The Top Summer Nails Ideas and Trends for 2022

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It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of colorful, fun nail designs. If you follow me on Instagram or Tiktok, you’ve probably seen some of my cute nail designs show up in my craft videos. I often get asked about my bright happy nails that are hand painted by my good friend Marah of 10 Tiny Canvases I love thinking of each nail as a tiny little piece of art. Whether you have acrylic nails, natural nails, or gel nails, these cute summer nail designs are great on all type of nails. I rounded up some of my favorite bright summer nails for inspiration.

Summer Nails

Cute nails with smiley faces 

Very on trend for summer 2022 are cute happy face nails! Whether they are small smiley faces on top of negative space and a nude base, larger smiles on solid nails, or smiles inside of flowers, there’s just something so fun and classic about smileys.

@Colormadehappy nails painted by @_10tinycanvases

Summer Nails


Summer Nails


Bright Summer Nails

Summer Nails


If bright colorful nails aren’t your thing, try pastels. They are perfect for summertime and go great with any outfit. Pastel rainbows, lilac and soft pinks are all trending pastel nail colors for summer 2022. You’ll also be seeing lots of paste with little flowers accents.


Summer Pastel Nails


Pastel Nails


Gradient nails for summer

Gradient nails use multiple colors on the same nail. For summer the trend and what you’ll see a lot of are gradient nails in bright and neon colors. Another trend is for design details on top of gradient nails, whether it’s grid designs, flowers, clouds, palm trees and more.

@Colormadehappy nails painted by @_10tinycanvases

Gradient Nails for Summer


Bright summer nails



Different colors on each nail

In the past picking the same color for every nail was a safe choice. These days with so many nail polish colors to choose from the trend is to explore the use of color and even try them all! Especially during summertime you can have fun with different neon nails, bright pastel rainbow nails and bold colors. And if you don’t want to cover your entire nail in color and you like the French tips look, you can paint just the nail tips in different colors. Another great option is diagonal tips or abstract shapes.


Rainbow summer nails


Rainbow nails



Mix and Match Nails with Abstract Nails Designs

A very popular nail trend for summer nails are abstract nails. The best part about abstract nails is the mix and match nail design. You don’t have to have every nail painted in the same simple design. Have fun with you abstract art ideas and don’t be afraid to try different abstract shapes, straight lines, curved lines, dots, splatters, and more.


Abstract summer nails


Summer nails

@Colormadehappy nails painted by @_10tinycanvases


Waves nail art designs 

In keeping with the summer vibes you can’t go wrong with trendy waves. Use a mix of bright nail polishes or stick with a sunset inspired palette. The best part about painting waves on nails is that there are so many options. You can cover the nail completely with a wave pattern or you can paint different curved lines on top of a nude colored nail.



Tie Dye Nails

A fun manicure trend that you will see a lot of this summer tie dye nails. You can either go for a straightforward and typical tie dye effect or go with the new twist on tie dye with colorful swirls (no pun intended).



Ombre Nails

Ombré nails are perfect for summertime. The bright colors will compliment any outfit, whether you’re wearing a sundress or a pair of shorts. With ombre nails you are using one color that varies from the lightest to the darkest shade. To achieve this look, start with a nude or light base coat and then use a sponge to apply the color of your choice.

@Colormadehappy nails painted by @_10tinycanvases

Fruity Nails

Perfectly on trend for some are bright fruit nails designs. Use bright colors for watermelon nails, pineapples, oranges and limes. Another big trend is mixing in exotic fruits like pitaya aka dragon fruit with it’s pink outline and black dotted center. If you love yellows, a design with lemons would be a great option. To add to the fruit nail trend, look for clay nail slices like these that are shaped like fruits and can be easily added to your nails for a unique design. These clay nail slices are also great for using on crafts like this keychain craft and this pen holder craft.


Fruit nails



fruit nails


Rainbow nails

Always on trend and continuing right into the summer are rainbow nail designs. Rainbow nails can be painted in a variety of ways. You could paint the tip of the nail as a rainbow with daisies on the end or clouds. Or you could use the entire nail for a rainbow nail design. Lastly, you could use rainbow polka dots for a fun and colorful manicure. If you’re doing a rainbow design, hot pink is a great accent nail color that compliments rainbows.


Rainbow nails



Tropical nails that are vacation inspired

What’s more on trend for summer than vacation inspired nails. From sunsets and palm trees to monstera leaves and flamingos, there are so many fun ways to paint trendy tropical nails. You could even mix in your favorite animal print design.


tropical nails




tropical flower nails

Floral nail designs

Floral nails are always a popular choice during the spring and summer months. To achieve this eye-catching look, start with a light base coat or choose a favorite color for the background. Then use a small brush to paint on your favorite flowers. Don’t worry about your florals having to look like realistic. Have fun with the flower shapes and leaves.

@Colormadehappy nails painted by @_10tinycanvases

floral nails


@Colormadehappy nails painted by @_10tinycanvases

Flower nails

Glitter nails for the summer

If you love glitter nails but you think they are just for the holidays, think again! Glitter in bright colors are perfect for a summer manicure and very on trend. Keep it simple with solid glitter nails or add stripes in different glitter colors.


glitter nails

Summer Nail Trends FAQs

What type if nail shape is on trend for summer 2022?

Almond shape is one that you will be seeing the most for summer nails in 2022. You will still see some coffin shape and square shape nails as well, but the rounded edges of an almond shape nail make it the perfect canvas for summer nail art.

What colors are trending for summer 2022?

Bright, bold and neon colors will be front and center for summer. You’ll also see pops of color on top of nude nails. That doesn’t mean that pastels won’t be around this summer. You’ll see pastel colors used in rainbows and to create cute designs.

Hope you’re feeling inspired now that you’ve seen some of the best summer nails for 2022. All of these summer nail ideas are perfect for any occasion , whether you’re headed to the beach, summer BBQ or vacation.

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