There’s no time like open toe shoe season to explore the plethora of new nail polish trends out there. This time of year, a perfect pedicure can get as much attention as the girl in the yellow polka dot bikini. Exhibit A: unpolished toes, tucked into sky-high nude pumps that beg a second look, but never get one. Why? No splash of this season’s preferred neon tangerine colour to draw in the eye. Our fingers flash hues year round, but only during these hot months is it especially fun for our manicures to come and go like summer flings; variety is a good thing. So why not partake in a little summer lovin’, and cycle through shades till you find your perfect match.

Dazzle like the sparkly models on Alexander McQueen’s RTW SS12 runway with a metallic manicure.

Taking cue from those gold goddesses, reflect just the right slant of light with Butter London’s Knackered, an iridescent oyster shade, or Nars in Diamond Life for a metallic violet glimmer.

Beach babes should go for a shade with more pop, like Butter London’s Disco Biscuit, an effervescent pink glitter that will shine through even the murkiest of waters. For more ocean inspired shimmer, there’s also SEPHORA by OPI “I’m so sari!”

“It is only women who do not know how to dress that are afraid of colors,” famously declared Marcel Proust. Alexis Mabille’s SS12 couture collection was just the sort of bright and bold Proust wants us to embrace: Floral pinks, tropical oranges, racy reds and brilliant teals.

Clothes were not only bright for summer collections, but makeup too. Alice and Olivia’s models boldly represented  teal eye shadow, however, it’s not for everyone. The subtler beauty alternative is Butter London’s Slapper.

Teal may be trendy, but we love the classics. Leave it to Hermès to inspire a domination of their iconic orange on the runway. SEPHORA by OPI’s Paisley Attention to Me and Chanel’s Holiday have produced a refreshing citrus orange. For the most traditional of traditionalists, reds held the platform at DSquared’s RTW SS12 show, a patriotic accent to a collection inspired by the design of the American flag. Other sample worthy reds include SEPHORA by OPI’s Pushing your Luck and MAC’s Vivid Effect, both lusty reds that will command attention. If you can’t decide between red and orange, Dior puts forth a solution in the form of Riveria, the perfect balance for an oh-so luxurious summer.

Should you be looking for something more playful, youthful pinks will remind you of your Barbie days. Hopefully, Ken approves! Butter London’s Snog and Trout Pout are hot, hot, hot pink, while SEPHORA by OPI’s pink softly asks the perfect question, What Aura Gonna Wear?

Chill out with neutral and muted colors for the last days of summer. Your perfectly pale pedicure will happily wiggle to the rhythm of Jack Johnson’s “Bubble Toes.” Nails will pop in Butter London’s pale green Bossy Boots. Even Christian Dior chose a soft lime hue for their runway models. Translation: you can’t go wrong with this shade. For a more feminine feel, Butter London’s pastel pink, “Teddy Girl,” will keep you on trend.

However, nothing could be “plainer” than a simple white or grey. Chanel’s models walked in a white waterworld with their nails looking just as clean. White or grey nails grasped Chanel clutches. Chanel wasn’t alone on their path back to basics. Rag & Bone models rocked the runway with grey nails. If you’re into the mod appeal of neutrals, other options include SEPHORA by OPI’s White Hot, Dior’s Gris Montaigne and Butter London’s Yummy Mummy — the simplest of simple neutrals. This beige tone is suited for those who appreciate the oh-so natural look. Just don’t lose your toes in the sand!

In the relaxed days of August when everyone is clinging to a fading summer, and trying to pack their schedule with cottage days, weekends can pass without showering — a swim in the lake doesn’t count. While beach waves are pretty piles on top of your head, dull nails don’t have the same au naturel appeal.

Take inspiration from the bold beauties on the runway, like Donna Karan’s models, dressed in the designer’s tribal infused collection, matched with dark lips and deep brown nail shade, that plays off the neutral browns and black of the collection. Moody hues like SEPHORA by OPI’s Forever Wild is a must for any Jane wandering the urban jungle from dusk to dawn.

Shadowy nails also found their way to Rodarte and Oscar de la Renta SS12 shows. Find their semblance in Blue Label, Dior’s triumphant attempt to recreate nighttime in a bottle. Paint on a coat when the moon is full and a night out is in order.

If changing things up is an unofficial hobby of yours, Del Sol is the nail polish for you. A polish that changes shade depending on the light, nails go from a pale peach indoors to an orange hue under summer’s rays with the line’s Sun-Kissed shade. This is genius only NASA technology could have formulated; ideal for offices that have a veto on bright nail colors at work. For those still clinging onto Team Edward, Del Sol has polishes that sparkle in the sun. Twilight fans, this one’s for you.

If it’s more about not being able to decide which shade to paint on and which to pass on, then simply use them all in a little experimental polishing. As if NASA nails aren’t high-maintenance enough, nail art has evolved from tacky to trendy.

Alexander McQueen’s models popularized a metallic coral shape design, while other designers pushed sparkly French tips. Our personal favourite design is a little less bold than the statement nail, and a little more ladylike than stencil designs; from hair to nail, ombre is the style of the day. Try on a daring to shy gradient nail style with Essie’s pastel summer colors, perfect for a cotton candy inspired nail. Create the sugary blue and pink mix with Bikini so Teeny and Cascade Cool, a combo your friends are sure to want you to share. Time to perfect your freehand.