My Go-To Nail Polish

My Favorite Nail Polishes

Whenever I paint my toes, I contemplate fun colors: pale lilac? Neon orange? Minivan blue? But when I try something new, I sometimes feel a little cartoonish. People have been asking about the latest polish colors, but to be honest, I’m not crazy about this summer’s trends, like mustard yellow or dusty mauve.

So, this summer, I’m falling back on two favorites.

1. Fishnet Stockings, above, a sexy dark red. I never would have thought of dark red for summer until I went to the beach with my friend S., and she was channeling Grace Kelly with deep red polish and a classic white bikini. She looked gorgeous. Sold!

2. Fiji, below, is the perfect pale pink, as I’ve mentioned before. Not grey, not translucent, it makes toes look bright, clean and pretty. I’ve been wearing it for four years, crazily enough.

My Favorite Nail Polishes

Pop quiz: What nail polish are you wearing right now? Do you have a go-to color, or do you switch things up all the time?

P.S. 9 spring trends, and a gorgeous polish for hands.

(Sandals at top from Loeffler Randall)

  1. I love keeping my nails natural (buffing gives it a nice shine that looks almost like added a clear top coat), but for more formal occasions, I go for nude nails. I have one, and only one, bottle of nail polish and it’s Nails, Inc. in Basil Street. I swear by it. If you’re skin tone’s a beige/medium tone, this will probably look seamless on.

  2. mimi says...

    I keep staples like red and pink, though I’m constantly switching it would be boring otherwise. I’ve learned I look awful in greens and blues but better in purples

  3. sadie says...

    I do tend to go a little nuts with toenail polish colors, when I DO happen to paint my toenails. Right now, from left to right, 4 toes are a limey yellow and the rest a dusty turquoise. :)

  4. Kait says...

    I love geranium, clam bake, and watermelon (currently on my toes) by essie! I like bright reds and pinks for summer–(although I’ve heard orange tints help bring out your tan… sadly as a freckle-face I don’t tan, so can’t report back on it!)

  5. kate says...

    My fave summer go to is “I’m Not Really A Waitress” by OPI. It’s the perfect dark red for my skin tone.

  6. I love Fiji!! I have been looking for a light pink that isn’t sheer and this is perfect!
    I also love watermelons and orangy reds in Summer time….can never have too many nail polishes I say!!

  7. I love the light pink nail polish you are wearing. Lately, I have been using Chrome by Essie but now I am wearing a mustard yellow for the start of Summer. :)

  8. My two go-to colors (for more than 15 years) are a bright orangey red, either Essie Clambake or Geranium, or pale pink Essie (like ballet slipper or Fiji). I’m like you, when I part from my red toes I just feel odd, and clownish!

  9. Natalie says...

    I do all kinds of out there stuff on my toes, in terms of color, but the fallback for me is always a bright coral. My all-time fave of this color type is OPI’s Cajun Shrimp, but I’m not loyal enough to only use that one ;)

  10. Court says...

    For me, bright coral is perfect for summer. I’m currently into Butter London’s 10-free (fewer chemicals, hooray!) “Jolly Good”. I think the most important thing in choosing a shade is picking one that flatters your skin tone, because then it will always look good no matter if the colors “fits” the season. Don’t worry about looking cartoonish though. A bright/unconventional nail with a basic/neutral uniform looks so fresh!

  11. Essie, “Eternal Optimist”. It’s the perfect pink for my skin-tone – not too bright, not too drab. Every time I replace my polish I do a little happy dance (in my head : ) when I see that it hasn’t been discontinued.

  12. I LOVE Essie Fiji, too! It looks good on everybody.

    p.s. you have PERFECT feet. K, just needed to say that. :)

  13. Heather says...

    My go-to is OPI’s Dutch Tulips. A bright, happy raspberry shade. It’s always on my toes.

    I’m the same way with new polishes. I stick to the reddish/pink and occasionally coral families.

  14. Katie says...

    You have very pretty toes!
    I generally avoid reds and bright pinks, since it feels a bit like the red rose cliche to me. I do love dark colors like brown or burgundy on my toes, or a nude pink that I can forget about for a few weeks. On my fingers I like opaque pastels too, like powder blue or lilac.

  15. Elizabeth in Paris says...

    Blue. Essie’s Beach Bum Blu, to be specific!

  16. Just painted my fingers and toes last night with Deborah Lippman “Naked.” I picked up a bottle of Luisa of The Wednesday Chef’s recommendation, and she’s right – it does look great with olive skin!

    Another fave is Essie “Cascade Cool” – a light pink. I usually stick to shades of red and pink. Oh! And maybe a bit of purple – like OPI “Lincoln Park After Dark.” I can’t really do the blues and greens. Those definitely make me feel cartoonish.

  17. The red is so pretty! I always opt for red – can’t go too wrong with such a classic.

  18. I absolutely love the red! LUSH!

    Rachel x

  19. Debbie Z. says...

    My favorite for summer is Miami Nice by Essie. A beautiful hot pink with a slight iridescence. Love it on my toes when I am wearing flip-flops!

  20. colleen says...

    Nail polish is my favorite subject. I have an Essie cobalt blue liquid sand polish on my toes and Essie Sunday Funday coral on my fingers.

  21. Thanks for the inspiration on the dark red for summer! I’ve been thinking of getting a brighter, lighter red for summer, but now I think my NARS Jungle Red will do.

  22. Fiji is a nice colour! Classic and isn’t shocking enough to blend in with most outfits.

    To switch it up I usually go with a coral or purple colour, reminds me of a tropical destination that I’m mostly likely not at!


  23. Carrie Rotenberg says...

    Essie – Ballet Slippers is always my go to.

  24. Jackie D says...

    Been wearing golds/bronzes on my toes for 3 summers now. Makes me look tan. Natural but polished. Doesn’t show chips as readily as brights/darks.

  25. Sara says...

    I’m wearing Cake Pop by CND Vinylux. That stuff is AMAZING. It goes on and comes off like regular nail polish, but it stays on forever. I’m wearing it on my fingers too and it’s day 8. If you look closely, you can see the wear on my fingertips and it’s starting to grow out at the cuticles, but it otherwise still looks great!

  26. Kiley says...

    Lately I’ve been gravitating towards darker colors because I feel like they make my toes look longer. Eiffle for this Color is a dark purple with a little bit of shimmer is what’s on them right now!

  27. Daniela says...

    I currently have an OPI color on my toe nails, a pretty lilac (I think it’s Do You Lilac?) that gets lots of compliments. I don’t usually put anything besides clear nail polish on my fingers, but I paint my toes a different color every month.

  28. Kerry says...

    My two colors are Turquoise & Caicos and Lapis of Luxury. They make me think of summer and vacations and pools, even in the middle of gray, rainy winter.

  29. 123 says...

    LOVING all those comments ! And I’m SO inspired by the overall love of black nail polish. Had never really considered it although I love dark shades but now I’m sold ! Xoxo