We could all use a little joy in our at-home self-care routines right now, from tie-dye face masks and gingham headbands to bright, summery manicures that remind you to stop scrolling Instagram and step outside (safely) for some much-needed fresh air.
With many nail salons still closed nationwide, we've been practicing our DIY mani skills, sourcing design inspiration from creatives all over Instagram. Whether you're down to try the trendiest (and easiest) nail-art trend to come out of quarantine, or you want to challenge yourself with a daisy print or polka-dot pattern, there's a summer manicure perfect for your aesthetic, ahead.
Scroll through our guide to the top nine breakout nail-art designs of summer 2020, and start planning your vacation mani — if not in location, then at least in spirit.
One of our favorite summer nail-art trends is the half dip. Essentially, the negative-space design is exactly as it sounds: painting only half the nail, so the effect is like you actually dipped it in polish. Here, you see how this design out of L.A.'s Color Camp salon mixes up the dips, with different colors, sizes, and orientations for a fun asymmetrical vibe.
Celebrity nail stylist Gina Edwards shows the best way to style a face mask: with a matching manicure. The press-ons are made by Kiss, with the happy polka-dot design courtesy of Medusa Nails.
Even through a phone screen or Zoom window, your daisy-print manicure will look downright professional (not to mention adorable). No one will know you simply followed a petal-dotting tutorial to achieve an at-home manicure strikingly similar to this floral work of art by nail pro Jin Soon Choi.
Creamy peach is one trending summer polish color we didn't see coming, but it proves to be a winner: warm, neutral, and flattering on so many skin tones. We're loving how nail pro Jessica Washick took her peach polish and swept it into a two-toned French mani.
If you're looking for a design you can do yourself, consider the trendy gradient manicure, where each nail gets a different polish to create a tiny color spectrum on your fingertips. To keep the look cohesive, the key is to use a range of shades in the same color family. This season, we're feeling pinks, as exemplified by trendy L.A. nail brand Olive & June's recent Instagram inspo.
Nothing says summer quite like a fresh white mani-pedi. Elevate the whites on your fingernails with a little asymmetrical striping, like this look by London-based brand Imarni Nails.
Glitter & Foil
No shade to December, but the start of warm-weather season feels like a much more appropriate time to wear sparkles and sequins. Plus, a gold foil accent can be surprisingly low-key and minimalist when paired with the perfect nude base polish. NYC-based nail brand Paintbox shows the perfect example.
While there's something to be said for the neutrality of sheer pale-pink polish, we're also here for mixing it up with the total opposite. A loud, fluorescent — think tangerine and magenta — ombré fade will seriously up your nail game. We're in love with this look: a diffused two-toned fade on each individual nail, with a matte finish instead of the usual glossy. Again, Imarni Nails nails it.
Even with 4th of July in the rearview, we're seeing minimalist star nail art all over Instagram. Considering all the subtle and chic variations — specifically this neutral take by nail pro Leslie Ngo — we're guessing the print will stay on trend even well through Labor Day.
Summer Nail Art Designs For A Fun Trendy Manicure 2020