Core Collection of Color
Whether you are just starting out your collection, or you’re a polish pro, there are definitely staple colors that every girl (or guy!), should have in their collections! There’re certain color genres that are timeless; classics that will never go out of style despite the constantly changing styles in the world of fashion.Nail polish is also a cheap accessory. I can’t afford Louboutin shoes, but I could do the Louboutin mani (in theory, if my nails were long enough). We’ve been asked by a lot of our friends who are fairly new to the lacquer game what colors they absolutely NEED in their collections. After some fairly extensive research, I’ve put together a list of colors every collection should have. I’ve tried to provide a variety of brands and price ranges that will appeal to every type of nail painter. If it’s been previously reviewed on the blog, you can hit the link to be linked back to our review. But if you don’t see a color that should be listed, drop a comment! We’re always open to suggestions!
True Red– nail polish was invented by the Chinese around 3000 B.C. Royalty is thought to have worn silver and gold polish, but red is also one of the earliest colors. And no wonder it’s stood the test of time. There are so many different shades of red, and in a pinch, it can go with almost everything. It can be dressed up or dressed down. Because red is a timeless color, there is usually some variation of it in every line released by every lacquer brand, from the affordable Wet n Wild, to the mildly over expensive Butter London, to the it will make your wallet cry Chanel. I operate under the motto “You can never have too many reds!” and that’s why it’s the most extensive color in my personal collection. Its also a year round color, giving you more bang for your buck! Berry reds work best on fairer skin, bringing out the pink undertones, while strong reds work best on darker skin tones, and wine/burgundies work best on medium skin tones.
Pretty in Pink– Pinks are the most feminine colors and a must for pretty much any collection. Like reds, there is a very broad spectrum of pink, and some look better on certain skin tones than others. Blue based pinks work best on fair skin, yellow based pinks work best on darker complexions. To determine this, hold the bottle up against your inner wrist, and see what the reflection color is. Pink is the other most extensive color in my collection, and I mean extensive. If I could take any color to a desert island, it would be pink.
Suggestions: Rimmel- Posh Pink, $4; Sinful Colors- Beautiful Girl, $1.99; Essie Knockout Pout, $8; Chanel- Morning Rose, $25
Grey– I am aaaaaaalllllll about the greys/slates/carbon colors this fall. This is probably one of the colors with the widest spectrum of shades. And therefore, it’s one that will always be in style. It’s a good color if you are afraid to go really dark, but are willing to experiment.
Neutral– As the one in The Clique with the traditional federal government office job, I am always on the lookout for colors to add to my neutral collection. While it’s not explicitly stated that I can’t wear wild and crazy colors, I have been in the awkward situation of being called into meetings with high level officials with neon green nails. So I try to keep it tame Mon-Thursday, and then get a little rebellious on Fridays, or half days. There are definite benefits to wearing neutral polishes. They keep your nails looking cleaner and healthier, while being non-flashy. Chips also aren’t obvious and it goes with everything. When I travel, if I bother painting my nails at all, I go with a neutral. If you’re skin tone has yellow undertones, you’ll want a beige polish, where those with pink undertone will want a pink leaning polish.
Purple– We are HUGE fans of purple here at the blog. It’s a great color and there is such a wide spectrum of colors. There are red leaning purples, and blue leaning purples, and everyone has their favorite shades.Generally, lighter colors work best on fairer skin, and darker colors on darker skin. However, when it comes to purple, I don’t follow these rules. I buy the colors I like and wear them with swagger, even if they don’t look good. Because we love this color, I’m going to give more suggestions than I have with other colors, because I don’t think I could narrow it down.
Suggestions: Sinful Colors- Verbena, $2; wet n wild fast dry- Ready To Pounce, $2; Revlon- Modern Grace, $6; Mattese Elite- Whack, $6; Essie- Splash of Grenadine, $8; OPI- Honk If You Love OPI, $8; Butter London- Queen Vic, $14
Blue/Green– I’m putting these together, mostly because I personally wouldn’t put these in a “Staples of a Collection” but I know Sandy and Jess would literally kill me if I left them out! There are some gorgeous shades under both colors and if you can pull them off, more power to you! Most of the colors I have in my collection that fall under blue and green collection I bought thinking “That’d make a great pedicure color!” however, they have their place and can be great fun when worn in the right situation.
Suggestions: Blue/ Zoya- Cynthia, $8; OPI- Dating a Royal, $8; China Glaze- First Mate, $6 / Green: Sinful Colors- Open Seas, $2; China Glaze- Emerald Sparkle, $6; Butter London- British Racing Green, $14
Vampy Dark Color – Vampy colors look most chic on short nails, so this is something to keep in mind when selecting a polish. They also require a great deal more maintenance. But done right, they can look really sophisticated. Deep plums work best on those with darker skin tones. Really dark colors are tricky for fair-skinned people, because they can make you appear washed out, and even more pale than you were to begin with. But these colors are seductive and sexy, and a must have.
Suggestions: China Glaze- VIII, $5; OPI- Lincoln Park After Dark, $8; Deborah Lippmann- Bitches Brew, $16
Black– Black polish isn’t just for punk and goth kids. Black is a staple for any collection. It makes an excellent base for many layering polishes, and it can be sleek and stylish when done right. It also goes with EVERYTHING. Much like the Vampy Dark Colors above, it looks best on shorter nails. Otherwise you risk looking like Elvira. Balcony polish also requires more maintenance. It’s a little difficult to clean up, and even the most minor chips are glaringly obvious. You will also need a really good top coat for a black polish. You will want a glossy finish if you want a professional look. Because I don’t want to post just straight black cremes, I am including blacks that have glitter and shimmer to them in this category.
Suggestions: wet n wild fast dry- Ebony Hates Chris, $2; L’Oréal- Owls Night, $5; Butter London- Union Jack Black, $14
Makes you happy- these are the colors that maybe they fall under one of these other categories, or maybe they don’t. I have a bunch of colors that make me happy, but I would never consider them timeless or classic. But they are colors that I wear when I’m having a bad day, or I’ve got the grumps, or I’m feeling like I wanna have a party on my tips or my toes. They are my go-to colors when I can’t decide what I want to wear, ones I KNOW I love, and can wear for days on end. It’s that polish you know you will like until the end of time, and you don’t care if it goes out of style or not.
Posted on October 9, 2011, in Beginner's Series, Group Topic and tagged black, blue, butter london, chanel, china glaze, confetti, deborah lippmann, Essie, Fall, gray, green, l'oreal, mani, mattese elite, melissa, nude, OPI, pink, purple, Red, revlon, rimmel, sinful colos, swatch, wet n wild, Zoya. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.