5 Nail Polishes Every Girl Should Own!

Sometimes I look at my absurdly large nail polish stash and think “do I REALLY need all this nail polish?”. Of course, the answer is no. Realistically, a girl can get away with having only 5 nail polishes if they are the right 5 nail polishes.

Each individual nail polish will be a little different depending on the person but one in every category below the jump is a definite necessity. Leave a comment with your 5 must have polishes!

1. The Perfect Red: Just like everyone needs a perfect red lipstick, everyone also needs a perfect red nail polish. Whether it be a creme or it  be shimmery, one that compliments your skintone perfectly is a must. If you are cool toned, reds with blue undertones are the best place to start. For those that are warm toned, a red with yellow or orange undertones will work best. A couple fairly universally flattering reds OPI I’m Not Really a Waitress and wet n wild Red Red. A red that is great for cool skintones is OPI Perfectly Red and a good option for warmer skintones is OPI Bullish on OPI.

2. Vampy: Thanks to Chanel Vamp, vampy nail polishes are now considered a staple. Every girl needs a go to vampy polish in her collection. Whether it be a deep red creme like Essie Wicked or OPI Mrs. O’Leary’s BBQ, or a shimmery option like OPI Royal Rajah Ruby. They great thing about vampy shades is they are, for the most part, universally flattering. Much less work than trying to find the perfect red!

3. Nude or Light Pink: As much as I’d like this not to be a must have, it is. Everyone needs a perfect nude or light pink polish for the conservative occasion. Now, when I say nude polish, I don’t mean nude as in a mannequin hand nude polish, but a sheer polish that gives your nails a polished but not OPI I'm a Princess, You're Not!overdone look. I prefer a little shimmer for this look, and one of my favorite universally flattering options is OPI I’m a Princess, You’re Not!. For cool toned girls, a light pink is often a better option. One of my favorites is OPI Pink Before You Leap.

4. Metallic: This may not be in everyone’s must have polish list, but I think it’s an important part of a collection because metallic polish goes with anything. Metallic polishes are also appropriate for most occasions, whether it be a night out or a trip to the grocery store. Once again, what metallic is best for you will be entirely dependent on your skintone. Bronze and yellow golds look best on warm skintones, where as silvers and rose gold look best on cooler skintones. A great metallic for warm skintones is Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Bronze Ablaze. My personal favorite for cool skintones is Orly Rage. A good neutral metallic is OPI Lucerne-tantly Look Marvelous.

5. Wild Card: No collection is complete without a polish that’s a little out there. Whether it be a super bright neon, or a pastel creme or even a chunky glitter. The point of nail polish is to have a little fun, right? And that’s why we’ve reviewed hundreds of polishes on this site alone. Nail polish can be a creative outlet as well as a fashion statement and accessory. And the best part about nail polish is….it’s not permanent. If you hate it, you can take it off! And you didn’t spend a fortune on it.

Don’t forget to leave your 5 must have polishes in a comment below!

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31 responses to “5 Nail Polishes Every Girl Should Own!

  1. The Perfect Red: Essie Queen of Hearts, Vampy: Essie Lacy not Racy, Nude: OPI Princess rule, Metallic: Orly Rage, Wild Card: Nails Inc. Baker Street. This was hard – was so close to “either or” throughout 😉

  2. I liked this post! I agree with your choices for the most part. Let’s see the top 5 I can come up with…

    1. Red
    2. Vampy
    3. The perfect creme (for me that would be a navy blue or forest green)
    4. Duochrome!
    5. Nude or a color that’s not so out there

    Did my best 🙂

  3. 5 polishes???!!! No way! Ha! Of course, you are right. We all clearly overdue it! But it’s so fun!

    • I know, right? But I was thinking…if I could only have 5 nail polishes, which would I pick. And these are the ones I came up with 🙂

  4. Great post! Here are my perfect 5 from your categories.
    Perfect red: Essie Size Matters
    Vampy: OPI Royal Rajah Ruby
    Nude: OPI Samoan Sand
    Metallic: OPI Lucerne-tainly Look Marvelous
    Wild Card: China Glaze For Audrey. I can’t imagine not having the perfect Tiffany blue in my collection!

  5. The Perfect Red: China Glaze City Siren. I don’t know what I’ll do when I run out of this, because I don’t think it’s been added to the permanent line!

    Vampy: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Flirt. It has a subtle shimmer to it and is really cheap with a decent formula.

    Nude: OPI I’m A Princess, You’re Not! which I discovered right here on TDV!

    Metallic: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Time to Shine. Again, I’m not sure this is part of the permanent line. The mix of gold and silver foil makes it a great color on most people, I’ve found.

    Wild Card: Oh, the choices! Uhm… China Glaze For Audrey, Essie Turquoise and Caicos, and Milani Key West. I can’t decide which one! One of those teals though, for sure!

  6. OPI’s An Affair in Red Square is also an awesome shimmery red, and Maybelline Express Finish’s Red Caviar is a great red creme. I love both of those.

  7. I love this. I have been thinking of doing a something like this for my YT channel, do you mind if I credit you for the inspiration when I put down my favorites on my channel?

