Beauty

Seven best nail polish colours to always have on hand

From barely-there nudes to super-dark varnishes, these are the colours to keep stocked.

You know how you slip out of your chic Tory Burch work-flats and into a set of saucy three-inch Jimmy Choos for dinner with your man? Or how you pull your hair back into a demure chignon for your best friend’s wedding, then swap it out for a swishy ponytail for everyday errands? Well, it’s the same mentality women are applying to their nail lacquer: polished nails make the outfit.  “Nails are the hottest accessory available to women today,” affirms Melissa Forrest, the beauty expert for Sally Hansen Canada. “It’s also the quickest way to achieve a look-good-feel-good feeling with limited time and money.” And who doesn’t like having a little accessible luxury at their fingertips? Here are the seven must-have nail-lacquer shades to keep on hand. Date night (and everything in between) has never looked so good.1. Barely-there

This is the easiest everyday nail polish colour to wear and comes in an array of delicate white, pale pink and nude hues to choose from. Each barely-there shade adds the perfect touch when you want a clean, simple and, no pun intended, polished look. “Nudes accompany a softer look,” says Forrest. “So if your skin tone is quite fair these shades work best for an everyday look. Or if you are wearing brightly coloured clothing and want to have an understated nail so as not to clash, this is the ideal choice.”

Try: Revlon, Hushed Blush

2. The Reds

Believe it or not, red is now considered a go-to colour meant to be worn day and night. Yup, that includes rouge with undertones of orange, blue, pink and purple—scarlet is the new everyday hue. “Today, nothing is taboo when it comes to colour,”explains Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, the executive vice president and artistic director for OPI. “Dark shades, reds, and pinks were once restricted to certain seasons, but can now be worn year round.”
Try: OPI, Big Apple Red

3. The Berries

Rich and luscious, this fruit-, wine- and chocolate-inspired category oozes decadence. And let’s be honest: that makes swiping on each variation more fun. Just ask all of the ladies who sat in nail salons across Manhattan and asked, sotto voce, that Essie, After Sex be applied to their nails. “It’s named after one of my favourite chocolates,” says Essie Weingarten, the brand founder and global creative director of her eponymous label. “Little did I know the controversy that it would unleash?! I’ve never had so many letters from people concerned for my eternal soul.”
Try: Essie, After Sex

4. Pop of Colour

Whether it’s bubblegum pink, lapis blue, coral orange or grass green, you can’t go wrong when it’s your favourite hue. Everybody has one, so add yours to your permanent collection. “Nail lacquer not only gives you instant gratification, it also allows you to express yourself, your mood, and your individuality,” says Weiss-Fischmann.
Try: NARS, Andy Warhol Limited Edition, New York Dolls

5. The Metallics

Golds, silvers and pewters are now so commonplace (please, who doesn’t have a pair of silver or gold flats lying in their closet?) they’re the new sparkly neutral. Perhaps we love these eye-catching shades so much because, “they look like jewellery on our nails,” says Weiss-Fischmann. Or maybe its simply because they go with all of our clothes. Either way, if you don’t have a metallic nail varnish in your collection: get one now. Go on…we’ll wait.
Try: Dior, Diorific Vernis, Diorling

6. The Grey Zone

Once mocked for being the colour of death, grey has transformed into a covetously chic palette with too many options to count. From Sally Hansen’s mauve-esque Greige Gardens and OPI’s milky-putty Skull and Glossbones to Essie’s green-tinged Power Clutch, you’ll be hard-pressed to choose just one—luckily, there’s no rule that says you have to. “Fabulous colour never goes out of style,” affirms Weingarten. “And changing your polish has the ability to change your outfit as well as your mood in an instant!”
Try: Maybelline, Impeccable Greys

7. Super-Dark Shades

Super dark, black colours first became popular thanks to nail varnishes like, OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark, Chanel’s Vamp and Essie’s Wicked. “It was born in 1984 and was the most incredible learning experience,” says Weingarten of the latter shade. After season upon season of pastel options, its dark debut was a welcome relief. “I wanted to go as dark as possible, but with a touch of red. When I first introduced it, people were in a state of shock. But once they tried it, they were addicted.” Not much has changed; we still can’t get enough.
Try: Yves Saint Laurent, La Lacque Couture Nail Lacquer, #27 Noir Primitif