More than anything, minimalism is about intentionality—committing to a less-is-more approach to life. Minimalism can mean something different to everyone since there's no one-size-fits-all approach to the term. What I may consider a minimalist nail color might be too opulent for you, or vice versa.
That's why for this piece, I enlisted the help of my co-workers to get their favorite minimalist nail colors. There are a lot of endlessly wearable nudes on this list, but there are also a few colors that might surprise you. Check out our favorites below.
Eliza Huber, Fashion Editor
"I only just started really paying attention to my nails, and it's been a game changer. Who knew having a fresh manicure could make you feel so put together? That said, I'm not really a bold-color person when it comes to nails and prefer to get the same color every time I go to the salon: OPI Bubble Bath. I love how subtle it is yet super pretty."
Natalie Gray Herder, Associate Editor, Branded Content
"I'm in a very committed relationship with Essie's Topless and Barefoot polish. It's the perfect neutral for my fairer complexion but would also be a beautiful pinky-beige on deeper skin tones. I tend to play it safe when it comes to nail colors, so this really fits within my comfort zone. Added bonus: Essie polish always lasts at least a month post-pedicure, and for that, I'm grateful."
Sarah Yang, Managing Editor, THE/THIRTY
"You can't go wrong with Ballet Slippers—if the queen of England is a fan, you know it's a classic. I consider the pale-pink polish pretty much a neutral because it goes with just about any outfit and works for any occasion. It's my go-to when I'm at a loss for choosing a color."
Allyson Payer, Senior Fashion Editor
"OPI Tiramisu for Two is my go-to neutral. I even wore it on my wedding day! I'm not a huge fan of nail polishes that are extremely subtle, so this one is the perfect balance—it definitely looks like you're wearing nail polish, but it's super low-key and versatile."
Caitie Schlisserman Beauty Director, Branded Content
"Lately, I've been on a real nail-color kick (as I type with my bright-yellow nails), but one of my all-time favorite minimalist shades is OPI's Don't Bossa Nova Me Around. It's kind of this pink-grey nude that works for everything. It's also one of the only neutrals I'll wear on my toes that I actually like."
Sierra Mayhew, Associate Fashion Editor
"I used to swear by red nail polish, and for years the bold shade never left my fingers. Everything changed when I tried out this pretty pink shade, Deborah Lippmann's Beachin.' It is so soft and feminine without being too barely there."
Erin Jahns, Senior Beauty Editor
"French manicures, baby pinks, tans, and other earthy tones used to be my go-to when I wanted something minimal, but lately, I've had sheer polishes with subtle, light-catching shimmer on repeat. I've been getting the gel shade called Oyster at my favorite nail spot in L.A., MiniLuxe—the shimmer is a little iridescent with hints of pink and purple—and earns me so many compliments. I'm always surprised that people take note so quickly even though it's subtle! If you want something you can do at home, I recommend something like Cosmic from Olive & June or Ghost Rose from Cirque."
Shawna Hudson, Associate Beauty Editor
"I love this rusty shade of reddish-brown so much. It's such a gorgeous everyday color, and to be honest, I could wear it on repeat for the rest of my life and never get tired of it. I'm really big on polishes that complement my skin tone, and this one seems to do so nicely."
Katie Berohn, Associate Beauty Editor
I’m throwing convention out the window for my picks because my own interpretation of minimalist does not mean nude! Maybe this is because I simply don't love the look of nude nail polish on me or because I often sport nails with intricate designs on them, so anything less than that is “minimalist” to me. In my mind, a minimalist nail polish goes with everything seamlessly, no matter what. For me, this is either a chocolate brown or a classic red. Brown is a neutral color, and the right shade is flattering and unassuming. As for red? I truly believe that red nail polish should be considered a neutral, and I think it's the perfect pop of color for a minimalist's wardrobe.