23 Spring Nail Colors to Brighten Up Your Manis (and Mood)
Though Punxsutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter this year, we’re already counting down the days until spring. To help usher in a new season from home, we’re looking to fresh nail polish shades to brighten our fingers and toes.
Spring 2021 marks the return of popular shades like pinks and pastels, but we’re also going to see a shift toward sunny yellows and grounding greens (which comes as no surprise after the year we’ve all had). Ahead, the 23 nail colors we’re wearing from now until summer.
1. Bubblegum pink
Olive & June Nail Polish in “Grateful & Kind”
From Fendi to Tom Ford, we saw a lot of bubblegum pink on the runways last year. And though we’re wearing more sweatpants than couture these days, the playful shade still delivers a much-appreciated boost—no matter your attire.
3. Poppy Red
Emilie Heathe Nail Artist in “The Perfect Red”
Not too bright, not too dark, but just right: A classic poppy red is always a good choice. This one from Emilie Heath gives full, creamy coverage in a single coat.
4. Peachy Coral
Sundays Nail Polish in "No. 09"
A peachy coral strikes the perfect balance between sweet pastels and bolder reds and oranges. The slightly milky shade positively pops against your skin and is equally flattering on your fingertips as it is on your toes.
5. Nearly Nude
Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish in “Naked”
The ultimate palette cleanser, a coat of a sheer nude polish will smooth over any discoloration or damage, while letting your natural nail shine through. (Sheerer shades also have the advantage of being easier to paint with and don’t show signs of wear as much.)
6. Milky Tan
Sally Hansen Insta Dri Nail Color in "Buff and Tumble"
A touch opaquer than a sheer nude, a milky tan polish gives a similarly smoothing effect, but with a little more pigment in case you have deeper ridges you want to camouflage (or have a slightly deeper skin tone).
7. Calming blues
Nails Inc. Nail Polish in “Jeans Pur Lease”
Light, airy and deeply comforting, a soft blue mani is especially welcome these days. This pale hue reminds us of clear and sunny skies. Two coats will get you full coverage.
8. Soothing Greens
Essie Expressie Nail Polish in "So Matcha Energy"
If grounding energy is what you seek, look no further than a matcha-like hue that has hints of both blue and green. (This single step polish from Essie dries quickly and features a slightly angled brush for an easier application on your non-dominant hand.)
9. Sunny Yellow
Olive & June Nail Polish in “Bright & Focused”
One of two shades chosen by Pantone as the colors of the year, a sunny yellow forecasts hopeful optimism for better days ahead. We love this one from Olive & June because it’s a touch deeper than pastel, but not as loud as a neon.
10. Iridescent Lavender
Essie Nail Polish in "Sugarplum Fairytale"
Depending on the light, an iridescent polish like this one can read gold or purple and even show the occasional glimmer of green. No matter what, the effect is always mesmerizing.
11. Seashell Pink
Nails Inc. What the Shell Pearl Effect Nail Polish in “Shells Aloud”
For a similarly magical effect that skews a bit pinker, we’d recommend this rosy shimmer that absolutely glistens in the sunlight. Bonus: The opalescent formula doesn’t show streaks or chips.
12. Soft Lilac
Jinsoon Nail Polish in “Ube”
Named after the deliciously sweet yam from the Philippines, this milky lilac offers a fresh, but no less pretty alternative to the pink polishes that typically dominate this time of year.
13. Pastel Ombré
Olive & June "The Spring 2020 Set"
There’s no need to hunt for Easter eggs when you’ve got a set of pastel polishes like this handy. From a sage green to a pop of pink, you’ve got everything you need to rock a multi-colored mani—including top coat.
14. Rosy Ombré
Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro “Bed of Roses” Nail Color Set
Or you can go for a more tonal look and stick to shades within the same color family. This set features rosy neutrals that range from a pale pink to a deep plum to give you a range of flattering options for all ten fingers.
15. Velvety Red
Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in "Interdit"
If pastels and bright colors feel a bit premature right now, try a deep red instead. The rich hue will liven up your winter pallor without being too in your face.
16. Royal Blue
CND Vinylux Nail Polish in "Blue Moon"
Fact: A sapphire blue makes a statement without looking too harsh. This one from CND straddles the line between cobalt and navy, making it the ideal blue for all skin tones.
17. Chunky Glitters
Static Nails Liquid Glass Nail Lacquer in “Pop Fizz Clink”
When you’re craving a little something extra from your manis, try a chunky glitter polish like this one. A few swipes deliver a touch of brightness and sparkle to your tips.
20. Mint Green
OPI Nail Lacquer in “This Cost Me a Mint”
It’s impossible not to feel cheer when you see this light green hue on your fingertips. At once bright and refreshing, yet simultaneously comforting, a mint mani (and perhaps a scoop of ice cream to match) is just what we need this spring.
21. Raspberry Pink
Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in "Camelia"
Better yet, why not match your mint mani to a raspberry pink pedi? This vibrant shade is consistently a top pick for toes.
22. Orchid Pink
Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in “Analog Fog”
Or for something that’s slightly more muted, try an orchid pink that has equal hints of pink and purple instead.
23. Opaque White
Sundays Nail Polish in "No. 01"
Last but not least, we have a crisp white, which is always modern and matches everything in your closet.