30 Summer Designs for 2017

Looking for inspiration this summer girls? Think stars, tie-dye and watermelons! Your nails better start getting ready to play in the sparkling sun. We’ve put together some easy-to-replicate manicures, to get your nails ready for the summer season.

  1. Cutest Cacti


One of the trendiest plants around, the cacti is the perfect summer-ready manicure. To create the cactus nail art you need a plain base, hand painting the cactuses using a few different green polishes. In order to get the abstract, watercolour effect, you need to dip your nail art brush into acetone prior to painting the cacti.

  1. Ocean Sunset


Fancy recreating the magic hour of sunset on your nails? Then this design is for you! Now you can enjoy the soft, ethereal colours of a sunset all day long! Think a pale blue sky fading to an orange horizon, looking perfect on your nails. Watch this video tutorial to recreate the look.

  1. Little Lilac Triangles


We are loving this pretty lilac nail, with a geometric edge in a deeper royal hue. This delicate nail art is a combination of geometric and half-moon designs. Inspired by this season’s soft, feminine colours, create a nail design to reflect the summer with this understated, whimsical design. Follow this simple step by step guide:

Step 1: Start with a light lilac base colour.

Step 2: At the base of each nail, using a striping nail art brush, paint tiny edgy moons a radiant orchid tone.

Step 3: The final step is to outline the tiny moons with a soft yellow polish.

Step 4: Finish your manicure with 2 layers of a quick drying glossy (or matte) topcoat. Easy!

  1. Sparkles and Stripes

Sparkly stripes

Looking for a simple way to upgrade your favourite nail nude? We've created a simple guide to create a beautiful sparkles and stripes design. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Draw a skinny line of gold glitter down the center of each nail and watch how pretty the metallic looks glinting in the summer sun.

Step 2: The method for creating this simple line manicure is similar to the steps for creating the French tip manicure: simply paint over with your base colour, then, with a steady hand, draw a vertical line going from the tip of your nail to your cuticle.

Step 3: Go over it with a touch of sparkly polish and you’ve got yourself a manicure that looks much more complex than it was to create!

Expert Tip: Using a swipe of cuticle oil (or even a creamy hand lotion) on your cuticles will make the imperfections disappear instantly when you want your nails to look flawless in a pinch.

  1. Rainbow Blur


Add a dash of colour to your nails this season, incorporating a range of beautiful colours. To re-create this look you'll simply need a super-skinny, flat nail art brush to achieve this rainbow blur. You need to ensure you move the brush horizontally across the nail, pushing the two nail polish hues into each other, blending them seamlessly. You should use white as your base colour, letting it dry thoroughly, painting on the colours with a flat nail art brush.

  1. On the Flip Side

Flip side

Looking for something new this summer? Why simply paint the top of your nails, when you can paint the undersides too? If you’re looking to play it cool and neutral, this look is for you! Incorporating a nude nail colour on top, and a bright tangerine shade to the underside, give your nails a fresh look this summer. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: File nails (almond shape is a favourite)

Step 2: Use Vanish Cuticle Softener & Remover under and over to clear the way

Step 3: Scrub nails ultra clean—don’t forget underneath!

Step 4: Polish nails and let dry completely. Use whatever two colours you’re feeling! Here we’re using Florence (Classic with a Twist) on top, and Jenna (Classic with a Twist) on the flip.

Pro Tip: Just do one coat, you’ll add a second when you’re done

Step 5: Grab your nail wand with striping brush tip

Step 6: Pinch back those finger-pads

Step 7: Polish under nails (just don’t put too much polish on the brush)

Step 8: Let dry

  1. Melon Moons


What could be better than a cool slice of watermelon on a hot summer day? Why watermelon nail art, of course! Impress your friends with this adorable look that makes your hands stand out. In order to create this nail art, you need to start by using a light pink as your base colour. Freehand on the edge of with a lime tone using a nail art brush. You can use a white liner for the outline and black acrylic paint for the seeds. Top off your design with a clear coat to make your nails glisten.

  1. Road Trip


After a vintage design? Why not show off your love for traveling with this vintage road map design! Whilst this design may look complicated, you will happy to know that the design isn't free-handed. You simply need white polish, clear polish, rubbing alcohol, and a map! So how do you map your nails? Grab any kind of map to get started. If you don’t have one to hand, printing one out works just the same! Follow the steps below:

You simply need:

  • White nail polish
  • Clear nail polish
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Q-tip
  • Map


Step 1: Paint two coats of white nail polish and let it dry.

