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        Best Nail Polish for Medium-Dark Skin 2016

        Butter London in Mum’s the Word

        Best Nail Polish for Medium-Dark Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Butter London in Mum’s the Word

        Equal parts taupe and mauve, this polish looks positively rich.

        $18
        Hall of Fame
        Best Nail Polish for Fair Skin 2016

        OPI in Bubble Bath

        Best Nail Polish for Fair Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        OPI in Bubble Bath

        The slightly taupe undertones make this neutral less saccharin and more chic.

        $10
        Best Nail Polish for Dark Skin 2016

        JINsoon in Doux

        Best Nail Polish for Dark Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        JINsoon in Doux

        The milky powder pink produces a devastatingly cool contrast against dark skin.

        $18
        Best Nail Polish for Fair-Medium Skin 2016

        Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Bare Dare

        Best Nail Polish for Fair-Medium Skin 2016
        WINNER 2016

        Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Bare Dare

        The creamy hue looks clean and polished, not chalky and lifeless.

        $10
        Best Overall Dark 2016

        Essie Wicked

        Best Overall Dark 2016
        WINNER 2016, 2015, 2013

        Essie Wicked

        Among beauty editors, this bordeaux is about as ubiquitous as Louboutin pumps. That's because it gives instant polish (pun totally intended) to whatever you're wearing. Plus, there's warmth in the wine, meaning it won't leave you with dreaded corpse hands, like some cool-toned, deep dark shades can.

        $9
        Best Nail Polish for Dark Skin 2015

        Chanel in Particulière

        Best Nail Polish for Dark Skin 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Chanel in Particulière

        Against the darkest skin, this elegant and creamy brown “elongates” nails. 

        $27
        Best Nail Polish for Medium-Dark Skin 2015

        OPI in Samoan Sand

        Best Nail Polish for Medium-Dark Skin 2015
        WINNER 2015, 2014

        OPI in Samoan Sand

        This milky nude pops against warm complexions.

        $10
        Best Nail Polish for Medium-Fair Skin 2015

        Sally Hansen in Royal Blush

        Best Nail Polish for Medium-Fair Skin 2015
        WINNER 2015, 2014

        Sally Hansen in Royal Blush

        The tiniest hint of vanilla takes kiddie-party pink to cocktail-party chic.

        $9
        Best Bright Nail Polish 2015

        Chanel Tapage

        Best Bright Nail Polish 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Chanel Tapage

        Dancing jauntily between cherry red and watermelon pink, this juicy hue looks ablaze on fingers and toes. “It’s fully opaque after two coats,” says Kandalec, who loves how flattering it is on almost anyone.

        $27
        Best Base Coat 2015

        CND Stickey

        Best Base Coat 2015
        WINNER 2015, 2013

        CND Stickey

        This sea green liquid goes on slightly tacky, which feels funny at first, but, well, stick with it. “The tackiness anchors the polish to the nail and also helps prevent staining,” says N.Y.C. manicurist Angel Williams.

        $9
        Best Red Nail Polish 2015

        Christian Louboutin Beauté Rouge Louboutin

        Best Red Nail Polish 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Christian Louboutin Beauté Rouge Louboutin

        It was a swipe of Christian Louboutin’s assistant’s firered nail polish that originally inspired his iconic red soles. Now his own signature crimson lacquer trumps every other red on the market. “If you can’t afford the shoes, this red looks just as sexy,” says N.Y.C. manicurist Elle. 

        $50
        Best Eco-Friendly Polish 2015

        Zoya

        Best Eco-Friendly Polish 2015
        WINNER 2015, 2014

        Zoya

        The technical but important part: Each of the 300-plus shades is “five free,” meaning no toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, or camphor. Easier to grasp: “The colors are awesome and dry superfast,” says L.A. pro Melissa Bozant.

        $9
        Best Special Effects Polish 2015

        Nails Inc. Magnetic

        Best Special Effects Polish 2015
        WINNER 2015, 2013

        Nails Inc. Magnetic

        Nail art needn’t be messy. This polish has a magnet on top of the cap that creates “a holographic effect,” when it’s held over the still-wet nail,” says N.Y.C. manicurist Lisa Logan.

        $11
        Best Nail Polish for Fair Skin 2015

        Essie in Mademoiselle

        Best Nail Polish for Fair Skin 2015
        WINNER 2015, 2009

        Essie in Mademoiselle

        An innocent wedding-day pink that, unlike your gown, you can wear every day. 

        $9
        Best Overall Nail Innovation 2015

        Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

        Best Overall Nail Innovation 2015
        WINNER 2015

        Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

        In the beauty world, “miracle” is generally a word we could do without. This two-step polish range—which mimics the gloss and longevity of gel manis without a single LED lightbulb—earns every letter. The key is the top coat’s natural light activated photoinitiator which cures the polish for 14-days; 47 juicy shades eliminate the need to compromise style for durability.

        $10
        Best 2014 Base Coat

        Orly Bonder

        Best 2014 Base Coat
        WINNER 2014

        Orly Bonder

        Nothing makes us swear like a sailor more than nicking a nail before the polish is dry. This peachy-clear base has a rubberized, flexible texture that’s "like double-sided tape for nail polish," says N.Y.C. nail pro Julie Kandalec. "It’s very forgiving," says Connecticut pro Kris Kiss.

        $10
        Best 2014 Red Nail Polish

        Nars Dovima

        Best 2014 Red Nail Polish
        WINNER 2014

        Nars Dovima

        Named after the legendary 1950s supermodel, this glassy polish - equally appealing on fingers and toes - "is the ultimate true red," says N.Y.C. manicurist Dawn Sterling, who has used the shade on Alicia Keys. "It’s orange-based, so it flatters most skin tones from fair to dark," says Dallas manicurist Joanna Czech.

        $19
        Best 2014 Bright Nail Polish

        Essie Butler Please

        Best 2014 Bright Nail Polish
        WINNER 2014

        Essie Butler Please

        The ultimate cool-girl accent, this bordering-on-neon blue (think cobalt, not Smurfette) will add an edginess to black-and-white outfits and a hipster pop to prints. "Consider it your favorite denim - for your hands," says L.A. nail pro April Foreman, who works with Jennifer Lawrence.

        $9
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