These Simple Nail Polish Shades Go With Absolutely Everything

Settling on the perfect nail polish colour can be tricky business. With what feels like millions of different shades to choose from, no beauty product has the ability to generate a spiral of indecisiveness quite like nail varnish. Therefore, finding your go-to, signature nail shade can make all of the difference and help to eliminate any confusion.

So what exactly makes a great signature polish? Well, to start with, it’s something that goes with just about any outfit. It’s also low maintenance and long-lasting. If you’re in a bit of a nail varnish rut and fancy experimenting with some new formulas and shades, keep scrolling for the perfect staple nail polishes—whatever your taste.

Classic Red

Red is just about the most classic nail polish shade out there. It’s absolutely timeless. While we totally understand that the boldness of a bright red isn’t for everyone, the new take on classic red polish is bright and poppy as opposed to flat and vampy. Glossy, red nails have never looked so cool.


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(Image credit: @BETINA_GOLDSTEIN)

Shop Red Nail Varnish


Probably one of the more fashionable shades on the list, brown nails are having a real moment. While warm, chocolatey shades look great with added shine, we also love cooler, lighter tones with a matte finish. We think brown is a real rising star in the nail polish world.


(Image credit: @IMARNINAILS)


(Image credit: @BETINA_GOLDSTEIN)

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Bare but Polished

When we first learned of the rumour that the Royals (including the Queen of England herself) regard Essie’s Ballet Slippers as their go-to nail varnish shade, we thought it’s about time we trialled a bare-looking mani for ourselves. Frankly, we’re never looking back. It looks chic and polished without drawing attention. For manicures where you simply don’t know where to start, one of these shades should do the trick.


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(Image credit: @IMARNINAILS)

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Where brick reds and oranges were once reserved solely for the autumn months, now they work just as well all year round. The key to making sure nails look their chicest when opting for a brick-like hue is to keep the shine level up high with a gel topcoat.


(Image credit: @MONIKH)


(Image credit: @MONIKH)

Shop Brick Nail Varnish


We can’t help but feel as though berry shades have fallen off the hit list as of late, and we’re calling out for them to come back. From fun raspberries to deep, dark currants, there’s a berry hue for just about every occasion.


(Image credit: @BETINA_GOLDSTEIN)


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Out of all of the usual go-to shades, we must admit that beige is one of the hardest ones to really nail (pardon the pun). While it looks absolutely wonderful when it’s spot on, finding a shade that complements your skin tone without making your nails look sickly can be quite the challenge. As a rule, steer clear of yellow and green-toned nudes and stick to those with pink and brown undertones instead.


(Image credit: @HANNAHCROSSKEY)


(Image credit: @ANINEBING)

Shop Nude Nail Varnish

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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.