11 Pretty Pedicure Colors to Wear on Your Toes This Summer
When the open-toe shoes go on, these nail polish colors go off.
Pedicures are inherently extra — and I mean that in the best possible way. While your hands (and their manicure) are virtually always visible to everyone around you simply by anatomical default, your feet might be hidden in shoes or simply beyond the peripheral vision of anyone you're interacting with. Painting your toenails is arguably unnecessary, which is what makes it so delightfully self-indulgent. It's an act of beauty that is truly intended for your own consumption more than anyone else's because no one sees your toes more than you do.
By this logic, there are absolutely no rules when it comes to picking a nail polish color for your pedicure. Whatever you want to look down at while you're barefoot or wearing open-toe shoes is what you should pick. But when you're actually faced with that decision, the seemingly endless options can make you want to skip polish altogether (which, by the way, is also totally OK).
If you're looking for a little guidance on what lacquers might look especially awesome on your toes, allow us to narrow it down to a few favorites and trending colors that we can't get enough of.
1. Minty Turquoise
It's too blue to be seafoam, too green to be a true-to-the-stone turquoise, but minty turquoise is the perfect fantasy lagoon shade. It feels both pastel and neon all at once — a perfect spring-to-summer transition combination.
KB Shimmer's Happy Camper ($11) is an instant splash of refreshment for any eyes that get a glimpse of your feet. And amazingly, you may not even need two coats for full coverage. Meanwhile, Gucci Vernis à Ongles Nail Polish in 713 Dorothy Turquoise ($30) somehow looks even prettier and more adorably retro on your toes than it does in its display-worthy bottle.
If you ever find yourself strangely jealous of how flamingos simply eat pink things and then themselves turn an incredible shade of vibrant pink, then CND Vinylux Long Wear Polish in Beach Escape ($7) should help ease some of your envy. It's like watermelon and salmon came together and — though that would be an absolutely horrifying combination to eat — made a stunning color that begs to be worn with sandals.
We also love Àuda.B's Coral Sand ($18), a super smooth and chip-resistant flaming orangey pink that feels like you're keeping a wild little secret in your shoes.
Don't let anyone ever tell you greens or yellows — or in this case, greenish-yellow or yellowish-green — aren't flattering to wear on your toes.
OPI's Pear-adise Cove ($11) is too fun of a color to worry about what other people will think. Besides, if they're smart, they'll take one look at your feet and think, "Wow, that is the cutest pedicure color. I'm going to go copy this IRL influencer straight away." The slightly more vibrant Lights Lacquer in Now & Later ($11) leans into sour-apple territory, but still has that weird-but-cute vibe of its softer counterpart.
A rich brown with reddish undertones is simultaneously neutral yet bold, which is why we love Tulum Beach ($9) from Nails Inc's Caught in the Nude collection. Its warmth gives off a sun-kissed-skin vibe — even if your feet are otherwise fully slathered in sunscreen.
Orly's Parcs & Parasols ($10) is a bit rosier but still a warm and wonderful brown-ness that complements every imaginable flip-flop or slide you might find yourself in this summer.
Is bluvender a word? No. Should it be? Absolutely. It's how we're describing one of the prettiest possible shades you can wear on your toes: a lavender that has just enough blue in it to lean quite cool, but not so much blue that you'd call it periwinkle.
Sundays' pale yet vivid take on the color, L.05 ($18), is begging to become the signature pedicure shade of anyone who loves a splashy pastel. Morgan Taylor's Take Me to Your Tribe ($10) is a bit darker, but my no mens dark — it still has a dusty, pastel feeling, just with a little extra richness.
6. '80s Prom Dress Pink
Whether you lived through it or you've only seen it in photos, it's instantly recognizable: that distinctly ‘80s shade of magenta that covered so many prom dresses in the form of sequins.
Deborah Lippmann's Gel Lab Pro in My Shot ($20) is the next best thing, and subtle — compared to a full-blown formal dress, at least. It's semi-sheer, so be sure to add two or three coats of this metallic, shimmery shade if you want your toenails to feel like the belles of the ball. Smith & Cult's Palace in Wonderland ($18) is a slightly more whimsical, iridescent, yet still unignorable purply pink that feels like a delicate take on Barbie's go-to hue.
7. Pretty Much White
Off-white? Eggshell? Whatever it is, it's pretty much white, and it always looks fabulous on toes. Simple yet striking, this milky hue isn't quite as Wite-Out stark as a cool, true white, and it reads more neutral and cooperative with every skin tone.
Sally Hansen totally nails it (sorry) with its Good. Kind. Pure. shade White Tea ($7), which provides opacity in just a coat or two — a completely different vibe than sheer off-white. Olive & June's Bunny Slope ($9) is just a touch warmer without going beige, creating a winter white that looks gorgeous in any season.
Cerulean is the perfect pedicure color for someone who likes what we're coining the "mullet mani-pedi" — business on the fingers and a party on the toes. No matter what kind of neutral you may be sporting for your manicure, a bright, bold true blue like Essie's Juicy Details ($9) lets whoever gets a peek at your feet know you've got a fun streak (or 10) in you.
Zoya's Mallory ($12) is a similar not-too-green, not-too-purple blue — Zoya calls it Prussian — that's stunningly saturated, giving off a warmth not often sensed with shades of blue.
Falling just a bit short of a true orange-candy orange, Squash is toned-down take on the juicy hue without succumbing to subtlety. It feels somehow just as sophisticated as a nude or neutral but checks off all the quirky-chic boxes, too.
Wet n Wild's Fast Dry AF shade Potassium-Rich ($4) delivers this unexpected color with extra-quick dry time, so you can show off your stylish toes as soon as you find your favorite sandals. Butter London's Pop Orange ($18) sounds bright but is actually on the softer side of squash, offering a creaminess that ups its pastel perception without fading away too much.
10. Smoky Purple
When you're in the mood for something as dark as black but you're not quite feeling its severity, reach for a shade like smoky purple. All the depth and drama is still there, but your toes don't seem quite as goth.
Ella + Mila's Night In ($11), from the brand's Dream Collection, has a softness to it that you don't often see in super dark colors, and that makes it surprisingly versatile for pedicures. Jinsoon's shade Dandy ($18) is an even smokier shade of purple thanks to a hefty dose of cool gray that gives it a mysterious je ne sais quoi.
11. Dusty Peach
Coral is constantly in style for fingertips, but if you prefer a more neutral interpretation of orangey-pink for your toes, try dusty peach. It still as the sweetness of coral without the "Hey, look at me" urgency — but when someone does look at it, they see a shade that goes gorgeously with practically everything.
Londowntown Lakur Enhanced Colour in Cactus Coral ($16) is an ideal option with is smooth, creamy finish. We also adore Chanel's limited-edition shade Terra Rossa ($30) — just the dreamiest mix of earthy browns and rosy terracotta.
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article written by Marci Robin for Allure