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Nail Polish Colors That Never Go Out Of Style

What are the best nail polish colors? Here's our expert guide. Go with classic shades for every season for a look as stylish as you are.

The Best Nail Polish Colors for Every Season

Nail polish is a beauty staple and has been for centuries. In fact, the first use of nail polish dates back to 3,000 B.C. during the Chinese Dynasty. The Chinese would use nail color to distinguish classes. Ruling dynasties typically wore highly pigmented colors, while lower classes could only wear pale colors. Some weren’t allowed to wear any nail color and if you were caught wearing a nail color not assigned to your class, especially the color of royals, the punishments were severe, sometimes even leading to death.

The trend wasn’t actually brought to the states until 1878, when a woman named Mary E. Cobb opened the first-ever nail salon called “Mrs. Pray’s Manicure.” I am willing to bet that she had no idea that the service she offered would become one of the highest requested beauty services in history.

Nail polish has been a beauty essential for ages, but trends do come and go, so what are the colors that have remained timeless throughout history and will likely continue to be popular colors regardless of the times and trends?

Red Nail polish

Red was one of the first colors to be applied centuries ago when it was first being invented. Cleopatra, herself, used Henna as nail polish and can you guess what her color of choice was? Blood red.

In 1994, Uma Thurman sported a reddish blackish hue from Chanel called Vamp in the cult classic movie, Pulp Fiction. Following in the footsteps of the movie in which it is featured, the product is a classic shade that has remained one of Chanel’s most requested products to this day.

Red, whether it is a vibrant shade or a deep shade, gives off a sexy feminine appearance and can fit for any season, at any time of year. The ongoing popularity of the shade can likely be attributed to this fact. Other popular shades of red nail polish are the bright red of Christian Dior’s Rouge 9 and 99, and the pinkish-red hue of Revlon’s “Cherries in the Snow,” which has been around since 1932.

In the famously wise words of designer Bill Blass, “When in doubt, wear red.”

How to pick the right Seasonal Shades of nail polish

Many of the popular colors that will last lifetimes without going out of style, make their appearances as the seasons change. They are continuously popular as their season approaches each year.

Fall nail polish

Fall is known for the beautiful earthy colors that emerge as the weather cools down. The seasonal trends in nail colors follow suit. These colors usually have earthy tones and tend to be a darker shade. Colors make a polar opposite swap from the bright flirty colors of summer to the dark sensual colors of fall.

Here are some of the favorites:

  • Deep dark purples and navy blues, such as OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark and Boyfriend Jeans.
  • Jet blacks like Essie’s Licorice and OPI’s My Gondola or Yours.
  • Dark inky greens, such as Essie’s Off Tropic.
  • Cobalt blue
  • Burgundy

Winter nail polish

Being that we have colder weather and more layers of darker clothing, the nail colors tend to remain darker during the winter time, but lighter more neutral colors sneak their way into the mix as well. Keeping to the earthy tones that Fall brought, these colors are usually cooler tones with darker shades. Matte finishes are also most popular during the Winter time.

The Winter winners:

  • Taupe or Mauve, like Taupeless Beach by OPI
  • Eggplant Purple
  • Cabernet Red
  • Grey, like Dark Side of the Mood by OPI
  • Bright white or beige
  • Navy blue, such as Essie’s Bobbing for Baubles
  • Metallics like silver and rose gold.

Spring nail polish

Sticking with the theme, nail colors follow the colors of the current season. So when Spring rolls around, colors get brighter, more pigmented and pastel-y.

Spring Shades:

  • Pastel yellow
  • Muted pink such as Essie’s Muchi Muchi or Ballet Slippers
  • Baby blue like Kanpai OPI! by OPI
  • Lilac
  • French manicures
  • Bright pinks like Persian Pink from Jinsoon

Summer nail polish

It’s the fun time of year, involving vacations to the beach, jean shorts, and frozen cocktails. With that, the fashion must follow. As the weather warms up, nail colors get brighter and more playful. At this time of year, you see a lot of bright, eye-catching neon shades and vibrant colors to go with the vibrant energy.

Summer Shades:

  • Coral like Coral Reef from Sally Hansen
  • Striking neon colors
  • Crimson such as Lover’s Creep by Smith & Cult
  • Turquoise like Slapper by Butter London
  • Vibrant sky blue

Resources— Byrdie, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan

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