The Best Neutral Nail Colors for Your Polish Collection

Fashion

Every item on this page was chosen by an ELLE editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

Best Overall

Dior Vernis

Vernis

Best Overall

Dior Vernis

Meet Dior Vernis, a nail polish collection that blends beauty and fashion. ELLE’s Digital Beauty Director Danielle James shares that this nail polish collection is inspired by iconic pieces within the House of Dior archives. Dior’s unique nail polish formula also enhances nails with peony extract and pistachio extract.

Dior rating: 4.5/5 stars

What ELLE editors are saying: “J’adore Dior—on my nails, that is. Give yourself a couture mani with Dior Vernis.” Danielle James, Digital Beauty Director, ELLE

Best Value

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Polish

 Insta-Dri Nail Polish

Best Value

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Polish

For less than $8, Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri Nail Polish delivers professional-looking results within minutes. Whenever I’m in a time crunch, I immediately turn to Sally Hansen’s quick-dry polish to save the day. The gorgeous “Instant Coffee” shade is one of my favorite neutral colors because it’s such a practical hue and I only need one layer for complete coverage.

Ulta rating: 4.2/5 stars

What ELLE editors are saying: “I happened upon this nail polish when I was perusing the Walmart in my hometown. I had become obsessed with gel polish because who has 20 minutes of drying time?! This Insta Dri formula dries in less than 5 minutes and if I bump my nails an hour later, my manicure isn’t sacrificed. The fan brush easily spreads the polish across your nails allowing for even coats. This is a win for me. I don’t have to wait forever to use my hands or mess up my nails.” — Danielle James, Digital Beauty Director, ELLE

Best Professional

JINsoon Nail Lacquer, Doux

Nail Lacquer, Doux

Best Professional

JINsoon Nail Lacquer, Doux

Jin Soon Choi is a runway artist and nail spa founder who created a non-toxic nail polish line including over sixty long-lasting shades. Choi’s award-winning nail polish collection features a subtle neutral shade called “Doux,” which embodies a modern and chic essence. After swiping this shade onto your nails, you’ll look like you just walked out of the salon.

Amazon rating: 3/5 stars

An Amazon reviewer says: “I usually hate nail polish because it barely lasts [but] apparently I was buying the wrong brands! This was great and it lasted a week with no babying.”

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Best Gel

Deborah Lippmann Cozy

Cozy

Best Gel

Deborah Lippmann Cozy

Deborah Lippman’s Fall 2024 nail collection is inspired by all things Fall and warm, including cashmere and wool. According to James, the six piece set is an absolute must-have for anyone interested in wearing gel nudes. Her favorite nude shade? October Trees.

What ELLE editors are saying: “October Trees is a pastel mauve shade that’s super soothing to look at and makes a great fall nude.”— Danielle James, Digital Beauty Director, ELLE

Best Eco-Friendly

Manucurist Pastel Pink

Pastel Pink

Best Eco-Friendly

Manucurist Pastel Pink

Manicurist is one of the most coveted nail brands, and for good reasons. James shares that this French company offers an eco-friendly, non-toxic ‘Green’ line which is formulated with bio-sourced ingredients like potato, corn, yuca, and cotton. As for James’ favorite neutral color from Manicurist’s collection, she prefers the brand’s opaque “Pastel Pink” shade.

Manicurist rating: 4/5 stars

A Manicurist reviewer says: “Beautiful color (consistent with the presentation photo), very soft. For an appearance that is both natural and refined. Good coverage and good hold. Perfect!”

Most Innovative Formula

Kur London Town Perfecting Nail Veil Polish

London Town Perfecting Nail Veil Polish

Most Innovative Formula

Kur London Town Perfecting Nail Veil Polish

Kur’s Perfecting Nail Veil Polish features a blend of actives that provide strengthening and moisturizing benefits to nails. This innovative formula is also paraben-free and cruelty-free, so it’s a great choice especially if you’re trying to rejuvenate damaged nails. For a flattering neutral shade, we would recommend Veil 5, an ultra-sheer color that’s ideal for any simple look.

Nordstrom rating: 3.7/5 stars

A Nordstrom reviewer says: “I love how with one coat it’s a beautiful sheer color and with two it’s a solid color,I didn’t use base or topcoat and it held up great!”

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Best Balletcore

Chanel Longwear Nail Colour

Longwear Nail Colour

Best Balletcore

Chanel Longwear Nail Colour

Balletcore style is swarming the world of fashion, but we’re also seeing this trend trickle into the realm of beauty too, via shades of pink. If you want to play into this charming trend, try Chanel’s Le Vernis nail polish in the shade “Ballerina.” This dainty color has a gorgeous lacquered finish, and we guarantee you’ll want to wear it on repeat.

Chanel rating: 4.3/5 stars

A Chanel reviewer says: “The perfect nudeI I love it!”

