There are two main strategies we use when shopping for nail polish (or picking a color at the nail salon under pressure). You're either the person who leaves the store with a new bottle and 10 fingers painted different hues, or you grab the first polish name you recognize. Either way, it can be hard to find a shade you love, especially when each brand offers (what feels like) endless color options.
Take, for example, Essie. The popular brand is a salon, pro, and consumer favorite, and many of us are on a first-name basis with popular colors like Clambake and Mademoiselle. But with dozens upon dozens to choose from, you're majorly missing out if you never stray beyond your go-to orangey-red. For help navigating the massive selection, we turned to nail artist Michelle Saunders
, who also serves as the brand's official celebrity manicurist (and has an encyclopedic knowledge of its color offerings).
Ahead, Saunders takes a break from her A-list clientele to share her favorite foolproof shades for every skin tone, from everyday nudes and pale pinks to more unexpected brights and, of course, the best reds.