A close-up shot capturing vibrant gel toe nail designs for summer, showcasing an array of colorful patterns, tropical motifs, and sparkling accents, evoking a sense of fun and relaxation.

Eye-Catching Gel Toe Nail Designs For A Stylish Summer

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to get your toes ready for sandal season with some fun and bright gel nail polish designs. If you’re looking for inspiration on ways to decorate your toes that are on-trend, easy to achieve at home or at the salon, and will have all your friends asking for the details, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Some of the most popular gel nail designs for summer toes include vibrant neons, cool watercolors, artistic florals, geometric patterns, glitzy chrome, and an ever-stylish classic French manicure updated with colorful tips or artsy flair.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide over two dozen examples of creative and unique gel manicures that are perfect for displaying on your toes this summer. We’ll cover everything from instructions for recreating specific looks, to tips on choosing colors and art that complement summer fashions and activities.

You’ll learn about the latest trends in summer pedicure styles, see photographs illustrating beautiful designs, find advice for making an impression poolside, explainers on how gel manicures hold up on toes, and maintenance tips for keeping your polish pristine.

Popular Gel Pedicure Trends for Summer 2022

Vibrant Neon Shades

Neon pedicure colors are forecast to be a huge trend for summer 2022. Vibrant neon shades like hot pink, lime green, and electric blue are eye-catching options that represent the fun spirit of summer. Not only do these lively hues give your feet a stylish pop of color, they also appear super bright and summery when paired with sandals or open-toe shoes.

Whether you go for a solid neon hue or add neon accents over a neutral base, this is a fresh and playful take on gel pedicures for the hot sunny months ahead.

Artistic Florals and Tropical Looks

What’s more summery than flowers and tropical motifs? Beautiful blooms and palm leaves are trending hard in nail art for summer 2022. Get transported to a tropical paradise with artistic flowers, leaves, fruits like pineapples and coconuts, or even full beach scenes painted on your toes.

The options are endless with the huge variety of flower and tropical decals available. Not only are these designs gorgeous, they also represent feelings of warmth, relaxation, and fun that we all crave during the summer months. This is a lovely choice for your next artistic gel pedicure.

Abstract Watercolor Paintings

If you want a gel pedicure that feels more artistic and free-spirited for summer 2022, try abstract watercolor designs. These looks feature soft swirls of color that blur and blend together just like real watercolors. The abstract shapes and patterns are open to creative interpretation.

You can do single abstract shapes on each nail, or have your technician paint a connected abstract scene across all ten toes for a really eye-catching look. The watery, blurred effect is soft and pretty for summer.

Abstract gel designs are also a great choice if you want something more low-maintenance than intricate nail art.

Glitzy Metallics and Chrome Nails

One huge gel pedicure trend for summer 2022 is glitzy metallics and chrome nail looks. After years of muted nudes and pinks ruling pedicures, bold metallic shades like rose gold, silver, gunmetal, copper, and holographic chrome effects are having a major moment.

These glamorous, rock n’ roll-inspired pedicures are perfect for making a statement poolside or on a night out. They have an edgy vibe that represents the carefree spirit of summer. Metallic gel polishes are available in foiled finishes or super shiny chrome effects.

You can rock a solid metallic shade or add some glitter or metallic decals for extra sparkle and glam.

Choosing the Best Gel Toe Polish Colors for Summer

Complementing Your Skin Tone

When choosing gel toe polish colors for summer, it’s important to consider how the shades will complement your skin tone. Warm skin tones with yellow, peach or golden undertones look great with coral, peach, melon, gold or bronze shades.

Cool skin tones with pink or red undertones can pull off bold blues, purples, plums and cherry reds beautifully. Those with neutral or olive skin tones have the advantage of being able to wear both warm and cool shades. Go for jewel tones like emerald green, sapphire blue or rich berry hues.

Stay away from pastel or neon shades if you have a darker complexion, as they can look chalky or clash against your skin.

Matching Your Summer Style and Activities

Pick gel polish colors that coordinate with your summer wardrobe and activities. For nautical inspired looks, try navy blue, sea foam green or coral shades. If you’ll be hanging out at music festivals, go for bright, eye-catching colors like hot pink, purple or turquoise.

For a day at the beach or pool, lighter shades like pastels, nudes and sheers work well. If you’ll be wearing a lot of white or black, match your pedicure to your outfits with classic red, pink or French tip colors.

Consider glitter, metallics or neutral shades for a vacation or if you’ll have a wide variety of outfits. Think about how long the color will last – light colors may chip quicker but dark shades may be too bold for certain environments. Choose wisely!

Considering Practicality

While fun colors are certainly an option, also consider practicality when selecting summer gel pedicure shades. Darker colors like blue, purple, red and black may stain your toes and be difficult to completely remove. Repeatedly getting these shades can damage and discolor nails over time.

Sheer pinks and nudes are great for a natural, polished look if you have client meetings or events. Save the glitter and embellishments for vacations or weekends. Remember – lighter colors show chips earlier and require more frequent touch ups.

Aim for a shade that complements your skin tone, matches your style and will last 3-4 weeks between appointments. Your technician can advise on colors that suit your lifestyle.

Step-By-Step Instructions for Recreating 5 Gorgeous Summer Gel Toe Designs

A Neon Rainbow Watercolor Look

This fun and vibrant neon rainbow design is perfect for summer! Start with a base coat gel polish in white or a pale neutral shade. Then use neon gel polishes in shades like yellow, green, blue and pink to create abstract watercolor stripes and squiggles across the nails.

Let your creativity shine by making each nail unique with different patterns and color combos. Top it off with a glossy top coat for that trendy wet look. Don’t be afraid to get messy – the more abstract and bold, the better!

