Monday, July 19th, 2010

Rant & Rave

This Week’s Topic: SHEER NAIL POLISH!

Your Mission: Tell us what you love, hate, or are otherwise indifferent to about sheer nail polish and all that those entail.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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60 thoughts on “Rant & Rave: Sheer Nail Polish

  1. Cynthia

    Is there a way to only subscribe to replies to MY comment? That would be really nice because I like to know when you or someone replies to something I say, but ALL comments floods my inbox. :(

    • Hi Cynthia,

      Unfortunately, we have not found a way at this time.

    • Ashley

      If I want to see if someone has replied to one of my comments, I’ll simply come back to the link (I sign up for notifications via my email, but I don’t mind the flood of emails!), click on Ctrl+F and then type in my name (or if I spotted a comment in the emails that I wanted to check out so I can reply to it, I’ll type in some words from the reply) so that I can quickly find what I wrote! Works well for me :)

  2. Gisele

    I have a hard time wth matte anything, but matte nail polish does nothing for my nails. Perhaps it’s my nails that don’t agree with the matte polish — they’re nearly square and not very large or long (I prefer the short look). Sheer is fine; my nails are nice and pink but matte nail polish just makes me think of cheap latex paint that someone watered down to, haha, save money.

  3. I hate when nail polishes are too sheer and I need several coats for them to show up. I much prefer an opaque finish, be it matte, suede or glossy.

  4. Leenie

    I never tried matte nail polish so I can’t say to much about them, and the sheer ones I don’t like because you have to put so much on to show up on your nails, I seem to gravitate to the pearl and the satin finishes mostly.

  5. Tekoa

    I hate sheer nail polish for the following reasons. 1) I don’t like seeing my nail line. 2) I like opaque colour. Even if its a subdued colour I want it solid. 3) When I try to layer sheers the result is prone to bubbling and long try time.

    But there are exceptions. OPI Samoan Sand is what I’d call a semi-sheer but I love it. It reminds me of soft peach shells.

    • Caitlin

      Those are all of the reasons that I hate sheer nail polish, too. The only thing that I like about sheer polishes is that they can be layered over another color to alter it slightly.

  6. i dont not like super sheer polish. if i wanted to see the whites of my nails, i’d wear clear.

  7. baby in a corner

    do you mean sheer or matte? I swatched nars orgasm nail polish and its so sheer, i was going to get it so i’m disappointed. i don’t like sheers either, reminds me of when i was about ten and i was allowed to wear really sheer nail polish only! never tried matte either i like the shiny look!

  8. Cat

    Sheer, jelly finishes are great for layering to get the perfect gradient manis. I’ve been loving the jellies from New York Summer (Hot Baby Blue, Amaranth, $1 at nail supply stores) and Lippmann Call Me Irresponsible is my absolute favorite violet polish. It needs four coats to reach opacity but the results are worth it! : )

  9. Julia

    I only like sheer polishes when they are nude/peach toned. Otherwise, it’s just a nuisance when you are trying to get a color to show!!

  10. I hate it. Ugh. Sheer polish…eww.

    I hate when I pick up a polish and it looks great in the bottle, and then I put it on and it’s not anywhere near the shade I thought because it’s so sure. Nail polish should look exactly like it does in the bottle after only one or two coats.

  11. Kathe

    sheers are ok but not my favorite. I have I’m a Princess, You’re Not by OPI and I love it (very sheer opalescent shade). It’s not something I would wear alone but it’s perfect over most opaque polishes. I wouldn’t buy a plain sheer color- if I buy sheer, it’s only for layering.

  12. Marian

    I love sheer nail polish for a more natural look. The thing that bothers me, though is that they should be labeled as sheer. It’s such a disappointment to buy a polish that looks opaque and vibrant in the bottle only to find that it is a watery looking sheer. I like to know what I’m buying!

    • lo

      I agree… I don’t have a problem with sheers as long as I know they’re sheer before I buy them. I won’t lie, whenever I buy nail polish, I swatch it on my pinkie so I know what I’m getting!

  13. nat

    It’s nice when you want your nails to be shiny without color. I have one by Essie (not sure which one) but it’s extremely sheer, but gives the lightest pink tint and my friends always tell me how gorgeous it is! One think I like about sheer nail polish is that if you can’t seem to “stay in the lines,” no one can see it!

  14. Crystal

    I cannot for the life of me to sheers.

