The Best Winter Nail Polishes
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Navy: The Hollywood Version1 of 12
The navy nails that dominated red carpets several years ago are back, thanks to two influential launches—the denim-inspired trio of Les Jeans de Chanel and the glamorous Christian Dior Blue Tie Collection. Kristen Stewart opted for a metallic take on the hue.
Navy: Get the Hollywood Look2 of 12
While the limited-edition Chanel and Dior lacquers went into near-instant extinction (good luck getting your hands on a bottle), there are other glistening blues that achieve a similar impact. To channel Stewart's light-catching look, try Deborah Lippmann nail lacquer in Lady Sings the Blues, a shimmering navy with flecks of glitter.
Navy: The Runway Version3 of 12
Blue hit big at fall shows like DKNY, where makeup lead Charlotte Willer described the beauty look as “rocker-chic, like Jane Birkin in the ’60s.” Opaque navy nails lent a modern edge to retro-shaped trouser suits and mod makeup.
Navy: Get the Runway Look4 of 12
For a manicure you can pair with any outfit and fabric texture, go for a solid, full-coverage finish with Butter London nail lacquer in Royal Navy. “Whenever you go dark and sumptuous, make the nail length short, crisp, and defined,” says CND Founder Jan Arnold.
Pastel Purple: The Hollywood Version5 of 12
Girl-about-town Alexa Chung recently paired the intergalactic print of Christopher Kane's leather minidress with vibrant lilac nails. "Violet captures the spirit of creative independence," says Arnold. "It's simple yet sophisticated."
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Pastel Purple: Get the Hollywood Look6 of 12
Follow in Chung's footsteps and wear Nicole by OPI nail lacquer in Play Fair for a flirty pop of color. Don't want to fully commit? Opt for a base of sheer milky white topped with one coat of lavender for a subtler take on the sweet shade.
Pastel Purple: The Runway Version7 of 12
Parisian sensuality colored the frosted lilac nails at Catherine Malandrino's fall 2011 show, where manicurists mixed six shades of CND nail polish to achieve the perfect velvety hue. "This trend is best worn on a shorter nail," says Arnold, who adds, "It goes great with luxurious fur, floppy suede hats, high-waisted wide-legged pants, and sleek leather booties."
Pastel Purple: Get the Runway Look8 of 12
According to Arnold, shimmering lavender—like Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Polish in Pizzicato—instantly softens the appearance of hands. Looking for other cool tones that achieve the same effect? "Applying a hazy peach, blue, or green with iridescent texture is also on trend," says Arnold.
Red: The Hollywood Version9 of 12
Classic red, à la Jessica Alba's nails at an Armani event earlier this month, never go out of style—and will put your fingertips in the spotlight. "Like jewelry, nails color makes a statement," says Essie founder Essie Weingarten, who exclaims, "The bolder, the better!"
Red: Get the Hollywood Look10 of 12
Zoya Nail Polish in Gia is free of controversial chemicals like formaldehyde and toluene yet doesn't compromise on decadence. Remember: A smooth lacquer finish is a must when going red, says Weingarten—don't skip the base coat, and seal with a high-gloss topcoat.
Red: The Runway Version11 of 12
At Adam's fall 2011 show, rich berry-red cuticles were juxtaposed with tailored skirts, feminine blouses, and delicately winged eyeliner. "Embrace your extroverted side and follow your desire to wear bold nail color," says Weingarten. "Though subtle, it will certainly enhance your ensemble."
Red: Get the Runway Look12 of 12
Sure to garner you attention on the holiday party circuit, Essie Nail Color in Size Matters is part of the brand's new Cocktail Bling collection. Weingarten recommends pairing the blazing shade with a high-shine topcoat and carrying a jeweled or sequined clutch in a contrasting hue.