When painting your nails it can be easy to get in to the habit of picking the same colour, or shades from the same colour palette, every time. I know that I am definitely guilty of this! However, just like makeup, it’s nice to experiment every once in a while. I love mixing up my nail varnish collection and making sure that I don’t just keep buying the same shade over and over again (although, again, I am definitely guilty of this…)
With that in mind, I’ve listed 10 ‘types’ of nail varnishes that I love and that are great additions to any collection. They range from deep reds (my personal faves) to bright blues. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these or if you have any suggestions for me!
Oh, but before we get in to it, I just want to apologise for my dodgy swatches on my nails. I really wanted to show you guys what the varnish looked like on but I did it very quickly and with no base coat – not something I would recommend! My normal manicures don’t look like this I promise! Okay, with that out of the way, lets get in to it!
1) A red
Whilst red is not everyone’s first choice, it is a classic. It looks beautiful for either summer or winter and on either toes or fingers. My favourite is Mistress from Ciate, a beautiful bright orangy-red. I find Ciate nail polishes in general absolutely beautiful. They have such high pigmentation that one swipe does the trick and they tend to last well on me too
2) A Pastel
I’ve chosen a pastel blue here but light pinks, yellows and greens are also beautiful. Perfect for spring and summer, these types of nail colours instantly put me in a better mood! This polish is called Lagoon and it is from Mavala. I have been using it for years and it has yet to let me down – always pigmented and long-lasting
3) A Nude
By nude, I just mean a colour that’s very similar to your skin tone. Finding the right nude polish for your skin tone can be a bit of a mission but is great when you get it right. I like to go for one a couple of shades darker than my skin, just so it doesn’t blend in to the finger completely! I love this one from Rimmel, in the shade Caramel Cupcake
4) A Wine
No not that kind of wine. This is definitely my favourite colour family when it comes to nails. A deep purple-red is beautiful in winter time and always reminds me of Christmas. Essie is a go-to nail polish brand for me thanks to its relative affordability and amazing formula. This is the shade Bordeaux, an amazing dark burgundy shade
5) A Neutral
Greys, beiges, creams – slightly more unconventional colours for nail varnishes, but I promise you they can look amazing! Just make sure to pick a colour that is right for your skin tone, i.e. the lighter your skin tone, the lighter the neutral shade / the deeper your skin tone, the darker the varnish shade.
Easy Peasy from Topshop, a grey with blue undertones, is my favourite light neutral shade. It is a ‘matte’ shade but I don’t really see the point of this as the top coat then just makes it shiny again? I know you can get matte top coats, however, so might be worth looking in to that if you want to keep your shades matte!
Unfortunately, it is no longer stocked so I have listed some alternatives below. I haven’t tried any of these myself, so I can’t vouch for their formula, but if you are interested in this kind of shade then they might be worth checking out.
6) A Primary Colour
Bright reds, greens and blues might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they can look really cool. They look amazing and bold and can also be handy if you’re looking to get started in nail art. This is the shade Trinidad from Mavala
7) A Coral
Corals look beautiful on toes and are my go-to colours if I’m going on holiday or simply if it’s a sunny day at home. I feel like they really pop when you’re wearing open-toed day sandals. This shade, Instyle Coral from Rimmel, leans more on the pinky side
8) A Glitter
Glittery nail varnishes are not something I reach for every day, but for a special occasion, an evening event or a night out they can look amazing. If I am wearing a glitter day to day I tend to wear it on one finger only, and paint the rest a more understated colour. But if glitter all day, every day is your thing, then go for it! This shade from Orly called Luxe is perhaps not a strictly ‘glitter’ shade but I had to include it – it is an absolutely incredible gold
9) A Shimmer
Slightly more understated than a glittery polish, shimmers add amazing dimension to your nails and can be a bit more interesting than a flat matte. I like my shimmers to be high shine, and this shade from Autograph definitely delivers. It is called Cranberry and is a dark shimmery pink – so pretty!
This is no longer available through M&S, and to be honest I struggled to find anything similar. If you want to try it out though it can be found on Ebay
10) A Unique sahde
Every so often you see a shade that is unlike any other you have in your collection (or maybe not if your polish collection is more expansive then mine!) This shade from Accessorise is that for me. It is honestly one of my favourite colours in my collection, simply because it is so unique. It is a light khaki-olive green, called Olive Garden. The formula of this polish isn’t great – it’s very sheer so has to be built up with several coats – but I can overlook that for the colour.
Unfortunately this polish is no longer available but it is so beautiful that I just had to include it. In its place, I have scouted out 5 shades that are very similar. Again, I haven’t tried the formula of these but worth checking out if you like this green shade!
Hopefully this has given you some inspiration if you’re looking to expand or start your nail varnish collection. I love all of these shades and would highly recommend them!