Sometimes the smallest things make all the difference. Point in case? Nails. I can’t help but notice when someone has neat and colorful nails: they’re eye-catching and can make even the most disheveled moments look a little more polished. Spring and summer are even more fun because there’s the added fun of sandals and pedicures, which are just an excuse to put more amusing colors to use. I rounded up my favorite polishes along with a handy guide (click photo for link) from Cupcakes and Cashmere on how to do the best at-home manicure, which proves useful here in Germany.
There is a nearly endless selection of colors and polishes to choose from on the market. To help sort through the good and the bad, I listed what brands I think are the very best, in some colors that I’m excited to wear all spring and summer.
- OPI makes great polishes in terms of formula and colors at a really affordable price. They’re not indestructible, but if well cared for, they’ll last for days.
- Deborah Lippmann makes some of the best colors on the market, and definitely the best selection of sparkly polishes. The sparkly options tend to last longer, but the creme colors don’t have as much staying power.
- Esteé Lauder polishes are hyper-pigmented, which means a little bit goes a long way in terms of coats. Their color selection isn’t as expansive, but the formula holds up beautifully over time.
- Chanel Le Vernis makes some of the best colors on the market, which is part of the reason they have a cult following. Seriously, go look up discontinued polish colors on amazon.com and you’ll realize Chanel polishers mean business. However, I don’t have as much luck getting these polishes to stay for long, so they’re best suited to wear for that day and night.
- YSL polishes come in a smaller selection of beautiful colors at a higher price, but they last. They’re also incredibly easy to apply yourself because the brush is especially easy to use.
- Tom Ford hands down the best overall polish in terms of colors and staying power. The collection of colors is very simple: just the best of the basics (think red, dark plum, fuchsia, blush, etc) you could ever imagine and they last at least five days. I’m debating between this polish and a gel manicure for my wedding because it’s that reliable and that effective.
In terms of manicure maintenance you’ll want a strong base coat and an effective top-coat. My favorites are this for the base coat because it helps my nails grow quickly and healthy, and either this or this for my top coat. Finally, nail-expert Robin Campbell at Laurentius Salon gave me some sage advice when it comes to nails: don’t pick, don’t cut your cuticles unless absolutely necessary, and remember that different polishes hold up differently for different people because the oils in our skin are all different and react with polishes in a variety of ways. So just because Chanel doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t be a sure winner for you and vice versa with Tom Ford.