End of Summer Nail Trends: From Neon to Nudes

Ah, summer. The season of sun, sand, and endless search for that darn left flip-flop. But let’s focus on something that can never go MIA (unless you're my nail clipper): your manicure!

There’s nothing like a fresh set of nails to make you feel put together, even if the rest of your life is in utter chaos (we’ve all been there). And as we bid adieu to summer, it’s only right that we reflect on the nail trends that had us all in a frenzy. From neon lights brighter than our future (kidding, you're all stars) to nudes that have more personality than any of our exes, this summer was a wild ride for our fingertips.

1. Neon Nightmares…or Dreams?

“Go bold or go home” was the unofficial mantra of this summer. If you didn’t have neon nails at some point, were you even living in 2023? Neon shades had a resurgence reminiscent of the 80s disco era, but without the questionable fashion choices. Hot pinks, electric blues, zesty oranges… you name it, we’ve slapped it on our nails.

Honestly, these shades weren’t just a fashion statement. They were also incredibly practical. Lost your way in the dark? No need for a flashlight when your nails can guide you home. Plus, they made a stellar makeshift glowstick for impromptu dance parties.

Check out this feature on Vogue Beauty for a jaw-dropping neon nail art compilation that had us all reaching for our sunnies.

2. Not-so-mellow Yellows

Sunflowers, lemonade, and bananas - these aren’t just your grocery list, they were the sunny nail inspirations of the season. A trend as refreshing as a dip in the pool on a hot day, the different shades of yellow adorned the nails of many, brightening up even the cloudiest of days.

3. Terracotta Takeover

Warm, earthy, and effortlessly chic, terracotta found its way from garden pots straight onto our nails. Who knew that this burnt orange shade would be the muted statement we all needed this summer? It’s the perfect color for pretending you’re sipping an Aperol Spritz in a Tuscan vineyard, even if you're just in your backyard.

4. Nifty Nudes

A trend that never really fades (much like that stubborn tan line), nudes made a strong play this summer. But oh, it wasn’t just any old nude. From caramel tones to taupe tints, there were more variations than there are seasons of ‘Friends’.

With nudes, it’s all about finding the shade that complements your skin tone or the one that makes you feel like the CEO of your life. Whether you're channeling your inner minimalist or just looking for a shade that matches everything, nudes have got you covered (pun intended).

Elle Beauty delved deep into the art of selecting the perfect nude for every skin tone. So if you’ve ever wondered, "To beige or not to beige?" this is the guide for you.

5. Metallic Magic

Everything that glitters is not gold. Sometimes, it's silver, bronze, or rose gold. Metallics added the perfect amount of shine and shimmer to summer, making every hand gesture an opportunity to blind your foes (or friends, depending on how mischievous you're feeling).

6. Minimalistic Masterpieces

This trend is for those who believe less is more. Subtle lines, tiny dots, and simple geometric patterns gave nails a sophisticated look that screamed, “I have my life together,” even if you were one missed alarm away from chaos.

7. The Throwback Thumb

A fun little trend we spotted? The solo statement nail. No, not the ring finger - the thumb! Taking inspiration from bygone eras, many painted their thumbnails a different color or added a dash of nail art. It’s like the 2023 version of a mood ring, but with more flair.


As we bid summer goodbye and pull out our autumn coats, it’s fun to reflect on the nail trends that added color to our days. Whether you were team neon or nudged towards the nudes, one thing is for sure: our nails were the true MVPs of the season. And who knows? Maybe neon will transition into fall. Stranger things have happened. Like the mystery of my missing left flip-flop.

So, here's to hoping your fall is as fabulous as your summer manicure. And if not? There's always nail polish to lift your spirits!

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