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The Ultimate Summer 2016 Nail Polish Guide

Because no one should settle for a basic, boring pedicure.

Summer instantly conjures up thoughts of cut-off denim, leather sandals and off-the-shoulder tops to help survive the heat in style. It also, of course, brings to mind tanned skin (sunless tanner, obviously) and perfectly pedicured toes — now that we have to reveal them to the world after being hidden away inside boots for months.

While fashion weeks have informed us season after season that neutral polish colors are going nowhere, summer always brings a burst of color with it, and the new nail collections for 2016 are no different. But, instead of all brights, this year's offering includes plenty of whites, pastels and nudes to balance out the usual bold shades that signal the warmer months.

We spoke to Michelle Saunders, Essie's celebrity manicurist, about what she has been noticing (and painting) on nails as the weather warms up, and she agreed. "I was seeing a lot of the vibrant coral shades, but I'm also seeing a lot of pastels." And, she reminded us that even nail art is back, albeit simple, so the balance of soft neutrals and bold shades makes perfect sense.

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Here are some of the hottest shades for the summer, many of which are available to shop online now — just in time for your first pedicure of the season.

Vibrant Corals


New Neutrals

Classic Whites

Bold Blues

Punchy Purples


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