These are the pedicure colours you should be wearing this summer

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Stylist Beauty Team

From acid brights to pretty pastels, nail experts round up the trendiest shades to wear on your toes this summer…

If you’ve found yourself emergency-painting your toenails ready for sandal season, you’re not alone.

But ditch the nude hues and relegate the brooding berry shades to the back of your nail polish drawer – these are the most Insta-worthy hues to wear on your feet this summer. 


It’s no surprise that pastel nail colours have spearheaded their way to the front of 2019’s summer nail trends. As well as taking over our Instagram feeds, these pretty hues suit all skin tones and deliver a fresh finish to your nails.

  • Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in 590 Verde Pastello


    Once applied, this Chanel pastel green nail polish dries down into an even and lacquered finish, making it shine even more.

  • OPI Nail Lacquer in Gelato on my Mind


    Cool yet sweet, this robin’s egg blue nail colour looks great on all skin tones.

Neon yellow

“Millennial yellow is a summer pedi essential,” says session manicurist and nail expert Ami Streets.

“To ensure you get the truest colour to that in the bottle, apply a base layer of white polish first. It acts as an instant brightener.”

  • Orly Nail Polish in Glowstick


    One of the brightest, sunniest yellows we’ve come across, this is the nail polish made Instagram-famous by celebrities. Stockpile it.

  • W7 Nail Polish in 30 Lazy Lime


    A single slick of this acid-green is enough to perk up sorry-looking feet that have been in hibernation for months. The brush is super-precise, which makes mistakes a thing of the past.

Expert tip: Shape your toenails correctly

“The first step to a perfect pedicure, as with a manicure, is to check nails are shaped evenly for the neatest application,” says Alison Dowse, celebrity nail technician at iZ Beauty of London. “This is particularly important in summer, as brighter shades can highlight any uneven edges.”

“Clip them gently or use a file to take the length down. File gently across the free edge of the nail in one direction and always keep the file flat on the edge of the nails. I only recommend using a soft file on natural nails.”


“Go for gold this summer – metallic aren’t just for party season,” says Ami. “The warm shade perfectly complements tanned skin and is surprisingly wearable on all skin tones. For an alternative to yellow gold, take your cues from Tom Ford and choose a rose gold.” 

  • Nails inc Easy Chrome Nail Polish in Hell For Metal

    Nails inc Easy Chrome Nail Polish in Hell For Metal

    This pearly rose gold shade looks almost futuristic on toes and captures the light at every opportunity.

  • Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish in Game of Chrome


    This brushed chrome polish boasts keratin to keep nails strong and is also chip resistant, making it the perfect shade to dress your toes in before a beach holiday.

Fruity hues

“Punchy, fruity shades like tangerine, cherry, watermelon and grapefruit are perfect for when the temperature rises and they’re among the easiest shades to wear, whatever your skin tone,” says Alison. “Make sure you seal the colour with a glossy top coat to really make the colour pop. Try the iZ Gel Effect Top Coat, £10.50.  

  • O.P.I Nail Lacquer in Charged Up Cherry


    This vivid watermelon-inspired shade really pops on darker skin tones and stays put for weeks on end.

  • KIKO Smart Nail Lacquer in Tangerine

    Kure Bazaar Polish in Tangerine Dream

    And the award for the brightest orange goes to… KIKO. It dries in seconds and lends toenails a high-shine finish on its own.

Expert tip: Always prime your nails

“Before applying any nail colour, use a primer,” says Alison. ‘Just like your skin, it’s key to creating a solid, smooth base. A basecoat will protect your toenails from any unsightly staining and it’ll ensure your polish lasts longer, so you won’t need to worry about re-applying it if you’re on holiday.”

Expert tip: “Long gone are the days when fingernails and toenails had to match”, says Alison, “so experiment with different colour combinations. One of the most popular with my clients is a fuchsia toenail and nude fingernails. It’s a chic combo.”


“From pastels to vivid ultraviolet select any shade from the spectrum – purples can flatter all skintones really beautifully,” says Ami.

We’re sold.

  • O.P.I Nail Lacquer in I Manicure For Beads


    This vivid purple is somewhere in between lilac and plum and looks surprisingly pretty on toes.

  • CND Vinylux Weekly Nail Polish in Purple Purple


    Ultraviolet with a dash of royal blue, this looks lusciously glossy and lasts for ages.


“The trick to acing glitter polish on your toes in spring and summer is choosing pastels – they’re the prettiest on feet,” says Ami. “The bonus to this texture is the long-wearing nature, which means it’s perfect for the beach or pool. Its ability to camouflage any painting imperfections is great, too.”

  • Deborah Lippmann Glitter Nail Colour in La Vie En Rose


    Subtle but still pretty, this is how adults do glitter. With biotin and green tea extract, it keeps toenails strong and healthy underneath, too.

  • essie Nail Colour 219 Bikini So Teeny


    Erring on silver and pastel blue, this glitter-laden polish looks amazing on darker skin tones.

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Main image: Getty