Summer Nails: Nail Trends for Summer 2023

June 15, 2021 (updated February 2, 2023)

Summer nails are a THING! For summer 2023, we’re seeing nostalgic, candy-hued nails, easy-to-use press-ons and more. Keep reading for all our top recs for nontoxic nail polish colors AND exclusive to TNK codes to save!

a woman sits at a table painting her nails

By: Nicolle Mackinnon


Painting my nails is a bit of a vice for me. Well, not so much a vice as a weekly self-care activity (see that reframing? I took a lesson from Lisa). Though I can’t say I’m a profesh when it comes to at-home manicures, I have improved immensely thanks to both the Olive & June clean up brush, and the Dazzle Dry at-home better-than-gel kit (more in-depth reviews of both can be found here). 

I also use painting my nails as a way to prevent chewing, biting, tearing and peeling my cuticles. It works when I’m not super anxious, and having my nails done makes me feel put together without much effort (seriously, get the Dazzle Dry kit—you can have a smudge-proof mani in less than 20 minutes, I KID YOU NOT…and check out this hack for using it with any nail polish color you already own).

So, I’m always eager to see what new nail trends are around the corner, hence why I’m your guide for summer nail trends. Here come the hottest colors, designs and more to swipe on your fingers (or toes) right now.

RELATED: Read our complete guide to choosing the best nontoxic nail polish here.

Summer nail trends: candy-colored nails

We’re leaning into nostalgia here with candy-hued nails reminiscent of your favorite childhood candy. Think Smarties (though whose favorite candy was Smarties? I’d like to know), bubble gum, taffy and the like.

Summer nail trends: neon nails

We’re still in the nostalgia realm with a doubled-down focus on neon nails for this summer, a trend that’s more Y2K than tearaway pants. 

Summer nail trends: neutral nails

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: neutrals are always in. But this season, we’re going soooo neutral, it’s like you’re not even wearing polish—the sheerer the better. Gasp! 

RELATED: The best way to get a no polish manicure.

Summer nail trends: negative space manicures

A little more expertise is needed for these more complicated manis (aka an at-home attempt might leave you looking more like you taught a finger painting class), but take these to a nail salon for inspo / snag this Olive & June nail art brush set before attempting these on your own. The goal? A clear base with a fun pop of color.

RELATED: Quarterly Faves: Summer 2022

Summer nail trends: metallics + glitter nails

Once, in third grade, my mom painted my nails a metallic blue over the weekend and then when I got to art class on Monday, some snotty-nosed kid made fun of them. So I guess what I’m learning from writing this trend report is that a) I have some traumatic memories that involve nail polish and b) all the things that were cool when I was a kid are now cool again. Metallics and glitter nail polish included.

Summer nail trends: press-on nails

The last time I tried to do press on nails, I ripped them off after approx 5 hours because I’d put one of them on slightly crooked and it was just getting my perfectionistic goat that I had done it wrong (also, I was 12 and my fine motor skills were not as well honed as they are now). Thankfully, the press ons of today are simpler and easier on your nails (in fact, we did a whole review of them here). Bonus: You can easily rock some of the summer nail trends we’ve already talked about without going to a salon.

RELATED: Winter nail colors and trends.

Exclusive discount codes for TNK readers

  • Code THENEWKNEW will save you 20% off all Olive & June systems (including Mani, Pedi & Complete Systems).
  • Code NEWKNEW will save you 15% sitewide at Dazzle Dry.
  • Code TNK15 will save you 15% on your first order at The Detox Market.

What’s your go-to summer nails shade?

xo, nicolle in cursive

TNK Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TNK uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TNK stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.

By Nicolle Mackinnon

Nicolle Mackinnon is TNK's content manager. She has a penchant for vegan lip color, cold-brew coffee and helping women feel empowered to make informed choices about their health by opening them up to new information and trends. Better, clean beauty is just one outlet to changing the way we shop and live.


  1. Reply


    Hi Lisa, are you doing a kit with your color selections for 2022? Any color trends to watch for this summer?

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Erin! I am not doing a kit with O+J this year BUT we are publishing our summer nails color and trend recs in the next few weeks. Nicolle writes our nail trend posts so stay tuned for that! Thanks for checking in. xo, L

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