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These matte denim-blue nails are so cute with simple white flowers and pussy willows. They're perfect for easy-going summer date nights. To get the look:

Gerbera Daisy

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Use nature's color palette to create the cutest French nails. We love these nails that look just like a pretty gerbera daisy in our favorite shades.

Get the look:

Sunny Sunflowers

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These sunny nails take almost no effort at all. Start with a natural base color like Londontown Kur in Dusty Rose. Add a blue French tip using Londondontown nail lacquer in Iconic. Use as few or as many of these adorable sunflower nail decals as you want, and finish with Londontown Kur Flash Dry top coat. Easy peasy. 

Perfectly Pearl

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You may also see these called donut nails... and they're super simple for summer. Start with a nude nail polish like OPI lacquer in A Clay in the Life and finish with a pearl top coat like OPI Infinite Shine in Pearl

Sweet Summertime Nails

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Whether you're getting your mani for the perfect vacay or simply relaxing poolside with a frozen drink, these summer manicures will make your nails pop when the weather is hot. 

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14 Cute Bright Summer Nail Ideas & Colors for Fun in the Sun