Nailed It

Summer’s Trendiest Nail Art Is Soooo Extra, According To Manicure Experts

The artist behind MGK’s 30K mani weighs in.

Originally Published: 
mikroman6/Moment/Getty Images

I knew what 2022’s summer nail trends would be when MGK wore $30,000 worth of diamonds on his nails to the BBMAs. Using only my beauty editor clairvoyance and the omens (aka memes) on Instagram, I foresaw this season’s biggest nail trends were going to be extra.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Spring nail trends, like coffin nails and neon pastels, have evolved. Summer nails are longer, louder, and, yes, we’re getting paramours' initials painted on our fingers. Ahead, three industry insiders offer their hot takes on summer 2022’s nail trends.

Roy JAMES Shakespeare/Photodisc/Getty Images

1. 3D Nail Art

“Nail art is so extra this summer with all the embellishments,” says Brittany Boyce, the artist behind MGK’s $30K mani. Boyce recommends “simple milky white or milky pink bases or a solid but bold shade” paired with 3D embellishments.

mikroman6/Moment/Getty Images

“A great way to make epic 3D nails is by adding large charms, stones, and things you may not normally think about for nails specifically, like chain or real pearls,” says Natalie Minerva, the nail artist behind the amazing Euphoria manicures.

Roy JAMES Shakespeare/Photodisc/Getty Images

If jewelry on your fingertips isn’t your vibe, you can still go 3D with shapes built from gel polish, a technique celebrity nail artist Mei Kawajiri has been using for years. “3D designs and organic shapes have always been fun for me,” she says. “It’s very trendy now.”

Courtney Rhodes/Moment/Getty Images

2. Nail Decals

The easiest summer nail trend is using nail decals or nail stickers to amp up a mani. “Decals are going to be huge,” says Boyce, who predicts that “people will either wear a single decal on one accent finger or use them to create a wallpaper print.”

Delmaine Donson/E+/Getty Images

Nail decals and nail stickers are an affordable way to create a mani moment. This set of textured stickers from Nails of LA creates a bit of texture and a trendy, metallic pattern for just $10.

Courtesy of Nails of LA

Retro nail decals are also front and center. “Anything ‘90s and ‘00s will be trending this summer. Decals in particular with smiley faces and aliens are still going to be really big,” says Boyce. You can hop on this trend with Ciaté London x Smiley World decals.

Courtesy of Ciaté London

3. Asymmetrical Nails

The wildest summer nail trend is simply going all out. “Chunky, 3D psychedelic nails seem to be the major moment in nails right now,” says Minerva. “The crazier, the better! We want the full fantasy and we don’t want to hold back!”

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

One way to channel this trend is through airbrushing. “For a summer dance party vibe, I love to play with neon colors through airbrush work,” says Kawajiri. Symmetry is out this summer, so there’s no need for every nail to look the same.

Viktorija Jermolajeva / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

According to Kawajiri, the more unique your summer mani, the better. “Both hands don’t have to be the same,” she says. “One [nail] can be square, one cute, one more goth. This year, there are no rules.”

Jeremy Woodhouse/DigitalVision/Getty Images

4. Square Nails

“I think we will continue to see long square nails as a super popular shape since it has that Y2K feel,” says Minerva. A long square nail also creates a wide canvas for exciting designs or bright, bold colors.

Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

5. Coffin Nails

The coffin nail continues to thrive. “It provides a lot of surface area for really elaborate looks,” says Boyce. In terms of styling, Minerva says, “people will be adding a ton of color to their coffin nails. Lots of neons and bold patterns.”

Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Thanks for reading,
head home for more!