The 13 Hottest Summer Nail Polish Colors Of 2018
by Maggie Dickman
It’s true: Summer is the perfect time to bring sunshine and beach-ready vibes to your fingertips. Prepare yourself and your manicure for sunset drives—and plenty of Insta-worthy poolside moments—with the hottest summer nail polish colors.
Raspberry sherbet might be our favorite dessert year-round, but it just so happens to be one of the most romantic summer shades for your nails. In fact, the new Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, donned the sugary sweet shade at the royal wedding. So throw on a romcom and pamper yourself with a DIY mani featuring the dreamiest shade of the summer. You’ll thank us later.
Drowned In Gold
There’s nothing like the feeling of warm sand between your toes, and you can give your pedi a golden, sun-soaked upgrade with this edgy metallic shade. Jenna Dewan just rocked a seriously stunning gold polish at the Billboard Music Awards, proving this color is all you need to feel like golden goddess.
Bring the beach to your nails right now: NARS ‘Milos,’ Nordstrom, $20
Blue As Crashing Waves
Earlier this year, OPI introduced its Spring/Summer 2018 collection, and you better believe this mosaic blue nail polish caught our attention. This cobalt blue is a brighter, bolder take on an under-the-sea-inspired look, and when paired with a simple outfit, your nails will truly pop.
Get one of the new OP nail polish colors: OPI ‘Tile Art To Warm Your Heart,’ Beauty Plus Salon, $10
There’s nothing like coating your nails in a twilight-tinged orange. Plus, the blazing color leaves it open for your own personal interpretation. Try a lighter, sherbet-inspired shade, or go full-on neon à la Jeremy Scott’s Spring/Summer 2018 runway show. No matter the shade, you’re bound to bring the heat with a sunset orange.
Shop this stunning shade: Marc Jacobs Beauty, ‘Snap!,’ Sephora, $18
Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is a vibrant purple that we’ve been rocking on our nails for a few months now. But a pastel version of the Pantone favorite will give your look a subtle seasonal revamp. Bonus points if the purple glimmers in the sunlight, like Essie’s trendy purple seaglass shimmer that twinkles with periwinkle opalescence.
Shop the summer take on Ultra-Violet: Essie, ‘World Is Your Oyster,’ Target, $9
White Sand Beach
Not everyone will be able to embark on a dreamy island getaway, but you can bring the white sand beach-inspo to your nails with a bold pop of white. Songstress Maren Morris has rocked the clean color slate on her fingertips on multiple occasions. (Just check out her Insta!) What’s better? A white shade matches absolutely everything.
Shop this poolside white polish: Red Carpet Manicure, ‘White Hot,’ Ulta, $9.99
Mint Chip Green
If celebrity nail artist Steph Stone, who’s worked with the likes of Katherine Langford, Lili Reinhart, Debby Ryan, and more, says mint shades are in for summer, then we’re surely going to be giving ourselves a mani+pedi treatment in a color that’s as wonderful as the ice cream flavor tastes.
Shop this sugary sweet shade: butter LONDON ‘Minted,’ Amazon, $15
Kim K has been shining a light on yellow, which is only the most fitting color for summer. Whether she’s going for the gold at the MET Gala, or rocking a vibrant shade like she did at the Business of Fashion dinner, a bold yellow is the perfect polish if you want fun and fierce, fashion-forward vibes.
Cardi B’s “Be Careful” is a summer jam, and we’re taking some beauty inspo from the star’s music video for the song, too. The artist rocked a popping pink shade that we can’t get enough of. Pro tip? Apply a white base before your neon shade to really make it stand out.
Add this pretty in pink color to your cart: Essie ‘The Fuchsia Is Bright,’ Amazon, $9
Red, Red, And Red
Red, white, and blue? More like red, red, and more red! A lobster-inspired mani is perfect to dress down for summer BBQs or dress up for a night out. Just ask Blake Lively, whose fire-hued nails at the MET Gala gave us real heart eyes.
Bring the heat with a new summer must-have: Burberry, ‘No. 301 Poppy Red,’ Nordstrom, $23
Iced Latte-Inspired Nudes
Even if you’re an iced coffee person year-round (guilty), it’s officially iced drink season. So why not match your mani to your go-to summer drink? A neutral shade will not only make for the perfect Insta snap, but it’ll also match any look you’ll be pairing it with.
Put some pep in your polish right now: butter LONDON Patent Shine 10X, ‘Mums the Word,’ Ulta, $18
It’s fresh fruit season, so you might as well pick a color to match. Whether you’re leaning toward a juicy peach hue, or opting for a watermelon pink shade to twin with Kylie Jenner’s recent mani picks, your nails will be summer-ready in no time. Matching smoothie? Optional.
Shop the fruity favorite: Essie, ‘Peach Side Babe,’ Amazon, $8.97
Disco Ball Dreams
Summer is the perfect time to let all those dancing queen dreams come to life. Let your nails take center stage with a glitter polish that truly pops. Anna Sui’s disco ball-inspired manis at NYFW gave us all the party vibes, and you can follow suit by picking a thicker glitter formula with silver and/or gold flakes to ensure your nails will actually get the party started.
Shop the shade that’ll keep you dancing all night long: Smith & Cult, ‘Shattered Souls,’ Net-a-Porter, $18