The polishes you'll need
Collecting nail polishes is a fun hobby—but it can also get expensive. Fortunately, there are only a few colors you really need. That's why we rounded up the beauty industry's most timeless shades and most raved about formulas. Gather these polishes first and then make your way to more exotic colors and textures.
It's sexy and it's sophisticated, but most of all, it's classic and universally flattering. For a cult-favorite shade that's stood the test of time, try Revlon Red. This is what your favorite nail polish color reveals about your personality.
Whether you're a blushing bride or need a low-key tone to wear to the office, pearly pink is the perfect hue. Look for one that's not too sheer and not too pink. Essie Ballet Slippers and Essie Mademoiselle are timeless favorites. This is how to make that mani last longer.
For a trendier take on a low-key (and low maintenance!) look, try your hand at a basic nude polish. There's one for every skin tone. We love Butter London's collection, which includes Hen Party, Yummy Mummy, and Caramel Café—plus every shade in between. These are the things your manicurist is secretly thinking about you.
The perfect shade to take you from fall to winter, especially when your deep red feels played out? Rich navy. Kings & Thieves by Smith & Cult is a beauty blogger favorite.
Wined-colored reds are the It Girl's nude in that they match pretty much everything. Take a power trip with Essie Bordeaux, the ultimate sophisticated tone. These are the bad habits that absolutely ruin your nails.
All of the colors listed above are perfect for every day: they're timeless, chic, and classic. But you'll also want a polish for those special occasions, a manicure fit for the party of the year. For those nights, try a metallic. If you're feeling bold, go for full-on glitter (we love Glass Souls by Smith & Cult). For a less eye-catching look, try Essie No Place Like Chrome, the shade that's trending all over Pinterest.
Clean and clear
For weeks you know you might not have time to fix chips or wait for three coats to dry, try a dash of clear polish. It'll add a subtle shine and protect your nails, all while remaining as low-maintenance as possible. Try an Essie gel top coat to get the look.