Forget Nudes—"Bubble Bath" Nails Are Taking Over as the Neutral Mani of Choice This Summer

As a beauty editor, I've long been in pursuit of the perfect sheer pink nail polish to achieve a clean-looking manicure. I've tried a lot of sheer neutral polishes—but nothing is ever as perfect as OPI's Bubble Bath nail polish. Not only is it a favourite among celebrity nail technicians, but it's reached iconic status amongst those looking for as the all-time best sheer pink nail polish. OPI Bubble Bath walked so soap nails, milky nails and 'clean-girl' nails could run.

In fact, many having a running joke with their nail tech that they always ask for bubble bath nails at every single appointment—and I don't blame them, this nail colour shade is so timeless and chic that it's no wonder we come back to it time and time again. "If I could only wear one shade for the rest of my life, it would 100% be Bubble Bath," Who What Wear UK managing editor Poppy Nash tells me, who chooses this as her go-to nail colour most times. It also looks great alone or as a base for a French manicure or nail art.

Bubble Bath Nails

OPI Bubble Bath nail polish manicure

(Image credit: @iramshelton)

OPI's Nail Lacquer in Bubble Bath is popular amongst celebrity manicurists.

But why are bubble bath nails so popular? One coat gives a sheer veil of colour that makes your nails look healthy and groomed, and two gives a pretty milky-pink hue that still allows your natural nail to shine through. It suits all skin tones, and it comes in both nail polish form if you're DIY'ing your nails at home, and also a gel version if you're headed to the salon for your mani. It also pairs really well with other nail colours—you'll find many nail techs mixing it with OPI's Funny Bunny and Bare My Soul nail shades for a custom milky manicure.

Shop OPI Bubble Bath:

Bubble Bath Nail Polish Alternatives

OPI neutral nail swatches

(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

If you love the look of the polish but are after some Bubble Bath alternatives, scroll ahead for the best sheer pink and neutral polishes that will give you a very similar look at home. I found the exact shades used by Instagram's top manicurists and listed them below.

1. OPI Put It In Neutral

OPI Put It In Neutral Nail Polish

(Image credit: @raelondonnails)

Celebrity manicurist Georgia Rae (who was behind Sofia Richie Grainge's wedding manicure) often uses OPI's Put It In Neutral, which has the same lovely sheerness of Bubble Bath, but with a more neutral beige tone if you find Bubble Bath too pink.

2. Chanel Ballerina

Chanel Ballerina Nail Polish

(Image credit: @emilyroselansley)

Chanel's Ballerina nail polish is slightly milkier and leaves your nails looking well-groomed. The formula is also long-wearing too.

3. Essie Allure

Essie Allure nail polish manicure

(Image credit: @iramshelton)

Essie's Allure is creamier and slightly more opaque, making it a great option for a milky manicure.

4. Diorlisse Snow Pink 800

Diorlisse Snow Pink 800 nail polish

(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

5. Bio Sculpture Seafoam

Biosculpture Seafoam nail polish

(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

If you like a true milky mani that's sheer, Biosculpture's Seafoam is perfect. It comes in both gel and nail polish form, so you can enjoy it at home or head to a nail tech that works with Biosculpture for the gel version.

6. Bio Sculpture Sweet Candy Breath

Bio Sculpture Sweet candy breath nail polish

(Image credit: @paintedbyjools)

7. Hermès Rose Coquille

Hermes rose coquille nail polish

(Image credit: @iramshelton)

How beautiful is this sheer pink hue from Hermès? So chic.

8. Bio Sculpture French Rose

Bio Sculpture rose nail polish

(Image credit: @raelondonnails)

I keep seeing this shade from Bio Sculpture on every celebrity nail tech's feed, and I'm totally obsessed.

Shop more sheer pink nail polishes

9. Essie Fairy Taylor

10. Nails. Inc Glowing Somewhere

11. Barry M Cupcake

12. Essie Ballet Slippers

Eleanor Vousden
Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor for Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards for her work on Powder and also contributed to the title winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards.Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career, as well as celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Scarlett Johansson. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner and her miniature dachshund.