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Summer 2012 Nail Art Trends

Singer Ke$ha shows off her bright orange nails -- a Summer 2012 trend -- at a recent awards ceremony.
Singer Ke$ha shows off her bright orange nails -- a Summer 2012 trend -- at a recent awards ceremony.
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

During New York's Spring 2012 Fashion Week, Calvin Klein's first model walked down the runway in a soft, skin-toned dress Harper's Bazaar aptly coined a "nude interlude." Designer Phillip Lim followed that trend with pale pinks, lavenders and neutrals. Other hot runway styles for spring and summer 2012 included Giorgio Armani's glittering dresses of "liquid metal, " and prints – tribal, geometric and flowery to name a few. And summer 2012 would not be complete without bright colors like neon yellow and orange.

Yet clothes aren't the only new styles down the runway. Cosmetic trends, like nail art, also change each season, influenced by the influx of seasonal designs. Some labels have worked in conjunction with cosmetic companies to blend makeup and clothing. For example, designers Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu, and Zac Posen partnered with nail heavyweight OPI to create colors that complemented their lines. For spring 2012, Wu collaborated on a pale pink neutral and orange-red that highlighted the colors in his collection.

So, with neon and neutral fashions giving us a hint of what's to come, let's explore nail art trends for summer 2012.

Color is a cornerstone of spring fashion, and summer 2012 puts neon colors in the spotlight. Everyone from teens at the pool to soccer moms in the grocery stores will be sporting nail colors in bright yellows, shocking green and psychedelic orange. Of course, for every style, there is an opposite trend and contrasting with neon are the neutrals. Shades like beige, nudes and ballerina pink are also hot this summer.

Those who like both bright and neutral will rejoice that white polish is in this summer. Design house Odilon showcased models with white nails, complete with a nude half moon at the base of the fingernail. Another nail trend is metallics, a holdover craze from summer 2011. Then, Chanel introduced the sparkly green-gold Peridot; for 2012, Chanel has their shimmery Gold Finger.

If color is one fashion statement, prints are another. Designs like stripes, diagonals, checkerboards, and outlines, to name a few, are gracing pedicures and manicures in summer 2012. Add-ons, like rhinestones, pearls and feathers are also a hit, and allow you to create a different masterpiece on each finger. Contrasting tips, like gold with red or beige with black is another way to express your inner artist and can be combined with add-ons.

Ombre, a combination of color and pattern, is another hot style. To try this at home, start at the nail tip with a lighter shade; then dip a makeup sponge in a darker color and blend the color downward towards the base. The result is a gradient nail color that complements all your summer 2012 styles.