With hands and feet on full display this time of the year, nail polish is one of your most noticeable accessories. So which shades are worth flaunting? We asked insiders to reveal the colors that have ben hard to keep in stock, what’s been trending in a major way and what’s been an unexpected hit (dark green!). Plus, learn how to get perfect beach waves without hitting the sand.
Deborah Lipmann Mermaid’s Dream Nail Lacquer
This seafoam polish has a subtle glittered shimmer that makes it wearable on hands and toes (and it looks unbelievably good with a tan). Since its launch during the resort season, Lippmann has found it nearly impossible to keep this pick on shelves.
Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Mermaid’s Dream, $18
Tom Ford Beauty Nail Lacquer in Burnt Topaz & Silver Smoke
Everything Tom Ford touches turns to beauty gold. His latest nail polishes are no exception. Formulated with impossibly cool mirror pearls to create a molten shimmer effect, this newest collection of lacquers started to sell out the second it reached counters. These two shades—a burnished topaz and smoky gunmetal—are still available (for now, that is!).
Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Burnt Topaz & Silver Smoke, $30 each
Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture in Rouge Pop Art, Bleu Majorelle & Noir Primitif
Fashion obsessifs will be all over YSL International Makeup Artist Lloyd Simmonds’s newest nail collection, which launches in July and features a trio of shades inspired by the house’s classic vintage and iconic colors. As Simmonds says, they’re “very Parisian colors, extremely vivid and intensely pure.”
Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture in Bleu Majorelle, Noir Primitif & Rouge Pop Art, $25 each
Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture Beige Leger
Dubbed the “it” nail enamel of the Yves Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2012 fashion week show, this versatile neutral is still winning admirers for its crisp and refined finish. Consider it your must-have summer beige.
Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture in Beige Leger, $25
Essie Bikini So Teeny
A shimmery cornflower blue, Essie’s hero shade from its summer assortment has already sold out online but can still be found in circulation. In other words: if you find it at your nail spot, grab it. Fast.
Essie Nail Polish in Bikini So Teeny, $8
Lancome Limited-Edition Le Vernis in Cosmopolitan Pink & Tangerine Tint
This new duo of bright tangerine and pink is the preferred mani/pedi option for those girls who bring their own to the salon. Inspired by the desert sun, the colors go on rich and saturated, and stay that way for up to seven days.
Lancome Le Vernis in Cosmopolitan Pink & Tangerine Tint, $15 each
OPI Spider-Man Collection
The summer blockbuster of the season: OPI’s dynamic polishes inspired by The Amazing Spider-Man, featuring brilliant reinventions of retro comic-book colors. The best-sellers include the hot coral Call Me Gwen, the reptilian green Just Spotted The Lizard, and the cityscape white My Boyfriend Scales Walls.
O.P.I. Spider-Man Collection, $9
NARS Trouville Nail Polish
After having created some of the most memorable nail shades ever (Jungle Red, anyone?), François Nars latest arrival is a soft, seashell pink that’s going over in a big way. Layer on one coat for a whisper finish, and two more for an eye-popping effect.
NARS Nail Polish in Trouville, $18
Zoya Beach & Surf Collection
Insiders tell us that this tropical assortment has set a new record as the brand’s most popular collection. Ever. Four shades have lead the pack: Wednesday, a light aqua cream; Lara, a magenta pink; Arizona, a soft orange cream; and Zuza, a vivid metallic aqua with a sparkling finish.
Zoya Beach & Surf Collection, $8 each
Estee Lauder Viper
For those who like their polish to have an unexpected edge, Viper is the startling-chic best bet. The limited-edition metallic green (launching in August) was developed by Estee Lauder Creative Makeup Director Tom Pecheux and has graced the tips of models like Karlie Kloss during the fall 2012 shows. Explaining its appeal, Pecheux told us, “I love the sophisticated rebel and offbeat spirit of it.”
Estee Lauder Nail Polish in Viper, $18,