  15. Hanna

    the only time i am okay with sheer nail polish is when it’s a nude, pink, peach, or other natural-ly sort of color. i have yet to come across a sheer nail polish that are in other crazier colors that i like. my favorite sheer nail polish right now has to be OPI’s Coney… Cotton Candy? idk, something like that

  16. AnGeLwInGz

    What exactly do you mean by sheer? Clear/ light pink for French manicures? I literally have not gone for more than a day without nail polish since first grade (20 years) so my nails tend to be a little bit stained all the time. Sheer doesn’t really do them justice. I don’t understand the hype about matte polish at all.

  17. Carrie L

    i love sheer nail polish!

    the essie wedding collection had pretty much all sheer polishes and the formulas were awesome.
    they took a couple coats but i didn’t mind because they dried fast and never messed up!

  18. sillylilacs

    Sheer nail polish has its pluses, I like them sometimes. =)

    For example, during the summer, I love Essie’s Shop Till I Drop, great polish, but on the sheer side and thats ok. I think for lighter colors being sheer is ok, darker colors take a turn for the worst when they’re sheer b/c you want the color to show on darker colors lol NOT your nail line…=)

  19. Rach

    streaky mess. No thanks.

  20. Depends. If they are supposed to be opaque, they suck.
    If they’re supposed to be sheer, they rock.

  21. CeeBee

    I only like sheer nail polish if it’s a pale neutral – pink, peach, milky white or nude…It makes your nails look polished (well, duh!)without having to have the application super perfect and if you get a chip or two it’s not blatantly obvious.
    I usually do my nails like this if I’m going away to a conference for work or something – it’s easy, matches everything and is low maintenance.
    I second the rec for OPI Samoan Sands, it’s one of my favourites!

  22. Sandra L

    Hi!
    I love sheer nail polish, but of course it depends on the polish. What I don’t get is matte nail polish. I just don’t think it looks good.

  23. Margot

    The only time I like my polish to be sheer is when it is a nice shade of baby pink. I do not mind a sheer baby pink on my nails. Other from that, I prefer nice opaque polishes. On me, most OPI shades are opaque with just one coat, and that’s how I like them to be.
    I used to bite my nails, therefor my nail beds are very uneven. Sheer polish shows that and it’s a look I’m not fan of.

  24. Lisa

    I hate sheer nail polish. I think it makes my hands look dirty! ew

  25. Milessa

    I like some sheer nail polishes, but generally would rather a more opaque coverage. I do however hate Victoria Secret nail polish, chips and peels off the very day I paint them. Stopped wasting my money on them and I now stick to my OPI’s. :)

  26. Nora

    It depends on the color. Some colors I want sheer, and some I don’t. Colors that look amazing in the bottle and end up being awfully sheer, and when you do manange to get them opaque they never dry – the nightmare polish! Sometimes it’s nice to wear sheers, though, and if it’s the look you’re going for they can be great.

  27. Tammy

    As long as it dries even and it’s buildable, I have no complaints. They’re good for layering and gradients.

  28. Hannah

    I hate sheers… I don’t like the look of having my nail line showing and sheers tend to be streaky (or maybe I just don’t have good enough nail polish skills to get them even)

  29. Alison

    My favourite nail polish (For my fingernails, not my toes) is YSL’s Moonlight White. It gives this gorgeous white radiance, applies evenly and smoothly (I swear these polishes actually smooth themselves out to a great extent – I prefer them to OPI or any other brand I’ve tried) and they last for ages without an under/topcoat. On my nails, mine will basically last until either my nail grows out or I remove it. Most sheer colors don’t look quite right (I find they look sort of muddy) but this one is gorgeous, a sheer white highlighter/enhancer for your nails. I just love it.

  30. Mindy

    I only like sheer polishes that are those Revlon Glimmer Gloss polishes. (holy moley, a Revlon polish I actually don’t loathe?!?)
    They’re just clear with a tint and sparkle. Every other sheer I’ve tried annoys me, looks too streaky. I like solid!

  31. Leticia

    I like wearing sheer polish only when my nails are short! I agree pale pink or peachy shades are best – nude colors do not look nice on my hands!

  32. mkdallas

    I wear nothing but nude/flesh-tone sheer colors on my fingernails and love ‘em for several reasons; it’s way less noticeable if you get a chip, they make my stubby nails look longer than a dark opaque color and they make my nails look “done” but not obviously so. It’s weird…I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing crimson nail polish but love it on my toes.

  33. thedogismine

    I loathe the stuff. It’s just as useless as decaffeinated coffee.

    • Brooke

      I concur! Paint them or don’t! I just can’t see the point of sheer polish (or decaf, for that matter!).

