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According to the calendar, it’s spring. That means gingham, sandals, and, yes, some new nail polish. (Even if you never do your own manicures.) While there are plenty of traditional pastels on offer, the spring and summer collections this year feature all kinds of colors, from classic neutrals and reds to shimmers and moody darks. Here are the best of the bunch, from brands that consistently deliver the best colors and formulas.
Essie Excuse Me, Sur ($9)
Essie’s spring collection is based on a road trip to the beach. The brand describes this color as “sun-kissed coral mango,” but make no mistake: This is a great version of millennial pink.
OPI Is That a Spear in Your Pocket? ($10)
Continuing its long-running tradition of naming collections after destinations, OPI’s spring 2017 collection is a homage to Fiji. If you can ignore the semi-cringeworthy name (a problem that is not new for OPI), this beautiful green-blue is near perfect.
Deborah Lippmann Brand New Day ($20)
Deborah Lippmann excels on two different ends of the nail polish spectrum — glitter and neutrals. Brand New Day is a sheer pinky beige creme formula that has just enough color, and her Gel Lab formula is one of the best on the market right now.
Chanel Black Metamorphosis ($28)
Spring colors a little too pretty for you? Chanel is offering a cool sheer black top coat that adds some moody depth to your existing colors.
Jin Soon Love ($18)
It would not be spring without pink polish, and the winner goes to Jin Soon Choi, who conceived the happiest, punchiest pink you’ll see this season.
LVX Argonne ($18)
LVX always bases its seasonal colors on runway trends, and military khaki green is everywhere. It also happens to look great as a nail color.
Julep Aquarius ($14)
Julep’s new Zodiac collection is a sparkly, glittery dream. (Okay, fine. It’s unicorn makeup.) I’m a Capricorn on the cusp of Aquarius, and luckily (or probably because astrology is totally real and can predict my color predilections) the Aquarius happens to be my favorite shade. You can also buy the whole collection at once.
Sally Hansen Color Therapy Red-iance ($5.99)
Sally Hansen’s new collection, which contains “conditioning oils” (read about what that means here) was conceived by the very cool nail artist Madeline Poole. This is a great classic orange-poppy red.
Nails Inc. Long Wear Dovehouse Green ($11)
Ever since Hard Candy did it way back when, creamy mint green has been a spring staple. It’s a good tradition. Nails Inc.’s whole spring collection could have been inspired by pastel Easter eggs.
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