At-home manicures are the well-intentioned dupe that lets us save money on constant salon trips, switch up our color whenever the whim strikes, and have the polish on hand to touch up after a few days of washing dishes. But, because we’re often squeezing in the task during a busy day (which is every day), our at-home mani turns out looking less than professionally painted. The trick to making at-home manicures turn out streak-free, shiny, and long-lasting: Investing in polish shades that are forgiving of our flaws. We’re talking full-coverage and high-quality nail lacquer, for starts. Luckily, gel formulas have become readily available to ensure chip-free, generously coated nails for all—and are now always at the top of our list. Pastels and nudes are the trickiest of the spectrum to master with a tendency to look streaky, while metallics provide a merciful finish that hides any missteps. Don’t be afraid to go bold and bright if you have an opaque formula at your fingertips. (You’ll be seeing rich corals and vibrant lavenders this season.) To ensure even coverage, always start with a base coat—and for shine and lastability, finish with the perfect sealant, such as Essie Gel Couture Top Coat. We rounded up the best nail colors, including nudes, brights, and metallics, that’ll make your nails look salon-worthy even if you’re plain lousy at painting them.