This is Winging It, where we're helping you master your favorite salon treatments and looks without having to leave the house. 

By Erin Lukas
Updated Apr 28, 2020 @ 12:15 pm
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Credit: paintboxnails/Instagram, oliveandjune/Instagram, betina_goldstein/Instagram

Important PSA: Summer is coming.

So even though we all might be stuck in self isolation right now, staying at home doesn't change the fact that the best time of the year is finally upon us.

With many festivals and movie release dates postponed, it feels like summer 2020 has been canceled before it even started. It's impossible to make definite plans right now, but shelving your neutral and dark nail polishes for brighter, bolder shades is still a cheap (and fun) way to turn your mood around. And while you're at it, why not take your manicure to the next level by adding some nail art?

If you're looking for inspiration for your summer manicures, Instagram is where it's at. From gold stars to neon yellow French tips, top nail salons and manicurists have continued to drop DIY-worthy nail art on their feeds throughout quarantine.

Here, we've cherry-picked the coolest summer nail designs that are easy enough to DIY at home.

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

Gold Stars

Give yourself a gold star for your DIY manicure — literally. At first glance, it probably seems like stars would be pretty tough to draw freehand. That's why Olive & June makes nail art stickers. Yup, this manicure was created with decals. While you can add stars to any solid base, they really pop against a neutral color like Olive & June's GH, a baby pink.

Flower Bouquets

Turn your fingers into a bouquet of flowers with this rainbow daisy manicure created by nail artist Steph Stone. She used a handful of essie shades for this design. While a dotting tool and nail art brush is ideal for drawing petals, the end of a bobby pin works, too.

Neon French Tips

Yup, the French manicure is still going strong for summer 2020. But for this season, swap white tips for eye-catching neon yellow. Celebrity manicurist Michelle Humphrey used Bio Sculpture gel on these almond-shaped nails. When it comes to French manicure, opting for a long-wear gel polish is a good idea. This look is all about the tips and they're usually the part of the nail that chips or cracks first.

Half and Half

The glitter nail polish party doesn't have to stop when the holidays are over. Make sparkles feel a little more summery by pairing glitter with a pastel shade just like this half-and-half manicure from Paintbox. Think about it: since the sun is nature's Kira Kira filter, you'll need sunglasses just to look down and admire your next-level sparkly nails.

Vanilla Swirls

Just like choosing a vanilla soft serve cone, there's nothing wrong with keeping your ice cream order or your nails simple. The beauty of this white swirl design is that it's impossible to mess up. Nail artist Luliia Terekhova of Tips Nail Bar in Toronto played with thick and thin straight and curved lines drawn across the nail bed.


Connect your two favorite colors by adding a yin-yang statement nails to your manicure. Keep the shape balanced by using a dual-ended nail brush and dotting tool such as this one from Sally Beauty.

Seeing Spots

Try Color Camp's easy nail design by adding spots of all sizes to your nails. The color combo is up to you, but wait until your base shade is dry before drawing the spots. If you don't have a fancy dotting tool, don't stress: this is another manicure that can easily be DIY-ed with a bobby pin. Even better: This design is actually press-ons. You can buy the exact ones at on Color Camp's website.

Chic Tie Dye

Tie dye sweatsuits are so hot right now, but technicolor waves make for stellar nail art. Instead of doing your whole nail, this manicure from Hey Nice Nails is the minimalist's way to lean into the tie dye trend. Use a brush to draw a wavy rainbow on the corner of each nail.

Rainbow Stripes

Last year's Skittles manicure gets a chic negative space twist. Instead of painting each nail a different color of the rainbow, add two gradient stripes on each side of the nail bed. This colorful nail art was created using Orosa Beauty's 14-free vegan nail polishes.

Sunset Nails

These gradient nails are as gorgeous as a summer sunset. The internet's favorite manicurist Betina Goldstein used warm pink, coral, and sandy nude essie shades for this simple design.