Brat Nails: How Neon Green Became Beauty’s Summer Colour

By Charlie Colville

2 weeks ago

Charli XCX's latest album is one for neon enthusiasts

Neon green needs no introduction. Heralded as the shade of summer, the colour is everywhere right now – on the runway, in interior design portfolios and, perhaps most recognisably, on the music circuit (thank you, Charli XCX). The next group to stake its claim is the beauty set, which has begun to dip its toes (and fingers) into the neon green manicure.

Charlie XCX And The Colour Green

It’s safe to say that none of us quite expected the magnitude that neon green would have when Charli XCX dropped her album Brat back in June. The British musician launched her sixth studio album with a heavily-criticised piece of artwork: a low resolution lime green square emblazoned with a lowercase rendering of the word ‘brat’.


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‘I wanted to go with an offensive, off-trend shade of green to trigger the idea of something being wrong,’ Charli XCX told Vogue Singapore, when asked about her reasons for choosing the colour. ‘I’d like for us to question our expectations of pop culture – why are some things considered good and acceptable, and some things deemed bad? I’m interested in the narratives behind that and I want to provoke people. I’m not doing things to be nice.’

Like the album itself, the singer’s colour choice was confrontational; a neon green middle finger to conventional goodness, and an embracing of all things messy and attitudinal.

Fans would go on to love Brat‘s neon green visual identity, welcoming the arrival of ‘Brat summer’ by adopting the shade across fashion and beauty. And so, a trend was born.

The Rise Of The Neon Green Manicure

It was only a matter of time, then, that the colour made its way to the nail salon. We’ve seen glimpses of neon green manicures over the last few months – Hailey Bieber’s 2024 Coachella set is the first to come to mind – but this summer it’s set to take off.

‘Green is one of the season’s top colours,’ says Nick Drewe, a trend expert at WeThrift. ‘A staple bright green shade is fitting for the warmth and brightness of summer. It perfectly complements sun-kissed skin and beachwear, making it the perfect manicure for your summer holiday.

‘Neon colours especially are having a moment this summer,’ he continues. ‘Shades of lime green, electric pink and blazing orange are dominating fingertips as the manicure of the season.’

So, the experts have signed off on it – but how can we get the look? ‘If you still want to encapsulate the bright summer neon look, but want to make it more everyday-ready, you can twist the classic French manicure by using neon hues for the tips instead of traditional white,’ recommends Nick.

Fancy becoming a brat? We’re rounded up some of our favourite neon green manicure looks below to get you started:

Manicure Inspiration


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Featured image: Getty Images