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The Statement Nail Trends Set to Be Big This Summer

Photo: Kat Irlin

Nothing finishes off a look quite like a fresh set of nails. Take Selena Gomez, for instance, who recently made a case for neon when she teamed her neoprene coral lids with some lime-green nails. Or Kylie Jenner, who updated her low-key ‘coffee and errands’ look with a set of elongated purple tips, because, well, why not? Then there was the queen herself, Beyoncé, whose pop of blood-orange nails by nail artist Mo Qin added a bit of glam to her tropical NYC look. 


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A post shared by Mo Qin (@ohmynailsnyc)

Indeed, whether you want to accentuate a makeup look or bring an unexpected twist to an everyday ’fit, this summer is all about statement nails — and it’s not surprising. According to a WGSN trend report, in the wake of Covid-19, consumers are looking to “re-embrace bold colors and experiment with creative designs that enable self-expression”.

In need of some manicure inspiration? Here, 10 of the industry’s leading nail artists share their favorite looks for summer.

1. Michelle Humphrey (@NailsByMH)

“I am absolutely in love with green nails at the moment. Not only is green hot for SS21, but it’s also amazing on nails as it’s a fairly neutral but modern shade. When choosing your green, think of all tones — sage, spring green, olive, and khaki. I love Essie ExprEssie Cargo-go!. For the ultimate modern finish, make your green manicure matte — it’s super cool and a great way to wear a statement nail without any art. Top tip: when painting your matte topcoat, make sure you go right to the edges. If you miss any bits, you’ll end up with shiny patches.”

2. Harriet Westmoreland (@HarrietWestmoreland)

“My go-to colors are always a classic sheer nude to complement your skin tone, and an apple red or black for a simple evening look. You can’t go wrong with these colors. My favorite style is French or a clean block color with a smooth, neat finish around the cuticle. I always finish my manicures with a secret splash of Augustinus Bader Face Oil (used as cuticle oil) as it leaves you with that perfect nail glow.

“In the summer, I like to add a 1990s twist — a neon French tip in bright colors. Make sure to keep the tip extremely thin to get a modern French approach to what has been perceived as an old-fashioned style — it’s definitely coming back in a cooler way. The texture should always be smooth, glossy, and glass-like, the nail perfectly round when viewed sideways and I prefer nails short — this keeps everything more sophisticated.”

3. Mo Qin (@OhMyNailsNYC)

“For summer, I use a lot of bright and bold tones. Colored French tips have a trendy look. I like to mix and match shades, with one color at the small moon of your nail (close to your cuticles) and another on the tips. Another go-to of mine is oil-slick chrome — the way it reflects the sun makes me feel fancy.”


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A post shared by Mo Qin (@ohmynailsnyc)

4. Natasha Blake (@FuegoNailsLDN)

“My favorite nail look for summer would be anything bright, bold, colorful, and trippy. I’ve been getting into a lot of psychedelic art and have noticed this trending among fellow nail artists. I feel like it’s set to be huge this summer.”


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A post shared by FUEGO Nails (@fuegonailsldn)

5. Sarah Nguyen (@ChrmdBySarah)

“My current obsessions for summer are neons, matte, and texture. Monochromatic colors are definitely in. I’m loving neon-ombre French tips with 3D textures using sculptured or hard gel.”


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A post shared by Sarah Nguyen (@chrmdbysarah)

6. Holly Falcone (@HollyFalconeNails)

“I’m seeing a lot of 3D jelly art with clear bubbles, raised metallic and glass sculptures, translucent colored lava-lamp blobs, and subtle details such as clear water drops. I’ve also spotted reflective details, including magnetic velvet effects, colorful chrome, and iridescent finishes. At the other end of the spectrum, classic red is here to stay.”


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A post shared by Holly Falcone (@hollyfalconenails)

7. Rebecca Jade Wilson (@RebeccaJadeWilson_Nails)

“We will see two big trends this summer. One is the continuation of a healthy, natural manicure, with subtle additions of color via a French manicure. Also, fun little-finger accents and colorful hearts and stars will take it to a more playful place. The other will be bright, bold colors. Having similar vivid tones across all the nails will be a striking summer look.”

8. Sojin Oh (@SojiNails)

“I’m currently into bright green, orange, yellow, blue, and red. My favorite styles are hand-sculpted gel looks and designs inspired by nature.”


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A post shared by 🇰🇷 ©️ (@sojinails)

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