  34. Dia

    Sometimes I crave a good sheer polish. They’re good to cleanse the palette when you’ve just had too much color. I like both natural-looking colors as well as sheer colorful polishes like Lippmann’s Supermodel. However, sheers that go on unevenly are incredibly annoying to work with. You end up having to use more coats to make the polish look even, and with each coat, it gets more opaque. Which defeats the point of using a sheer polish!

  35. leslie

    I love sheer polishes,especially when i break a nail or 2 down to the quick!

  36. Cherokee

    I like sheer nail polish because if I am in a hurry I can add a little bit of color and go rather than wait for richer colors that have a longer drying time. Sheer is prettier than clear and it is sophisticated. When your nail polish chips it is not as obvious.

  37. Pam

    I’m fine with GOOD sheers — ones that aren’t streaky, uneven, full of bald patches, etc. After all, a good sheer can be worn over another polish for a unique look, even if it doesn’t look so great on its own. Still, I find myself disappointed when a polish is fantastic-looking in the bottle but is so sheer on the nail it needs 5+ coats.

    Also…my stained nails are a major obstacle when wearing sheer polish. I’m sure lots of other polish fanatics have the same problem!

  38. Ashley

    I find sheer nail polishes are a bit difficult to apply, unless I can use them to layer with another polish. So it’s love/hate for me.

  39. Ashley

    I really like sheer polishes, depending on the finish/colour. If the polish is designed to look sheer, then I like it, as it looks nice when worn alone if you only want a smidge of colour or paired over another colour. If the polish is supposed to be opaque but shows up sheer regardless of how many coats are used, then it’s really irritating as they don’t usually work well for layering over other colours.

  40. hate them! i don’t like it when my nail line shows through

  41. Hilana

    I like my make-up sheer, but my nail polish opaque. I really don’t see the point of sheer polish, except maybe if you are a girlie in your early teens.

  42. Andrea

    I love Nars Orgasm NP!

  43. Dea

    I like sheer nail polishes when it’s recognizable that they are supposed to be sheer! If a nailpolish looks colourful and you need layers and layers – I don’t like that of course. But I love natural looking nails with just a sheer look of colour.
    Aaand I like the fact, that I can easily apply another layer of colour if the first coat starts splitting.

  44. Aloix

    I’ve not tried mattes yet, but I’m generally a fan of shiney things, so..
    Sheers, depends. If it’s supposed to be, sometimes, if I’m in the mood for a ‘my nails but better’ look or so. If it’s just poor pigmentation or I just don’t want it so sheer I will layer it over a white/pale beige-y polish, this usually helps.

  45. Marie

    I don’t like sheer nail polish on its own. When I paint my nails, I like opaque colors. Sheer nail polish are good layered over an opaque color for added effects, but that’s it for me.

  46. Brenda

    What’s happened with OPI, I can’t find it anymore on ebay, and even Transdesign is selling out???

  47. Natalie

    I truly hate sheer nailpolish. I like bold, opaque colour and I loathe being able to see my nail-line through my polish. There are some exceptions, like if a polish is sheer but has nice glitter or a cool duochrome, then I can use it to layer over other polishes. But for the most part, sheer nail polish = yuck.

  48. Rengirl

    A sheer, fleshy pink is okay in my book when you are trying to do a natural french tip but other than that I hate sheers with the fire of a thousand suns.

  49. Helena

    Rant: I usually like an easy manicure (I’m opposed to all things arduous and time-consuming), so anything that takes more than four coats of color typically isn’t worth my time.
    Rave: Great for layering and gradations.

  50. Maria

    I have no problems with it (it can be great for layering!) when I KNOW it’s going to be sheer. When I bought the polish thinking it was opaque, I don’t like it too much. ;)

  51. Miss Dee Canada

    Sheer polish works well when its a pale pink or a pale shimmer, just to give your nails a clean look. Otherwise I hate them! Darker ones show streak lines and nail lines which I hate!

  52. K

    They don’t make me happy. I love looking at a gorgeous pop of color to brighten my day. But, my job only allows neutral and basic red so sheets are great for those of us with conservative workplaces.

  53. yer ma

    Sheer colors have a definite place in my nail polish collection. Sheers are good to have for several reasons: a break from dark colors, or any color for that matter, professional events such as presentations (ruby pumps to present?) work appropriate times, funerals, or any time I just want my mani to be more ‘low profile’.
    I also love the sheer look for it’s clean, classy and polished look. I don’t mind a vnl with a sheer and don’t usually apply more then two coats. Most of my sheers are Essie and I like pink sheers.

  54. alexxxxxxxxxx

    i actually like sheer polishes for something: FRENCHIES!