Monday, January 30th, 2012

By Edith (Edie) Bryan, Nail Care Expert

Edie is 27-years old and hails from the beautiful country that is Wales, in the UK. She’s an esthetician and has been trained in all aspects of beauty, from waxing to skincare, but she specializes in nails. She discovered her talent for nails at 17 and worked as a junior technician. In 2005, she started her own business running a nail salon in her home town. She found creating beautiful nails was the perfect way to combine her natural creativity and her obsession with fashion and beauty into one. Check out her blog Touch Beauty and follow her on Twitter!

3 Essential Nail Lacquers that Suit Everyone

With such a huge array of nail polish shades and effects to choose from, it can be difficult to choose the right shade for your skin tone.  This is made even more difficult by the fact that polishes can look completely different once applied to the nails than how they appeared in the bottle!

I think there are three basic polish shades that every girl should keep in their collection: a nude, bright red, and rouge noir (or dark burgundy). Here are three recommendations of polishes that will suit everyone. I chose three crème shades, as they can always be layered under shimmers or glitters, or worn alone, depending on the occasion. I applied each polish over CND Stickey Base Coat and sealed with a swipe of Seche Vite Top Coat.


OPI polishes have exceptional quality for the price, and out of their collection of nude shades, this is one that will work for everyone. It is a rich and opaque nude-pink-brown that applies easily and wears well. Nude polishes are great for wearing to the office or for job interviews, and they will match any outfit in your wardrobe.  They can be glammed up for an evening out with a swipe of glittery polish on top. OPI Dulce de Leche ($8.00) is a great investment shade from OPI’s Classics collection.

Bright Red

Revlon Revlon Red ($4.79) is an absolutely iconic shade of nail polish–it is glamour and gorgeousness in a bottle. I have always found Revlon polishes to be very hard-wearing, but they do tend to have a thin and runny consistency, so have some Q-Tips ready for any boo-boos you might make during application. This shade of red is almost exactly between cool and warm. I would say it has the tiniest bit more blue than yellow, but in such a fabulous bold red, that is forgivable. This shade is a winner for me and will work on any skin tone.

Rouge Noir

Jessica Street Swagger ($7.50) is a fairly new polish on the market, it is part of the Jessica Rebel Glam collection for fall 2011, and I believe the only crème shade out of the six. Jessica’s polish formulation is definitely in my top five, being so highly pigmented and super smooth. Two coats of this delicious, dark wine-red gives perfect opaque coverage and superior wear. Sophisticated, glossy and it even gives the illusion of longer nails. I often find that dark red polishes are particularly difficult to judge when in the bottle, but this is a true blackened red, both in the bottle and on the nail.

Check out swatches! 

OPI Dulce de Leche Nail Lacquer

Revlon Revlon Red Nail Lacquer

Jessica Street Swagger Nail Lacquer

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19 thoughts on “3 Essential Nail Lacquers that Suit Everyone

  1. Dana

    Great post, thanks. I’ve never heard of Jessica polishes, I will keep them on my radar.

  2. they’re beautiful polishes, though i don’t think i would agree that they suit everyone. Nude colours look horrible on me..

    • Try a sheer nude shade maybe? Sometimes the effect of nude polishes can take a bit of getting used to – ‘mannequin hands’ anyone?!! I liked this OPI nude shade for it’s slight lean towards pink and brown. xx

  3. I want to try the revlon red now!

  4. Chelsea

    Street Swagger is the wine I’ve been looking for all my life!

  5. Malia

    For everyone? Not exactly. I for one couldnt wear the “Jessica” one. On a side note, what lovely very rounded nails!

    • Really Malia? In my 10 years as a manicurist I generally found that rouge-noir shades worked great on everyone! A good way to soften the effect of a very dark shade is by using the ‘half moon’ manicure – a soft nude/cream/gold shade as a base colour, then use those little French manicure guide stickers you can buy, to mask off half moons at the cuticle area, and paint on a lovely rich dark shade on top. Glad you like the rounded nails! xx

  6. Sandy

    That nude OPI looks amazing!

  7. Kary

    Red looks horrible on me. And I think it looks pretty bad on most people 😡

    • But red is fabulous, it is my favourite colour!!! I personally think red is such a gorgeous colour for nails…..but – it looks the worst when it starts wearing at the tips! You just can’t miss it :-(

      I guess it is down to personal preference at the end of the day though, the most sheer and neutral of neutrals, may suit anyone’s skin tone, but it wont’t be loved by everyone.


  8. Kathy S.

    I have Dulce de Leche on right now. It’s a must-have for me!

  9. JD

    Fantastic post! It’s always tough to find the perfect shades in these colours, and these are awesome suggestions. I agree that these will work with every skin tone for sure…but, as always with anything one wears, it all comes down to confidence! I personally have pigeonholed myself into strictly light creme polishes, as I find bolder and/or more shimmery shades really bring out my short and wide nail beds. I felt like I looked like a tree frog, but last time I wore a dark red, everyone said it looked great…haha and there you have it!

  10. Courtney

    I personally don’t care for the nude or the dark polish. For me, nudes just seem like an older woman’s colour. (Maybe it’s because I’ve only seen them on older ladies). The darker one is a little vampy. I don’t think it would suit as a everyday sort of colour.

  11. Gina

    I think this is a great post! And I really do think these are universally flattering. Nudes can be funny, but I think the one here has enough color to not TOO nude. Some people may not particularly like a certain shade, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t flattering on their skin tone. I’m not a particularly huge fan of red polish, but it looks just fine on me. I do, however, LOVE wine reds, so that Jessica polish really caught my eye!

  12. Aimey

    I’m not a fan of dark, burgandy-ish colours, but I’ve been getting into more nudes lately! I also need a different red than my Sally Hansen Red Carpet, so thanks for the advice!

  13. I don’t know about these being universally flattering; the red is maybe the only one that fits the description best.