Summer 2023 Nails Combine Neutrals With Daring Pops Of Color - Here Are Our Favorite Looks

Whether you're rocking acrylics, gels, or just a slick of traditional polish, there's nothing like a fresh manicure to complete your summer wardrobe. While the glazed-donut nail trend was donned by countless celebs, leading to the shiny look dominating throughout 2023. But it now faces competition from a smattering of new and textured styles that have taken the blogosphere, the runway, and BeautyTok by storm.

The good news for maximalists and minimalists alike is that summer 2023 nail trends offer options for bold pops of color alongside neutral, minimalist designs, and we're seeing a continuation of recent trends. Altogether, this summer's trendiest looks include everything from seashell-inspired nail art to more pared-down versions of the chromatic looks that have proved popular all year.  Ahead we've rounded up an eclectic mix of our favorite nail looks, with options suitable for black tie events and lazy days spent lounging at the beach. 

A colorful twist on the glazed nail

Think of this look as a fun update on the glazed-donut nail trend. It still includes a hint of signature iridescence, yet it trades all over blushes and beiges for pops of color and more opaque chrome finishes. You can go for an all-over splash of color or mix-and-match shades for a fun combo. "This trend just keeps on giving," Iram Shelton, nail artist at the Bulgari Spa in London, tells Who What Wear. "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."

A summer of hot and bubblegum pinks

Chalk it up to the upcoming release of Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" feature film, or just the enduring love of a classic feminine color, but pink shades are likely to be in full bloom this summer. A complete wash of the color will draw focus to the hand. For those who want their nails to be less of a centerpiece or are drawn to more muted colorways, consider opting for a lipgloss nail look, which is a blush pink in a glossy, nude finish while keeping with the Barbie aesthetic. 

A textured nail look in any shade

The phrase "textured nails” might conjure flashbacks to the days of crackle nail polish, but it's actually softer textures and clean sweeps of densely packed glitter that are proving popular on TikTok and Instagram right now. Overall, the look is glossy but has added depth, and it can be achieved in daring shades and more neutral tones. To recreate the velvet look at home, pair your choice of matte top coat over a metallic polish. If the glitter route is more your speed, apply the glitter polish with a sponge — this method will soak up the polish while allowing for a dense application of glitter.

A mermaid-inspired mani

Mermaidcore isn't just relegated to swimwear. Perfect for those who want to go the more daring route, this summer is all about 3D designs and ombre finishes in coral pinks, aqua blues, and iridescent hues. There are many imaginative ways to nail this trend (pun intended), among them seashell-inspired nail designs and pearl accents. More minimalist variations include French tips that resemble wavy, shimmering seawater. This trend does include intricate detailing and could be costly in a salon, but there are also press-on styles available online.

A mix of rainbows and neutrals

Consider this a combination of many current trends! While the nail bed is painted in a skin-toned glossy finish, both the bottom curve and the nail tip are all about fine lines and crescents of bright color. It's a fun, elevated version of the traditional French tip. Ask your manicurist for a micro French tip and pick out the pops of color you like best for a subtle yet still multi-colored mani. To create the look at home, create a fine line across the tip of the nail with lightly tapered ends and repeat the process at the bed of the nail.

A little (or a lot) of chrome

Technically, this trend has been a mainstay in 2022 and throughout 2023, but it shows no sign of slowing down. This summer, expect to see more metallic accents as opposed to all-over chrome. You can achieve this look with a clear or pearlized polish and some foil or gold flakes from the craft store used to outline the nail. Mixing dabs of silver and gold is another variation that can pair nicely with mixed metal jewelry.

A summer of blues and pastels

Bluesy nails are all over influencer accounts on TikTok and Instagram, and it's a look that's totally in sync with the denim trends we're seeing this summer season. Keep a look out for baby blues, powder blues, and even more dusty shades to go along with the trendy en vogue jean washes of the moment. Rather than do a full coat of color, add more edge to the look by experimenting with geometric shapes and patterns.