Sunshine-Dipped Nails Are The Cutest Compliment To UV Rays This Summer

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Summer is here, and that means we all want to look like we feel: ready for the hot girl summer of our dreams. We've broken out our favorite sundresses and replenished our SPF supply; we're trading in our boots for sandals and lightening up our makeup routines. Still, there's one way to look summer-ready that some of us may forget about, and the answer is right at your fingertips — literally.

A perfect on-theme manicure is the cherry on top of any look, and summery ensembles are no exception. As a result, we're all looking for the best nail designs for a bright, sunny manicure. This summer, though, one nail art style is rising above the rest and helping us let the sunshine in. Sunshine-dipped nails allow us to embrace the sunniest of colors in unique and adorable ways. Rather than going for a full yellow manicure which can be both limiting and a bit daunting, nail art lovers are embracing the trend of a bit of yellow accenting on your manicure. So, how do we embrace this nail trend in a way that looks fun, fresh, and fashion-forward? Let us count the ways...

Modern French

The modern French manicure has been all the rage as of late. This style takes the classic French manicure and replaces the white tip with color. Opting for a yellow modern French puts the "dip" in sunshine-dipped nails and leaves you looking like you dipped your fingers in an ice-cold glass of lemonade. The pastel yellow tips are a subtle take on the style, but brighter or darker shades of yellow would make a bolder, sunnier statement. And, yes — the rhinestones on this manicure are a great addition — you can get a set like this one for under $10.

Vertical half and half

Dipping the tips of our fingers into sunshine may be the most obvious way to get the look, but there's no reason why you can't dip your nails on all sides. Painting a vertical line down the middle of your nail and painting one half yellow is so cool and bold. It also gives you the freedom to put whatever you want on the other side. From a nude or pale pink shade to another color, or even intricate nail art, there are plenty of possibilities with this look. 

Lemon slices

We are deep in the era of experimenting with nail art, so of course we're going to find a way to incorporate cute, detailed nail designs into the sunshine-dipped nail trend. The clear choice of theme for sunshine-dipped nails is sunshine, for obvious reasons. Still, whether you want to add little suns to your nails, lemons, daisies with yellow centers, smiley faces, or sunflowers, your imagination is the only limit to cute yellow designs for your nails. Add them on an accent nail balanced with a yellow mani, or paint them all over on a neutral base.


We've seen a splash of yellow painted straight across a nail, as well as right down the middle, so why not try a little of both? There's something so cool and unexpected about this diagonal half-and-half yellow nail. The gold specks between the two colors are unique and eye-catching, but you could also try a bold graphic line in black, white, or another bright color choice. Separating two distinct colors diagonally down the middle of the nail is also fun and summery. Yellow would pair beautifully with white, turquoise, orange, or pink for a stunning seasonal style. 

Alternating modern French

The modern French is one of the easiest and most popular ways to achieve the sunshine-dipped manicure. Yet, if you're one of the many nail art lovers who opts for this technique, that doesn't mean that you have to stick with just yellow. This manicure that alternates orange and yellow French tips with solid nails is so fun and vibrant. In addition to using alternating colors for French tips or French tip accent nails on solid manicures, you can also try a yellow French tip on a nail that's painted in another bold color. 

Lemonade nails

Lemonade nails are a bright upgrade to chrome manicures. Bold and super-shiny chrome nails have been the star of the past few nail trend cycles, and if you're thinking that a chrome finish doesn't work as well with yellow as it does with metallic shades like silver and gold, you may want to think again. Lemonade nails combine yellow polish with a chrome finish, and they allow you to add a little spice to any sunshine-dipped nail style you choose. Get the chrome effect with a nail powder like this one

Topsy-turvy tips

We've already seen just how nicely modern French tips can help us to execute the perfect sunshine-dipped manicure. If you want to add a bit more whimsy and unexpectedness to this style, we recommend putting a topsy-turvy twist on your tips. This style is kind of like the diagonal version of a normal French tip, stretching further onto the side of the nail. These are funkier and easier to execute than the typical French mani, because they don't have to be perfect and slight differences from nail to nail can add to the fun nature of the design. 

Double-dipped tips

Looking for a cooler way to rock a yellow modern French? This is one situation where it's okay to double dip. These white and yellow tips combine the classic French manicure with a bit of sunshine, and it complements the lemon nail art perfectly. Yellow and white French tips would also look great combined with daisy nail art, or you could try different colors and nail art combinations like yellow and black with bees, or smiley face art, or tips with a cool color combination like yellow and pink or yellow and orange. 

Accent nail

An accent nail is one of the most versatile forms of nail art, so if you're just dipping your toes into the sunshine-dipped nail trend, you may want to get the look in the form of an accent nail. This manicure with sunny yellow nails and a single nude nail with a yellow French tip is such a subtle option. You could also copy this look with a bold color as the base for the accent nail, or you could reverse it and make the accent the fully painted nail.

Triangular tips

Triangular tips are another alternative modern French option, and they can be a cool, more angular and graphic way of making your manicure look like it's been dipped in sunshine. It's also easier to execute this look than typical French tips since you don't need to complete the often difficult task of painting a perfect arch. This manicure looks elegant and unique by combining the triangular tip with a matte finish, elegant black nail art, and alternating pastel yellow nails. 


It's already clear that there are plenty of options when it comes to achieving the dipped look in pastels and bold sunny yellow shades. Still, sometimes we all want an extra eye-catching manicure that you just can't miss. If this is what you're looking for when it comes to your sunshine-dipped nails, then you should go for a full-on neon manicure moment. A neon polish like this one puts a fun, bright twist on whatever kind of nail art you have in mind. The combination of bright neon tips with smiley faces is cool with a bit of edge. 

Polka dots

Polka dots are a classic print that never goes out of style. Still, it's a surprisingly uncommon print to use for manicures — especially considering how easy it is to execute. If you're going for the sunshine-dipped look, though, polka dots are a perfect way to make it happen. These big polka dots that look like they're partially off of the nail are bold and graphic, and smaller dots would be equally cute. Of course, while this pale pink base color adds an unusual twist, this could also be a cool look on a colorful or white base. 


Ombré nail looks are as easy to recreate at home as they are trendy and bold. And, as far as sunshine-dipped nails go, there's no technique that looks quite as much like actual sunshine radiating onto your manicure as a yellow ombré look. Whether you want to start with a nude base or one in a different color for a unique combination, you can then apply your yellow ombré tips by dabbing the yellow polish on with a sponge for that diffused look.

Pink lemonade color palette

There are so many summery color combinations to create with yellow, and if you're interested in sunshine-dipped nails, we highly recommend experimenting to find the perfect color palette of your summertime dreams. That said, one of the clear favorites is a pink lemonade-inspired manicure. Pink and yellow look so fresh and pretty together no matter how you choose to pair them. Alternating between modern French tips in these colors looks dainty and fun, while putting a yellow French tip on a pink base and vice versa would also be bold and eye-catching. 

Mix and match

If the many different options for getting that coveted sunshine-dipped nail look have left you struggling to make a decision, we don't blame you; there are just too many cute options. Luckily, with a sunny, whimsical trend like this one, you don't have to choose just one way of doing it. Alternate styles from nail to nail, combining detailed nail art, French tips, half-and-half nails, or any other technique you love. To make sure that you like your combination, try mapping it out on a piece of paper before heading in with your yellow polish.