Vibrant Floral Toes with Negative Space

Beautiful blooming flowers in bright girly colors like pink, purple and peach say summer all over. Paint on large floral designs like roses and daisies leaving lots of negative space around them. Outlining the flowers with black gel polish makes them really pop.

Keep some nails with just a single big flower, while others can have a floral bouquet or vine design. Finish with a layer of top coat to seal in the gorgeous summery floral nails.

Shimmery Metallic Chrome Accents

Chrome nails are so hot right now! Start with a neutral base like a soft pink, beige or white gel polish. Paint on freehand metallic chrome designs like stripes, zig zags or geometric shapes. You can also add some cool modern art inspired squiggles and dots.

Use silver, gold, rose gold or even blue chrome powder with a mixing medium for sparkly gel polish accents. A little bit of shimmer goes a long way for instant glam!

An Updated French Pedicure with Artsy Details

Give the classic french pedicure a modern twist by using vivid pop colors instead of just white tips. Try pairing a vibrant coral, electric blue or lilac base color with bright white tips. For extra pizzaz add an artistic touch like little flower or star accents.

You can place them randomly on some nails or line them up diagonally across the tips. This fresh take on a french pedi is the perfect summer gel mani.

A Bold Colorblocking Gel Mani

Make a bold style statement with a colorblocked gel pedicure in contrasting neon bright shades. Paint each nail a different color like orange, yellow, green, blue and pink. For an extra pop add white to the color palette too.

You can do different designs on each nail like chevrons, stripes or geometric shapes. Some solid nails paired with patterned ones look super cool. The color combos are endless with this fun and punchy look!

Caring for Gel Manicures on Your Toes

Letting Them Fully Cure Before Wearing Sandals

One of the most common mistakes with gel pedicures is not letting the polish fully cure before slipping on a pair of sandals. Even though your toes may feel dry to the touch, the gel polish can take a full 24 hours to completely harden.

If you put on open-toed shoes too soon, you risk denting or smudging the still-soft polish. For the most long-lasting and flawless look, avoid wearing sandals or flip flops for the first day after your gel pedi. Patience pays off with gel polish that remains picture-perfect!

Using Solar Oil to Keep Color Vibrant

To keep your gel pedicure looking freshly painted, it helps to use a solar oil every few days. The oil moisturizes and rehydrates the nail plate to prevent chipping and peeling. It also contains antioxidants that protect against fading from the sun’s UV rays.

Gently massage a few drops onto each toenail and all over the toes. The oil will make the shine last and the color pop. Your pedi will dazzle that much longer with this easy TLC between salon visits.

Filing Away Growth Instead of Picking at Polish

As your natural nails grow out, the urge to pick at the lifting edges of gel polish can be strong. Fight that urge! Aggressively digging at the polish only weakens the nails and risks completely removing the gel too soon.

For a tidy look and healthy nails, use a file to gently smooth away new growth around the cuticle area. The filing takes just a few seconds and keeps your pedi looking neat. File every few days or weekly to make the polish last and avoid tempted nail picking. Filing trims growth smoothly without nail damage.

Moisturizing to Avoid Cracking and Chipping

On those days when your toes are jammed into boots or stacked heels, they need extra moisture to stay flexible and strong. Gel polish adheres best to a well-hydrated nail plate. After showering or removing polish, massage a thick lotion all over your feet. Apply multiple times a day.

The lotion prevents dryness, which leads to cracked or peeling nails. Stay diligent with moisturizing, and your gel manicure will hold up beautifully. Consistent hydration helps toe nails resist chipping and splitting. Lotion is key!

Removing Gel Polish from Toes

Using Foil Wraps and Acetone

One of the most effective methods for removing stubborn gel polish from toes is using foil wraps soaked in pure acetone. Start by filing off the top layer of gel polish to help the acetone penetrate better. Cut pieces of aluminum foil large enough to fully wrap each toe.

Place a cotton ball saturated with acetone against the nail, then tightly wrap the toe in the foil. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before unwrapping. The acetone breaks down the glue layers so you can gently scrape off gel residue with an orangewood stick. Repeat if needed for hard-to-remove shades.

Trying an At-Home Gel Remover Kit

Specialized at-home gel removal kits provide a convenient option without visiting a salon. Most contain acetone-free gel remover solution along with other tools. Simply submerge toes in the solution for up to 20 minutes until gel starts lifting around edges.

Use included clean-up wipes and the plastic scraper to gently lift off residue. Finish with a buffer block to eliminate leftover stickiness. This gentle method prevents nail damage. Popular kits from reputable brands like Sally Hansen and Red Carpet Manicure make at-home removal easy.

Visiting Your Nail Salon for Safe Removal

The best way to avoid nail damage that can occur from improper gel removal is to visit your nail technician. With professional electric file drills and high-quality acetone remover, they can safely and quickly remove even the most stubborn gel shades without scraping or thinning nails.

Make sure to alert them if you notice any discomfort during the process. Reputable salons use gel removers like Gelish Soak Off that are infused with nourishing oils to condition the nail bed and cuticle. This prevents dryness or breakage.

Getting an expert gel manicure and having it safely removed extends the life of natural nails.


With so many chic nail art possibilities, summer 2022 is the perfect time to give your toes a stylish update. Whether you’re hitting up music festivals, lounging poolside, or keeping things casual, a vibrant, well-executed gel manicure will have your feet sandal-ready.

From eye-catching brights, to artistic designs, a little decoration goes a long way towards summer fun. Just don’t forget the sunscreen…for your nails and the rest of you!

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