19 Beach Nail Designs to Make Every Day a Vacation

Vacation booked, bags packed, beach-ready manicure loading. What is it that makes us want to get our nails ready for a vacation? Even the minimalists seem to abandon their normal, pared-back nail polish in favor of neon nails, ornate details and a variety of warm-weather manicuristries. Nails can be anything on the beach. From short, sporty nails to vampy tips, everything looks good on the beach. Bright colors and metallics look great against tanned nails, but iridescence, almost-naked nail polish, and barely-there polish also give off an instantly refreshing and beachy vibe. We’ve rounded 19 nail designs for the beach to prove this. Below, find your favorite.

Seashell Tips

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@tiffanyabbigailebeauty / Instagram

This hyper-realistic design of a seashell is the most beachy we’ve seen. This set is ideal for a getaway to the beach or when you are daydreaming about a seaside vacation.

Mermaid Glass

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@heygreatnails/ Instagram

Consider a 3D mani with mermaid vibes for a sea-inspired moment. You’ll need an iridescent nail polish and a skilled builder Gel to recreate this look.

Aquamarine Swirl

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@phoebesummernails / Instagram

This stunning aquamarine spiral nail art is so beautiful, we can’t help but swoon. Phoebe Cascarina, a nail artist from Los Angeles, created this look with Lights Lacquer Polish in the colors Big Fishand Eat My Shorts. She mixed Paper snow with Eat My Shorts to create the pale shade. You can DIY this look with a fine-lining tool and patience.

Sunset Gradient

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@nylove_nail / Instagram

The beach isn’t just about blue. This gradient is inspired by golden hour cocktails.

Turquoise Squiggle

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@brushedbyb_ / Instagram

You can see the stunning effect of a bordered, glittery, blue squiggle nail design when it’s paired with a sheer, neutral base. Mooncat Polish in Snake Charmer ($14) is the exact color.

Nautical Mix

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@phoebesummernails / Instagram

This mix-and match manicure has nautical shades and crisp white tips. The subtle seaside chic look can be easily carried from the beach to the boardwalk.

Pearlescent Depths

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@heygreatnails/ Instagram

It’s so relaxing to gaze into the clear, deep ocean. This iridescent manicure will bring the same tranquility and pearlescent to your nails.

Turquoise Tips

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@pop_polished/ Instagram

Turquoise, by itself, is a cool beachy color. But when it’s given a metallic sheen it becomes mermaid-like. This chic, shimmery French manicure is a great look. This look was created using the Starrily Design Nail Lacquer in Bellatrix ($16).

Aura Manicure

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@soulinailsxo / Instagram

The sun and the sea, according to mystics, are the two greatest energy sources. This subtle aurora set radiates positive energy and complements freshly sunkissed, glowing skin.

Chic Shells

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@overglowedit / Instagram

This neutral manicure is infused with a touch of glam thanks to gold shells, glitter and pearls.

Sun and Sand

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@brushedbyb_ / Instagram

This set of shimmering blue, white, and gold screams Summer. We can’t help but dream of warm sunny days with our toes in sand and crystal-clear waters in front of us. Brittney used ILNP nail polish ($12) in zero degrees, amber, and Lights lacquer polish ($11) paper snow, and adaline to create this look.

Beachy Sheen

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@nailsbyzola / Instagram

Minimalists, rejoice! Going bare doesn’t always mean going completely bare. This barely-there glazed manicure will give you that natural beachy glow and enhance the oh so coveted vacation glow.

Tidal Marble

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@phoebesummernails / Instagram

Are you looking for a nail design that is more specific to the beach? This marbling mani is reminiscent of a tide that’s swirling into the shore. The gold flake gives it a luxurious appeal.

Aqua Reptile

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@nuka.nails / Instagram

Reptilian or pool water? This light blue nail design features pale shades that give a beachy vibe.

Sandy Tips

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@nylove_nail / Instagram

The dimensional swirls give a traditional French manicure with vanilla tips (and 3D textures) a beachy update.

Neon Brights

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@afreshset / Instagram

Neons on the beach? A must. Consider trying a bright manicure on your next vacation if you are usually hesitant to do so. You can also save neon colors for your toes, and pair them up with a neutral manicure. Nothing says sandal-ready to us like a bold and bright pedicure.

Seascapes Abound

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@phoebesummernails / Instagram

Do you have a creative streak? These miniature seascape vignettes have a coastal charm.

Cobalt Coral

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@brushedbyb_ / Instagram

This abstract blue-and-white mani reminds us of Matisse, coral, and the ocean all at once. This is a great way to create a beachy look, but it will require some steady hands. Brittney used Lights Lacquer Polishes in the colors Missfit Toys and Barry for DIY.

Fiji Nails

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@nuka.nails / Instagram

This 3D nail design is beachy to the max. This level of detail will require a professional to create.

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