7 Ridiculously Cool Nail Designs to Copy this Summer

Like, so cool, even the popular kids would be jealous.

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Imaxtree

Summer is officially here, which means the number of Insta photos featuring your hands is about to skyrocket. Now, seeing pics of your bare nails clutching iced coffee, frosé, and ice-cream cones isn't exactly a crime against humanity, but it is a crime against passion—at least, in my beauty book.

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And while plain polishes are perfectly fine (check out my picks for the most gorgeous colors to try right now), when it comes to photoshoots, it's nail designs that are going to earn you those double-taps. So to get your hands ready for their close-up, I've broken down the coolest, most screenshot-able nail designs that are worth the melfie (manicure selfie? No? Sorry?) all on their own—no sweet treats required.


1. THE LOOK: Beads

HOW TO GET IT:

It's jewelry—for your nails. After applying a clear base coat to your nails, glue mini seed beads to your nails with nail glue. After they dry, apply two coats of clear gel top coat to help keep the design from scratching off.

TRY: SeedBeadExplosion Seed Beads, $5

SHOP IT


2. THE LOOK: Sketches

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MINIMAL #slimenail 😘 @j.u.s.t.m.k

A post shared by Park Eunkyung (@nail_unistella) on

HOW TO GET IT:

Don't worry if you're not an artist—this design looks better the more imprecise you are (because #art). After your base coat dries, sketch a few errant lines, shapes, and symbols over your nails with a black nail-polish pen. Wait for that to dry, then add your top cat as per usual.

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TRY: Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art Pen in Black, $6

SHOP IT


3. THE LOOK: Pure Chromatics

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C H R O M E is where the 🖤 IS

A post shared by Paintbucket (@paintbucketnails) on

HOW TO GET IT:

Fine, there's no real design aspect to this look, but the chrome is so intense that it stands alone as a design in itself. Just paint two opaque coats of silver nail polish over a base coat, apply a mega-shine top coat, and take a selfie.

TRY: Essie Metallics Nail Polish in No Place Like Chrome, $9

SHOP IT


4. THE LOOK: Fruit Slices

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How do you feel about some fruity cuticles?

A post shared by Alicia Torello (@aliciatnails) on

HOW TO GET IT:

It'll take some practice to master this look, but what else are you doing with your lazy summer Saturday? To recreate, say, the watermelon design, cover the tips of your nails with tape (any kind of tape will do), leaving just your half-moons exposed. Paint the moons red—i.e. the main color of the fruit—and let them dry. Then line your cuticle with green, using a nail-polish pen, and, once it dries, line the green with a rim of white. Add a few black dots and finish with a clear polish over your entire nail.

TRY: Ciate Nail Markers, $5 each

SHOP IT


5. THE LOOK: Hashmarks

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Weekend mani date? Nails and friends go hand in hand. 🥂

A post shared by Paintbox (@paintboxnails) on

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HOW TO GET IT:

After your base coat dries, grab that tape again and cover the tips of each nail, before painting the rest of the nail two coats of any color. After they've dried, dip a nail-art brush in a darker (or much lighter) shade of polish and draw horizontal lines across your nails. Cover with a top coat as per usual.

TRY: Winstonia Professional Nail Art Set Liner, $8

SHOP IT


6. THE LOOK: Studded Florals

HOW TO GET IT:

Go to art school. Or, you know, cut your losses and opt for some floral nail stickers, which require zero drawing skills. Just paint your nails with a clear base coat, stick on some floral stickers and a metal nail stud or two, then layer on a gel top coat for extra staying power.

TRY: Olive & June In Bloom Nail Stickers, $8

SHOP IT


7. THE LOOK: Striped Stripes

HOW TO GET IT:

Tape is clearly your new BFF when it comes to this summer's nail designs. To get this striped look, place two horizontal strips of tape over your nail, leaving just a slivered gap between them, then paint the gap with a pale shade. After the stripes fully dry, place another piece of tape diagonally across half of the strip, and paint the rest of it with a darker shade to get the two-tone look.

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TRY: Sephora Line Up Tape, $6

SHOP IT

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