The stifling humidity and the fact that it's two weeks into July prove that summer is at its peak. Of course, given the state of the world — with continued social-distancing mandates and the worldwide
protests in support of racial justice — seasonal trends aren't exactly top of mind right now. Still, that doesn't mean shopping for new nail polish and giving yourself a bright, summery mani-pedi is frivolous. For some people, it could act as a bit of self-care when they need it most.
Ahead, we've compiled 2020's hottest summer nail shades — and we're leading with the chicest
Black-owned and founded nail brands we love to support now and always. Shop them all and look forward to trying a new nail color each week from now through Labor Day, regardless of what other curveballs 2020 throws us in between. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Mint Cream Non-toxic
, Black female-founded, and packaged for vanity display, Mischo Beauty is an under-the-radar nail-polish brand you'll want to shop in bulk. For the beginning of summer, start with this soft peppermint that founder and CEO
Kitiya Mischo King
calls "creme de mint."
North Star, $20.00
Buy Pale Nude
For far too long, the market was sorely lacking in
"nude" nail polish for dark skin tones
. Now, Janet & Jo., a family brand founded by Black female entrepreneurs, is changing that narrative, debuting a collection of nude shades created for everyone but specifically with dark skin tones in mind.
Janet & Jo
Interlude In The Nude, $18.00
Buy Yellow Gold
With shades ranging from borderline-neon brights to this shimmering 14K yellow gold,
founder Arieal Smith-Liburd built the most on-trend and Instagrammable nail brand —
she made it affordable, at just $11 a bottle.
Watch the Throne, $11.00
Buy Watermelon Champagne
or the traditional nail lacquers, both of which come in a wide variety of summer-fresh tones, like this iridescent pink. Either way, you're supporting a chic Black-owned beauty brand when you shop Pear Nova polishes.
Tipsy Tea Party,
$18.50 $14.80 Buy Raspberry Purple
If you're looking for a DIY manicure that will rival your salon gels in staying power, go with the Dazzle Dry system. Right now, the brand's lead educator Silva Nahabedian recommends this raspberry purple, which is the perfect way to wear a summertime variation on
2 Curtsy or Not, $18.00
Buy Lilac Pink
Olive & June, L.A.'s trendy nail-care brand, just launched their summer polish collection, a collaboration with beauty influencer
. All seven brand-new bottles are bright and have uplifting shade names to match, like this opaque pink-purple blend called Fierce & Loving.
Olive & June
FIERCE & LOVING, $8.00
Buy Golden Bronze
Like a dewy body-bronzing oil in nail polish form,
metallic gold shade is faintly shimmery and sun-kissed. It's almost like the perfect airbrushed
for your nails — minus the telltale color rub-off on the collar of your white T-shirt.
mosaic on down, $9.00
Buy Pastel Peach
"This color is basically summer in a bottle," says nail pro
looks amazing on all skin tones." Plus, because it's a full-coverage creamy formula, it gives your nails a glossy peach-tinted veil in one to two coats.
Met Steps, $12.50
OPI Nail Polish, Baby Take a Vow, Nail Lacquer, $10.50
Buy Confetti Glitter While we're celebrating birthdays and graduations via Zoom, we're loving Essie's silver confetti polish in Congrats. Hadley tells us that this shade in particular is kind of like the good vibes bottled up. "The multi-colored confetti makes your nails look so happy," she says. Essie
Essie Celebration Moments Nail Polish Collection, $9.00
Buy Cherry Red Nail pro Nadine Abramcyk tells us that we'll likely be seeing a color shift from the pastels and neutrals to bright red pre-summer. "I think it's because a classic red mani looks so good in the sun," she says. "This shade in particular is our best-selling cherry — and everyone loves it this time of year." Tenoverten
Nail Polish in Ludlow, $12.00
Buy Metallic Fuchsia
Smith & Cult's top-rated shade combines two of the summer's staple trends —
— in one gorgeous gold-capped glass bottle. Nail pro
tells us that the key to achieving an understated
is using a sheer, buildable polish with super-fine flecks of glitter, so the end result reads as a soft-glow shimmer.
Smith & Cult
Smith & Cult Nail Polish in Palace in Wonderland, $18.00
Buy Stone Blue
This soft blue feels perfect in the spring to summer transition because it's a little brighter than
, but more muted than electric neon. Moreover, brand founder Abramcyk tells us that the cool undertones in this shade make it just about universally flattering on everyone who tries it on.
Nail Polish in Austin, $12.00