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Our 5 Favorite Pastel Nail Polish Shades for Spring


Light blue pastel nail polish

Easter is just over a week away, the weather is turning sundress-warm – know what that means? Spring is finally, finally here. As a California transplant in the Midwest, I could not be happier about the ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, and being as nail-obsessed as I am, that’s often reflected on my fingertips.

Spring, to me, means breaking away from those moody, dark winter colors and moving towards pretty, light pastels. Perfect for studying on the quad or grabbing dinner outdoors, these five pretty pastel nail polish colors will carry you through till finals (aka summer!) and beyond.

1. Essie Navigate Her

(Essie “Navigate Her” – $7.14 at Amazon)

What this polish has to do with Wall Street – the theme of Essie’s spring collection – I don’t know, but what I do know is that this pistachio green is unlike any other color I’ve seen. It’s different enough that you’ll get tons of compliments when you wear it but muted enough so that it’s not the focal point of your outfit.

If you’ve wanted to test out green polishes, this is definitely the shade to try. Plus, it has crazy-long staying power – I’m talking five days chip-free – which is a must for my crackberry-addicted fingertips.

2. China Glaze For Audrey

China Glaze For Audrey
(China Glaze “For Audrey” – $5.73 at Amazon)

This is a perennial favorite for all nail polish addicts and it’s easy to see why: A. It’s as close as you can get to Tiffany box-blue, B. it’s incredibly opaque and C. it’s super-shiny.

Out of the five polishes on this list, it’s definitely the brightest! If you’re looking for something a bit more muted, you might like Essie’s Mint Candy Apple instead. But if you want a tried-and-true favorite to add to your arsenal, look no further than this captivating light blue.

3. OPI Do You Lilac It?

OPI Do You Lilac It?
(OPI “Do You Lilac It?” – $7.40 at Amazon)

If you’re looking for a pastel purple that will look amazing on you and all of your roommates, look no further. OPI’s lavender-like shade doesn’t veer towards dusty or grey (if that’s what you want, then try OPI’s Parlez-Vous OPI) and looks bright without being gaudy. It’s a staple you definitely need in your stash!

4. China Glaze Lemon Fizz

China Glaze Lemon Fizz
(China Glaze “Lemon Fizz” – $5.00 at Amazon)

I know you’re probably thinking that pale yellow shades can be hard to pull off… but I promise that’s not the case with China Glazes’ Lemon Fizz.

As with the green shade above, if you want to try out yellow nail polish, this is the perfect color to start with. It’s not too garish but still offers a nice pop of color. The best part about this polish is that it’s completely opaque after two coats – a rare feat for this color family.

5. OPI Pink Friday

 OPI Pink Friday
(OPI “Pink Friday” – $7.61 at Amazon)

Before I found this shade, I’d completely given up searching for an opaque pastel pink. As soon as I got this in the mail (guys, trust me, Amazon is the best place to buy nail polish), I knew that this cotton-candy shade was a winner. Not only is it opaque after two coats, but the color is pink without being too warm- or cool-toned, which makes it perfect for so many skin tones.

I’m stocking up on this limited-edition, Nicki Minaj-approved shade – and so should you!

Your thoughts?

What do you think? What are your favorite pastel colors? Do you own any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Posted on on March 28, 2012 / Filed Under: Beauty & Hair / Tags: , , , , , , ,

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33 Responses to “Our 5 Favorite Pastel Nail Polish Shades for Spring”

  1. 1
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    I love the blue China Glaze polish. :) Definitely going to get it.

  2. 2
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Thank you for this post!! I love all the colors :)

    I was JUST looking for new nail polish colors, too.

    I love me some Amazon (and I mean A LOT), but why is it the best for buying nail polish?


  3. 3
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Carrie- Amazon is the best because it’s the cheapest! At the drugstore or salon Essie/OPI go for at least $8.50 while on Amazon they’re usually $1-2 cheaper. I’ve even gotten some colors for $3! It doesn’t hurt that in Missouri (and maybe your state too!), online purchases aren’t taxed :).

  4. 4
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I was jussssssst searching the web for spring nail polishes that aren’t 25+ dollars, so thank you very much! I should have known to check CF first :) For Audrey is my go to color always, so I’m glad to see it have a spot on the list. This is the closest thing you’ll get to Tiffany Blue….go snag it ladies!

  5. 5
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    I just picked up “For Audrey” last week (happy to see it made this list!). Painted my nails over the weekend. I gotta say, this is definitely one of my favourite new shades!!

  6. 6
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Actually, Amazon’s not very good for buying some brands. You can get OPI for cheaper there (sometimes), but Transdesign is my pick for Essie, China Glaze, Barielle, Misa and Orly. Essie is only $4.35 there (compared to $8 retail) and China Glaze is $2.99 for most (compared to $6-$8). The shipping can be kind of pricey – around $9 flat rate – but as long as you’re getting a few bottles, it’s worth the savings!

