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8 Favorite Must Have Nail Polishes

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ohio U chapter.

While I’m not an expert on makeup, I love nail polish. I have been interested in nail polish ever since I was a kid and definitely jumped on the bandwagon of nail art while in middle school. As I’ve grown older with less personal time, I have simplified my standard nails and have a few top colors that I believe everyone should have in their collection, or even if you’re just starting. These 8 nail colors are just enough to give you variety, and the perfect amount to take with you to and from college.


Having a solid nude shade=adulting. Whether you find the perfect nude for your skin tone or a nice nude pink, this is the ultimate professional shade for all of your interviews. What matches my skin best is the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in Bare it all.


Finding your perfect shade of red can be harder than you think. Some people prefer a more coral pink-red, while others prefer a dark sultry red. Whichever one you like best, run with it! I prefer a true red over everything with my favorite being Essie’s Really Red.


This might just be me but I love a neutral brown for the fall. Finding the perfect brown to compliment your skin tone is important because this will determine if you have more yellow or black in your brown. My all-time favorite brown is OPI’s Infinite Shine Chocolate Moose.

Olive Green

Along with brown, I think having an olive green is so fun to play around with on your nails during the fall and winter, as well as on your toes all year long. My long-time favorite is the Sephora by OPI Caught With My Khaki’s Down which is unfortunately no longer made (Sephora bring this back!) but a comparable color would be Essie’s Exposed.


Another professional, but fun nail color to have in your collection is gray. You’d be surprised by the number of different shades of gray you’ll find. Find your favorite dark, light, or shimmery gray polish that makes you feel great putting on. A cheap start to your collection, try out Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri in Show Steel-er.


You definitely think I’ve gone mad by now, but hear me out. White nail polish makes you look so tan during the summer, but also adds a pop of clean and brightness to your nails and toes. White is also fun to have if you want to add any fun nail art details like dots. A great white that’ll get the job done is OPI in the shade Snow Alpine.

A fun pop of your choice

When keeping your collection small, it can be easy to go overboard with fun colors that make a statement. The problem is you might only be able to wear them a few weeks out of the year. Pick max three pops of color to add to your collection. A hot pink, vibrant yellow, or light purple might be exactly up your ally. My favorite pop of color nail polish I have frequented this year is the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in Lacey Lilac.


Who doesn’t love glitter? Having at least one glitter nail polish or topcoat can bring your nail polish from business casual to night time ready. And there are so many options when it comes to glitter such as colored, chunky, and holo so pick your favorite. My all-time go-to glitter from childhood is the NYC White Lights Glitter. I stood by it as a child and I will still stand by it today.

BONUS: Base/Topcoat

If you want your nails to last, it’s important to have a solid base coat and topcoat in your collection. I love the Orly Bonder Basecoat and the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat Clearly Quick (always go for an instant dry topcoat if you want to avoid marks on your nails).

A senior at Ohio University, Hannah Moskowitz is majoring in the news and information journalism track at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. During her time there, she is president, campus correspondent and writes for Her Campus. In her free time, she writes for her personal blog: www.hannahmeetsworld.com. When she's not writing, she loves to paint, hammock with friends and take care of her plants.