Step 2: Cut map into small pieces (the size of your nail will work best).

Step 3: Put rubbing alcohol onto the back of the map and rub it onto your nail for a minute.

Step 4: Gently pull off and the map design will be on your nail!

Step 5: Apply a coat of clear nail polish and wait for them to dry

  1. Star of the Show


This classic, simple design can make your nails the star of the show! Any nail art lover will love this ultra-cool ombre stenciled star design. Follow the steps below:

You simply need:

  • Blue painters tape
  • A small star shaped hole punch (or other shape of your choice)
  • Wax paper
  • A triangle makeup sponge


Step 1: Start by sticking a strip of your tape to wax paper. Using your hole punch, punch lots of stars into the tape, leaving some space between them.

Step 2: Once you have enough stars punched to cover a nail, peel the tape off of the wax paper. Go very slowly, or the wax paper will rip where the punches were made

Step 3: Place the tape over a completely dry painted nail. This is important, as you have to push the painters tape on very firmly to assure a clean edge.

Step 4: Once your tape is secure, grab your makeup sponge and sponge two colours on over the tape. You can repeat the sponging more than once if necessary. Slowly peel the tape off and you’ve got your stenciled design.

Step 5: To get the best results you should use a different punched piece of tape for every nail, to keep things clean and crisp.

  1. Delicate Dots


Your summer nail art doesn't need to be bright to stand out this season. A blush-coloured polish is pretty on its own, with white dots adding a fun edge to your nails to make them really ‘pop’ this summer. Using a subtle base coat, you can invest in a dotting tool to dot around the edges of your nails. A simple look that really pays attention to detail. Make sure you don’t forget to add your favourite topcoat to finish the look!

  1. Citrus Squeeze


Got a love for all things citrus? Then these bright orange slice nails are the one for you! If your ideal manicure is something innovative that truly stands out, then it’s time to branch out and experiment with different eye-catching designs. From fruits, floral patterns and other images, serving as the best accessories to jazz up your acrylic or short trimmed nails.








  1. Nautical Moons


If you’re after something a little different, why not try this red, white, and blue nail art design that combines sparkles, stripes, and bold shades. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Paint a base layer of the red. Allow enough time to dry, giving your nails at least 5-10 minutes. Sometimes a topcoat helps to speed up the drying time.

Step 2: Use binder stickers or cut circular pieces of scotch tape to use as a mask. Binder stickers are easier to work with. Tape your mask to the base of your nails.

Step 3: Paint navy blue over the layer of red and the mask. Allow ample time to dry, you’ll want to give this layer 10-15 minutes. Each layer you add to your nail will add to the drying time. The longer you wait, the less likely the paint will come off with the tape.

Step 4: Cut your striping tape into roughly 1-1.5inch pieces. Then layer them vertically over the navy blue.

Step 5: Paint a layer of white over your nails.

Step 6: Leave the paint for roughly a minute. You can then peel the striping tape starting from the nail you painted the layer of white on first. After you peel the striping tape off, peel the binder sticker/scotch tape half moon mask off.

Step 7: Dab a touch of gold onto a striping brush.

Step 8: Line the edge where the red and the stripes meet with gold.

Step 9: Allow paint to dry for 10-15 minutes. Finish it off with a topcoat, and you’re done! Be careful not to rush to paint the topcoat too soon, otherwise the polish will smudge.

  1. Adventurous Ombre


Place this cute little starfish on top of your ombre nails for the perfect beach-ready manicure, adding a touch of flair to your summer look. Use a whirlwind white, sponging on calypso blue. The starfish are painted on using mango and coffee tones.

  1. Go Bananas


This is a design Andy Warhol would definitely approve of with these bold pop art banana nails! Use a rose base colour, which acts as the perfect pale pink. Leave to dry and use a yellow nail art pen to draw a banana shape. The black outline helps to completely transform this design. Outlining the sides in one long stroke is the easiest way to keep the shape neat, ensuring you close the ends to finish the outline. To achieve clean lines use a striping brush, placing your elbows on a table to keep your hands steady! Finish by using a brush to add a few lines over the body of the banana shape for detail. Don't forget to cover them with a topcoat to avoid chipping.

  1. Tie-Dye Tips

Tie Dye

Stripes are fun, but they can be difficult to get absolutely perfect and can feel a little rigid for summertime. Why not take a break from straight lines, experimenting with this fun tie-dye manicure instead, the perfect summer music festival ready tie-dye nail art design! Follow these simple steps to get the look:

Step 1: Hydrate with cuticle oil.

