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The Best New Gel Manicure Ideas for Spring and Summer

The Best New Gel Manicure Ideas for Spring and Summer

Start the countdown to summer with these mani ideas.


The next time you’re staring at the wall of nail polishes in your local salon, look past the moody gray and deep red shades. Summer is almost here, and this time of year calls for fun nail art in shades of electric yellow, Barbie-pink, and crisp white. We rounded up the best summer gel manicure ideas from Instagram’s most talented nail artists.

1Work Of Art

Mix primary colors like bright yellow and cobalt blue in different geometric designs for a modern art-inspired manicure.

Try: JINSoon Nail Polish in Tweety, $18,

2Neon Yellow

Yellow nails can be hard to wear—but not when paired with a neutral pink. Just looking at this neon yellow ombré nail makes us feel warm and happy.

Try: China Glaze Nail Polish in Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, $8, amazon.comSHOP

3Crowned Jewels

While we love wearing confetti in glitter over the holiday season, it’s even more fun for spring and summer. Just a head’s up: the three-dimensional accents might not survive a dip in the ocean.

Try: Zoya Nail Lacquer in Madison, $9, ulta.comSHOP

4Go Bananas

Bananas on a Barbie-pink background make for the ultimate pop art-inspired mani. Andy Warhol would be proud.

Try: Christian Louboutin ‘Rouge Louboutin’ Nail Colour in Pluminette, $50, nordstrom.comSHOP

5The New Classic

Calling it now: 2019 is the year of the French manicure…again. Add elegance to the classic nude and white combo with an almond shape nail and high-gloss finish.

Try: Essie Nail Polish in Marshmallow, $9, amazon.comSHOP

6Hot Pink

Hot pink was practically made for the summer. Add interest to the feminine manicure by adding a graphic red element.

Try: OPI Tokyo Nail Lacquer Collection $11, ulta.comSHOP

7Cross The Finish Line

This isn’t your average checkerboard manicure. With a base of pale pink, black and crystal squares look cooler and fresher than ever before.

Try: Smith & Cult Nail Polish in Dirty Baby, $18, SHOP

8Watercolor Techno

This abstract take on a watercolor design is pure Instagram fodder.

Try: Kokoist USA in Bluey White, $10,

9Seeing Stars

Dainty stars are the perfect match to a pretty half-moon pastel nail.

Try: Sundays No.5, $18, dearsundays.comSHOP

10Foil Detail

An oil-spill foil design makes adds a subtle—yet mesmerizing—shine.

Try: Dior Vernis Gel Shine & Longwear Nail Lacquer in Junon, $28, nordstrom.comSHOP

11Flower Power

Hand-painted sunflowers look like mini works of art when painted on all ten nails.

Try: Butter London Patent Shine 10x Nail Lacquer in Lemon Drop, $18, butterlondon.comSHOP

12Holy Cow

Cow print nails are having a moment (Kendall Jenner ‘s even rocked them recently). It’s a fun new take on a black-and-white manicure.

Try: Sally Hansen Insta Dri Nail Color, $5, ulta.comSHOP

13Star Burst

A nail look you can wear on July 4 (and every day before and after).

Try: Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Polish in Baby Jane, $18, sephora.comSHOP

14Jelly Mania

Nothing screams summer quite like a set of multicolor jelly nails. If you don’t want to wear fake nails, choose a sheer nail polish in a punchy primary shade.

Try: Dior Nail Glow Enhancer, $28, SHOP

15Graphic Pastel

You’ll need ultra-long nails (or acrylics) to wear this blend of metallic and pastel graphic stripes. It’s the perfect design for someone who can’t choose just one shade and instead wants them all.

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