Channel the brighter days ahead with your manicure.

By Erin Lukas
Updated May 04, 2021 @ 10:30 am
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Summer Nail Colors
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Summer plans might still be up in the air, but unlike 2020, the best season of the year definitely isn't canceled. Hot, sunny days are ahead and bold, bright nails can help hold you over until we're able to live our best warm weather lives again. After all, it's the little things, right?

In the mood to play with neon green? Want to upgrade your go-to neutral manicure for the upcoming season? From vibrant to subtle, this summer's most popular nail polish colors cover all the bases.

To get a complete lowdown on what trending shades are going to be on all of our fingertips this summer, put down that sheer pastel pink nail polish you've been wearing since college and start scrolling.

Ahead, the 10 best nail polish colors for all of your summer 2021 manicures.

VIDEO: How to Remove Your Gel Manicure Without Going to the Salon

Olive & June Nail Polish in Scattered Showers

Best Summer Nail Colors
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If you've been keeping things simple throughout the pandemic, this soft, steel gray will be a nice change of pace from your typical nude and pastel pink polishes. You can also guarantee that your low-maintenance mani will last for days. Olive & June's polish has a gel-line finish that stays chip-free for days.

To shop: $8; oliveandjune.com

Suite Eleven Nail Lacquer in Sweet Heat

Best Summer Nail Colors
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This firey nail polish by Suite Eleven can only be described in two words: red hot. The warmness of this shimmery red-orange shade is the summer version of the oxblood manicure you wore all winter long.

To shop: $13; suiteleven.com

Nailtopia BioSourced, Chip Free Nail Lacquer in Harlem Shake

Best Summer Nail Colors
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Pastels are typically associated with spring, but guess what? They're here to stay this summer. This creamy coral shade by Nailtopia is a nice change of pace from barely-there pink and cream polishes. And the actual formula is special, too. Nailtopia uses plant-based ingredients in its vegan, cruelty-free polishes to strengthen and promote overall nail health.

To shop: $10; ulta.com

CND Vinylux Long Wear Polish in Pop Up Pool Party

Best Summer Nail Colors
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Manifest spending a summer Friday at the beach by painting your nails bright sea blue. CND is known for its long-wear formula, so if you want to make a time-consuming DIY manicure really worth it, you've found your polish.

To shop: $7; beyondpolish.com

Essie Nail Polish in Get Your Grove On

Best Summer Nail Colors
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This shimmery golden yellow is a perfect match to your sunny summertime disposition. While you don't need a UV lamp for Essie's polish to dry, it gives you a high-shine, long-wear finish like a traditional gel manicure.

To shop: $9; ulta.com

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Anthurium

Best Summer Nail Colors
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Shades of pink are always a foolproof manicure option. For summer, why not look to your neighborhood gardens for nail polish color ideas? This floral-inspired Chanel shade is the perfect middle ground between soft and bold.

To shop: $28; chanel.com

Orly Breathable 1-Step Nail Polish in Here Flora Good Time

Best Summer Nail Colors
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Expect to get a ton of compliments when your nails are painted this eye-catching green shade by Orly. If you've been focusing on getting your nails back into shape during this time, Orly's Breathable formula eliminates the need for a base and top coat, plus it's infused with conditioning, strengthening ingredients such as argan oil, pro vitamin B5, and vitamin C.

To shop: $10; orlybeauty.com

People of Color Nail Polish in Creme de la 'Mel

Best Summer Nail Colors
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A sandy brown manicure can be incredibly chic. The earth tone looks amazing on everyone and is a great way to switch things up if you're someone who swears by a neutral manicure.

Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro in Lightning In A Bottle

Best Summer Nail Colors
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Like clockwork, the first gorgeous summer day makes you want to break out the white nail polish. This Deborah Lippmann shade is a remix on the classic summer manicure, with its milky, shimmery finish. Wear it on its own or use it as a top coat over your favorite bold shades.

To shop: $20; nordstrom.com

Lights Lacquer in My Jam

Best Summer Nail Colors
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I dare you not to fall in love with this ultra-vibrant violet nail polish by Lights Lacquer. In fact, it's so pigmented, you can get an opaque finish in just a single coat. If all of that hasn't won you over, the long-wear is also ridiculously easy to apply, thanks to its rounded flat brush.

To shop: $10; lightslacquer.com