Over the past year and a half, we found ourselves painting our own nails. With social-distancing mandates and COVID travel restrictions confining most of us to our homes, the mani/pedi was minimised to an act of self care.
But this summer, with vaccinations happening across the country, we’re slowing getting back to seeing friends and family to celebrate weddings and birthdays, which makes treating yourself to a professional manicure even more thrilling, not only because it’s been awhile — but because you can show it off.
If you’re dry on ideas, we’ve got you covered with the five biggest nail-art trends for summer 2021. Whether you want to try a variation on the classic French, or a fun mismatch situation, scroll through to source your inspiration.
Arguably the biggest budding design trend of the moment is the “outline French.” This one, the work of L.A.-based nail artist Queenie Nguyen shows an asymmetrical black and white colour play, but the design is open to interpretation: You can rim around the tip of the nail with any polish you like.
Similar to the swirl in shape, the wave is a little more overtly on-brand for vacation season. Bay Area-based nail artist Lolo Nailed It gives us this visual that pulls pale blues and teeny-tiny sparkles with a raw-edged wave that feels beachy and glam at the same time.
You can — and should — go bright with your nails in the summertime. But between the hot pink and electric blue, consider a pastel mismatched manicure, like this design by manicurist Hang Nguyen, that will pop against your summer whites, but provides that soft refresh between neon tips.
If you’ve never tried the dreamy cloud manicure, this summer’s the time to do it. You can go for the classic interpretation with blues and whites, or a moodier dove grey vibe like this look out of L.A.’s Color Camp Salon.