The top 5 nail polish shades as chosen by a Beauty Editor


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  • They’re the classics for a reason

    Sure, nail art is super fun and the different looks being offered at London’s best nail salons go way beyond the days of novelty cartoon drawings on index fingers. But as a beauty editor, there is nothing that I like more than a simple fresh manicure consisting of one solid shade.

    Of course, there is a time and a place for being more playful – I always go for something a little more adventurous and cute for my Valentine’s Day nails – but for my everyday look I’m not interested in having fun nails, I want to look smart, sophisticated and expensive.

    Perhaps it’s my age? I’m well and truly into my mid-thirties now and want to look the part. And I do this with the help of some of the beauty industry’s chicest nail shades. I rely on these five shades to help me elevate my everyday look.

    1. A sheer nude

    Christian Louboutin Beauty Nail Colour in Iriclare, £45 | Cult Beauty
    I apply this super pale nude when I want my nails to look as natural as possible, but still polished. Much like the best CC cream, it corrects any areas of discolouration and creates the most perfect base. Whilst dreadfully tricky to cart around in your make-up bag – that spike could cause some serious damage – Christian Louboutin’s nail lacquers are really brilliant. Long-lasting with a beautiful colour payoff.

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    2. A dark burgundy

    Max Factor Masterpiece Xpress 60s Nail Polish in Mellow Merlot, £5.99 | Boots
    I absolutely love a glass of red wine (who am I kidding, I absolutely love six glasses of red wine).  There’s just something about the colour. The deep red just calls to me. And that translates rather nicely onto the nail too. Perhaps it’s the French vibe? But a dark rouge nail just looks sophisticated. I tend to use this mostly in autumn and winter when you can most likely find me in the corner of a cosy pub drinking a glass of red wine.

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    3. A greige

    Nailberry L’Oxygéné Breathable Nail Polish in Cocoa Cabana, £15
    I am fairly new to this shade. I would have typically shied away from anything that came under the ‘brown’ category. But a cross-over between a beige and a grey works really well on the nails. Nailberry’s Cocoa Cabana is the equivalent of a cashmere jumper on the nails. An ideal weekend colour.

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    4. A pillar box red

    Rimmel Super Gel Colour in Flamenco Beach, £6.26 | Amazon
    I couldn’t compile a list of my favourite nail polish shades and not include a primary red. It’s the classic colour that works really well all year round. Whenever I cannot decide on a shade in the nail salon I go for a pillar box red. Rimmel’s Super Gel is the closest I’ve come to finding an at-home manicure that can rival my beloved in-salon gels. Be sure to use the top coat too to cure it.

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    5. A pale pink

    Essie Nail Lacquer in Mademoiselle, £7.99 | Lookfantastic
    Most people will tell you that Ballet Slippers by Essie is the perfect pale pink. Unfortunately for them, all of these people are wrong. Because the perfect pale pink shade is in fact, Mademoiselle. The brand calls it a ‘grown-up pink’ and I couldn’t agree more. It’s not the childish hues of your early years – this isn’t baby pink. The high shine finish makes it expensive looking and the colour is a heightened, more perfected version of your natural nail.

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