Purple Nails Are The Cool Summer 'It' Shade For Your Next Manicure

As summer rolls around, one thing we're always excited about is hopping on whatever new nail art trend has popped up that season. Florals are an ever-popular summer choice, as are bright colors and fruity summer designs. Sometimes, though, you don't want to sport nails that will be called "cute" or "fun," or that you'll see all your friends wearing the next week — you want your nails to maintain their own allure, just like you do. If this sounds like you, a purple nail color is the perfect shade to go for when you head in to the salon for your summer manicure.

Believe it or not, purple nail polishes can say a lot about you. A dark purple will indicate that you're more than ready for some fall spookiness, while a lavender can speak to your inner mysticism. Light, subtle lilac shades can even evoke a floral essence without having any actual flowers painted on. If you want to showcase your uniqueness without shouting about it, purple may just be the best summer manicure color for you. 

Make them holographic

Want a set of stunning purple nails that are instantly eye-catching in the sunlight? Do yourself a favor and paint them holographic. Plain holographic purple nails are stunning on their own, but if you feel they need a bit of extra decoration, pair them with an angled French tip like in the photo above. 

Add some polka dots into the mix

In case you missed it, pointillism nails are in, and we think this nail art trend looks stunning on a set of purple nails. Yes, polka dots will make your manicure lean a bit more toward the fun side, but since when is that a bad thing? If you want to give your purple nails a touch of approachability, adding some polka dots may be the way to go — you could even do them in another shade of purple if you want to keep your aura mysterious. 

Purple makes a great oil slick color

If you're a mystical mama who's intent on maintaining your witchy vibes year-round, an oil slick purple is a great color to choose the next time you head into the salon. Sleek and shiny, oil slick manis will reflect the sunlight like nothing else, blinding anyone who may look at you the wrong way. Some may call it witchcraft; we just call it a stunning purple manicure. 

Find a purple polish with big flecks of glitter

On the other hand, if you want to bring more of a fairytale essence to your nails this season, a glittery purple polish may be the way to go. Need more mysticism than glitter can offer on its own? Look for a polish that incorporates larger flecks of glitter for some extra allure. 

Give your purple mani celestial vibes

Are you an astrology expert who knows which planet is in retrograde and can spot a constellation from a mile away? Then you may be looking for a manicure that celebrates the moon and stars. Well, lucky for you, purple is the perfect base color for any celestial manicure. A dark purple will flawlessly capture the night sky, but you could also use a medium shade of purple topped with a gold moon and stars if you want a brighter look. 

Purple chrome nails are ultra eye-catching

If, however, you're feeling more of a fairy-meets-cyborg aura, you may want to try out a purple chrome shade for your next manicure. While a medium purple makes for a stunning chrome manicure, if you want to go for something that will really scream "summer," make it a lavender chrome manicure.

Give your mani a sparkly purple accent nail

Is just plain purple a bit too boring for you? Even though it's a stunning color on its own, you still want a little extra pizzazz added into the mix. When this is the case, go ahead and pick your favorite shade of purple for your next manicure, and add a sparkly accent nail onto one of your fingers. The glittery polish doesn't have to be purple, but bonus points if it is. 

Use purple as a base for an abstract design

Another way to add interest to your summer purple nails is by using purple as a base for an abstract design. Play around with combining stripes of other shades close to the purple color family, like pink, blue, and even cream to create an abstract watercolor effect. 

A light lilac is a subtle take on the purple trend

Want to get a purple manicure that's beautiful but doesn't scream for attention? Look no further than a gorgeous light shade of subtle lilac. Personally, we're obsessed with a lilac manicure — it evokes a sense of I-just-woke-up-like-this in all its stunning elegance. To go the extra mile, pair it with a dreamy lilac eyeshadow look the next time you go flower picking this summer. 

Make your purple mani Barbiecore

As we all know, Barbiecore is an ever-popular summer aesthetic, and no, it has not escaped your nails. If you've been on the hunt for some Barbiecore nail ideas, look no further than a nail color that's almost more pink than purple. A nice shade of magenta asks for all the attention that Barbie is accustomed to getting but with none of the nonsense. It's a color you'll definitely see us rollerblading around in this summer. 

Stay simple with purple tips

Maybe you prefer a manicure style that's simple, elegant, classy, and minimalist as anything, but you still want to try purple nails. Go for it, but use purple as an accent color to your otherwise nude mani. We love the elegance and sharp edge that a chevron French manicure can bring, and when done in purple, we think it adds a touch of class like nothing else. 

Make it dainty by adding flowers to the mix

We get it — it's summer, and you really can't bear to stray from your annual floral manicures. If that's the case, we say go for it — simply add some purple into the mix. You could use purple as a base color for your floral nails, or you could be more subtle about it and make it an accent color. 

Add light purple squiggles to a pale base

If you do want your manicure to lean a bit more toward the fun side, use purple as a color for an abstract squiggle design. Paint the base of your nails a light purple or even nude shade, and go over it lightly with a purple that's just a shade or two darker. The overall effect will still be subtle, but it will stun when your friends take a closer look at your nails. 

Or get groovy with bold squiggles

On the other hand, if "subtle" isn't a word in your vocabulary, go big and bold with your purple squiggles, even incorporating them into a mismatched manicure. To achieve this effect, pick a different shade of purple for the base of each nail. Then, go over each nail by painting a squiggle in a shade of purple that you used on another nail. It will still be a cohesive look, but you're guaranteed to get compliments from anyone who sees them. 

A matte top coat can give your purple manicure some edge

Want to maintain the sweetness of a classic purple manicure while still giving it the tiniest bit of edge? We have an easy solution: go over your purple nails with a matte top coat. Matte top coats add some edge to even the girliest of manicures, and a purple manicure is no exception. Do this look on stiletto nails to make it really pop. 

If you can't wait for Halloween, go for dark purple

Just because it's summer, that doesn't mean you have to stick to light and bright shades if that's not your style. Maybe you've gone as far as dyeing your hair a witchy brunette color in protest of the warmer months. Go ahead and stand in defiance of the summer sun with your nails, too, when you pick a darker shade of purple for your next manicure. Now all you need is a floppy black sun hat, and nobody will be left guessing which season is your favorite. 

Make a purple and pink ombré

Want to sweeten up your purple manicure, or simply can't decide on one color? Then don't — combine purple with whatever other shade you're considering for an ombré nail design. We love how the lavender fades into pink in the manicure pictured above, but you could even achieve the same effect with two contrasting shades of purple if you're set on sporting all-purple nails this season. 

Do a purple ombré gradient across your whole hand

Another option if you simply can't decide on a single shade of purple is to use them all — there's no judgment here. Just create a gradient across your nails by painting each with one shade of purple, in light-to-dark order. This effect is stunning when left on its own, but if you need a little something extra, a clear top coat with flecks of glitter adds a bit of flair. 

Mauve is a great in-between option

We get it — sometimes purple on its own just feels like a little too much. If you want a more muted option that almost borders on nude, mauve is a great shade to try. It's a pretty toned-down purple variation that gets almost into rose territory, and it's a unique color that we're surprised we don't see more people sporting in the summer months. 

A sparkly purple gradient will help you stand out

If you want a look that's bold and eye-catching, and brings to mind a bubbly cocktail, go for a sparkly purple ombré gradient on each nail. We think this look perfectly mimics bubbles rising in your favorite summer drink, and personally, you'll find us wearing this one to every summer happy hour.