Step 2: Clean then prep nails with a base coat.

Step 3: Apply a layer of all in one followed by a coat of semi-sheer nude

Step 4: Paint horizontal lines with the semi-sheer nude and a teal marine polish.

Step 5: While the nails are still wet, use a striping brush dipped in polish remover and swipe straight down to blend colours.

Step 6: Shine and seal with a topcoat to avoid chipping the design.

  1. Purple Palms

Purple palms

Palm tree nail art can often look cartoonish, but if you use a delicate pastel base colour and make your trees a subtle shade of purple, they can appear more sophisticated and fun. Palm trees are often associated with summer holidays, as we vacate to paradise, so why not bring the summer to your look with this exotic nail art design. Follow these simple steps to create this design:

Step 1: Hydrate with a cuticle oil.

Step 2: Clean then prep nails with a base coat.

Step 3: Apply two coats of cornflower blue.

Step 4: Top off with a seductive sheer with a natural finish for a sun bleached effect.

Step 5: Using a striping brush dipped in a warm deep plum polish, draw curved lines for the palm tree trunks.

Step 6: Polish four branches at the end of each trunk.

Step 7: Paint small dashes as the palm branches.

Step 8: Shine and seal with a topcoat to avoid chipping.

  1. Summer Stripes

Summer stripes

While this manicure may look complicated, it just takes a little patience and a steady hand with some striping tape to create the look. Why not swap the colours for other shades throughout the summer to match your favourite outfits and trends. Follow these simple steps to get the look:

Step 1: Apply the natural nail base coat and let it dry.

Step 2: Polish 2 coats with a hot red on the little finger, ring finger and pointer.

Step 3: Polish 2 coats of china blue on the middle finger & thumb.

Step 4: Cut 4 pieces of nail striping tape.

Step 5: Apply 2 strips horizontally & 2 vertically to create a loose grid effect.

Step 6: Fill in the centre section of the grid with the china blue.

Step 7: While the lacquer is still wet, remove the tape.

Step 8: Put a few drops of the china blue on a piece of foil.

Step 9: Use a dotting tool to make a row of dots above the centre stripe.

Step 10: Let dry.

Step 11: Apply a top coat to avoid chipping and let it dry.

  1. Zig-Zag Swag

Zig Zag

You don’t have to simply pick to one pattern this summer! You also don’t have to only choose one colour when creating your nail design! Take your nail art to the next level with a complex manicure that's worth a little extra time.

Firstly you need to ensure you stick to a particular colour theme for your nails or alternate them. This way the whole hand will look more uniform and complimentary. Make sure that you note down the steps that you followed for one nail so that you can reproduce it on the others. You can use products like crackle nail paint or glitter nail paint to add more dimensions to your nail art.

Don’t be afraid to use design imprints to ensure all your nails have an even and matched look. You can also borrow colours that work in contrast with your outfit or if you’re after a more uniform look chose ones that complement. Why not create a look, based on a particular theme so the nails look completely different from each other but still work together. Remember, zig-zag art means experimentation and this means you can use different materials and types of colours to create the look you want. Follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Paint your base

Step 2: Paint the zig zag tape

Step 3: Cut the zig zag strips

Step 4: Arrange the strips and snip

Step 5: Finish with a topcoat to avoid chipping

  1. Beach Beauty


Fancy playing with primary colours this summer? This bright nail design is the ultimate manicure to wear to the beach. If you've got a holiday planned this summer, this easy design will give your nails a bouncy, colourful beach vibe! It's a detail you can add to all your nails for a summery look, giving an eye-catching design. These fun beach balls are truly a bounce of fresh air! In order to achieve this look you will need a fine-tip nail art brush to pull off this beach nail design. You'll also need a base coat, white, black, yellow, blue, and red nail polishes, and a clear topcoat. Before you begin the design, polish your nails with a soft, fresh base, making your nails look cleaner and less stained. Follow these simple instructions to recreate the look:


Step 1: Using a white polish, paint a circle at the free edge of your nail. This design works beautifully for round and oval nails.

Step 2: Paint a small half circle at the top of the white ball with yellow

Step 3: With a beautiful beach ball blue, draw a line from the yellow half circle to the edge of the ball as shown.

Step 4: Repeat with the yellow on the other side.

Step 5: Add a red wedge down the centre, leaving white between the blue and yellow.

Step 6: Now outline the half circle and the beach ball with black, and it's game, set, match! Protect your fresh beach look with a quick dry topcoat to avoid chipping!








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