The 7 Best Nail Trends to Try This Summer


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If you’ve been painting your nails some variation of jewel-tones or muted colors to match cooler temperatures, it’s time to switch it up. Summer is right around the corner, and with it means new nail trends to complement the season. Last summer, we saw chrome nails, glazed donut nails, aka Hailey Beiber’s manicure, and pastel tips take center stage. While there will still be plenty of chrome, this year, we’re leaning into summer’s easy whimsy—think jelly nails, a more playful take on sheers, and red-hot shades that bring all attention to your fingertips.

To find the best nail trends, we tapped celebrity manicurists Jin Soon Choi and Julie Kandalec, who shared their favorite burgeoning nail trends of summer 2024. The best part about this summer’s nail trends is that they’re endlessly wearable, whether you’re attending a seaside wedding or just going to happy hour. These looks take inspiration from the Fall/Winter 2024 runways, the recent celebrity nails at the 2024 Met Gala, and more. Keep reading for our favorite nail trends of the season.


a man wearing a white dress

Consider this the summer of pastel nails. “This summer, dreamy pastels are reinventing sheers,” says Choi. “Soft, feminine, and evocative of delicate flowers, pastels bring a romantic and whimsical vibe perfect for the season.”

Nail Art Studio Jelly Gloss Nail Polish in Buttercup Yellow

Essie Nail Art Studio Jelly Gloss Nail Polish in Buttercup Yellow

Vernis A Ongles Nail Polish in Lucy Baby Blue

Gucci Vernis A Ongles Nail Polish in Lucy Baby Blue

Vernis in Pastel Mint

Dior Vernis in Pastel Mint

Cherry Jelly

a woman with red lipstick

Red nails are always a summer staple, but this summer, Choi says that the most updated trend is to opt for an orange-toned red with a translucent finish. “It’s vibrant and captures the essence of summer like nothing else. This finish adds a playful yet elegant touch, different from the usual opaque cream-finish reds.”

Nail Polish in Crush

Jin Soon Nail Polish in Crush

Nail Polish in Lucky

Cirque Colors Nail Polish in Lucky

Strawberry Rhubarb Jelly Preserve Strengthening Treatment

Butter London Strawberry Rhubarb Jelly Preserve Strengthening Treatment

Silver Chrome

a woman with her hands on her face

Don’t worry, chrome lovers—the metallic finish isn’t going anywhere this summer.
“Chrome-like silver, although unexpected for summer, exudes chicness and glamor, making it a surprising choice,” says Choi. “This trend offers a sleek and modern look that adds a touch of sophistication to any summer ensemble.”

Color Foil Nail Polish in Steel A Kiss

Sally Hansen Color Foil Nail Polish in Steel A Kiss

Nail Polish in Trixie

ZOYA Nail Polish in Trixie

Nail Polish in OJPAS

Olive and June Nail Polish in OJPAS

Metallic Nude

a man with his hand on his face

If you love both nude and chrome nails, combining the two will be one of summer’s biggest trends. Kandalec recommends opting for a neutral French manicure with chrome. “A nude base and a sheer chrome over the whole nail is beyond chic and elegant for summer,” she says.

Nail Art Studio Special Effects Nail Polish in Gilded Galaxy

Essie Nail Art Studio Special Effects Nail Polish in Gilded Galaxy

Illuminating Nail Concealer in Bare

Londontown Illuminating Nail Concealer in Bare

Camo-Nude Concealer + Treatment

Dermelect Cosmeceuticals Camo-Nude Concealer + Treatment

Translucent Crystals

new york

At this year’s Met Gala, many stars sported clear crystals on their nails, and Kandalec says this trend will continue well into the summer. “Maximalism is back and we are going to see it in 3D elements [with] crystals like these,” she says.

Nail Gems in You're A Gem

ULTA Beauty Collection Nail Gems in You’re A Gem

Multicolor Rhinestone Pack

Get Stonned Multicolor Rhinestone Pack

Nail Drip in Big Drip

Kiss Nail Drip in Big Drip

Glass Nails

a man with his hands on his face

“Glass nails are a standout trend for summer 2024, echoing the stunning ‘glass’ makeup by Pat McGrath at the Margiela show,” says Choi. “This gel-like jelly polish offers an extraordinary, glossy finish, perfect for the season’s fresh and modern aesthetic.” To try glass nails yourself, Choi recommends buffing out your nails to make them shiny, then going for a sheer, neutral-toned glossy polish.


JinSoon Whisper

The Buff Plus

Tenoverten The Buff Plus

Le Vernis in Ballerina

Chanel Le Vernis in Ballerina

Summer Florals

a woman with pink hair

If you love nail designs, Kandalec says you should opt for daisies this summer. “They are just cute and really simple with the single blossom in the center,” she says. If you want to take a maximalist approach to this trend, lean into 3D floral nails.

Mod Floral Stickers

Olive & June Mod Floral Stickers

Nail Salon Pro Tool Kit

Sally Hansen Nail Salon Pro Tool Kit

Salon X-tend Press-On Nails

KISS Salon X-tend Press-On Nails

Meet the Experts

Jin Soon Choi is a celebrity and editorial manicurist based in New York City.

Julie Kandalec is a celebrity and editorial manicurist based in New York City.

Why Trust ELLE Beauty

As a leading publisher of fashion, lifestyle, and beauty content, is committed to highlighting the best products in various categories by personally testing the latest and most innovative products, interviewing countless experts, and vetting customer-loved items. For this piece, ELLE beauty editor Katie Berohn interviewed the best celebrity and editorial manicurists to discover the latest trends and the best nail polishes to help you achieve the look.

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