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The Summer Nail Files: Our Top Ten Polish Picks


Our style in the summer months has, over the years, become more or less like a uniform: pared-down cotton separates in solids and stripes with easy, slip-on sandals—a.k.a. ensembles that can withstand the sweltering New York humidity. That said, any nod to style is reserved for accessories: jewelry, bags, and, of course, nail polish—the only beauty product immune to summer’s sweat-inducing effects. Since our nails remain one of our few means of summertime creative expression they are in a constant state of flux, which isn’t a bad thing these days; in the current climate of manicure mania, there are more than enough colors to go around. With that in mind, we present the ten shades we’ll be playing with all summer long. Happy finger painting!

Think Dark Pink
Tenoverten Polish in Elizabeth
The cool Tribeca nail enclave has, in the brief time it’s been open, already earned a devoted fan base, and its premier line of polishes will likely follow suit. We’re particularly fond of the intensely pigmented fuchsia Elizabeth, named for the hip Nolita street in downtown New York.

Go Day-Glo
Orly Polish in Glowstick and Melt Your Popsicle
Something about the summer inspires us to incorporate colors into our repertoire that are most certainly never found in nature. And these highlighter marker-inspired lacquers definitely fit the bill. Too unnatural? Just use them as an accent or the tip of a French manicure, instead of an allover shade.
$8.50 each,

Lime Time
Essie Nail Polish in Mojito Madness
A light, creamy spearmint shade, this varnish looks as fresh on the nails as the delicious boozy beverage it’s named after does on a hot summer day.

Va Va Vamp
Eres Nail Lacquer in Damas
A rich brown with hints of red, this polish reminds us of our Chanel Vamp-loving days of the late nineties—in the best way possible. It’s an ideal fingernail hue for those of you whose skin remains on the lighter side of pale all summer long.
$25, at Eres stores.

A Coral Worth Coveting
YSL Nail Lacquer in Corail Divin
All corals are not created equal, and YSL’s excellent take on the classic color—part of the luxury brand’s impossibly chic new lacquer line (we also love the Bleu Majorelle)—is a testament to this fact. It’s a truly elegant adaptation of the Boca Raton mainstay.

Better Off Red
MAC Nail Lacquer in Shirelle
MAC has a way with true scarlet hues; its Ruby Woo lipstick is already a worldwide favorite and we’re pretty sure this blue-red polish will earn a similar following.

Love and Lavender
Priti Polish in Climbing Blueberry
This is a juicy purple shade that, while named after one of summer’s most delicious blue-tinged fruits, is decidedly more grape in appearance.
$12.50, at

The Nude Review
Nail Pak in Sandy
Talk about multifaceted: This new product finds a way to combine polish, remover pads, and a nail file in one handy bottle. Pretty clever, if you ask us. This light taupe is a great palette cleanser if/when you experience color overload.

The Mellowest of Yellows
Avon Nail Enamel in Sunshine
The name pretty much says it all. This creamy canary yellow just makes you feel happy when it’s painted onto nails or toes.

A Steal of a Teal
Maybelline New York Lacquer in Tenacious Teal
Part of the drugstore giant’s new nail polish line, this pretty jewel-toned hue is actually a near-exact replica of the teal we recently painted our bedroom walls. So clearly, we’re fans.
$3.99, at drugstores.

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