The Capsule Nail Wardrobe

I’m a blogger, and I love make-up and in all honesty – there’s nothing ‘capsule’ about anything really in my beauty collection. As much as I love the idea of being all minimalist and simple, I can’t seem to shake my hoarder ways. But it got me thinking, if I was going to downsize to the ‘bare essentials’ of nail colour options – what would I choose… and so the idea of a capsule nail collection post was born…

capsule nail wardrobe


Starting from bottom left:

The Deep Red: Had to be one of my all-time favourite nail colours, Revlon ‘Vixen’. A classic deep red that goes with everything and totally delivers on the ‘if in doubt, go deep red’ mantra in my beauty life. If you don’t have this shade in your collection, you’re missing out.

The Navy: A gorgeous shimmering deep blue from Estee Lauder, this is ‘Blue Blood’ and it is a beauty. Applies like a dream and delivers that gorgeous midnight blue shade that is a nice twist on the dark nails in more classic shades.

The Classic Red: You can’t have a capsule nail collection without a red one in there. So I tried to pick out one classic red that really is the definition of classic and chose shade ‘154M Miss Coquelicot’ from the Lancome ‘Vernis in Love’ range. Which strangely looks more pinky red on the website but definitely isn’t. It’s a pure classic red that’s quite deep rather than bright. Again, a really lovely one to apply thanks to the lovely wide brush. Definite a classic.

The Nude: A good nude that really suits your skintone can be a challenge to find. But this is one that works for me – it has enough grey and pink in it that I don’t end up looking dead or like I have smoker’s nails. This is ‘Nice’n’Neutral’ from the Topshop make-up range and really is a simply fabulous nude. It was an easy choice and that’s saying a lot as I do love a good nude polish so have quite a few knocking about!

The Coral: This coral sits on the peachier side rather than the orange side and that works for me. As I wanted something to contrast from the pink in the collection to give me nice capsule options that are all unique. This shade is called ‘Sex on the Peach’ from the L’Oreal Color Riche range – another gem of a wide brush makes it a quick and easy one to apply.

The Pink: It was a tough call on this – did I go bright or did I go with a baby shade…I’m not really a baby pink sort of girl so went with bright. Wanted one that would be a nice creamy shade that would work year round, to fit with the capsule wardrobe idea – so went with Clinique’s ‘Hi Sweetie’ from their new ‘A different nail enamel’ range’ – that so far, every shade I have tried has impressed me.

The Purple: Not *really* an essential.. but I love a purple nail colour (in fact, I’m wearing one now as I type) so wanted to include one. Again, dilemma of pastel vs bright rose it’s head… but this was an easy choice. It had to be a nice mid-shade purple – not too dark, not too light. Juuuusssst right. In the words of Goldilocks. So I chose Purple Rain from the new Rimmel Salon Pro Collection. Another wide brush one… there’s a theme here with brush styles I favour… but this shade is a true purple and absolutely fab.

The Mint: I almost didn’t care what other colours I included, as long as I factored in Essie’s Mint Candy Apple somewhere. It’s just one of those shades that grabs attention and always looks good. So even if adding ‘mint’ in as a shade in my capsule wardrobe is a slight cheat… I stand by my choice. However, this bottle is one of the old-style ones without the nice brush, so I may need to pick up a new one ASAP as the skinny brush just doesn’t work for me.

The White: A white might not be to everyone’s taste but as well as being a good nail colour it also makes a good base for brights to make the colour pop. I’ve been loving this one from Maybelline Color Show range called ‘Porcelain Party’ as it’s pigmented enough not to take a million coats to get coverage and it’s not such a stark white that it’s not flattering.

The Green: Another that might not seem essential but I consider this a slight twist on the neutral that works really well year round (especially Autumn). For this I chose the murky khaki shade of OPI ‘Stranger Tides’. Not for everyone, but I’d miss it if I didn’t have a murky one in there!

The Pastel: SO many pastel options, I had to go with a blue as I do have a major weakness for blue nails. So I chose a nice bright pastel blue from Bourjois, aptly names ‘Adora-bleu’. Creamy, good brush – all around fab polish and definitely one I’d want in my minimal arsenal.

The Bright: Had to be a bright blue for me – this is another shade I’d have to include in my Top Three of ALL TIME. Nails Inc ‘Baker Street’. A bright a blue as I have ever seen – this one never fails to turn heads and get comments and I adore it. Not quite as dreamy to apply as others, but for such a beaut colour I’ll overlook this.

The Neon: Not to everyone’s taste to throw a neon in there, but a neon on sunkissed skin in Summer? Unbeatable. And as far as neons go – this is the ultimate. Look at it, it practically glows in the bottle – and that photo doesn’t even do the brightness justice to be honest. It’s a scorcher or a neon bright coral shade from China Glaze in the shade ‘Pool Party’. So bright that it actually just makes me happy looking at it in the bottle, like it’s a little bit of sunshine just there.

The Glitter: I had to throw a glitter into the mix and was torn between a gold or a silver but decided to go more silver, but with a rainbow element to the shade so it works as a good all rounder. When it comes to glitter Barry M are the kings really with a large (sparkly) chunk of my collection being little lunchtime purchases as they caught my magpie eye when browsing. This is unoriginally called ‘Diamond Glitter’ and it’s very very pretty and would work with most shades as it’s nice and neutral.

The Grey: Last but by no-means least we have a lovely grey from YSL called ‘Gris Deco’. I love a grey polish, like the khaki or the nude, they go with everything and work year round. I remember it was around 2007 when they started raving about grey polish in magazines with a certain Barry M shade apparently selling out all over. I rushed to Topshop Oxford Circus on my lunchbreak to hunt it down and on clocking it was pretty much disgusted and convinced I would look like a corpse if I used it. Now? Grey is up there alongside blue as one of my top choices. Corpse-like or not, I’m all over it.

So there we have my 15 polish choices that I would choose to make up my capsule nail wardrobe – now just to convince myself I don’t need 15 shades of blue alone….let alone the other colours! Help me, I’m a polish-a-holic!

*PR sample. Others bought by me.



  1. Emanuela
    August 21, 2013 / 9:27 am

    love the coral one!

  2. August 21, 2013 / 8:51 am

    What a great list! I have a tendency to hoard too but this is such a great idea! I’m inspired to make my own capsule nail polish list.

    I might have a hard time with the pink and coral category though. Haha

  3. August 21, 2013 / 9:05 am

    I don’t think i’d be able to pick a capsule nail collection it would be too hard!! And this post has only tempted me to go buy more… x

  4. Tina Malhotra
    August 21, 2013 / 10:12 am

    Great post and this cosmetic product is really good, thanks for sharing with us.

    Visit for Inglot cosmetics

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