Pastel isn’t just for Easter. This summer, we’re all about pale hues that toe the line between ladylike and edgy. But finding the ideal muted lacquer isn’t always easy, which is why we’ve whittled the field to 10 favorites. Meet your new summer polish flings.
We teamed up with Color Club to create a set of polishes that mash up two of our favorite color trends: pastels and neons. There’s London Calling, a soft grass green; Reign in Spain, an eye-catching coral; Pardon My French, a vibrant lavender; and Mod in Manhattan, a creamy off-white inspired by the bright lights of the big city.
Green nail polish can be a little scary, but there’s nothing to fear with this ultracreamy pistachio. In fact, we’re calling the soft, sophisticated color a new neutral. Dew applies smoothly in two coats, without the streaks that come with most light lacquers. Bonus: RGB colors are free of the five most common toxic chemicals found in polish.
Diamond dust…in your nail polish? We were skeptical too, but this shimmering polish is the real deal. Étoile lacquers are infused with real diamond dust for a subtle sparkle with depth and dimension. This muted periwinkle, inspired by a beloved spot in Central Park, applies beautifully and flatters all skin tones.
Finding your pink polish soulmate is akin to finding that perfect red lipstick: challenging, but so worth it in the end. Developed by one of our favorite Manhattan nail salons, this soft pastel pink tops our list. Apply it to short, well-groomed nails for a barely-there manicure that feels clean and crisp, especially when paired with bright summer sundresses and peep-toes.
This Creamsicle-hued polish looks tame from afar, but take a closer look. Sparkly orange glitter floats throughout the creamy polish to create a hip orange that's fun and just a little bit flashy.
This edgy grey-lavender, by up-and-coming indie brand Cult Nails, is the ultimate cool-girl polish. It’s soft and muted with just the right amount of shimmer—appropriate for the office, a summer music festival, or anything in between.
For us, warm weather means ice cream cones, and this creamy shade is the polish equivalent of mint chocolate chip. The soft turquoise base is kicked up a notch with chunky black glitter for a deliciously speckled manicure.
It’s time to take your toes out of hiding, and what better way to welcome them back into the world than this Tiffany blue? It’s a fresh update on classic baby blue, and miraculously flatters all skin tones. Finish with a glossy top coat for shine and protection.
White nail polish is the ultimate multitasker. It can stand alone as a modern update to the pinks and beiges we usually associate with neutral nails. Or apply it under your favorite pastel (pale pinks and yellows work well) to make the color pop. In addition, Amazing Grace has green tea extract and biotin to keep nails healthy.
Pale yellow nail polish is one of the most exciting trends of the season—and one of the toughest to pull off. Yellow polish has the potential to be streaky and unflattering, so it’s important to pick the right shade. We love this creamy yellow lacquer, especially when paired with a white base polish for extra contrast. Keep nails short and smoothly filed for cheery nails that match the sunny weather.
Anna Norman is a Brooklyn blogger and nail art expert. The author behind Glitter, She Wrote, she loves yoga, food, and (of course) polish.