The unexpected 'winter' shade that will be making its way onto our nails this summer

Offering a departure from the typical summer manicure trends, moody royal blue nails are tipped to be this season's most in-demand look...

A hand with squoval royal blue nails by nail artist @gel.bymegan/ in a beige and blue sunset-like template
(Image credit: @gel.bymegan)

While summer is often reserved for creamy pastels and sunny brights, this year it seems we're welcoming an altogether moodier hue onto our fingertips: royal blue...

Now, we get it, blue nails are not exactly a revolutionary concept for the warmer months, what with classic aquatic hues and bold cobalt blue nails already emerging amongst the 2024 nail trends. That said, the darker iterations are typically seen more in the autumn and wintertime, which is where this season is rather shaking things up. Indeed this summer, we're spying an uptick in demand for cooler, royal and navy blue hues, especially amongst those looking to stand out from the sea of French tips and neutral nails.

So, if you're tempted by this chic and unexpected nail colour, here's how to achieve a professional-looking royal blue mani at home - along with visual inspiration on how to style it along with your summertime attire...

5 royal blue nail looks to replicate this summer

As mentioned, blue nails are often a favourite for the summertime, especially that aquamarine and soft, almost milky 'Blueberry' nail hues, but the sudden increase in searches for 'royal blue nails' does come as a bit of a surprise - but by no means an unwelcome one.

Like that of a rich burgundy or black, this sapphire shade affords a very luxe and high-shine finish, no matter your choice of nail shape, be it squoval or almond. It's stylish, eye-catching and offers a refreshing departure from more over-done pastel blues. Plus, unlike the 'barely-there' nail trends we've been seeing alot of lately, if your nails are showing signs of wear and tear, a wash of royal blue will help to mask rather than accentuate any imperfections - until your nails have recovered enough to be complimented by more sheer polishes.

Our royal blue manicure staples

Now, before we dive into the many ways to sport this sophisticated hue, we would recommend adding one of the best nail strengtheners to your nailcare kit, along with a cuticle oil and scrub (like Jo Malone's Vitamin E body scrub, at Look Fantastic), to achieve a really healthy and long-lasting manicure.

1. royal blue squoval nails

Depart from samey pastel blues and instead, opt for a rich and expensive-looking royal blue on your fingertips. The effect, especially when layered over almond or squoval nails, is so chic and ideal for both a modern summer look as well as an autumn and winter mani.

2. Royal blue French tip

French tip nails are very popular right now, so it only makes sense to incorporate this regal hue into the design.

3. Muted royal blue nails

If you're sick of summer brights, a muted almost green-blue is the perfect pick for a chic and unexpected mani. Another pro in a dark blue nail design's favour is the shine - it's so easy to achieve a luxe, high-shine finish with this sort of hue.

4. Metallic royal blue nails

If you've got a few evening events lined up, or prefer a darker hue on your nails in general, we're a big fan of this metallic blue manicure.

5. Almost cobalt nails

For a nail look that calls back to summer skies and deep, sparkling waters, opt for a brighter royal blue, like this one and don't forget your glossy top coat, to really lock in that shine and statement hue.

Naomi Jamieson
Digital Beauty Writer

Naomi is a Digital Beauty Writer from woman&home, where she covers everything from skincare to fragrance but specialises, particularly, in makeup and nail trends. Through her work, Naomi gets to share her trend expertise and share her own shopping recommendations and product reviews. Previously, she worked as a Lifestyle News Writer for My Imperfect Life magazine, where she used her savvy for TikTok to bring readers the latest beauty buzzwords, fashion movements and must-have products. 

Before that, Naomi split her time between both GoodTo and My Imperfect Life, whilst training for her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ, for which she earned a Distinction. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but leapt into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing. Now, when she isn’t reporting on the best perfumes and latest beauty releases, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping...