a few ways to Pick Your shellac nail color palette:

  • Choose a color for the holidays, an upcoming event (like a wedding), or your next vaca. To feel island-ready for a trip to Bermuda, I picked up Poppy (an orangish hue). I find that tiny fish love to come up and check out my toes when I’m wearing bright colors. This makes for great photos.
  • What colors would you gravitate towards at the nail salon? I started with pinks + reds, my “comfort zone” nail colors. Since I don’t wash dishes with my toes, I still paint those with regular polish, so it’s great to have a couple of shades of Shellac that match my toe colors.
  • Decide if you want to make a statement. After a foundation of comfortable colors, I ventured to the dark side of polish and scored a feisty purple + the sophisticated Blue Rapture. I find it’s easier to choose bold colors for Shellac (vs. regular polish) because they don’t chip and look tacky after a couple of days. The super-shiny nature of shellac makes them look slick.

Just a heads up, even though I don’t work for Shellac, I probably could at this point. That’s why I hope you’re not phased by the affiliate links in my color palette recommendations below. If you click and make a purchase, I’ll get an itty bitty ish percent, at no charge to you. Basically, clicking is kindof like sending a thank you card. I’ve bought all my Shellac polishes on Amazon so that’s where I recommend you buy yours (I’ve never seen them for sale off-line). You’re not obligated to click – it’s my priority to make sure you have nails you love either way.

My fav shellac nail colors this year

Let me be your nail designer, guiding you through all the glorious shellac nail polish color options + how you can rock them in your own stylish way..

1. orange-red poppy ◊♦◊
If you’re drawn to pinks, try this refreshing, but not-too-drastic, burnt orange-red polish. It’s a staple for beach trips + Caribbean cruises where slushy tropical drinks are a must.

2. true red wildfire ◊♦◊
The nail polish equivalent of the timeless + bold red lip, even little dogs have noticed my shiny nails when I rock this red. For non-v-day wear, I like to file my nails short + square, so it’s not a super-dramatic – it’s just right.

3. white-wash cake pop ◊♦◊
This clean-cut shade is like a rich, milky gel pen. The whitish/pink/purple reminds me of a floral watercolor, and people have literally stopped me mid-sentence to ask the name of this shade.

4. blue raspberry rapture ◊♦◊
An unexpected blue tone that coordinates with more outfits than you’d imagine – the same way blue jeans match everything. It’s modern and I love to coordinate it with stacks of simple gold rings.

5. deep red decadence ◊♦◊
Because nail color inspired by deep red wines is always a practical choice for trips to Napa + wine tastings. I mix and match all sorts of wines, I mean, outfits with this cranberry hue.

6. soft, translucent pink ◊♦◊
Like a first french manicure, this clear nude/pink-ish color makes me feel all grown up + put together. Sometimes I’ll draw on a white french tip then add a layer of this soft pink.

7. purple passion ◊♦◊
If you experiment with fun colors of eyeshadow, you’ll fancy this spontaneous and edgy purple. I turn to this high contrast shade for long-weekend getaways and trips to big cities.

8. flamingo hot pink ◊♦◊
Florida weather, summer wedding + road trip approved, it’s a nostalgic pink for past Barbie Doll owners. Three years after investing in this pink as my first shellac color, there’s still plenty of coats left in the bottle.


Life can’t revolve around unnecessary appointments and worrying about chipping nails on vacation and during the middle of a busy work week. That’s why I started my DIY shellac manicure beauty routine in March 2013. The polishes seem to last forever (mine are going strong 3 years later), and I save oodles of time while I paint my nails during a Netflix binge. It’s the easiest thing I’ve added into my beauty routine, and waking up to a beautiful manicure everyday helps me feel put together, even if I hit the snooze button a few too many times to put on a full face of makeup.  


Its so much more convenient to do your own shellac manicure at home than working around the hassle of spa appointments or worrying about a chipped nail in the middle of a busy work week. Check out my guide for diy shellac manicures for more details.

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