The Essie Nail Polish Shades Our Beauty Editors Love

June 01, 2022
Ariel Wodarcyk
By: Ariel Wodarcyk | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
Person painting their nails with a light blue Essie nail polish

In case you weren’t aware, today is National Nail Polish Day, which is less a recognized holiday and more a really good excuse to treat yourself to a manicure (DIY or at the salon). To celebrate, our editors rounded up 11 of their favorite nail polish shades from cult-favorite nail care brand Essie. 


From sheer, flattering nudes to classic reds and funky colors like the dreamy Mint Candy Apple, there’s a polish for every manicure enthusiast’s taste. Keep reading to discover a new favorite shade of your own.


Essie Wicked 

Ever since I could remember, my mom always despised the idea of me wearing black nail polish. Instead, I opted for a similarly dark but not-quite-black color to please her: Wicked. This off-black burgundy is a must-try if you’re looking for a not-quite-black shade, too. It’s stunning all year round too — whether you’re feeling witchy in the fall or edgy in the spring and summer. -Alanna Martine Kilkeary


Essie Wicked

Essie Mademoiselle

In my opinion, a sheer baby pink shade is a nail polish collection staple. I love this one because with two coats it provides a semi-transparent color that creates a natural, polished look. With three coats, it appears almost completely opaque and looks incredibly flattering on a wide range of skin tones. -Alyssa Kaplan


Essie Mademoiselle

Essie Topless & Barefoot

If I’m going to the salon to get my nails done, there is an extremely high chance (read: like a 95% chance) I will walk out with a nude manicure. One of my all-time favorite polishes is the soft pinky-beige cult-classic Topless & Barefoot. I find that it goes with everything in my closet and looks fantastic with a squoval nail shape. -Victoria Moorhouse


Essie Topless & Barefoot

Essie Geranium

Geranium is my go-to color for manicures and pedicures. This fiery reddish-orange shade is a natural fit for summer, but it’s also a quick and easy way to brighten up my mood on dreary winter days. It also looks great on everyone, from super fair skin tones like mine to deep complexions. -Ariel Wodarcyk
Essie Geranium

Essie Keep Branching Out

Finding a nude nail polish that isn’t too warm or cool can be super difficult, but I think I found the perfect shade for my skin tone. Keep Branching Out is a soft, pastel taupe nail polish with yellow undertones. I love wearing this shade when I’m going for more of a minimalistic look! -Kat Pierre
Essie Keep Branching Out

Essie Gel Couture Rock the Runway

My go-to nail polish color for a summer pedicure is a bright fire-engine red, like Rock the Runway. The best part about this color is that it's offered in Essie’s famous long-lasting Gel Couture formula. I can wear it for a good two weeks without major chips, fading or dullness taking over. -VM


Essie Gel Couture Rock the Runway

Essie Expressie Quick-Dry Nail Polish in Air Dry

I’m not going to lie, when I first saw this nail polish, it was completely out of my comfort zone. I’ll take a bright red or even a fun blue any day, but I could not see myself wearing gray nail polish. Once I swiped it on, however, I quickly fell in love with the moody color and its cool blue undertones. It goes with everything and is a more unexpected neutral than a classic nude. -AW


Essie Expressie Quick-Dry Nail Polish in Air Dry

Essie Infinity Cool

I’ve tried several navy blue nail polishes over the years in the hopes of finding the most flattering one — and this is definitely it. While others were so deep they just looked black on the nails, this one has just the perfect amount of white in the base, giving it the ideal saturation. It’s my favorite dark nail polish to sport year round. -AK


Essie Infinity Cool

Essie Gel Couture Wrap Party

Another almost-black shade I love is Wrap Party: the ultimate dark blue/teal green. It’s moody, but crisp and even sort of classy. I love wearing it on my toes all year round, as it looks stunning in sandals but can be cozy in socks too! -AMK


Essie Gel Couture Wrap Party​

Essie Flight of Fantasy

Summer is coming up hot, and I’ve been reaching for the prettiest pastel colors to paint my nails. This is a muted, pastel blue nail polish with yellow undertones. I get a pretty opaque color payoff on the first swipe, making it an easy mani day. Catch me in this shade all season long! - KP


Essie Mint Candy Apple

Essie Flight of Fantasy

Summer is coming up hot, and I’ve been reaching for the prettiest pastel colors to paint my nails. This is a muted, pastel blue nail polish with yellow undertones. I get a pretty opaque color payoff on the first swipe, making it an easy mani day. Catch me in this shade all season long! - KP


Essie Flight of Fantasy
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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