This is such a different post for me. My blog thus far mainly consists of travel, languages and writing. But I also have other interests/passions including working out, reading, true crime, etc. One thing I also really enjoy is NAIL POLISH. Since I was in middle school I’ve enjoyed painting my nails more than going to the salon. Although I wasn’t (and I’m still not) the best painter, I enjoy doing it.
Plus, I do have a pretty awesome nail polish collection if I do say so myself. One that rivals many nail salons. Now that summer is right around the corner I thought it’d be fun to share some of my favorite “summer” nail polishes. Although I should preface: I’m NOT a seasonal nail polish wearer. I think it’s silly to ban yourself from wearing entire portions of your collection for substantial chunks of the year.
However, there are a few times that I get inspired by the sun and warm weather during the summer. And thus I DO want to pop on a neon. So, if you’re interested in knowing my picks for summer nail polishes in 2019, keep reading.
This post will contain a few of my favorite polishes for each color category. Since I’m not an expert painter I’ve opted to use photos that don’t belong to me. Credit will be given in the caption!
One of the best summer manicure and pedicure colors to wear is white. It just pops! Plus white nail polish is great to have in your collection to wear on its own or as the base for neon nail polishes. White, however, can be a pain in the butt. I often feel like I can’t wear it if I don’t paint it perfectly. On top of that, finding a formula that’s opaque but not too thick is another challenge. Thus, I have a couple options for a white manicure that I use for different purposes.
Zoya – Purity. This one has a pretty good formula, two (maybe three, but usually a two for me). Now that Zoya has a wide brush it makes painting a tad easier. Zoya is cruelty free, vegan and is 10 free. So if you’d like your summer manicure to be clean, this is a great option. This photo is via @messymanis on Instagram.
Sally Hansen – White. From their Crayola collection, Sally Hansen’s “White” is my go-to for a base for neons. This one is cheaper and Sally Hansen is more acceptable than Zoya. If you can’t find this one “White On Time” is practically the same. It’s kind of thick, so I typically just use a coat or two thin ones for the base of neons. I am expecting to go through it this summer.
I really enjoy wearing orange nails during every season, especially summer and fall. Here are a couple of my favorites:
Neon orange is a great nail polish choice for the summer. It just pops off of your nail. My favorite neon orange for summer is Melt Your Popsicle by Orly. It’s so hard to capture this color in photos but trust me when I tell you IT IS BRIGHT. You don’t need a white base and yet it glows off the nails. Good formula too. Highly recommend this.
One of the most underrated Zoya nail polishes has to be Amy. It is a shimmery, orange metallic and absolutely perfect for summer! I love using this one on my toes especially. I’m not sure what it is about it. I ordered thinking I’d like it but I wasn’t expecting it to LOVE it as much as I do. In fact, just writing about it makes me want to change my current manicure and put this on.
Blue is my absolute favorite color to wear on my nails. No matter the time of year. Here are my picks for summer-y blue nail polishes.
Zoya’s “Bay” came out in the Sunshine and Seashells summer 2016 collection. I don’t know if it’s the name of the collection influencing my thoughts but I can’t stop picturing myself holding seashells with this polish. It’s one of their pixie dust polishes which have a textured finish, which I have and will always love. The gold sparkles in this one are somewhat subtle but definitely there and especially noticeable in the sun.
This reminds me of Cinderella’s blue dress. If I ever dressed up as her for Halloween I’d want to grab this one. Unfortunately this polish is hard to get because KL Polish, started by Youtuber Kathleen Lights shut down. She is reportedly coming out with a new nail polish line so perhaps she’ll create a dupe for this. But if you can’t find this, you can also get “Bikini So Teeny” by Essie. The colors are practically identical. I prefer the KL because of the brush and formula, but the Essie was isn’t bad.
Another seashell-like nail polish perfect for summer is “Pearl Jammin'” by China Glaze. This came out in the Fall 2016 Rebel collection. Like I mentioned, I’m not a seasonal nail polish wearer. However, for those that are I believe this one works for all seasons. There’s something very versatile about this one. Although it takes 3 coats it’s so worth it and has quickly made way to my top 5 favorite China Glaze nail polishes.
I have a love-hate relationship with Essie. But that’s to discuss in another post (or Youtube video?). However this one is a big love. “Blue La La” is an amazing light blue polish that’s opaque in two coats. The formula is great and the color is to die for.
This light blue is similar to Blue La La, but more pastel and whited out. This one is popular among us nail polish addicts, especially in spring and summer. In true Zoya fashion the formula is nice and opaque, easily a two coater which is sometimes hard to find in such a color.
Finding a good yellow nail polish is tricky. The formulas usually suck and many people don’t find that it goes well with their skin tone. Personally, I love yellow nail polish. I don’t have too many favorites because of the aforementioned reasons, but here are a couple…
“I Just Can’t Cope-acabana” is probably one of the most well known and loved yellow nail polishes. It came out in one of OPI’s summer collections years back. This polish has a great formula for a yellow, between 2 and 3 coats. Plus, the color itself is great. Even if you feel like you can’t “do” yellows, I’d say just give it a try.