Hailey Bieber’s Favorite Neutral

OPI Funny Bunny

Funny Bunny

Hailey Bieber’s Favorite Neutral

OPI Funny Bunny

According to an OPI expert, Hailey Bieber adores the OPI Nail Lacquer in the shade “Funny Bunny,” as this glimmering shade was used to create Bieber’s glazed donut manicure for the 2022 Met Gala. For this neutral look, make sure to apply at least two layers, as the polish is a bit sheer. However, if you want to create Hailey’s exact look, do the following: Use OPI’s “Stay Strong” gel as your base coat, continue with OPI’s “Funny Bunny,” add OPI’s “Stay Shiny” as your top coat, and finally, apply OPI’s chrome powder in “Tin Man Can.”

OPI rating: 4.2/5 stars

An OPI reviewer says: “It’s a great neutral and a beautiful white. It’s more subtle than alpine snow. Looks great on all skin tones and goes with all wardrobes.”

Best Glazed Donut

OPI Nail Lacquer, Cosmo-Not Tonight Honey!

Nail Lacquer, Cosmo-Not Tonight Honey!

Best Glazed Donut

OPI Nail Lacquer, Cosmo-Not Tonight Honey!

Perhaps one of the biggest beauty trends as of late is Hailey Bieber’s Glazed Donut trend, which refers to products that illuminate skin with a glossy Krispy Kreme-esque touch. But this trend isn’t just reserved for your face, beauty gurus and Bieber fans have translated this glossy look into their manicure routines. You can achieve this trend with Hailey’s OPI favorites, “Funny Bunny,” or you could opt for OPI’s “Cosmo-Not Tonight Honey” shade which has an equally gorgeous hue.

Amazon rating: 4.6/5 stars

An Amazon reviewer says: “OPI Nail Lacquer is such a quality product. It is understandable why it is chosen by so many nail salons. It has real staying power. I have used so many different types of polish but I always return to OPI for the quality and long lasting color and shine.”

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Best Wedding Shade

HERMÈS Les Mains Nail Enamel

Les Mains Nail Enamel

Best Wedding Shade

HERMÈS Les Mains Nail Enamel

What shade should one wear on their nails while walking down the aisle? There are many options of course, but we would recommend an understated neutral color that let’s your dress do the talking. One of our favorites is the Les Mains Hermes Nail Enamel in the shade “Rose Porcelain.”

Bloomingdale’s rating: 4.2/5 stars

What a Bloomingdale’s reviewer says: “The applicator brush on the Hermes nail polish is the best I’ve ever experienced. The application is effortless and evenly distributed with one brush stroke.”

Best for White Toenails

Essie Blanc Nail Polish

 Blanc Nail Polish

Best for White Toenails

Essie Blanc Nail Polish

You can never go wrong with an opaque shade of white for your toenails, especially during the summertime. Essie’s polish in the shade “Blanc” provides flawless coverage and it’s the quintessential hue of white that you’ll want to keep in your beauty drawer forever. For a salon-quality look, start with one layer of Essie’s base coat and follow with two coats of the Blanc polish.

Ulta rating: 4.5/5 stars

What an ELLE editor says :“In the words of Saweetie—‘ten white toes, I’m always tip top’ and she is right! I love the way this stark white always makes your pedicure look crisp and put together, no matter the season. This color will compliment any skin color and it doesn’t chip away.” — Danielle James, Digital Beauty Director, ELLE

Best Neutral Nail Polish for Summer

Essie Lace Is More

On Sale

 Lace Is More

Best Neutral Nail Polish for Summer

Essie Lace Is More

Now 12% Off

If opaque white is not your style, you can always go for a sheer neutral look, such as Essie’s Gel Couture Polish in the shade, “Lace Is More.” I can confidently say that this shade is one of my favorites. During the summertime, I love a sheer shade that compliments any outfit, and the Lace is More shade does exactly that.

Amazon rating: 4.6/5 stars

What an Amazon reviewer says: “This is my go to nail polish for the summer, it’s such a nice sheer color.”

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Best Neutral Nail Polish for Fall

Essie Cocktail Bling

 Cocktail Bling

Best Neutral Nail Polish for Fall

Essie Cocktail Bling

According to ELLE’s Senior Commerce Editor Sam Peters, fall is the perfect season to lean into deeper tones and more muted shades. Peters loves Essie’s “Cocktail Bling,” a rich shade of grey that isn’t your typical neutral. She shares that the formula is long-lasting and vegan, which is why it ranks high on her list.

Amazon rating: 4.6/5 stars

What ELLE editors are saying: “Essie’s Cocktail Bling is one of my favorite hues for autumn, as it’s a bit more unexpected than your classic cream or nude but has a slight edge to it.” Sam Peters, Senior Commerce Editor, ELLE

Best Neutral Nail Polish for Winter

JINsoon JINsoon Nail Polish, Absolute Black

JINsoon Nail Polish, Absolute Black

Best Neutral Nail Polish for Winter

JINsoon JINsoon Nail Polish, Absolute Black

What better time to experiment with dark nail colors than winter? During the winter season, chances are your wardrobe consists of deeper colors, and black compliments rich shades very well. One of our favorites is JINsoon’s “Absolute Black.”

