The Best Essie Polishes of All Time—That Will Never Steer a Southern Woman Wrong

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essie Geranium

If we're talking nail polish, the conversation isn't over until we've named at least three Essie nail polish colors that we have in constant rotation. There's nothing that can bond two Southern women faster than a shared love of Essie Mint Candy Apple—the unsung hero of the spring—and nothing that can hold up a register at the grocery store quite like a spotted Geranium manicure when handing over the receipt.

Essie nail colors can be vibrant, neutral, subdued, or sparkly, but they're always perfectly on point, and the proof is in these six beloved nail polishes. Take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the best Essie polishes of all time—that you can still get your hands on today.

Launched in 2009

Interestingly enough, this cool and crisp color wasn't a summertime launch, Mint Candy Apple was part of 2009's "Sweet Time of the Year" winter trend collection. The brand bought it back permanently in 2013.

Essie Nail Polish in Ballet Slippers

Essie Ballet Slippers

 Courtesy of Essie

Launched in 1984

Ballet slippers is the best-selling Essie shade of all time and for good reason. It's the go-with-everything, season-less, perfection-in-a-bottle polish that just so happens to have the Queen's royal stamp of approval.

Essie Nail Polish in Geranium

Essie Nail Polish in Geranium


Launched in 1981

Essie didn't go subtle with this one. The fiery red-orange lacquer was one of the first 10 Essie shades to hit the market. Lucky for us, it has stuck around for the long haul.

Essie Nail Polish in Blanc

Essie Nail Polish in Blanc


Launched in 1981

Here's another one of the very first launches to come from polish powerhouse Essie. This time, the hue is a crisp white that reads on-trend neutral and is just as relevant now as it was nearly 40 years ago.

Essie Nail Polish in Play Date

Essie Nail Polish in Play Date


Launched in 2012

Is purple a little too playful for you? Take a walk on the wild side and dip your toe into the purple pool with this soft lacquer. It's just a step beyond your lilac comfort zone, we promise. Are you up for the challenge?

Essie Nail Polish in Fiji

Essie Fiji

Launched in 1999

If you're looking to find out when summer truly begins in the South, just keep checking your local Target's stock of fan-favorite Fiji. It sells out in a hot minute once beach season arrives.

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