Summertime means sun, sand, and sea. But what about your nails? These are the best nail colors to wear when you go to the beach.

You should take advantage of the ocean’s cooling breeze and warm weather during summer. But first, you have to figure out the best nail color for the beach since it’s a seasonal occasion.

Best Nail Colors for the Beach

Best Nail Colors For The Beach

Some of the best nail colors during summer are usually bright and light. The hunt will certainly teach you some tips and tricks used by nail technicians and artists. Your beach outfits and swimsuits will also help you choose the right nail color for the beach.

First, let’s look at what’s referred to as color theory. Most elementary schools teach about tertiary, secondary and primary colors which is a concept in this theory.

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You’ll learn the details of complementary colors and how to do it when you dive deeper into the basics of color theory. You’ll also learn how colors make people feel. The theory was founded in 1666 by Sir Isaac Newton and has advanced over the years. Lighting, chroma and hue play a significant role in color theory.

Hue is usually how a certain color appears with descriptors like yellow, red and green among others. Chroma, on the other hand, describes the purity of the color and if it has a grey tone, black shade and white tint or not. Lighting typically describes the saturation and paleness of the color. Design has six different color schemes including tetradic, monochromatic, triad, complementary, analogous and split-complementary.

You can come up with six different color scheme arrow shapes using a color wheel to help you choose a color that is best suited for an outfit.

1. Ravish in Red

Red is not only flirtatious but also sensual. Red usually instills excitement to wearers as per the color theory. If you are going to wear a red swimsuit then you need bold colors that are super strong. The lighting and chroma should be at the same level which means that if you wear a light or dark red outfit, then the nail color should have an equal amount of saturation, paleness, tone, tint and shade.

In addition, red tends to look brilliantly passionate if you pair it with deep pink or orange. The three colors are said to be analogous color schemes. Orange and red usually embody burning fire beauty. A combination of red and deep pink makes a classic romantic. Plus, you can try out primary colors. An inflatable beach ball in a primary color screams summer.

Yellow, red and blue makes a triadic color scheme. You can also try out different iconic casino colors like white, black and red. Hollywood actresses originally wore moon manicure in red in the 1920s and 30s. You can always go for red for a refined afternoon during summer.

2. Ocean Blue

Blue As The Ocean

One of the best colors for the beach is blue. Besides, you can combine blue with different primary colors including red and yellow. You can draw inspiration of the nail color from the 1950s sailor girls. Most of these pin-up girls would pair dark and light blue shades with white to imitate the sailor suits. This color combination looks like a sea’s foaming waves. If you want something more colorful, you can pair the blue with teal and purple. The analogous color scheme tends to bring about the impression of coral in the air.

The colors also tend to spread the feeling of loyalty, happiness, optimism and honesty. What’s more, you can combine darker shades of blue with lighter shades of blue to come up with a perfect color scheme.

3. Sunny Yellow

Sunny Yellow

Yellow is not only vibrant but also refreshing especially during sunny summer. If the beach background is yellow, then a softer shade of yellow will be ideal. You can go for a bright yellow swimsuit and paint your nails a lighter shade of the swimsuit’s color. If you want a bright yet subtle shade of yellow that matches everything around you, give pastel yellow a try.

You can paint your nails orange or green if you are going for a more tropical look to match your yellow swimsuit or beach outfit. The two colors create an analogous color scheme. If you love tropical flowers, draw some inspiration from the crepe ginger flower by painting your nails white to complement your yellow swimsuit. Hawaiian bamboo orchid usually adds purple to the yellow and white color combination. Yellow, purple and white are a tranquil set.

4. Pleasantly Pink

Pleasantly Pink

You can never go wrong with a pink swimsuit especially if you are looking for something that’s not only versatile but equally adorable. You can pair your soft pink swimsuit or beach outfit with baby blue for a pure and sweet look. Combining lime green, pig pink, cantaloupe orange and baby blue makes a tetradic color scheme as per the color theory. Plus, the colors are ideal for a summer walk since they are festive and light without being too overwhelming.

However, you might want to consider a different set of colors if you are wearing a deep pink beach outfit or swimsuit. You can pair hot pink with deep purple. Pairing these colors might remind you of the 50s but in a good way. You can also pair a hot pink outfit with chartreuse if you are going for a candy-like watermelon design and throw in a few black specks for a seed-like look.

A combination of teal and hot pink is equally vibrant. Remember, going for brighter colors makes you look bold.

5. Green Machine

Green Machine

Most people find trouble pairing green outfits with other colors without looking tacky. The best thing about this color is that it pairs well with any shade of green whether darker or lighter and looks amazing. You can match the color of your nails with watermelon which is known to be one of the best treats for summer. As per the color theory, green tends to give people a sense of comfort.

