This Is The Secret To Kate Middleton's Perfect Bare Manicure

Kate Middleton's shiny, bouncy, freshly-highlighted princess hair looks like a scene out of a shampoo commercial. Her crisp, white, ribbed off-the-shoulder gown practically begs for a feverish Google search. In stark contrast, the Duchess of Cambridge's manicure of choice is down-to-earth and functional — and basically bare.

The operative word here is "basically," because a close-up proves that the royal no-mani mani is no forgotten variable, but just as posh as a double-coat of the Queen's favorite Ballet Slippers: clean, simple, and purposefully unassuming. Though the Duchess always steers clear of colored polish, we highly suspect there's something glossed over the top of her fingernails to give them that naturally healthy sheen. Our money's on a trusty clear polish.

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Ahead, we've broken down the best transparent nail polishes on the market, so with a little buffing, shaping, and your glossy topper of choice, you too can sport the perfect no-mani mani, à la Middleton. The classy white Barbara Casasola number to pair it with? That's on you.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Deborah Lippmann Hard Rock - Nail Strengthening Base & Top Coat



If your nails are weak or brittle when they're completely naked, this strengthening polish will help rehab any cracks, peeling, or white spots while coating the nail in a blanket of glossy shine.
Deborah Lippmann Hard Rock - Nail Strengthening Base & Top Coat$20.00 Buy

Smith & Cult Basis of Everything Nail Lacquer



Like a tinted lip gloss for your fingers, this baby pink-tinted polish actually goes on completely clear, giving you a subtle your-nails-but-better glow.
Smith & Cult basis of everything nail lacquer$18.00 Buy

Sally Hansen Nail Growth Miracle Treatment



The soy protein complex in this treatment-base hybrid will strengthen your nails from within, encouraging length while giving you a natural shine on the surface.
Sally Hansen Sally Hansen Nail Treatment 45103 Nail growth Miracle$8.49 Buy
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OPI Nail Lacquer Top Coat



Like other top coat polishes, this clear bottle by OPI was designed to seal in your color polish and extend the life of your manicure. But because of the diamond dust infusion inside, it can also be used to give a bare nail a super-charged shine boost.
OPI OPI Nail Lacquer Top Coat$10.50 Buy

Essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat



If you're looking for a clear gloss that wears like a Shellac polish without scheduling a salon appointment, this heavy-duty formula from is your easy, at-home option. Plus, it will make your nails look rich with whatever ring you're wearing — even if it's not a blue sapphire.
Essie essie Gel Couture Platinum Grade Finish Top Coat$9.02 Buy
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