5 Favorite Nail Polishes

5 Favorite Nail Polishes

We’re getting personal today. Because nail polish is an unexpectedly personal thing. Some people will don everything under the sun while others are incredibly picky and stick to a tight palette. I don’t think I’ve met many people who say they’ll comfortably wear any color, and the what you’ll wear on your hands vs. your feet debate is a whole other discussion. Until about two years ago, you’d never see me with my fingers painted in a shade less neutral than grey. The most I branched out on my toes was orange… howww crazy, I know. At the same time, I never had bare nails until I noticed a yellowish tinge on my fingernails about this time two years ago. It was horrible… I basically didn’t wear nail polish for four weeks before the coloring went away. Lesson learned: let.your.nails.breathe!! I admittedly am not good about that with my toes, but even letting them air out overnight is better than nothing.

Essie Nail Polish

Anyway, back to the fun stuff. The point is that most people have strong preferences about their favorite colors. The above are my go-tos –sprinkled with a couple more on the coral spectrum– but I’m realistically, the only ones that make it to onto my hands are Eternal Optimist (far left), Petal Pink (second from left), Mademoiselle (second from right… my all time fav!), and Russian Roulette (far right). Here’s why these made the list:

Essie Eternal Optimist: Not as chalky as it looks in the bottle, but a little more fall/winter-centric than the other picks. I use it both on my hands and feet! Save for red and navy (so out of the box, I know), this is one of the darkest colors I’ll put on my fingers.

Essie Petal Pink: A little darker (more pink) than Mademoiselle, but a very safe neutral. It’s very job interview friendly, too! However, it’s much more transparent than it looks in the bottle.

Essie Mademoiselle: My all time favorite nail polish! It’s so light it’s almost clear, but it’s not… basically you need to try it and have it on hand for when you want to look effortlessly groomed and put together. No other words can do it justice– I’ve been using it for a few years and can’t get enough.

Bump Up the Pumps (I think this was a limited edition, but the linked page has all the pinks!): Probably one the most “out there” color for me, but a great summery pick. I didn’t realize that a) it was part of the brand’s 2014 Winter collection and b) is therefore not sold anymore, but in my opinion, it’s a modest summer pink.

Essie Russian Roulette: A punchy, bright color that’s pretty close to just “red.” Having participated in a variety of dance groups growing up, I quickly became traumatized from the mandatory application of overwhelming shades of red on my toes and fingers. I never thought I’d like to wear the color again, but much like my attitude towards red lipstick, I guess your feelings change over time!

Not going to lie, brand-wise, I’m very biased towards Essie. The colors are great, the names are adorable, and the bottles are easy to store. A little tip: Nordstrom sells tons of Essie for the same price as the drugstore (cheaper, depending on what city you’re in!) and with free shipping, it’s a great place to shop for polish.

Where do you stand on the nail polish spectrum? A little wild when it comes to picking out colors, or do you play it safe, too?

Photo by Monica Dutia


  1. 1

    I’m all over the place!! Right now I have Funny Bunny by OPI on my hands and am getting a red-orange on my toes. I have been more about pinks/reds/neutrals lately – I used to be all about a random blue!

    • 2

      Interesting! I’ve always sort of admired the people who can pull of colors like blue… I’m way too chicken! Pinks/reds/neutrals are where it’s at :)

  2. 3

    LOOOOVE your picture here, Monica! Great work Sunday night ;] I also am way biased towards Essie to the point where I don’t buy anything else anymore. Love the Nordstrom tip, they always come through in the clutch! xo


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