  7. 7
    March 28th, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I’d stay away from OPI’s Do You Lilac It. Currently wearing what I thought would be a fantastic lavender, but alas, it’s neon barbie pink.

  8. 8
    March 28th, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    I am loving this pastel nail polish…especially the lilac! I will be matching my toes to my lingerie this spring!

  9. 9
    March 28th, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    “For Audrey” is my signature nail color. :) It’s my absolute favorite!

  10. 10
    March 28th, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Yay, I have all these similiar shades!

  11. 11
    March 28th, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I have to say I’ve been using Do You Lilac It for Years and it’s one of my absolute favorites! I’m so glad to see it featured. I’ve never had a problem with it

  12. 12
    March 28th, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    I absolutely love the Essie green color! Maybe green for money and that’s why it is in the Wall Street collection? Who knows, but I can’t wait to try it out!

  13. 13
    March 29th, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Loving the green also!

  14. 14
    March 29th, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Wow, I was so amazed when I saw that I own all five polishes! Great choice, they’re definitely all near the top on my go-to colours!

  15. 15
    March 29th, 2012 at 10:46 am

    I just recently painted my toes with “Pink Friday”. It makes me feel so girly!! It’s the perfect shade of spring PINK!

  16. 16
    March 29th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    So very tempted to buy every single one!

  17. 17
    March 29th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I strongly agree with all of this! I was just looking up spring nail trends last night. I would also add something like Essie Van D’Go; peach-pink-corals are big in kind of a Tumblr scene way.

    I do take issue with a line in #2: Mint Candy Apple feels radioactive bright to me.

  18. 18
    March 29th, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    For purchasing, check out ULTA (ton of brands irl and online) and Sally’s Beauty Supply (China Glaze, Orly, Finger Paints, Nina Pro). also has discount prices, but the shipping is high, so you need to buy enough to make it worth it. Check out nail polish blogs like All Lacquered Up for links to other online shops. Few seem to sell OPI these days, so I would ask the Make-Up Alley nail board where you can find it.

  19. 19
    March 29th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Yay a nail polish article! Previously I figured that between the names Navigate Her and A Crewed Interest from Essie Spring ’12, they were going for a nautical theme, but upon further inspection you’re right, it’s Wall Street…? The names are always so clever. Come on guys!

  20. 20
    March 29th, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Sorry to double comment, but I just came across this and think it is a must see! Zoya nail polishes are half off here: (3 for $12) using the code GMAZoya. Supplies are limited.. I am shaking I am so excited. Spring nails! Shipping is $2 so my order came to $14, marvelous. (I got spring lovelies.) xo!

  21. 21
    March 29th, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Lacey Lilac by Sally Hansen is a great pastel spring color and you really can’t beat the price! Revlons Minted is a great light mint green! Those are two great drug store options to check out both really reasonably priced. For those more daring a straight up light peach, china glaze’s Peachy Keen is so lovely!

  22. 22
    March 29th, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I love the nail polish shades, pastel colors FTW!!. They are perfect for spring and the colors are loveable.

  23. 23
    March 29th, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    What is the color of the nail polish in the 1st picture on the model hands???

  24. 24
    March 30th, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Brittany – That actually isn’t a real nail polish color; it’s a photo we found and edited in photoshop to make pastel. However, the light blue shade DOES look similar to Chanel’s “Riva” / Eyeko’s “Pastel”, which were both big last season. And you could mix “For Audrey” with white to get almost an exact match. Hope it helps!

  25. 25
    March 31st, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    LOVE the new colours!
    I’m wearing a nice nude/pink that’s pretty & goes with everything!

  26. 26
    April 2nd, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Love the post! If you are looking for a pink, I have this great pastel pink nail polish. It takes two to three coats to make it opaque, but I use a white primer undercoat (another trick I learned on collegefashion!) and it turns out perfect. This may sound silly, but every time I look at my fingernails I think of strawberry milkshakes. Its Ulta Encore Pink. (I use OPI Alpine Snow for underneath, by the way.)
    Trust me, you will love it.

  27. 27
    April 2nd, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I love the colors your found. However, I am super pale! Is there a color you recommend for people with really fair skin tones? Most nail polishes wash me out or look ridiculous next to my overly white skin. Any help you can offer will be appreciated.

  28. 28
    April 4th, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Alayna- I am super pale too, as well of a few of my roommates. I personally love bright colors against pale skin, as well almost-black polishes. I’d recommend OPI’s I Eat Mainely Lobster, Monsooner or Later and Black Cherry Chutney, and Essie’s Pretty Edgy and Case Study

  29. 29
    April 6th, 2012 at 1:12 am

    Love for Audrey! Does anyone know why it’s called that?

  30. 30
    April 6th, 2012 at 1:41 am

    For Audrey is named based on Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, because it’s a (non-copywritten) Tiffany Blue.

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