WHOA this one is bright. It’s a highlighter neon yellow from China Glaze called “Celtic Sun.” This seriously grabs attention and is eye searingly neon. It for sure needs a white base. If you try it without it you’ll be disappointed. But it’s so worth it.
The Lisbon collection from OPI has a lot of amazing gems in it. Although it also had many repeats and pinks, there are a few that I love and overall I think it was a well rounded collection. In it was “Sun Sea and Sand in My Pants,” an amazing egg-yolk yellow.
Whether it be for the Fourth of July or the need for a poppy color, red seems to have a permanent place in summer nail polish collections.
Neon reds are kind of tricky to do. It’s hard to make red neon without throwing in some other color in there, typically pink. So this one definitely has some pink to it, but it’s probably one of the closest neon reds that I’ve seen. Again, it’s hard to capture in photos. But you’ll be shocked at how bright this one is. You don’t need a white base for this one, although sometimes I do opt for one.
Coca Cola Red by OPI is my favorite classic red nail (and I love red nails). It’s bright red that would be perfect for summer. As the name suggests it’s a great match to the Coca Cola bottle (although I’m a Pepsi kind of gal – when I drank soda that is).
If you want classic red but want the vegan option, try out America by Zoya. Although it looks similar to the OPI red this one is less bright. But again, perfect for the summer. If you still like OPI and/or want something more accessible OPI’s “Tell Me About It Stud” from the Grease summer collection is amazing. Plus you should be able to find it on clearance at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s.
I am a huge fan of “almost white” nail polishes. Here are my go-to’s. Sorry, there’s a bunch of OPI’s.
I have two Lisbon collection polishes to mention. The first is “Suzi Chases Portu-geese.” This has become one of my most worn polishes. When I went to Portugal I wore this polish a ton. It has a drop of pink I believe, basically looks white but there’s something so chic about it. This manicure looks clean and crisp and is a staple for me.
Lisbon Wants Moor OPI is also from the Lisbon collection. I think that makes three from that collection that made it into this post! As I currently write this post this polish is on my nails. It is a very whited-out pink. I don’t like pink polishes at all, which you’ll probably notice is why there is no pink section in this post. But the way I do like to wear pink is when it’s so whited out that it hardly looks pink. This one probably won’t be confused for a stark white like Suzi Chase Portu-geese would. But it’s still neutral enough for me to love.
Again, sorry for including KL Polish because it’s not readily available. But this one is indeed one of my favorite polishes year-round, including the summer. This is “Hug and Roll” is a very whited out lavender/light purple. Literally just a drop. But it’s amazing and the formula is great too. Kathleen, please come out with Lights Lacquer soon!
I know, I know, not too many Essies on this list. This one however I really love. From the 2016 bridal collection. It’s called “Between the Seats” and I hardly ever see people talk about this one. But I love it! It weirdly gives off both a summery and wintery vibe to me. It’s an off-white ivory color that is hard to explain but a great palette cleanser.
Teal? Mint blue? Mint green? Something else?
P.S. “Pistachio Ice Cream” and “Miss Kensington” by KL Polish are great but I won’t dedicate an entire section to them.
I debated putting “Viva Antigua” from Essie into the blue category. But there’s just a little something more to this . It’s shimmery. Perfect for summer. It’s a great nail polish for a manicure or pedicure. When I look at this polish I think of a beach vacation.
I don’t have a ton of Orly nail polishes but this one is fantastic. The color is bright and vibrant, an ideal choice for those hot summer days. The formula is great. I go back and forth whether I want to call it simply bright or a neon. Nonetheless, it’s one I think everyone should have in their collection.
“For Audrey” is a classic for me. I love Audrey Hepburn and might have picked it up just for the name. But the color is what makes this polish a favorite of mine and made me go through one bottle of this and repurchasing it. It’s an amazing Tiffany Blue (perhaps a tad more green) and has a great formula. I just love how I feel when this is on my nails. It’s bright, but more wearable than the likes of “Vintage” by Orly.
Lastly, green! I am a green polish lover and I feel like mainstream brands need to start including more greens in their collections.
This beauty is “Treble Maker” by China Glaze. It’s a bright neon green polish that doesn’t need white “undies.” It’s super bright. Solid formula. Not much more to say about it besides you need it.
“I’m Sooo Swamped” is a light green with a touch of yellow from OPI’s New Orleans collection. Two easy coats and you get this amazing manicure.
- Push the Limit – Orly
- Dory – Zoya
- Gelato On My Mind – OPI
- I Just Canterlot – China Glaze
- Tilly – Zoya
- Cajun Shrimp – OPI
I know this is a bit different from my normal posts, but I hope this was interesting. Since I LOVE nail polish this was very fun for me to write. I hope you enjoyed my picks for summer nail polishes. Perhaps I’ll do one for the fall because that’s my favorite season for collections.