This spring, the big nail trend was learning how to give yourself a flawless at-home manicure. DIY nail art also made a mark, from geometric patterns to polka dots. And now, as the mani-obsessed head into the warmer weather, it’s time to add a few new summer 2020 nail trends to your repertoire: From colorful French manicures to the continuing popularity of press-ons, color and patterns are having major moments this season.
Bustle spoke with nail experts from ORLY, Sinful Colors, and OPI about what beauty lovers can expect to see as summer approaches. They predict throwback manis that harken back to the bold, glitter looks of your middle school days, neon shades that add pop to your at-home nail art, and ombre styles as possible options for your summer manicure.
If you need inspo for your next at-home spa day or relaxing at-home manicure, here are five summer 2020 nail trends experts think you’re about to see everywhere.
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Nail artist Naomi Yasuda sees a resurgence of ’90s-era nail trends like glitter, whether it’s a shimmering accent at the tip of the nail or an all-over sparkly manicure.
First, mix the polish to distribute the glitter, which usually settles at the bottom. Yasuda recommends quickly rolling the bottle between your palms for a minute or two, rather than shaking it, which can cause air bubbles to form.
To get the most glitter-dense look, Yasuda suggests using a makeup sponge instead of the traditional brush that comes with polish. Apply the glitter polish onto the sponge, then press it into the nail: "The sponge will soak up the liquid part of the nail polish, and you will be able to only apply the glitter onto the nails," says Yasuda. Let dry, then follow with a top coat.
ORLY consulting nail artist Brittney Boyce sees neon becoming a bigger trend during the summer months. "People are craving color to stimulate their everyday life, so bright neon shades are trending," she tells Bustle. "For nail shades, think of bright yellows like ORLY’s Oh Snap and blues like Far Out and even Gotta Bounce."
Boyce is a fan of the colorful French manicure, a style Kylie Jenner’s recently been sporting on Instagram.
Boyce previously showed Bustle how to get the look at home: First, clean your nail with polish remover and a paper towel, then apply a base coat (preferably in a neutral shade to allow the bright colors to pop even more), and let dry for 3 to 5 minutes. Then, place ORLY’s half-moon nail guides at the tip of your nail depending your desired level of thickness. Pick a neon hue, paint the tips, let dry, and apply a top coat.
Ombre hair may no longer be a dominant trend, but that’s not the case for nails. OPI North America education manager Sigourney Nunez says not only will the style be back for summer 2020, but that it’s also easy to do at home.
To create an ombre effect using a single shade, start by applying OPI’s Natural Nail Base Coat and allowing to dry. Next, using a nude or pink-toned neutral shade, like OPI’s Bare My Soul, paint a thin coat onto each nail and let dry. Then, on a beauty sponge, paint the same neutral shade on the bottom and a color of your choosing (Nunez recommends OPI’s My Chihuahua Doesn’t Bite Anymore) just above it. Pat the sponge onto the nail, with the neutral tone toward the cuticle, making sure the colors overlap slightly to create the first ombre layer. Let dry and repeat until you reach your desired level of opacity, then repeat for each nail you’d like to ombre. Apply a top coat after the nails dry.
Boyce also says whimsical but minimalist looks, like graphic lines, will be in for summer 2020 — and she has a hack for achieving those pin-straight vertical lines.
First, paint your nails whatever base color you want (again, Boyce loves a neon) and let the color dry. Then create the design.
"Nail artists use stripping brushes to create sharp, crisp lines, but it’s not easy for your at-home user to do," she says. "Instead of trying that, I suggest using scotch tape to section off the area you don’t want painted. Once you apply the tape to your nail, add 1-2 coats of polish to the bare portion of the nail. Remove the tape before the polish starts to dry."
Press-ons are already trendy, and Yasuda predicts the style to remain popular through the summer. With many people doing their nails at home, they’ve been an easy and affordable way to get intricate designs without heading into a salon.
If you’re new to press-ons, Yasuda suggests first making sure your nail is clean by using polish remover — and always apply the press-ons near the beginning of the cuticle. "Place the back of the nail tip near your cuticle line, making sure your cuticle and the curvature of the press-on are lined up perfectly," she says. "Then, press the nail tip down for a few seconds." After that, you’ll be good to go with a salon-quality manicure.
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