The stifling humidity and the fact that it's nearly two weeks into June prove that summer is officially here. Of course, given the state of the world — with continued social-distancing mandates and the worldwide protests in support of racial justice — seasonal trends aren't exactly top of mind right now. Still, that doesn't mean shopping for new nail polish and giving yourself a bright, summery mani-pedi is frivolous. For some people, it could act as a bit of self-care when they need it most.
Ahead, we've compiled 2020's hottest summer nail shades — and we're leading with the chicest Black-owned and founded nail brands we love to support now and always. Shop them all and look forward to trying a new nail color each week from now through Labor Day, regardless of what other curveballs 2020 throws us in between.
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Non-toxic, Black female-founded, and packaged for vanity display, Mischo Beauty is an under-the-radar nail-polish brand you'll want to shop in bulk. For the beginning of summer, start with this soft peppermint that founder and CEO Kitiya Mischo King calls "creme de mint."
Mischo North Star, $, available at Mischo
For far too long, the market was sorely lacking in "nude" nail polish for dark skin tones. Now, Janet & Jo., a family brand founded by Black female entrepreneurs, is changing that narrative, debuting a collection of nude shades created for everyone but specifically with dark skin tones in mind.
Janet & Jo Interlude In The Nude, $, available at Janet & Jo
With shades ranging from borderline-neon brights to this shimmering 14K yellow gold, Suite Eleven founder Arieal Smith-Liburd built the most on-trend and Instagrammable nail brand — and she made it affordable, at just $11 a bottle.
Suite Eleven Watch the Throne, $, available at Suite Eleven
Shop gel polish or the traditional nail lacquers, both of which come in a wide variety of summer-fresh tones, like this iridescent pink. Either way, you're supporting a chic Black-owned beauty brand when you shop Pear Nova polishes.
Pear Nova Tipsy Tea Party, $, available at Pear Nova
Olive & June, L.A.'s trendy nail-care brand, just launched their summer polish collection, a collaboration with beauty influencer Nabela. All seven brand-new bottles are bright and have uplifting shade names to match, like this opaque pink-purple blend called Fierce & Loving.
Olive & June FIERCE & LOVING, $, available at Olive & June
Like a dewy body-bronzing oil in nail polish form, Essie's brand-new metallic gold shade is faintly shimmery and sun-kissed. It's almost like the perfect airbrushed spray tan for your nails — minus the telltale color rub-off on the collar of your white T-shirt.
Essie mosaic on down, $, available at Ulta Beauty
"This color is basically summer in a bottle," says nail pro Skyy Hadley. "Its beautiful peach shade looks amazing on all skin tones." Plus, because it's a full-coverage creamy formula, it gives your nails a glossy peach-tinted veil in one to two coats.
Cirque Colors Met Steps, $, available at Cirque Colors
A light-pink manicure feels so right for this time of year — it's essentially the nail polish version of a quick refresh between your trendy daisy art and rainbow quarantine manicure. "Everyone needs a grab-and-go neutral sheer polish," says nail pro Michelle Saunders. That's precisely why we're wearing all of OPI's bridal-inspired neutrals — like this pale pink — on repeat.
OPI OPI Nail Polish, Baby Take a Vow, Nail Lacquer, $, available at Amazon
While we're celebrating birthdays and graduations via Zoom, we're loving Essie's silver confetti polish in Congrats. Hadley tells us that this shade in particular is kind of like the good vibes bottled up. "The multi-colored confetti makes your nails look so happy," she says.
Essie Essie Celebration Moments Nail Polish Collection, $, available at Ulta Beauty
Nail pro Nadine Abramcyk tells us that we'll likely be seeing a color shift from the pastels and neutrals to bright red pre-summer. "I think it's because a classic red mani looks so good in the sun," she says. "This shade in particular is our best-selling cherry — and everyone loves it this time of year."
Tenoverten Nail Polish in Ludlow, $, available at Tenoverten
Smith & Cult's top-rated shade combines two of the summer's staple trends — metallic and neon — in one gorgeous gold-capped glass bottle. Nail pro Emi Kudo tells us that the key to achieving an understated holographic mani is using a sheer, buildable polish with super-fine flecks of glitter, so the end result reads as a soft-glow shimmer.
Smith & Cult Smith & Cult Nail Polish in Palace in Wonderland, $, available at Amazon
This soft blue feels perfect in the spring to summer transition because it's a little brighter than pastel, but more muted than electric neon. Moreover, brand founder Abramcyk tells us that the cool undertones in this shade make it just about universally flattering on everyone who tries it on.
Tenoverten Nail Polish in Austin, $, available at Target
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