Top Nail Techs Told Me These 10 Nail Trends Will Dominate This Summer
Out of all the seasonal nail trends of the year, summer nails are quite possibly my favorite. While I love the timeless appeal of autumnal colors or festive nail designs, there is nothing like a fresh hit of summer on your fingertips as the long-anticipated warm weather finally arrives. After a long winter and chilly spring, I'm welcoming this new season with open arms.
Summer is the time of year when my nail game is naturally in top form. With holidays, weddings, and summer soirées filling the season, there are plenty of excuses to book a manicure that will see you through this time of year. Whether it's long-wearing gel nails that will see you through your holiday or out-of-office antics or fun nail art, summer is the perfect time to dust off the bright nail colors we stashed away in the winter and experiment with sunnier hues that match the optimism of the season. Because even if the weather doesn't deliver on the warm temps, we can still tap into that sunny feeling on our fingertips.
All of this made me wonder what summer nail trends will be big in 2023. So, I asked two top nail technicians and experts, Iram Shelton and Tinu Bello, who tend to the nails of some of London's sleekest, for all the details on the nail colors and nail art we'll see this summer.
Summer 2023 Nail Trends
1. Glazed Citrus Nails
Hot on the heels of the glazed donut nails of 2022 are glazed citrus nails, which feature brighter renditions of chrome powder buffed over summer brights like yellow and orange. "This trend just keeps on giving," says Iram Shelton, pro nail artist in residence at the Bulgari Spa. "We thought the craze would come and go, but it looks like it's here to stay. I think there's an overall hype around all things that sparkle at the moment, so I know there'll be different color variations making an appearance this summer," she says. Switch up your glazed mani with brighter shades underneath your chrome powder to update the trend for summer. Chrome powder works best with gel polish, but you can easily cheat the effect with an iridescent shimmer layered over your usual polish of choice to replicate the effect.
No chrome powder? Layer this iridescent polish over your nail color for a glazed finish without the mess of powder.
2. Summer Velvets
Our love affair with nail effects is still going strong for summer, with velvet cat-eye nails predicted to be big news. To create the effect, look for polishes that react to magnets to give you that multi-dimensional effect. "You can easily layer a cat-eye gel on top of a bright color like pink or orange. It will look amazing while holding your summer cocktail," says Shelton. "The sun also brings out the colors a little more, which gives the nails a 3D effect."
This gel polish reacts to a magnet to give you a 3D velvet effect.
3. Iced Matcha Green
We're taking our iced coffee order onto our nails for summer, with matcha and pistachio tones tipped to be a big color trend for summer 2023. "Green is popular all year but is especially trendy for S/S 23, as it coincides with nature, green grass, lush trees, and blossoming flowers," says Tinu Bello, manicurist and senior brand ambassador for Mylee. "Sage green is a stunning shade that works well on its own for a minimal look or paired with white or brown accents or nail art for a mani that stands out," she says. "Mylee's Pistachio Gel Polish is a gorgeous, pale pistachio color that is key for creating this look. If you prefer a brighter, bolder green, Mylee's Green There, Done That Gel Polish is your mani match. This shade is perfect for festivals, parties, or everyday nails that really make a statement."
4. Jelly Popsicle Nails
Jelly nails are the fun Y2K take on wearing brights. The sheer yet bright formulas make nails look jelly-like with a high-shine finish. "They are summery and will inject a pop of fun color to any summer fit," says Bello. Everything from raspberry jelly to sheer apple will be big news for summer, and they're good enough to eat. Layer up sheer shades to recreate the trend at home.
One coat gives nails a healthy pink sheen, while a couple of coats gives you glossy jelly-like nails.
5. Colorful French Tips
What screams summer more than bright, colorful French tips? "We're 1000% going to see variations of a French tip this summer," says Shelton. "It will simply never go out of style. There's a negative space look, a double tip, and then your colorful tips. This will be as popular as ever because it just flatters both long and short nails. If in doubt, pick French."
French tips can be tricky if you're creating the look at home, but this stamping tool makes it easy. Simply apply polish to the stamp, press the tip of your fingernail into it and you're left with a crisp line.
6. Summer Florals
Florals, for summer? They might not be groundbreaking, but they're a timeless summer nail trend if you're looking for nail art. "There is always an interest in floral designs for summer along with abstract designs," notes Shelton. "I think subtle designs like flowers can look really pretty, and depending on the colors used, they can look great for weddings, also," she says. And if you don't have a steady hand, these are pretty easy to do at home too. "Flowers are also super easy to recreate at home yourself," says Shelton. "You can either use a dotting tool to keep it really simple or a one brush stroke technique to make the petals look more realistic. It's a great way to get creative."
Create precise nail art every time with a fine-tipped nail art brush.
7. Clean Neutrals
Sometimes, you don't want a shouty manicure, and that's where the 'clean-girl' nails come in. "Summer is always a popular season for weddings, so minimal designs are always a good look. They look chic and so effortless," says Shelton. "I love the sheer nudes that OPI has because they are so perfect to wear on their own or layer with nail art. Some of my favorites are Bubble Bath, Put It In Neutral, Bare My Soul, and Baby Take A Vow. There is a shade for everyone and every skin tone."
Bello notes that it's all in the nail prep to achieve this perfectly manicured look. "Think short, practical shapes with perfectly prepped cuticles," she says. "Grooming is at the forefront over color, with pale pinks, nudes, and clear builder gels being clean girl favorites. You can play with the hue by building up color for a milkier finish or using one coat for a sheer, barely there effect. You'll also want to keep a cuticle oil and your fave hand cream by your side to ensure perfect nail health at all times," she says.
This kit has everything you need for perfectly manicured hands.
8. Lip Oil Nails
If you like your neutrals but want to dial it up a notch, opt for a chrome powder finish on your favorite nude tone for a glossy lip oil-like finish. "Lip oils are trending all over social media, and it's spilling over to nails," notes Bellow. "This celebrity favorite look replicates the sheen that a lip oil leaves. It's all about that glossy topcoat—you want your nails to shine from every angle and sort of look like jelly," she says. To tap into the trend at home, begin by buffing the nails and filing them immaculately into shape. "For the base color, choose between a sheer nude, a pearlescent pink, or a bright popping hue. Lastly, and most importantly, apply a few coats of a glossy topcoat for the ultimate lip oil-like finish."
9. Barbiecore Pink
Come on, Barbie, let's get our nails done. With Barbie expected to hit theaters in July, pink is predicted to make a big comeback this season. "We will be in a Barbiecore era very soon," predicts Shelton. "With the new Barbie movie's release around the corner, I know this will become the It color. Whether it's baby pink or hot pink, we're going to see it for sure, and I am here for it."
If Barbie could choose a nail polish, I'm certain she would choose the Gucci shade.
10. Milky Nails
Another micro trend from the clean-girl nails trend is milky nails. "It's a softer version of a stark white manicure but adds a bit more color than a sheer nude," says Bello. "It's popular because it is clean and simple yet eye-catching and bright. It also makes your nails look clean and polished. Plus, you don't need to grow out your natural nails or sign up for extensions for milky nails to look great. This manicure looks good on all nail types, whether it be short or long nails, " she says. "I recommend Mylee's Mylee Nudes Gel Polish Trio. They are sheer and buildable but also nude. Another top tip is to mix some of your color with a base coat to sheer it out and give a milkier effect. This can be done with any color like a pastel or standard white nail polish."
The ideal milky nail polish in a long-wearing formula.
This post originally appeared on Who What Wear UK.
Up Next: These Are the Only 2023 Nail Trends That You Need to Know
- Explore More:
- Nail Art
- Nail Polish