Amazon rating: 4.6/5 stars

What ELLE editors are saying: “For me, black nail polish is a neutral color. A classic nude makes me feel too princessy, but I find that long black nails can look elegant when done with celebrity manicurist Jin Soon Choi’s excellent polish.” Tatjana Freund, Commerce Editor, ELLE

Best Neutral Nail Polish for Spring

Gucci Glossy Nail Polish

 Glossy Nail Polish

Best Neutral Nail Polish for Spring

Gucci Glossy Nail Polish

Shades of pink are synonymous with spring, and Gucci’s Glossy Nail Polish in “Ellen Blush” is a bubbly pink color that is absolutely irresistible. Not only do we love the rich pink hue, but we also appreciate the fact that Gucci’s polish is formulated without formaldehydes, parabens, and silicones. Instead, this polish contains a blend of red algae extract and vitamin E, which work together to promote healthy nails.

Sephora rating: 3.6/5

A Sephora reviewer says: “Hands down the best nail polish I’ve ever used. Goes on smooth, even, and lasts forever. It’s easy to tell that this product is made with high quality ingredients.”

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Best Pink Neutral Nail Polish

OPI Nail Lacquer Nail Polish, Pink

Nail Lacquer Nail Polish, Pink

Best Pink Neutral Nail Polish

OPI Nail Lacquer Nail Polish, Pink

OPI’s ”Let Me Bayou a Drink” shade falls somewhere on the spectrum between subtle and vibrant, which makes it the perfect pink neutral polish. This hue is a stunning blush pink that will elevate your manicure in such an elegant way. OPI’s nail polish also promises up to seven days of wear, so you can be pretty in pink all week long.

Ulta rating: 4.3/5 stars

An Ulta reviewer says: “This color is beautiful. Received a lot of compliments.”

Best White Neutral Nail Polish

MEMEDA Gel Nail Polish in Milky White

Gel Nail Polish in Milky White

Best White Neutral Nail Polish

MEMEDA Gel Nail Polish in Milky White

In the past month, more than seven thousand Amazon customers have purchased Memeda’s “Milky White” polish, which is part of the reason why we’re ranking this product as the best white neutral nail polish. According to reviewers, Memeda’s polish is worth the purchase because it’s an eye-catching shade of white that builds easily. For a sheer look, you’ll only need one coat of polish, but if you would prefer a non-transparent shade, try two or three layers.

Amazon rating: 4.3/5 stars

An Amazon reviewer says: “I have been hunting moths for the perfect milky white and I finally found one that is not too bright white and not too shear. Two to three layers with this [product] and you’re done!”

Best Neutral Nail Color for Darker Skin Tones

Pear Nova Classic Nail Lacquer in Diana Boss

Classic Nail Lacquer in Diana Boss

Best Neutral Nail Color for Darker Skin Tones

Pear Nova Classic Nail Lacquer in Diana Boss

Pear Nova founder Rachel James created her brand out of a desire to represent medium to dark skin tones in the nail-color industry. The “BRWNGRLMGC” collection offers a variety of gorgeous neutral shades, each named after powerful women of color, and one of our favorites is “Diana Boss.” This luxe polish is also completely vegan, and free of toxic ingredients.

Amazon rating: 5/5 stars

An Amazon reviewer says: “I love the glossy finish. It compliments all skin tones & is appropriate for women of all ages.”

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Kim Kardashian’s Favorite Neutral Nail Polish

Aprés Cloud Nine

Cloud Nine

Kim Kardashian’s Favorite Neutral Nail Polish

Aprés Cloud Nine

Recently, Kim Kardshian has been rocking a range of neutral colors, and we’re all dying to know what polish she uses. Well, lucky for you, we did a bit of digging and found that Kardashian’s nail artist Kim Truong uses Aprés’ “Cloud Nine” shade. This shade is highly opaque and features a medium viscosity, so it’s great if you’re trying to achieve a bold nail color.

Aprés rating: 4.5/5 stars

An Aprés reviewer says: “I’ve been searching for the best consistency in a white gel polish. Cloud Nine is it!”

Sofia Richie’s Favorite Neutral Nail Polish

Essie Nail Polish in Skinny Dip

Nail Polish in Skinny Dip

Sofia Richie’s Favorite Neutral Nail Polish

Essie Nail Polish in Skinny Dip

Sofia Richie is the queen of the clean girl aesthetic, and one of her secrets to nailing this look is Essie’s “Skinny Dip” nail polish. This neutral color is a glossy shade of light peach that will never go out of style. And thanks to Essie’s easy glide brush, you’ll experience a streak-free manicure.

Amazon rating: 4.5/5 stars

An Amazon reviewer says: “If you’re looking for subtle pink with a little shine, this is the number one color to get. Essie makes the best polish!”

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