- October 29, 2021
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Winter is approaching, meaning if you're a nail care junkie you've likely been a) conducting winter nail trend research, b) booking a pedicure to prevent dry skin, c) searching for the most moisturizing cuticle oil known to man, or d) all of the above. Heck, you might even be buying fingerless gloves so that your manicures will be visible to all, cold air be damned.
If your main focus RN is adding new winter nail colors to your polish collection, you've got plenty of fresh shades at your disposal. This year, celebrity nail artist and OPI artistic ambassador Jenny Bui is most excited about high-shine options. "Winter is the perfect time to experiment with different nail polish finishes from shimmers to holographic finishes to glitters," she says. "Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a fan of bling." (If you've seen her work, you know that last bit is quite the understatement.) The holiday season is the perfect excuse to go all out when it comes to shiny finishes, says Bui. (Related: These Makeup Crayons Will Change How You Feel About Glitter Eyeshadow)
The nail artist also lists red as one of her current favorite winter nail polish colors. "Reds are great all year round but in the winter, I gravitate toward deeper reds," she says. Now's the time to set aside your candy apple reds in favor of your burgundies, your oxbloods, and your merlots. (Related: Fall 2021 Nail Trends You'll Want to Try Immediately)
Nail brands have begun releasing their winter collections, so you might as well take action if you've been planning to stock up on season-appropriate shades. Here are Bui's current favorite shimmery and red shades, plus other pretty nail colors for winter.
Bui says she’s feeling this “beautiful bold crème red” that’s begging to be worn for a holiday get-together. The shade is also available in OPI's Infinite Shine Collection, a three-step system that promises an ultra-shiny, gel-like finish.
There are nail colors with subtle glitter, and then there are those with large flecks of multicolor shine. (If you can’t already tell, the latter is the case when it comes to this shade.) “I’ll definitely be using You Had Me at Confetti,” says Bui. “I love that you can it alone or as a topper to add some glitter to your nail look.”
Olive and June’s winter nail colors for 2021 include Velvet Pouf, the ultimate dark purple. As with the rest of Olive and June’s nail colors, it has a seven-free formula (i.e. it’s free from seven controversial ingredients such as formaldehyde) and a wide, fan-shaped brush designed to make painting within the lines easy. (Related: Olive and June’s Topcoat Has Transformed My At-Home Mani Game)
Dark winter nail colors don’t deserve all the love. True to its name, this translucent shade has small white flecks resembling fresh snow. Consider it a more subtle nod to the season than snowflake nail art. (Related: The Best Nail Strengtheners for Brittle, Weak Nails, According to Experts)
If you prefer the longevity and shine of gel manicures, you can go with this at-home gel kit from Le Mini Macaron. The kit includes a cuticle stick, file, gel polish (a berry red in this case), removal wraps, and a macaron-sized LED light. It costs about as much as a single gel manicure treatment at a salon.
Magnetic nail polish is a shortcut for nail designs that don’t require nail art skills. After painting on two coats of the polish, you hover an included magnet over each nail, which creates a swirled effect. This set from Nails Inc. comes with gold and gunmetal blue shades.
Essie’s collection of nail colors for winter 2021 take inspiration from the whimsical colors of children’s toys at the holidays. A highlight, Love at Frost Sight is a baby blue with a pearly finish. (Related: This Nail Polish Kit Delivers a Long-Lasting Manicure In Less Than 10 Minutes)
Jewel tones are in, so this shimmery sapphire shade from ORLY is right on trend. It’s part of ORLY’s Breathable line, which features formulas infused with argan oil, vitamin B5, and vitamin C to promote healthy nail growth. They’re intended to be used on their own without calling for a base or top coat.
At this point you might be struggling to choose one or two winter nail colors to try. Enter: a holiday nail set along the lines of this option from Essie. It comes with six mini nail colors ranging from bordeaux to white, plus a top coat. Since they’re packaged as a gift set, you might want to keep an extra on hand for a last-minute present.
Consider your search for the perfect neutral complete. Caramel Budino from Olive and June’s winter collection is a caramel-toffee shade that will go with everything (even the ugliest of Christmas sweaters). (Related: Semi-Cured Gel Nail Polish Strips Are the Secret to a Flawless Home Mani)