The One Nail Polish You Need To Own

There's something to be said for the perfect salon manicure, complete with nail shaping, flawless color application, and a great neck massage while your nails are drying. But there's also something to be said for the insane convenience of doing your own nails, in your own home, on your own time. And if you're going to be doing DIY manicures, there's one nail polish shade you absolutely need to own.

I love experimenting with new nail polish shades and techniques. From deep red toes to charcoal grey fingers, I love how polished a good manicure makes me feel. There's something about having nails that look "done" that makes me feel like a grown up. And, it helps me avoid biting my nails. However, nail polish has a shelf life, and it's next to impossible to use up an entire bottle before it starts getting clumpy, thick and hard to apply. After throwing away yet another bottle of $8 nail polish that I'd only used a few times, I came to the realization that it was possible to scale back to one shade and one shade only. The color? Essie's Ballet Slippers, the perfect shade of pale pink. It's not too bright, but it's not too boring — it's just right, which is why I consider it a must-have.

Essie Ballet Slippers, $9, Target

I'm not the only one who's ardent in my love for Ballet Slippers. Apparently, the Queen of England refuses to wear any other shade. How's that for an endorsement? It really is the perfect neutral shade, and I'm convinced it's the only nail polish you need in your arsenal. Here's why:

It's Neutral Enough To Go With Anything

The classic pale pink manages to be a cross between a nude and a light pink, but it's completely neutral. The color elongates your fingers and makes your hands look amazing.

It Doesn't Show Chips

One of the things I love most about neutral nail polishes is that they don't show chips as easily as a darker one would. When my dark nail polish starts chipping, I notice immediately and make it a point to put my hands in my pockets or hide them. As someone who works in an office, having nails that looks good is important to me. This neutral shade easily looks good for a week after application.

It's Surprisingly Opaque

This is easily my favorite feature of Essie's Ballet Slippers. Unlike other pale shades, it actually manages to coat your nail completely only using two coats. I love light nail polish shades, but often they wind up going on so transparently I need three or four coats to be able to tell I'm wearing polish. All those coats leads to longer drying times, and my nails are more prone to get chipped or dented while I wait for them to dry. Not so with Ballet Slippers — it goes on smooth and opaque.

As much as I love the classic, there are definitely others out there that are just as good! Here are three polishes that will work with any outfit:

OPI Bubble Bath, $10, Ulta

This is a little darker than Ballet Slippers, but the effect is similar.

Wet N Wild 2% Milk, $2, Walgreens

At this price, you'll be able to buy five bottles of this shade. It's a serious steal.

L'Oreal How Romantic, $6, Walgreens

Love this soft pink from L'Oreal! It's pink perfection.

I love switching my nail game up as much as the next person, but there's something to be said for having a classic shade you can always rely on. For me, it's this perfect neutral.

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Images: Essie; Foundry/Pixabay; Courtesy of Brands