This summer nail colour should be on your radar—trust me, it's one of the most versatile trends going

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Woman wearing olive nails and an olive Chanel flap bag
(Image credit: Getty Images/Edward Berthelot / Contributor)

Back in January, I wrote about how various shades of green nail polish were going to be a dominant 2024 nail trend. As emerald green later made way for a sea of sage and pistachio manicures, another shade is emerging as very popular choice: olive nails. 

Given that this particular shade of green was popular among this year’s spring/summer fashion trends (and looks set to be even more so for autumn/winter 2024), it’s not hugely surprising that this has seeped into beauty trends, too. 

Not only that, olive is a more versatile colour than you may have first thought. You can opt for a polish that skews slightly warmer and more yellow-based or cooler and in the direction of khaki to complement your skin tone. Plus, it lends itself very well to nail art looks, whether you opt for chic, minimalistic swirls or a more on-the-nose olive-themed design. On that note, here are some of my favourite olive nails looks from social media to inspire your next mani appointment or DIY job. 

1. Short olive nails 

Olive nail polish looks great on any length of nails, of course, but if you like yours to be on the shorter side, full-cover polish on well-shaped squoval nails looks great. Don't forget a good top coat to improve its longevity. 

2. Chrome olive nails 

Our love affair with chrome nails may have cooled a little, but it's still a popular choice. Opting for a chrome add-on with khaki, sage or olive nails really elevates these shades. 

3. Olive accents

Why not combine olive nail polish with another colour for a cool, contrasting look? Pink and green is a winning combination. 

4. Olive tips

We love this twist on pastel tips, making for a great colourful French manicure. Unless you're a dab hand at intricate designs, this might be one that's best created by a nail artist in-salon. 

5. Literal olive nails 

Olive-inspired, but in a totally different way, I love this slightly abstract design. A tiny nail art sponge will help you create the circle shape if you want an easier method to outlining with a detail brush then filling in. 

6. Olive swirls

I'm a big fan of negative space nails, a look that olive nail polish really lends itself well to, so these swirls get a big 'yes' in my book.

7. Hybrid olive tips

If you can't decide between olive French tips or full cover nail polish, why not mix and match both like this half and half design? 

8. Micro olive nail art 

Another literal take on olive nails, this teeny accent makes a great add-on to a neutral manicure—like a martini garnish for your nails. Again, if you don't possess a steady hand or you don't fancy your chances with a fine liner brush, book this as an add-on to your next in-salon manicure. 

9. Square olive nails 

And finally, square nails have been an increasingly popular choice over the past couple of years and make a great pairing for olive nails, like this cooler shade. 

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.