You may think you know pink nail polish. You may think you’ve found the perfect one (and stopped looking to see what else was out there), or you may have given up on the genre altogether. Either way, it’s time to reevaluate the state of the shade (anticipating the warmer weather and wedding season). Let’s see what else is out there.
For the most conservative among us (who don’t stray far from clear), there’s Essie’s sheers, mostly to give shine—you’d have to layer for color. Consider it a gateway polish. And of course, you’re familiar with the tried-and-true formal and nuptial standbys: those bubblegum and princess shades of opaque OPI polish. Your prom-night manicure choice wasn’t dated—it was classic.
But don’t think you’re limited strictly to shades whose names reference ballerinas and duchesses (lovely as those people are). Pink has Mariah Carey-level range. You can get as bold as you like with corals, raspberries, and the in-between pinky-mauves. Yes, mauve. The '90s staple is back (even though arguably it never left, if the perennial popularity of Essie’s BBF Best Boyfriend is any indication) and more wearable and ladylike than ever in Burberry Beauty Nail Polish in No. 402 Hydrangea Pink. If you’re feeling the nostalgia factor, try a little opalescence found in Topshop Nails in Sweet and Elite.
And for the thoroughly modern pink-wearer, neon. Don’t think it’s unwearable just because it might glow in the dark. Any bright color can be made non-rave appropriate by adding a matte top coat. Overpowering color becomes your new power color. Playfully feminine, yet forcefully present. That’s the power of pink.
Nail Polish in order of appearance: Top Shop Nails in Sweet and Elite , Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in 178 All Bright , Chanel Le Vernis Nail Color in 575 Starlet , OPI Nail Lacquer in Kiss Me I’m Brazilian , Dolce & Gabbana The Nail Lacquer in Bouganville 233 , Smith & Cult in City of Compton , Burberry Beauty Nail Polish in No. 402 Hydrangea Pink , China Glaze Nail Lacquer With Hardeners in Feel The Breeze , Essie Winter 2014 Nail Color in Back In The Limo , Face Stockholm Nail Enamel in 39 Flamingo , Milani Color Statement Nail Lacquer in Corrupted Coral , Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer Crème in Sexyback
Nails by Julie Kandalec (Paintbox). Photographed by Tom Newton.