Our Team's Go-To Nail Polish Combos for Summer

Including the shade our entire team is loving right now.
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As an office of women obsessed with all things beauty, it's unsurprising that we have very strong opinions when it comes to nail polish. We've covered nail trends and Emily's at-home manicures, but we've never shared our staple mani/pedi preferences. Some of us never wear nail polish, while others are never without polish. Though we aren't against throwing some fun nail trends into the mix (like the one Emily linked to in last week's Links I Love), it's clear that we favor neutral shades, with the exception of Kelly who's all about a fun shade as a fun contrast to her "jeans and tee" style. In light of Emily's advice on picking signature nail colors, we thought it would be fun to share out go-to nail combinations that will take us through summer:

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Manicure - OPI 'Lincoln Park After Dark': Okay so hear me out. I get that we're smack-dab in the middle of spring and that I "should" be embracing bright pinks and poppy corals, but I'm just not done with my vampy nails. I've been known to find a color and stick with it for long periods of time (this falls under the paradox of choice) and apparently that time simply isn't up. I loved my dark nails as an offset to cozy, oversized sweaters in the winter and now I see them as a juxtaposition to the light, floaty pieces I'm living in. 

Pedicure - Essie 'Ballet Slippers': This is where I'll switch things up a bit, but not by much. Whereas I used to experiment on a weekly basis with new colors (sage green! burnt orange! pastel periwinkle!), I typically rotate between four colors: a light beige (Essie 'Topless and Barefoot'), a blueish red (OPI 'Rio Rio'), or vamp, again (OPI 'Lincoln Park After Dark', and a bright coral (Essie 'Flashed'). But after I got a pale, barely-there pink at my last pedicure appointment, I decided it was a nice (albeit small) change, and I'm into it for summer. I didn't note the Dazzle Dry color I selected while in the salon, but it's pretty darn close to Essie's 'Ballet Slippers,' so that's what I'll be reaching for next time I do my nails.

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Manicure - Natural: When I lived in New York, I got my nails done every two weeks. It was something I, and almost all of my colleagues and friends in New York, did. When I moved to L.A., I continued the same routine for a while before I realized something: I really don't like getting my nails done. Once you do it every two weeks, it becomes more of a chore than the true luxury it is, and I felt like I was throwing away money (my twice-a-month habit amounted to a scary $910 a year, at $35 for a mani/pedi). I am nowhere near as ambidextrous as Emily when it comes to painting my nails, but for a year, I painted my nails at home until I realized something else: I also hate painting my own nails. I'd often put it off for long enough that they started chipping, which looks way worse than just having them au naturale. So I removed my polish, and that was that! These days I keep them short and polish-free. I miss the pulled-together feeling "done" nails gave me—but not as much as I love knowing I never have to wait for them to dry. 

Pedicure - Essie 'Matter of Fiction': Pedicures are another story. As annoying as they are, I deal with them since I only have to paint my toes about once a month (and they still look fresh!), and I love the look of tan, pink toes in sandals. This color is the perfect shade of light pink, without being sheer. I love it so much I often wear it year-round, but it's especially chic in the summertime. As a note: I still haven't found a natural nail polish I like enough to recommend, but I'd love to switch to a five-free option. Any tips?

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Manicure - Natural: For context, one of my defining features for most of my life was my manicure. I have long nail beds, and my nails are naturally strong (so I can grow them to be pretty long without any breakage). From junior year in high school until I was 25, I painted my nails every three days—literally. I couldn't stand even the tiniest chip, and it wound up consuming many of my evenings (once I pained them, I couldn't do much else until they dried). Not to mention my nails turned yellow from the acetone. My 2017 New Year's resolution was to keep my nails bare for an entire year... and I haven't touched them since.

Pedicure - Essie 'Marshmallow': I have a horrible habit of getting pedicures and leaving the polish on for months at a time, so it also tends to give my toenails an unpleasant yellow tint. I included my toes in my 2017 resolution and lasted a full year before I broke down and had to get a pedicure. No matter the season, I almost always go with white (Essie's 'Marshmallow,' to be exact) because it's clean, matches with everything, and pops in open-toed shoes. 

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Manicure - OPI 'Bubblebath': I'm on the side of the office that loves having their nails done regularly. I try to get a manicure and pedicure once a month so naturally I have some strong color preferences. I usually love a dark nail regardless of the season, but OPI Bubblebath is quickly becoming a favorite this spring. For years I fought wearing light pink, having designated it as a "mom polish," but I've quickly learned the error of my ways. This baby pink/clear color is so pretty and somehow makes my jewelry look shinier. 

Pedicure - OPI 'Como se Llama': I'm super loyal to OPI and knew I'd love this color before I even tried it. The dark wine shade is equal-parts sexy and cute, goes with all my outfits, and looks even better when my skin is tan. It's the perfect pedicure staple. 

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Manicure - Color Club 'Harp On It': When I go out of my way to get a manicure (usually only before I go to weddings), I like to get a little funky fresh. This year I've been all about holographic/metallics, and this polish feels like a lovely little unicorn that will go with pretty much everything.

Pedicure - Essie 'Blue-tiful Horizon': I have a pedicure 100% of the time, but I paint my own toes more often than not. When you live in a climate where you can wear sandals year-round, it definitely feels like a necessity. On my toes I wear darker colors and metallics pretty much exclusively, even in the summer (I only painted my toes black in high school, so I've come a long way). I tend to go for dark purples and blues, so this blueish-purple chrome is right up my alley.

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Manicure - Essie 'Mademoiselle': I take after my Godmother and always, always have a pale pink manicure. I have three favorite shades: OPI  'Bubblebath', Essie 'Mademoiselle,' and Essie 'Sugar Daddy.' I stick to one of these three if I get a regular manicure, but for a little over a year now, I've been getting powder dip manicures. I find that the powder stays on longer than gel (sometimes over a month!), it rarely chips, and stays infinitely shiny. (If you live in L.A., my all-time favorite for a powder dip mani is Serenity Nail Lounge in Brentwood!)

Pedicure - 'Essie Sugar Daddy': I can't remember the last time my toes weren't painted. My sisters and I started getting "princess pedicures" (complete with the Hawaiian flower design) when we were in elementary school, and I've had my toes painted either a dark red or a pale pink ever since. For winter, I love Deborah Lippmann's 'Tainted Love,' and when the weather starts to warm up, I transition to Essie's 'Mademoiselle,' or 'Sugar Daddy.'

We'd love to hear—what are you go-to polish combos this summer?

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