When it comes to colour cosmetics, nail polish has got to be my favourite product. More fun than foundation, easier to apply than eyeliner, the shades available are literally limitless so no matter what I’m in the mood for I’ll find a colour to tempt me. I also talk with my hands quite a bit so my manicure always gets good airtime. Although one of my new year beauty resolutions was to rediscover the fun in nail polish – I’d got stuck in a safe nude/greige rut – I can’t say that I’ve been smashing this goal recently. But with an end of summer holiday planned to a decidedly beachy destination I have no excuses. So here are my top 4 shades for a strong summer vibe.

Aqua manicure hand in swimming pool

Splashy aqua

This has got to be one of my all-time favourite shades. Which might sound surprising seeing as this is as far away from my failsafe Essie Cocktail Bling shade as you can get, but what can I say, I’m a woman of extremes. For this year’s summer holiday in Morocco I’ve opted for Organic Glam’s Aqua shade which looks fantastic against a tan and complements a summer wardrobe of vibrant kaftans and carefree maxi dresses. This high shine pop of colour lasts a good 5 to 6 days, depending on how active you are and how rigorous you are with top coat application. I always take my bottle of nail polish in my makeup bag for end-of-holiday touch ups. What if you prefer getting your nails done in a salon? A friend recommended bringing one of your own polishes for the beautician to use, that way you can still touch up if required.

Bright orange manicure in blue pool

Bright orange

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of my bright orange manicure in the hotel’s weirdly lit pool. During a holiday in Thailand I got tempted into having a manicure on the beach where the selection of nail polishes ranged from so-old-the-branding’s-rubbed-off to dubious noughties-style pearlescent shades. I went for the Hello Kitty orange shade to complement my tan, but as expected Hello Kitty isn’t exactly a pro when it comes to nail enamel so this manicure lasted all of 2 days. Well worth it for the otherworldly photo though.

Woman with pink manicure holding drink

Barbie pink

Any time I take a trip down memory lane and get lost in my holiday snaps, I notice that 90% of photos of me involve holding a drink. Usually a cocktail, sometimes a glass of wine. It’s either because being sat down at the end of the day with a relaxing drink in hand feels like the optimum time for photo posing, or my alcohol consumption goes through the roof when abroad. Probably both. Either way it’s a great way to showcase my summer holiday manicure, and this photo taken in Dubai perfectly highlights my pink nails. Long blonde hair + bright pink nails = Barbie territory so it’s a case of owning it or toning down the outfit to avoid any dubious comparisons.

Feet with coral pedicure on a rock

Soft coral

As much as I love painting my nails I’m afraid my poor toenails get very little attention outside of the summer months. The idea of putting all that effort into a pedicure to then hide it under tights and boots doesn’t appeal. And because I love wearing massive chunky socks when at home throughout the winter, I literally only see my toes in the shower. So a summer holiday is the perfect opportunity to give my feet some much needed TLC and a few coats of this soft coral shade from Bourjois. A pedicure is the opportunity to try out an unusual or more daring shade that might feel a little too much for the hands, so depending on the holiday I might go turquoise on my feet and coral for my hands. Whatever colour combination I choose I rarely overthink it and never match pedicures to manicures. This is the time to experiment!

What are your favourite summer holiday nail shades? Leave a comment below to let me know.


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