5 Great Classic Nail Polish Shades to Rock on Your Wedding Day

Hair & Beauty

Photo: Patric Shaw

As much as we love summery, colorful nail polishes, we've become connoisseurs of the classic colors, since we know you're most likely going to stick to those for your wedding day. Our editors tested all of the light pinks, nudes, metallics, and reds under the sun — and trust us, there are a lot — to bring you the polish shades worthy of wearing on the big day.

Light pink: Essie Eternal Optimist, $8.50, Essie
This not only gets the approval of our editors, but it was the color of choice at Jenny Packham's 2015 bridal runway show, too. The trick to achieving the perfect application? Backstage, manicurist Julie Kandalec applied Essie First Base base coat, followed by one thick coat and one really light coat of Eternal Optimist, and finished with Good to Go top coat. (When you're using light shades, she says, the key to a seamless finish is waiting for each coat to dry before applying the next one.) When our editor tried this application process, she enjoyed near-professional results. "It's a very sophisticated rose pink," she says. "I'd say it's the chameleon of nail polishes — it would work for any type of bride in any setting."

Metallic: Tom Ford Incandescent, $32, Neiman Marcus
Finding a metallic that doesn't chip, isn't too sparkly (read: cheesy), and is highly pigmented is quite a feat, our tester realized. Enter Tom Ford's Incandescent. "It goes on so smoothly — like liquid rose gold," she enthuses. "The sparkles are really fine and contain both silver and gold flecks, which makes it flattering to all skin tones. It also dries quickly, even without a top coat, and stayed put for a week!"

See more: Expert Tips for Healthy and Gorgeous Wedding-Day Nails

Nude: Estée Lauder Pure Color Nudité, $21, Estée Lauder
Estée Lauder's Nudité is the best kind of nude — it goes on thick and opaque with a glossy finish — perfect for a bride who wants to wear a shade that's not too bold. "The wide brush makes for easy application," our editor says. "And the flesh-colored shade made my fingers look longer and leaner!"

Clear: Dior Nail Glow, $25, Sephora
For all of you brides who have to continually convince your manicurist to only buff — not paint! — your nails, Dior's Nail Glow may be the answer to your prayers. It's a clear, sheer pink "nail enhancer," as they call it, which merely creates a glossy finish. Just think of it as Chapstick for your nails. "It made my nails look like they were polished and healthy — you couldn't tell that I was wearing anything," our editor says. "Best of all? You don't have to worry about it chipping!"

See more: 8 Ways You're Wrecking Your Mani

Deep Red:OPI Kennebunk-port, $8, Drugstore
A dark, wine red is perfect for a glamorous, black tie wedding, and OPI's Kennebunk-port is exactly what we had in mind. "Some deep reds can look brown when you put them on, but this looks exactly on your nails like it does in the bottle," our editor says. "Two coats of it is insanely sophisticated. I'd have my bridesmaids wear it, too."

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