The Fab Five: Fade To White
White nail polish got a big boost at the Spring shows last September when it turned up on the runway at Rag & Bone and Moschino—and an even bigger boost when Rihanna rocked the stark opaque color to an L.A. Lakers game over Christmas with Chris Brown, which turned out to be the couple’s unofficial “we’re back together” announcement (they have since split. Again.) It’s an unexpected, albeit wonderful alternative to more predictable pastels as the warmer weather graces us with its presence and while it does come with its fair share of application challenges, they’re nothing a good base coat or ridge filler can’t fix, according to Jin Soon Choi. Once you’ve nailed down the perfect, streak-free application technique, the only task that remains is sifting through the myriad alabaster lacquers currently on the market. Here are five of our favorites to get you started.
Essie Nail Lacquer in Blanc, $8, www.essie.com
Billed as the perfect counterpart to a French manicure, this full-coverage, soft white is just as effective on its own, and can be topped with a matte or high-shine top coat.
Priti NYC Nail Lacquer in Bristol Fairy
To add to the “dream-like, ethereal” mood backstage at Thakoon’s Fall show, Priti NYC’s Kim D’Amato applied this sheer, shimmering white to models fingertips. It’s not as noticeable as an opaque white lacquer, but it makes a statement all its own.
NYX Precious Pearls in White Pearls
A new take on Ciate’s uber popular “caviar manicure,” NYX’s Precious Pearl collection features a pure white varnish with a corresponding bottle of tiny opalescent baubles that blur the line between nail polish and jewelry.
Zoya Nail Polish in Purity
A super versatile milky white, Zoya’s marshmallow-hued lacquer makes for a great contrasting tip, a gleaming full-coverage color—and can also be used to lighten up your favorite darker polishes for Spring. Never be afraid to do some at-home custom-color mixing.
Butter London Nail Lacquer in Cotton Buds, available July 2013
One coat of this creamy, bright white will give you a very clean look while two coats serve up a finish of the 100-watt variety.
Photo: Courtesy of