“[Bluebell] is one of my favorite semi-neutrals for summer,” says Kandalec. “It’s a color that doesn’t blend in.” Emilie Heathe’s shade Emma makes it even more magical with what the brand calls “a sprinkle of fairy dust” — just the right hint of superfine iridescent shimmer.
There’s something instantly calming about looking at these more muted hues. If you want to try something on the darker end of the spectrum, Essie’s Ripple Reflect is a perfect option.
6. The New Neutrals
A good neutral nail polish that works with your skin tone will never go out of style. Though typically one may think of light beiges, pale pink, or browns as neutrals, we expand past just that to include gray and metallic glitter.
For a new spin on the classic white shade, try something that’s not quite white. Pear Nova’s Feelin’ My Tiger Stripes is a perfect example. The eggshell-like shade doesn’t lean too warm, thanks to nearly undetectable grayish-purple undertones, so it still feels fresh and modern.
7. Shamrock Green
There are a billion shades of green, and not a single one is unfit for a summer manicure. But there’s just something so fresh about jungle green, kelly green’s lush cousin. Not too light and not too dark, it just feels botanical and leafy. It’s the reason why we gave Jinsoon’s Nail Lacquer in Palma, which was born out of a collaboration between the brand and designer Suzie Kondi, a 2021 Best of Beauty award.
“Inspired by Mexican architect Luis Barragan’s use of nature in his work, Palma is a vibrant green shade reminiscent of the greenery surrounding us in the warm months,” nail artist and brand founder Jin Soon Choi tells Allure. “[It’s the] perfect combination of bright and fresh for summer nails.”
8. Pastel Purples
Listen, we don’t know the difference between lilac and French lilac other than that the latter sounds fancier. Either way, it’s a favorite summer shade for Kandelac. And after last summer being the least-fancy ever, we’re ready for some fanciness this year. Janet & Jo delivers on that with its shade Pen Pal, a sugary-sweet pastel purple that feels expensive and optimistic.
For some more fun, the dazzling flecks of silver and gold glitter in Deborah Lippman’s She’s a Rocket are calling our names. It makes the purple nail polish look even better.
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