22 Stunning Nail Designs for Your Tropical Vacation

Before boarding a plane, there are many rituals to complete. These include packing your luggage, narrowing down the makeup essentials in your bag, and updating your passport picture. The most important thing you can do before going on vacation is to get a new manicure. There’s nothing that sets the mood for a relaxing vacation quite like neons, sunset ombres and tropical florals. Even if you have no plans to travel anytime soon, these looks are still perfect for a staycation. We’ve put together 22 of our favorite looks to get you out of the office mood.

Pool Party

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@nuka.nails / Instagram

This aqua color immediately makes you think of the water in a pool. The French manicure with the water-surface pattern is taken to a new level by using 3D droplet nails. Play with shapes and a similar polish to recreate the look.

Drop on the Ocean

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@gotg0ld/ Instagram

Create waves using an abstract DIY approach to ocean artwork. Dot circles of varying sizes in the shades of cobalt blue, foam green, violet and aqua with a dotting instrument. Add a touch of metallic gems and shimmer polish to finish your look.

Gilded Shells

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@overglowedit / Instagram

The combination of gold and pearl is a classic, especially for glamorous vacation nails. This design centers the pearl in the middle of the nails, which makes it suitable for any length or shape.

To dye for

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@nylove_nail/ Instagram

Remember dyeing shirts with tie-dye at camp? You can recreate that childhood feeling by using your nails. This mani is easier to make than the t-shirts. All you need are a few colors and a steady touch.

The Right Mix

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@myprettyset / Instagram

This option is perfect for when you just can’t decide. Each mismatched fingernail is decorated with a vacation-ready, unique design. Use your favorite color on all ten tips.

Brighten Up

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@heygreatnails/ Instagram

This design would look like a happy, colorful combination of strawberry shortcakes and orange creamsicles. It’s easier to DIY this look than you think. Start with a base of baby pink nail polish, then add curvy lines using different colors.

Flower Power

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@brushedbyb_/ Instagram

This mani is the ultimate vacation nail twofer. It combines bright colors withflorals. For even more color, paint each nail with a different base. These exact shades are available in OPI’s Clear Your Cash polish, Silicon Valley Girl polish, NFTease Me and Racing for Pinks.

Feeling Feline

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@b.jordyn_nails/ Instagram

Leopard is a staple for all seasons, but you can make it sing summer by surrounding it with colors of the season, like neon yellow, orange and fuchsia.

Lemon Zest

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@glammertized/ Instagram

Paint lemons on your nails when life hands you lemons. Summer fruits have been a mainstay of vacation manicures for many years. If citrus isn’t your thing, try strawberries, cherries or watermelons.

Petal Perfection

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@afreshset/ Instagram

Make the 3D and neon flowers of this classic summer floral mani for your next getaway.


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@pop_polished/ Instagram

As soon as your out-of office period is over, you’ll be in the mood to party. Celebrate the party-like vibe by using nails inspired by confetti. Pick summery colors for a nail design that is perfect for the season.

Watermelon Wonder

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@nylove_nail/ Instagram

This manicure is so juici-looking that you can almost taste it. You can also add some seeds to accent nails if you do not want to go all fruit.

Water Works

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@nylove_nail/ Instagram

Water nails were made for the summer. Apply a coat or two of aqua-blue nail varnish to your nails. Make a dot pattern on the nail using a color two or three shades darker. Use a dotting tool and create a white flower at base of nail.

Rainbow Bright

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@disseynails/ Instagram

The subtle arches at the tips of this rainbow mani, which features summery colors in cheery tones, add a sophisticated twist to the trend.

Ride The Wave

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@nailsbyzola / Instagram

The beach is the perfect place to create “vacation nail art”. So, use little waves as your inspiration and transport yourself there. This summery, soothing design will make you feel like the sand is on your toes.

Fish Fins

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@gotg0ld/ Instagram

Abstract swirls, glitter, and lines remind us of scales on fish when we scuba dive in the deep ocean. The large water drops accentuate the intricate details and sell the beachy vibe.

Tropical Tip

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@gotg0ld/ Instagram

The classic French manicure is always on trend. The short square nails can be elevated with the addition of banana and palm leaves.

French Hibiscus

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@heluviee/ Instagram

A hibiscus pattern is the epitome of tropical. These beauties are inspired by the classic reddish magenta-white variety. The center floral color is matched with a French curve.

Bubbly Lime

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@heluviee/ Instagram

Who knew nail designs could be so refreshing! The combination of lime, pear-green, and white is reminiscent of a refreshing poolside mojito.

Sun and Sand

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@brushedbyb_/ Instagram

This set of white, blue, and orange-gold shimmers with a poolside vibe. This mani will have you dreaming of warm sunny days with your toes in the sand and the clear blue oceans beyond.

Sunset Glow

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@melanated.mani/ Instagram

Walking on the beach during sunset is one of the most enjoyable parts of vacation. This mani captures the iconic glow, changing to coral at the tips of a shimmering, light pink base.

Velvet Mermaid

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@amyytran / Instagram

We’ll be wearing this look for our upcoming island excursions. We are in love with this shimmering, mermaid like blue and purple look that reflects different colors depending on the lighting.

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