I Love This Subtle Blush Nail Varnish, and It's the Queen's Favourite Too

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: My biggest beauty gripe is chipped nail varnish. And I’m saying this as I sit here typing away with bright, poppy red nails that are well overdue removal (I’m a hypocrite, okay?!). However, the first thing on my agenda this evening when I clock off is to get this varnish off my nails and repaint them so that they look fresh, neat and, well, polished.

You see, the problem with opting for bright nails is that it doesn't wear particularly well. And that is the very reason that around two years ago I swapped my signature red polish for a more understated look. I discovered that opting for a blush shade that is close to my natural nail colour creates a fresh, pretty, glossy finish that, most importantly, doesn’t show any obvious chips or smudges.


(Image credit: @ANNEWINCK)

Since discovering my love for bare-look nails, it’s fair to say that I have amassed quite the collection of blush nude polishes. However, there is one particular polish that I find myself reaching for more often than not, and that is Essie Ballet Slippers (£8). Glossy, long-lasting and incredibly easy to apply, Essie formulas have been a favourite of mine for years, and Ballet Slippers is no exception.

A little bit pink but a little bit beige at the same time, I find Ballet Slippers matches the natural colour of nails almost perfectly, like a custom nude. For when I don’t have the time to perform a full-blown manicure, I always reach for Ballet Slippers. The natural-looking blush pigment means that application doesn’t have to be particularly precise and any mistakes are barely visible.

And it turns out that I am not alone in my love for Ballet Slippers, it’s a royal favourite too. Always opting for a natural-looking blush polish (presumably for the same reasons I have outlined above), rumour has it that Ballet Slippers is also the Queen’s go-to. And when it comes to Ballet Slippers, it’s a full royal affair, with both Meghan and Kate also opting for it on occasion.

So although I fancied experimenting with a brighter look this week, you better believe that the unsightly chips I have been left with will have me reaching for that well-loved Essie bottle this evening.

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Freelance Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is a renowned beauty journalist and has contributed to Who What Wear’s beauty content since 2020. As a leading beauty editor, expert and brand consultant, she has over eight years of experience working for some of the industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear (of course), Glamour UK, Stylist, Refinery29 and Fabulous. Having also worked behind the scenes with some of the industry’s biggest brands and retailers, Shannon has a unique insight into what people really want from their beauty routines. Understanding that beauty lovers seek honest, open and responsible advice, she has it made her mission to demystify the intimidating world of beauty, taking a no-frills approach to the most relatable topics. While Shannon is the first to admit she doesn’t hold the answer to every beauty question out there, she is dedicated to sharing her expert insights in a bid to help. As a self-proclaimed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for easy-to-use, foolproof beauty products and has made it her mission to scope out the best of the best. When she’s not working, Shannon is likely soaking in the bath or giving no-holds-barred beauty reviews on Instagram from her bathroom floor.