Whether you’re a DIY-er or loyal to the salon, summer nail trends for 2020 apply to all—and they’re good. So good, that I actually wiped the dust off the polish collection I haven’t used in months since stay-at-home orders went into effect. And for someone whose routine is as no-frills as it gets, that’s a pretty big deal.

It should come as no surprise that the upcoming season is all about embracing bright colors and matching the vibes of warm, sunny days. However, some trends go beyond a simple shade change with nail art that looks complicated but can be replicated by the shakiest of hands.

In other words, I’m only answering to “whimsical minimalist” from this moment on. You probably have no idea what I’m talking about. No worries—keep reading for the 411 on my personal favorite summer nail trend and three others, straight from Brittney Boyce, ORLY’s Consulting Nail Artist.

Bright Colors and Neons

Instagram PhotoSource: Instagram

“This summer we’ll see a lot of neons. It’s trending not just in nails, but in fashion as well. I think people are craving color to stimulate their everyday life, so bright neon shades are trending.”

Orly Oh Snap Polish


Finding a bright nail color is nothing like trying to find a needle in a haystack. There’s a lot to choose from. However, Boyce recommends bright yellows like ORLY’s Oh Snap and blues like Far Out and even Gotta Bounce.

New Neutrals

Instagram PhotoSource: Instagram

“Because at-home DIY manicures are very much a thing right now, people are also opting for pretty neutrals that are a little more forgiving to apply.”

orly kiss me im kind polish


Applying a neutral mani doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a small range of color options. According to Boyce, anything from sheer pink neutrals like Kiss Me, I’m Kind to metallic shimmers like Golden Girl or Glow Baby are equally worthy of a nailfie.

Whimsical Minimalist

Instagram PhotoSource: Instagram

“We’ll see people playing with minimal nail art that features a lot of negative space mixed with pops of bright colors. Think neon french tips, bright geometric lines on sheer nails, or really anything that shows pops of neon color.”

Orly White Tip Guides


Buy: ORLY White Tip Guides $7.99

When stepping into nail art territory, it helps to have a couple of tools on hand, like nail guides and striping brushes. Boyce also recommends “a dry brush dipped in nail polish remover to clean up edges.”

Brush Stroke Technique

Instagram PhotoSource: Instagram

“This is the cutest, easiest nail art look. It’s meant to look like a simple swish of a brushstroke. You can play around with different directions and placements on the nail. It’s easy because you can do it on bare nails, and it’s just one brush stroke. You don’t have to worry about painting the full nail.”

orly feel the funk polish


According to Boyce, this trend looks great when you layer a creamy opaque shade with a complimentary metallic or shimmery one.

Almond and Short Natural Nail Shapes

Instagram PhotoSource: Instagram

Almond shape will still go on strong for most people as it’s not a hard shape to file. It’s also very feminine and helps elongate the finger. However, I’m starting to see a lot of short, clean, natural nails because it’s easier to maintain at home.”

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

beauty newsletter banner