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From teal to carnation, ultra-dreamy nail shades for summer

A good nail color can be your best accessory, especially in the summertime, when there are no gloves or layers to hide behind. Pick the right shade of nail polish and your look instantly becomes that much more polished. Tired of your usual coral shade? Allow our favorite summery colors to inspire you to try something new.


Deborah Lippman's She Drives Me Crazy

Teal is a lovely shade for summer. The bold take on blue-green goes with any skin tone and any outfit. Teal nails go with your crisp white office ensemble, your bright coral party dress and your gauzy beach cover-up. You’ll love Deborah Lippmann’s She Drives Me Crazy, a deep teal shade that makes a splash (Deborah Lippmann, $18).

Carnation pink

Fruit Machine

Flowers provide major fashion inspiration for the spring and summer months, so why not let them inform your nail color as well? This carnation pink shade from Butter, called Fruit Machine, is heavenly and oh-so-sweet. No need to leave the pastels behind on Easter Sunday — rock this shade all summer long. It will look even better with a tan, we swear (Butter London, $15).

Deep orange

Essie's Meet Me at Sunset

Orange is a major shade this summer. Like coral’s cool older sister, orange is a little bit edgy and a whole lot of fun. Pick a really deep shade, like Essie’s Meet Me at Sunset, to get that wild child look. And make sure you don’t have an Orange Julius tan (Essie, $9).


Chanel's Pink Tonic

Certain shades of pink never really go out of style. Fuchsia is one of those shades, but you need to be careful. Quality is key here, which is why Chanel’s Pink Tonic nail lacquer is one of the best options out there. It’s a vibrant sangria shade, but not sickeningly sweet. If there’s a color to splurge on, this is the one (Chanel, $27).

Sheer glitter

Shattered Star Nail Varnish by Illamasqua

Not one for saturated colors? How about a bit of sparkle? Glittery polishes can be too much, but Shattered Star Nail Varnish by Illamasqua gives you subtle all-over shimmer. Pick it up in Trilliant, which is a sparkly, sandy shade reminiscent of the beach at night (Illamasqua, $17).

Pastel blue

 baby blue polish from Julep

Are soft pastel shades more your speed? This baby blue polish from Julep is a summery classic. Every time you look at your hands, you’ll be reminded of the cool water of a backyard pool. There’s no better way to get through a tough day at the office in the heat of summer (Julep, $14).

Orchid purple

Between the Sheets by Deborah Lippmann

Orchids are some of the most gorgeous flowers around. Naturally, the color translates beautifully to the realm of nail polish. Radiant Orchid is Pantone’s color of the year for 2014, so now is the time to wear it on your nails. Between the Sheets by Deborah Lippmann is the perfect shade for channeling the orchid look (Deborah Lippmann, $18).

Check out more nail-spiration

5-Step natural nail manicure
What your nail polish color says about your mood
Tips for long-lasting nail color

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