Most people usually prefer combining white with lighter shades of green to give you a clean, tranquil feeling. Darker shades of green are much harder to pair with other colors. If your swimsuit is lime green, then you can pair it up with a lighter shade of honeydew or cyan. Tea green pairs perfectly with sea green or grey. Kelly green and forest green create an exquisite monochromatic look. Rosebud red also pairs quite well with different lighter shades of green.

6. Cheerful Orange

Orange nail polish

Orange usually gives people a sense of desire according to the color theory. What else do you need when relaxing at the beach? An orange swimsuit looks amazing with white or black nails. Orange and black gives you an athletic look while orange and white makes you look tidier and cleaner.

Orange pairs well with almost all natural colors since it complements all skin tones. You can try out yellow and red nails if you are going for hot as fire look. Red, yellow and orange scream burning hot during summer which makes an analogous color scheme according to color theory. You can also pair orange with honeydew and Kelly green for a floral look.

Beyond Colors

The color scheme should not only be a solid base but also a guideline for the nail designs. There’s more to the nail design than the used colors. You also need to consider the kind of pattern you want to put on the nails. Even if the number of paintbrushes are limited, you can use other things such as toothpicks that are laying in the house. There are instances where you have used a toothpick in place of a paintbrush if you are an ardent painter.

A toothpick can comfortably hold the right amount of paint especially if you want to add some tiny details on your painting. Plus, it gives you total control. Ensure you have enough toothpicks for using on different colors if you are going to explore this path. If the nail polish builds up on the toothpick, it tends to make it duller and thicker eventually.

Starfish Nails

There are different types of starfish and they come in different shapes and colors. If you want the theme on your nails to have some beach vibes, the painting a starfish on them would be your best bet. Apply a lighter color in a soft shade like green or blue at the base of the nails then you can choose a different color for the starfish. The most common colors when it comes to applying starfishes or the nails are pink and orange.

You can draw some inspiration from Patrick Star, the starfish, of the famous SpongeBob SquarePants. We all know him for wearing a pair of yellowish green pants with some mauve flowers covering them. The flower design is easy to draw and is equally iconic as it can get people excited about the nails.

Colored Tips

Coloured Tips

You can make use of the empty nail polish bottle for the colored tip design. The design is a little more fun even though it looks like the regular French manicure. Add some glittery and sparkly nail polish at the top for best results. You can always go for bold colors to bring out the best of this design. If you are a beginner, you might want to use one color only before you get acclimatized. Those who know the drill can incorporate more colors to make it more fun especially if you add small stripes in complementary colors.

For tis design, a metallic nail polish will come in handy since it tends to make professional-looking and striking stripes.



Bubbles are ideal if you have a bubbly personality and is one of the best ways you can take the blue nail design a notch higher. You can make circles by dabbing gently a darker shade of blue at the top of a light blue shade. Inverting two different shades will also work fine. Additional details like reflective comma shapes on the top right side of the bubble it more fun and appealing. The reflections look good in white or pale blue.

Before adding any other design, ensure the base coat is completely dry as it can make the design bleed. In addition, bubble designs look better with a white tip. You can try varying the position and amount of the bubbles to make the design livelier or identical. Use a water backdrop when taking pictures to make the bubbly nail design look perfect.

Double Tone Shades

You can easily incorporate two different colors from your swimsuit design with two-tone nails. You can either have the colors splitting down at the middle horizontally or vertically to make them look magnificent. You can also split the design diagonally if you are drawing your inspiration from Avant Garde. Use the lighter shade at the base to make the line smooth. Wait until the base dries up completely then make a line where you want to separate the two colors.

If you want to split the two colors half way, then start off the second color at the centre. If they colors are not proportionate, then you can try covering it up with either a white or black strip.

Tasty Design

Tasty Design

If you are going for a watermelon design, then you can pair it up with a green or red swimsuit. What’s more, you can achieve this look by painting all your five nails or just one. You also have options for one finger designs. If you are going for this look, you can make the cuticle or nail tip the rind of your watermelon. Add red right below or above with seeds that are teardrop-shaped. Besides, you can typically spread the design across your entire hand.

Use light and dark shades of green to make the stripes or a solid color on two different fingers. Apply half green with white stripes for the middle finger to divide the red and green colors. You can paint the rest of the fingers red with some shades of black. Watermelon is usually the ultimate snack during summer.

Best Nail Colors for the Beach

beach nails

Not everyone knows what they are going to wear ahead of time for that summer vacation at the beach. In this case, you can opt for a white nail polish owing to its versatility. If you want to add some pop and color to your beach nails then go for softer shades of yellow and blue to match sapphire waters and golden sands. Each summer is different and it only comes once, so have as much fun as you can.

Ensure you get the most from the summer outfits with some knowledge on art and design. Summers are usually for unleashing the wild and the child in you while having fun. When it comes to beach nails, always be adventurous since you have nothing to lose. Take your nail game a notch higher and enjoy having beautiful nails.