  8. Perfect Red: Essie Forever Yummy
    Vampy: Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Save the Date
    Light Pink: Essie Fiji
    Metallic: Revlon Gold Coin
    Wild Card: It would have to be a holo or duochrome or a jewel toned

  9. My collection is mostly made of wild cards, but I agree with the standard polishes.
    1) Perfect Red: Still looking
    2) Vampy: OPI Vampsterdam
    3) Nude: OPI Gouda Gouda Two Shoes isn’t technically nude, but it’s as close as I usually get
    4) Metallic: Iris Colors Show & Tell, a metallic gold that isn’t too flashy
    5) Wild Card: OPI Tasmanian Devil Made Me Do It, my absolute favorite polish

    • I have go to try OP Vampsterdam. Katie will be interested to see someone else has some experience with Iris Colors. That sounds like a color that would be right up her alley!

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  12. God, most of my nail polishes collection is made up of wildcards!! Still!
    Perfect Red: Revlon Red
    Vampy: Dior Vernis in Red Ebony
    Nude: OPI Did you Ear about Van Gough
    Metallic: OPI DS Radiance
    Wild Card: Opi GreenWich Village

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  14. I would agree with your 5 must haves; except I feel like there should be a “Coral” color, which I guess would be the “Wild Card” 🙂
    My 5 are:
    The Perfect Red; OPI “I’m Not Really A Waitress”
    Vampy; I LOVE LOVE Essie “Bordeaux”
    Nude; Cult Nails “Cruisin’ Nude”
    Metallic; Chanel “Peridot”
    Wild Card; that’s a toss up, either OPI “Cajun Shrimp” or maybe Gosh “Holographic” or an Aqua Blue like Essie “Turquoise and Cacios”. My wild card would be SO hard for me to choose a “Permanent” color; it changes on my moods and what season it is… This is a FUN post! Thank you!! I am enjoying reading all the responses!!!

  15. Red: Rescue Beauty Lounge Killa Red
    Vampy: Chanel Vamp
    Nude: OPI Tickle My Francy
    Metallic: none, never wear it. Can I substitute a shimmer? Then Essie Demure Vixen
    Wild Card: Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm. Great navy blue.

    I do think there needs to be 7 polishes. What about a pink and a coral peach?

  16. Perfect red ~ Sally Hansen: Xtream Wear- Cherry Red and/or China Glaze- Ruby Pumps

    Vampy ~ OPI- Russian Navy

    Nude ~ Rimmel London- Bare Naked

    Metallic ~ China Glaze- Icicle

    Wild Card ~ That’s hard….between Essie- Pretty Edgy or Piggy Polish- Buzz

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  18. I really like I Am a Princess And You Are Not…I picked up 2 of em when I discovered – not sure why but was in this phase of getting 2 and 3 bottles of shades I liked around that time. Next yr this category you are referring ot is predicted to be HUGE. We are going to see light pink pearl/frosts. Now I am not a fan of frost at all – pearls sometimes OK but they often are called pearl and really are frost I find. So if indeed we see a ton of this shade next yr I will be pulling out Princess a ton. Like you, the tish of sparkle in it makes this look work for my eyeballs and moves it out of the sheer pink French mani look. Another along this same vein I like a lot is Deborah Lippmann’s Dream A Little Dream of Me – it’s sheer and can be used over other shades and puts a blue flash into the sheer pink that my eyeballs also like….and I gotta have my blue flahes in my top 5 must haves – but then I am a huge fan of those magentas/fuchsias that do that blue flash thing. I read a goof this past yr that said OPI had discontinued I AM NOT REALLY A WAITRESS. I thought – no – too soon – it’s still a great go to color. Ended up that was an incorrect report out of OPI that was corrected – the one pulled was a former as popular as Waitress – Mother Road Rose – which is a tish too frosty for now – but like I said – next yr we are supposed to see frosts make a big return…so don’t you just know it that OPI will have a new update version of Mother Road Rose pretty soon!!! Great list here. You should do more of these like range of reds all need – range of blues all need – range of grays all need – etc.

  19. Oh and forgot to add – I am a huge fan of Orly Rage – found it right before Christmas last yr when it was (I think) part of a re-release of 3 shades that were for NYE.

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  21. Using your categories… I tend toward cool tones cuz they look best with my skin tone…

    Red: OPI An Affair in Red Square

    Vampy: OPI Black Cherry Chutney (La Boheme, but it’s discontinued – I have an old bottle still that I use sparingly!)

    Nude/Light Pink: OPI Altar Ego (more lavender pink) or Zoya Jolie (more peachy pink)

    Metallic: China Glaze Swing Baby – a beautiful glittery gold/taupe that goes with everything.

    Wild Card: all my favourite blues like my newest one OPI Can’t Find my Czechbook – creamy beachy teal blue that looks great on toes with nail art. Also love Russian Navy – it’s a classic staple.

    Something I will add to this list (6 must haves, not 5) is a perfect top coat:
    OPI I Juggle Men is a great top coat that can give a sparkly shimmer to any colour, but it’s subtle.
    Seche Vite is my go to for plain top coat but I love Revlon fast dry too.

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