Top Techs Told Me These 10 Nail Trends Are Dominating This Summer

Out of all the seasonal nail trends of the year, summer nails are quite possibly my favourite. While I love the timeless appeal of autumnal colours 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 the new season with open arms.

Summer is the time of year when my nail game is naturally on its top form. With holidays, weddings and summer soirees filling the season, there are plenty of excuses to book in for 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 those bright nail colours that we stashed away in the winter and experiment with sunnier hues that match the optimism of the season. Because even if the UK doesn't deliver on the warm. weather, we can still tap into that sunny feeling on our fingertips.

All of this made me wonder what summer nail trends are big news in 2023 right now. So, I asked two 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 colours and nail art that we're seeing this summer.

1. Citrus Glazed Nails


(Image credit: @nailsbyzola)

Hot on the heels of the glazed donut nails of 2022 are 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 colour 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.

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2. Summer Velvets


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

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 colour like a pink or an orange. It will look amazing whilst holding your summer cocktail," says Shelton. "The sun also brings out the colours a little more, which give the nails a 3D effect."

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3. Iced Matcha Green


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

We're taking our iced coffee order onto our nails for summer, with matcha and pistachio tones tipped to be a big colour trend for summer 2023. "Green is popular all year round, but is especially trendy for SS23, 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 colour 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 for everyday nails that really make a statement."

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4. Jelly Popsicle Nails


(Image credit: @imarninails)

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 colour 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.

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5. Colourful French Tips


(Image credit: @iramshelton)

What screams summer more than bright, colourful 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 colourful tips. This will be as popular as ever because it just flatters both long and short nails. If in doubt, pick French."

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6. Summer Florals


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

Florals, for summer? They might not be ground-breaking, 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 colours 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."

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7. Clean Neutrals


(Image credit: @iramshelton)

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 the 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 to layer with nail art. Some of my favourites 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 colour, with pale pinks, nudes and clear builder gels being clean girl favourites. You can play with the hue, by building up colour for a milkier finish, or 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.

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8. Lip Oil Nails


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

If you like your neutrals but want to dial it up a notch, then opt for a chrome powder finish on your favourite nude tone for a glossy, lip oil finish. "Lip oils are trending all over social media, and it's spilling over to nails," notes Bellow. "This celebrity favourite 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 file the nails immaculately into shape. "For the base colour, 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 finish."

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9. Barbiecore Pink


(Image credit: @iramshelton)

Come on Barbie, let's get our nails done. With the arrival of the Barbie film release in July, pink is predicted to make a big comeback this season. "We will be in a Barbiecore era very soon," predicts Shetlon. "With the new Barbie movie release around the corner I know this will become the it colour—whether it’s baby pink or hot pink, we’re going to see it for sure and I am here for it."

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10. Milky Nails


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Another micro trend from the clean-girl nails trend are milky nails. "It’s a softer version of a stark white manicure but adds a bit more colour 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 colour with base coat to sheer it out and give a milkier effect. This can be done with any colour like a pastel or with a standard white nail polish."

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Up Next: These Are the Only 2023 Nail Trends That You Need to Know

Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor of Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.

Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards and also contributed to Powder, winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards for her work in beauty journalism.

Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.

When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner.