The xoJane Nail Polish List: What's Your Color?

I asked the xoJane editors to tell me how they choose their nail polish. Plus, one lucky reader will win the whole lot!
Publish date:
April 17, 2012
nail art, color, nail polish, manicures, shoppable

Have you ever flipped over a nail polish to find a really cringe-worthy name and put it back on the shelf, or do you just go with whatever color you fancy? Do you wear nail polish shades that you secretly hate in the name of trend-slavery? I asked the xoJane editors to weigh in on how they choose their nail polish.

Jane says: I of course cannot stand most nail polish color names as They Are Puns! I have in my imagination a shade called Good Girl Pink, which is pinker than a ballet slipper and looks like something a 6-year-old would wear and I want it. I have almost found it but not quite. Does it exist? If so, that's my favorite shade. With short nails, oc.

Natural nails Jane

Emily says: My stock red is Jelly Apple from Essie, but other than that I pick purely by name. It doesn't matter what the shade looks like, I'll take I'm Not Really a Waitress over something boring like Really Red any time. Also, if there is a child anywhere in the proximity, I let them pick my color.

Essie, Jelly Apple, $8

OPI, I'm Not Really A Waitress, $8

Corynne says:Clear usually because I'm boring and the only reason to paint my fingernails is to stop biting them! Toes I use lots of shades of pink or red, usually based on season or if I'm getting them done for a specific event (wedding, beach) that sometimes influences it.

Lesley says: My two favorite colors right now are Did It On Em (from the Nicki Minaj for OPI collection), which is an awesome bright lime, and Slapper by Butter London, a vivid creamy teal. I usually choose colors in spite of the names -- OPI's names are especially silly -- and I NEVER wear colors unless I genuinely like them, trends be damned. I have to look at my hands all day!

OPI, Did It On Em, $8.50

Butter London, Slapper, $14

Julieanne says:It's a nice surprise to find out a color has a funny name, like getting an onion ring in your fries. I'd never pick a color based on the name -- but I do love both on OPI, I'm Not Really a Waitress and Essie's Starter Wife, and duh, ZOYA in Julieanne.

Essie, Starter Wife, $8

Zoya, Julianne, $8

Hannah says:When it comes to polish it just boils down to my mood, current aesthetic, and what catches my eye. If I really can't make up my mind I'll go for a deep blood red, like RGB's Crimson. For spring and summer, I am very feeling retro California so I like swimming pool blues and coral-y pink, like A Beautiful Life's Natural Nail Lacquer in Go-Go.

RGB, Crimson,$16

A Beautiful life, Go-Go, $12

Daisy says:Essie Turning Heads Red. I love super short red nails and this is my favorite shade of red. The name is just an added bonus. I will say, however, that I would never get a color if I thought the name was cheesy, like Bachelorette bash or Sew psyched. I never get trendy nail colors ever. My nails are always super short and I do either bare, red, or a very sheer, pale pink. Classic > trendy always for this girl.

Madeline says: I'm hugely loyal to Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure. The colors are great and it is the only brand of polish that looks pro when I DIY. Their Right Said Red is as classic and sexy as they come. In salons I'm down with Essie or OPI. In tenth and eleventh grade I wore only Essie's East Hampton Cottage. Now you'll never catch me in pale pink. I consider beige and red safe go-to manis, but you'll usually see purple, pink, blue, green, or seasonal combos on my nails.

Rebecca:Phoebe likes Nails Inc – all their nail polishes are named after places in London, a hot pink one called Shoreditch is Phoebe's nail paint of choice. I like more sedate (classier?) colors – Butter London in Bossy Boots (is sort of pistachio) is my current fave. Neither of us are massive trend followers, although we're both debating whether we should get some nail art done (in lieu of actually doing some work).

Nails Inc., Shoreditch, $10

Butter London, Bossy Boots, $14

Olivia says:I honestly have NO brand loyalty when it comes to nail colors. All I can say is that I like them fly. I like dark colors when I'm feeling slutty. Bright colors when I'm happy. Honestly though, I'm into flashy shit. Gimme rhinestones. Gimme PR (Puerto Rican) airbrush. Gimme nail charms. Gimme krazy Korean klay. Just tried the gel stuff, but I'm not down. It last longer than my moods do and that annoys the shit out of me.

Now, I'm giving away the entire xoJane nail polish list. Excessive, I know! To enter, simply follow@xojanedotcom and @JR_Schott on Twitter and tell me something aboutnail polish in the comments. Are you swayed by the name or are you all about color?

I'm announcing the winner on Twitter on Friday April 20th. Let's go!