My two favorite nail colors to wear in the summer and new products!

Mid-summer beauty favorites

I love the bright nail polish that pops up more during the summertime. I’ve never been a red nail kind of girl, but anything with a slightly orange undertone is right up my alley.

This summer I’ve been alternating between soft, sheer pinky whites, or brighter orange based hues! I keep a gel manicure on my nails somewhat regularly, but if I‘m going to polish my nails myself, I’m going to almost always use either Essie Gel Couture or CND Vinylux, both with their dedicated top coat.

Essie recently launched a new Gala collection and I’ve been LOVING Style Stunner and Sizzling Hot. They are so fun on toenails too!

I also tried their new TLC line that they relaunched with more color impact. I tried the original TLC colors but they were almost too sheer to make it worth polishing your nails, but the new shades are JUST like their original colors but with extra nail care benefits! I’m wearing TLC in a blush and I loved it. I got a few days wear out of it, which doesn’t sound like much but that’s pretty standard for my life right now.

Gel Couture and Vinylux give me at LEAST 5 days, sometimes 7-9 days, and thats why I usually reach for those lines!

I think I like the big contrast in going from a bright orange-y shade to a softer white one. I can’t handle straight white nail polish because it reminds me of polishing my nails with white-out and then coloring over it with highlighter in middle school. (Am I the only one who did that? Tell me I’m not alone!)

More of my favorite summer nail colors here and here!


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Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 07.26.17

I love the soft white ones! Red is always nice, but I prefer subtle and soft colours for the day time!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Melanie Unser says · 07.26.17

I saw your super cool (and super big, I might add) Olay ad in Real Simple yesterday! Good for you! I think it it so amazing! Keep up the great work in just being you. You make beauty blogging relevant and approachable, while staying level-headed and keeping your priorities and values from becoming skewed by petty, materialistic things. You are REAL and I couldn’t appreciate that more! You deftly walk the balance and I am grateful. 🙂

Kristi Beth says · 07.26.17

I love the Gel Couture line and now I can’t go back to anything else.
Also, I’m with you on the white nails — they definitely remind me of painting my nails with white out and highlighter too!

Kristi Beth | Be Loverly

Sarah B says · 07.26.17

Hey Kate! Do you have a favorite nail polish remover? I struggle to get all the nail polish off, especially for brighter shades. Thanks!

Stephanie says · 07.26.17

I love the Gel Couture line for my toes. I don’t know why it always seems like my toes chip super fast. The gel lasts so much longer.

And yeah, I did the white out in middle school too! LOL . We also did the reinforcements (the little white circles) as “fake nails” . The 90’s were fun,

What Mum Loves says · 07.26.17

I love the light, pastel pinks and cool toned blues the most. All year round 🙂

Gina says · 07.26.17

I’m excited to try Essie Gel Couture and am thrilled of your positive review! Do you have any issues with removal or does a standard acetone remover work well?

Michele says · 07.26.17

I remember the while white out as nial polish trend. I never did it because I was a nail biter and was afraid of poisoning myself and dying (I was THAT kid) but I had plenty of friends who annoyed math teachers by “polishing” their nails during class.

I always admire nail colors, but for some reason nail polish has always made my hands feel rediculously heavy and dirty. Maybe it’s because I have thin nails? Either way, I love the displayed colors…maybe for my toes when my baby bump gets out of the way enough for me to paint my toes;)

Stephanie Redmond says · 07.26.17

May I ask where you got the coffee mug from? Thank you for your time.

Kate says · 07.26.17

West Elm

Elisa says · 07.26.17

Essie Gel Couture in Flashed is the one I can’t seem to get enough of this summer!
I teach and perform classical piano, and so during the school year my nails are short and unpolished, since they take a beating, but I let them grow out a bit in the summer and take advantage of the beautiful nail polish colours out there!
I always use the Gel Couture polishes (I am obsessive about preventing chips) and I usually use the Seche Vite top coat with it, since I have zero patience for letting them dry, and it also works very well with them.

Jill says · 07.26.17

I’m so with you on the orangey-coral shades! They seem to just be more flattering with my fair skin and I get the most compliments on mani-pedis when wearing those tones. Love your blog and your refreshing take on things!!

Bonnie says · 07.26.17

I never used White Out on my nails (I was married with two kids by the 90s), but that is exactly the feeling I get when I use some of the white nail polishes. I haven’t tried Gel Couture (not an Essie fan), but I jumped on Vinylux when you had to get it on eBay. I love how fast it dries. And while I love the IDEA of orang-y nail polish in summer, because of my coloring and the colors I tend to wear, I gravitate more toward cool colors. I usually keep something light on my fingernails (more forgiving) and bright fuchsia or even red on my toenails.

Kay Nguyen says · 07.26.17

I love the white nail polish for summer! I’m wearing it right now and I can’t get enough of it <3

Maja Harder says · 07.27.17

Essie’s gel couture really is the best! I agree. And have to true some of these shades

Shannon says · 07.27.17

Maybe I missed it but what’s your favorite light pink/white color from the gel couture line? Thanks for your review of this line!

Katy says · 07.27.17

What color white are you wearing in the picture?

Melissa says · 07.28.17

Yes, I would also like to know the same, what color in the coffee mug pic please? Love it;)

Wildfire Charm says · 07.31.17

I was obsessed with white nail polish for a while but I think I’m reach for more of nudey-beige tones and I love how they look xx These are some great recommendations!


Jennifer S says · 08.04.17

Hi! I just wanted to comment that after reading this post, I finally tried the Essie Gel Couture. Unfortunately, the Gala line was not sold in any of my local stores, but I chose another bright orange/red and used it the Gelous base coat by ACI Nail (I buy mine at Sally’s; it has a green top). In the past, I have definitely found that the Gelous base coat extends the life of my mani by at least a day or 2. I had my nails painted with the Gelous base coat and Essie Gel Couture color and top coat 6 days ago, and as of yet, there are NO noticeable chips on my left hand. There have been a few on my dominant (right) hand, but only up near the edge of the nail. If I was better at touching up, I think I could actually stretch this mani for at least 8 days. So far, I just did a few small touch ups on my right hand, and both hands got another coat of the Essie Gel Couture top coat half way through the week. Previously, with just the Gelous base and any other good quality color and top coat, 4 or 5 days was the MAX I could go, and that was with more chipping than I have seen with the Essie Gel Couture. I am definitely impressed.

Krista says · 08.05.17

Hi Kate! Is there any way you can name the Essie colors in the first picture from left to right? I LOVE the gel couture but an looking for some new shades and I really like those in your picture. Thank you!

Dana says · 08.06.17

I am the same way when it comes to colors. the nudes. But also love orange red. So glad u are doing to know about essie gel because Opi gel infinite shine 3 step is 👎 not good!! 💗 your blog!