18 Summer Nail Art Ideas to Try This Weekend

I always have so much fun painting nail wheels and wanted to do one with some ideas for summer nail art. There are 18 designs here and I tried to make a nice mix of easy to medium difficulty designs. Read on for a breakdown of each look and if I can remember what polishes I used, I’ll list them too!

Summer Nail Art Inspiration

1. Triple Edge

When your base colour is dry, paint a thin line at each edge of your nail then join the ends together with a line that goes across.
Rimmel Breakfast in Bed | Barry M Cancun

2. Strawberry Pinstripe

Paint a pinstripe base using a striping polish over your base colour. To freehand the strawberries, paint some red pear shapes, then add the leaf detail at the bulky end! If you’re feeling adventurous, add some tiny dots to add texture.
piCture pOlish Totes | Sweet Color Liner Polish

3. Bunting

Using white, start with 4 curved lines across your nail and then add some small triangles. Fill the triangles in with as many colours as you like!
Barry M RhossiliSweet Color Liner Polish
Nail Art Ideas for Summer

4. Half/Pearls/Half

Paint your base colour and let it dry, then paint half of your nail with the second colour. I used tape to mark off a nice straight line down the centre but if you have a steady hand you might not need to. To fix on the pearls, I used a dab of clear polish to attach them one at a time.
Barry M Elderberry | NYC Hudson Breeze | 1.5mm Pearls

5. Stripes

Paint your base colour and make sure it’s completely dry. Apply some tape or straight stencils where you want to keep your base colour showing through and paint some different colours in the gaps. When it’s dry, apply striping tape where the colours meet and use a few layers of top coat to keep it stuck.
Sally Hansen Lady Lavender | Straight Vinyl Stencils | Different Dimension Duelling Unicorns | Striping Tape

6. Matte Gradient

While not typical summery colours, I think the neutral and white work really well together to create a great summer look suitable for formal occasions. I created the gradient (tutorial here) and used a matte top coat to get this finish.
Barry M Pearl | Barry M Truffle | Rimmel Matte Top Coat (alternative here)
Nail Art Inspo for Summer

7. Summer Waterfall

Nicole by OPI At Least I Pink So and Yoga-Then-Yogurt | Sally Hansen Water Cooler | CK One Beach Party

8. Polka Dots

Using a set of dotting tools, I started this pattern with the largest dots in a diagonal line across the nail. I worked outwards from there decreasing the size of each row of dots.

9. Saran Wrap Mani

To get this effect, I blobbed out 4 different shades of green on to a sheet of plastic. I took a a small piece of bundled up saran wrap/cling film and dabbed it downwards on to the polish to muddle the colours together. Next, I quickly dabbed it on to the nail to create this textured effect. There’s a tutorial coming soon, I promise!
18 Summer Nail Art Ideas

10. The Deep V

Paint your base colour and use a striping brush to outline a long, thin V that meets right at the tip. Fill it in and then outline if you want to!
Barry M Huckleberry | Sally Hansen So-nata Problem | Striping Brush

11. Pastel Galaxy Nails

Nicole by OPI I Shop Mintage | NYC Lexington Yellow | China Glaze Fairy Dust

12. Summer Holiday

These are all DIY Nails water decals from the Aloha set
Barry M Coconut | DIY Nails Aloha 
Summer Nail Art

13. Make Like a Tree…

…and leave!
Let your base coat dry and paint a line diagonally across your nail then start painting lines from one edge to meet the line in the middle. Next, paint lines going downwards, matching them up where the horizontal lines touch the middle.

14. Daisy, Daisy

Paint about 5 white lines bursting out from the centre of your cuticle and build a petal shape around each line. Once that’s dry, add a yellow centre and finish with top coat.
NYC Hudson Breeze | Pure Color Liner Polish | NYC Lexington Yellow

15. Sunset Gradient

Nicole by OPI At Least I Pink So | piCture pOlish Totes | China Glaze Fairy Dust
Summer Nail Art Ideas

16. Pastel Glitter

Barry M Rose Hip | Claire’s Shiver

17. Walk The Line

Using a striping brush, paint the thinnest line possible straight down the middle of your nail. SImple but effective!
Rimmel You Had Me at Hello | Barry M Gold Foil | Striping Brush

18. Dragonfruit

W7 Salt and Pepper | piCture pOlish Electric Dream
If you post your recreations on Instagram, please tag #looknailasaurus as I love to see them and sometimes miss them if you only tag my name.