35 Nail Polish Colors Every Mani Lover Should Own
by Summer Arlexis

As black liner is to a makeup arsenal and an "LBD" is to a functional wardrobe, some nail lacquers are essential to a polish collection. From the wildly bold to the subtle head turners, no collection is complete without the nail polish colors every mani lover should own.

As any nail polish lover knows, there's no such thing as having too many colors. Every hue imaginable has been formulated into a nail lacquer waiting to spice up your fingertips. You can switch from jet black to metallic pink to matte blue at the drop of a hat, even sporting them all in the same week if that's your M.O. But no matter how much your style changes, there are certain shades polish junkies always come back to. Deep hues characterize cold weather seasons, and you can always spot them on any mani lover. Spring and blush shades go hand in hand. And you just can't have summer time without vibrant, tropical hues.

Then there are the year-round staples worth breaking out at any given moment. Of all the gorgeous options on the market, these 35 colors are the reliable stunners that always land a ton of compliments.


OPI "Big Apple Red"

"Big Apple Red" Classic Nail Lacquer, $10, Amazon

The one shade worth having if nothing else, a true red is a versatile statement maker.


Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics "Feathered"

"Feathered" Nail Lacquer, $10, Amazon

Perfect for adding teeny designs or coating the entire nail in a blank canvas, pure white works for any time of the year.


Jin Soon "Bijou"

"Bijou" Nail Lacquer, $18, Amazon

Because every girl needs her sparkle, duh!


Zoya "Heidi"

"Heidi" Professional Lacquer, $10, Amazon

The ideal shade for vacay season, a bright coral looks so yummy on well groomed nails.


Essie "Midnight Cami"


OPI "Bubble Bath"

"Bubble Bath" Nail Lacquer, $10, Amazon

I'm known by the technicians at my local salon as the girl who loves pointy, sparkly nails, so I'm clearly addicted to festive shades. But the one color I always come back to is this barely there, cult-favorite pink, a shade that looks heavenly on all skin tones.


CND "Black Pool"

"Black Pool" Vinylux Weekly Polish, $10.50, Amazon

Never be afraid to break out jet black polish at any given time of the year. It's just as classic as a power red.


Zoya "Kendal"

"Kendal" Professional Lacquer, $10, Amazon

Just as neutral as beige, but not quite as lackluster as grey, greige is an ideal subtle shade.


Essie "No Place Like Chrome"

"No Place Like Chrome" Nail Enamel, $9, Amazon

Any chrome hue will give your nails plenty of flare, and silver is always the way to go.


OPI "Suzi - The First Lady Of Nails"

"Suzi - The First Lady Of Nails" Nail Lacquer, $10, Amazon

There's just something about olive green that looks super chic.


Pacifica "Swamp Thing"

"Swamp Thing" 7 Free Nail Polish, $9, Ulta

Calling all mermaid lovers! An iridescent turquoise with hints of purple and green is an aquatic dream.


CND "Brass Button"

"Brass Button" Vinylux Weekly Polish, $10.50, Amazon

A holiday season essential, metallic gold is always a bonafide show stopper.


Zapora "Hot Koko"


Orly "Gumdrop"

"Gumdrop" Nail Lacquer, $6, Amazon

Tiffany blue is truly iconic. Enough said!


OPI "Never A Dulles Moment"

"Never A Dulles Moment" Washington D.C. Nail Lacquer, $10, Amazon

You can never go wrong mustard yellow, a shade that competes with the prettiest summer hues and go-to burnt fall polishes.


Nails Inc. "Bruton Mews"

"Bruton Mews" Nailkale Nail Polish, $15, Sephora

Finished with a matte top coat, forest green is simply stunning.


China Glaze "Shocking Pink"


Sally Hansen "Wine Not"

"Wine Not" Complete Salon Manicure, $6, Amazon

Just as essential as true red, a cranberry hue is one of those classic lacquers that never fails.


CND "Untitled Bronze"

"Untitled Bronze" Vinylux Weekly Polish, $10.50, Amazon

So luxe and bold, rose gold just works on so many levels.


OPI "Is That A Spear In Your Pocket"

"Is That A Spear In Your Pocket" Fiji Nail Lacquer, $10, Ulta

How can you not think of an island getaway with a tropical teal adorning your little pretties?


Julep "Eve"

"Eve" Nail Color, $14, Julep

No collection is complete without a lilac unicorn shade.


Butter London "Toff"

"Toff" Patent Shine 10x Nail Lacquer, $18, Amazon

Somewhat of a neutral with a twist, dusty mauve looks absolutely gorgeous against any complexion.


Ruby Wing "Crowd Surf"

"Crowd Surf" Color Changing Polish, $10, Amazon

Having a special effects nail lacquer is a must, so a color-changing polish will do the trick.


Butter London "HRH"

"HRH" Nail Lacquer, $15, Amazon

The epitome of majesty, royal purple surely turns heads.


Palate Polish "Black Pepper"

"Black Pepper" Nail Polish, $10, Palate Polish

Gunmetal grey is grungy, edgy, and chic all at the same time.


Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics "Black Dahlia"

"Black Dahlia" Nail Lacquer, $10, Amazon

Yet another fall staple, blackened red and purple hues always have major appeal.


Nars "Delos"

"Delos" Nail Polish, $20, Nordstrom

You're guaranteed to stare at your nails incessantly if you include a copper polish in your stash.


Zoya "Nude Perfector"

"Nude Perfector" Naked Manicure, $10, Amazon

There's no going wrong with your go-to nude, whether your complexion warrants a pale pink or a deep espresso shade.


Essie "Very Structured"

"Very Structured" Nail Lacquer, $9, essie

Burnt orange will always win, hands down!


China Glaze "Sun Of A Peach"

"Sun of a Peach" Nail Lacquer With Hardeners, $6, Amazon

Peach is seriously becoming the new millennial pink, so it's a definite must-have.


Morgan Taylor "P.S. I love You"

"P.S. I Love You" Professional Nail Lacquer, $9, Loxa Beauty

It may be a spring essential, but a soft lilac is always worth painting on your pointers.


Nars "Pastorale"

"Pastorale" Nail Polish, $20, Nordstrom

A true celebration shade, champagne makes any mani look elegant.


OPI "Berlin There Done That"

"Berlin There Done That" Infinite Shine Nail Lacquer, $10, Amazon

One of those neutrals that you just can't escape, taupe is a shade you definitely need.


Zoya "Thandie"


Deborah Lippmann "I Know What Boys Like"

"I Know What Boys Like", $18, Nordstrom

Whether pastel or deep hued, periwinkle is that brilliant cross between blue and violet that your nails cannot live without.


There's nothing wrong with hoarding as many polishes as you can get your hands on, but before going crazy, consider including these fundamental shades in your stash first. They'll forever do your nails justice.