The dizzyingly fast evolution of nail trends and the constant launch of new nail polishes means that choosing a shade to paint your nails can often make for an overwhelming decision. The thing is, nail trends come and go, but there are certain classic nail colours that we keep coming back to. Think Essie Ballet Slippers or Chanel Rouge Noir—iconic shades that have endured the test of time and are known by sight or swatch alone.
From a true red and a jet black to neutrals that flatter all skin tones, scroll down to meet the classic nail colours that (even after years of popularity), we still can’t get enough of.
See Classic Nail Colours I Love:
1. OPI Lincoln Park After Dark
Lincoln Park After Dark
This iconic shade is a nail polish classic and one of OPI’s bestsellers. It’s deep near-black purple strikes the perfect balance between bold and elegant.
2. Essie Mint Candy Apple
This cool-toned pastel might not seem like the obvious candidate for a bestseller, but it is, without fail, every year. Like all Essie polishes, its smooth texture glides on seamlessly delivering intense colour payoff in one coat.
3. Revlon Revlon Red
This classic red is designed to be the perfect balance of cool and warm hues, in order to work for all skin tones.
4. OPI Bubble Bath
This is OPI’s version of a ‘your nails but better’ shade. it’s soft, sheer, and a staple in every professional nail artists kit.
5. Chanel Rouge Noir
The iconic red-black nails that Uma Thurman wears in Pulp Fiction are down to none other than Chanel’s Rouge Noir. It’s still a frequently sold out bestseller to this day.
6. Essie Ballet Slippers
Rumoured to be the favoured shade of the late Queen Elizabeth II, Ballet Slippers is Essie’s most iconic nail polish. The soft, sheer pink gives nails a clean, fresh finish.
Barefoot in Barcelona
This soft, brown-toned pink might not look much in the bottle, but it’s an OPI classic.
8. Dior Nail Glow
When you don’t want a bold colour on your nails but you feel like you need something, Dior Nail Glow is the one. The sheer, slightly pink-toned lacquer gives nails a healthy high-shine finish.
9. Essie Mademoiselle
Embrace a ‘quiet luxury’ approach to nail colour with this sheer pink shade. It’s a timeless nail polish colour that’s been around for decades and won’t let you down.
10. OPI Funny Bunny
Though white nail polishes can sometimes be a miss, this soft off-white is perfect if you want a neutral manicure for summer. Plus, it can be layered with other colours to add a sheer finish.
11. Essie Licorice
A black nail polish really should be a staple in every at-home manicure kit. This true midnight black has an ultra-glossy texture which gives it a luxury finish.
Next Up: 6 Expensive-Looking Nail Colours Everyone Will Be Asking for This Spring