Summer’s Butter Yellow Nail Polish Trend Looks Good Enough to Eat

Kendall Jenner is the latest celebrity to try out the new neutral.

kendall jenner butter yellow nails
(Image credit: Getty Images)

I’ll take Kylie Jenner’s insect nail art or Hailey Bieber’s farmer’s market manicure over a plain, pale pink polish any day of the week. But if beauty's past has taught me anything, it's that sweet little treats inspire the summer nail polish trends with the most staying power. Glazed donuts, strawberry shortcake, and even blueberry milk have been deemed some of the most popular shades or color concoctions of the decade.

At their core, these labels are new names for chrome, pink, and pale blue; they're just basic summer nail colors. I’m not mad at them, but I could use more excitement. Something fresh! Something fun! A marginally different and out-of-the-box shade that I can spread across my fingertips. If my prior puns haven’t given it away, I want butter yellow nail polish.

Luckily for me, it's summer's hottest shade. "Butter yellow has been trending this year because it’s the new nude," says Priscilla Nguyen, Aprés Nail Educator and Manicurist. "It has a pop of color without being so vibrant." Pale in nature and compatible with nearly every outfit, it's easy to see why the butter yellow nail polish trend is taking over. The condiment-turned-color-trend has doubled in Google search volume over the past few months. Essie’s Buttercup and OPI’s Blinded by the Ring Light have been out of stock at my New York City nail salon for weeks.

Meanwhile, beauty insiders have been endorsing butter yellow as the It girl mani color since April. Rare Beauty founder Selena Gomez, Rhode Beauty founder Hailey Bieber, and CoverGirl ambassador Kelsey Ballerini, have all shared snaps on Instagram of their nails painted the shade of bread's favorite accoutrement.

kelsea ballerini

Kelsea Ballerini at the 59th Academy of Country Music Awards from Ford Center at The Star on May 16, 2024 in Frisco, Texas. 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kendall Jenner even co-signed the trend this weekend, sharing a photo of her “butter nails” on Instagram Stories. Her nails are short and natural in a squoval shape (aka square with rounded edges) and are painted a soft yellow reminiscent of the whipped butter you'd find at a fancy steakhouse.

kendall jenner with butter yellow nails

Kendall Jenner shared a photo of her "butter nails" via Instagram Stories.

(Image credit: Instagram)

If I can’t believe it’s not butter (yellow) isn't coating your nails already, I am happy to report that it's incredibly easy to get the look. Go forth for the full breakdown of summer's butter yellow nail trend, then screenshot and schedule your next nail appointment.

The Butter Yellow Nail Trend's Popularity, Explained

There's no overstating the butter yellow nail trend's domination. Just check your "For You" page for proof: Butter yellow has been hashtagged more than two thousand times on TikTok, with millions of combined views across each video.

Butter yellow got some of its earliest manicure endorsements on Sandy Liang's Fall 2024 runway last February, where lead nail artist Holly Falcone used OPI’s Buttafly on a third of the models. (The season before that, the shade also turned up as a spring color trend across dozens of clothing collections.) But it wasn't until nail artist Tom Bachik shared a photo of Selena Gomez’s nails painted in the cheery hue that the shade really took off for 2024.

sandy liang fall/winter 2024

Models had their nails painted a pale yellow at Sandy Liang's Fall/Winter 2024 Ready to Wear show.

(Image credit: Launchmetrics)

Now, it’s all but impossible to scroll through social media without seeing butter yellow accents on French manicures (like Gigi Hadid's Met Gala manicure) or used as a pop of color in otherwise status quo nail art.

"I love adding daisies with butter yellow centers to any shade, from nude to a bright coral pink," celebrity nail artist Miss Pop says. "They are instantly cheerful and nearly every nail artist can do them—even you can do it at home with a bobby pin."

How to Find the Best Butter Yellow Nail Polish for You

While the butter yellow nail trend is exploding in popularity this summer, finding your best shade can feel like a journey. "One of the most important things to look for in a butter yellow shade is opacity," Miss Pop says. "You need a highly pigmented, soft shade. Take your time combing through swatches—otherwise, you might wind up with a dud that needs three or more coats."

It's also key to consider skin tone. You'll want to slightly adjust the cookie-cutter hue to work with your undertones. "Butter yellow can be so unforgiving on many skin tones, but if you reach for a pale yellow shade with a little light-catching shimmer or add a special shimmer nail polish top coat or pearl chrome powder to gel, it can make even the most difficult of shades subtly attuned to your skin tone," Miss Pop advises.

With those tips in mind, pick out your butter yellow nail polish below.

Shop the Butter Yellow Nail Trend

Samantha Holender
Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar,,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.