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Sheer (But Colorful) Polishes Are The New Low-Maintenance Manicure


Gel manicures have had their fun—their 15 minutes, if you will. And we get it (we love them, too)—there's a lot to talk about there. And you know what else there's a lot of? Opacity. And opacity, for all its good qualities, can be a lot of work.

Which is why sheer nail polish is such a precious commodity. What, you can look polished and have it be low maintenance?! You don't say. One can only get so many manicures with that same bottle of Essie Nail Polish in Ballet Slippers before it feels tired, so opt for something bolder, something in a color you wouldn't normally expect to be so translucent. And for clarity's sake, call it something other than sheer polish. Call it something fun—like jelly polishes. (At least that's what we've started calling them to avoid any nomenclature chaos.)

'You don't have to be so precious about it,” said Manicurist Geraldine Holford when trying these out the other day on our designated hand model, Catherine Smith. “A girl can just put this on and go. It's a lot less time consuming because it doesn't have to be so perfect,”

And if you, too, internalized what Leandra Medine said about nail polish and rings “I hate the way nail color looks with rings—it's too ‘accessorized''), then these are your colors. To test the theory, they're worn here with an assortment of rings from Plan de Ville. All of which comes together just enough to feel done, but not like you thought about it too much. Because we wouldn't want that...

Catherine Smith of Plan de Ville photographed by Tom Newton.

Rings courtesy of Plan de Ville. Manicure by Geraldine Holford (The Wall Group).

In order of appearance: YSL La Laque Couture Pop Water Collection in 65 Rose Splash; American Apparel Sheer Nail Lacquer in Pacific Beach; Essie Silk Watercolor in Blush Stroke, Essie Silk Watercolor in Pen & Inky; Dior Nail Glow; Zoya Professional Lacquer in Katherine; Butter London 3-Free Nail Lacquer in Petrol ; YSL La Laque Couture Pop Water Collection in 64Fuchsia Rain; Deborah Lippmann Whisper Collection in Like Dreamers Do; NARS Nail Polish in Wind Dancer; OPI Sheer Tints Color-Tinted Top Coat in I Can Teal You Like Me; OPI Sheer Tints Color-Tinted Top Coat in Be Magentale With Me.