Barely There Polishes That’ll Convince Everyone You’re a Nail Polishing Pro
Your nails but better.
We're acutely aware that not everyone has mastered the 90/10 rule and using Vaseline to combat paint on your cuticles can wind up being a gloopy mess if you're not careful. So what to do when you've tried every trick in the book and still can't manage to accomplish a semi-decent manicure at home? We're here to say that all hope is not lost. You can still make the most of your DIY manicure with a barely there polish that brings out the best in your nails. We rounded up the best sheer nail polish colors for faking a professional job even if you have shaky hands, vision issues, or just lack the patience to delicately apply polish (and wait for it to dry—the real clincher).
OPI Bubble Bath
BUY IT: $12.50; amazon.com
This is the OG sheer polish. It’s been a go-to for ladies everywhere since it launched and there’s no sign its popularity will let up, ever. Apply an extra coat to get a slightly more opaque look.
Essie Gel Couture Longwear Nail Polish Sheer Fantasy
BUY IT: $10; amazon.com
A sheer baby pink is a universally flattering choice. This version has a gel-like finish and shine that resists fade, cracking, and peeling, even after pushing a week of wear and tear on your nails.
Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure. Polish Coconut Milk
BUY IT: $6.53; amazon.com
A hint of creamy white with a mostly sheer finish is a neutral take on the less-is-more mani. Coconut Milk is a surefire way to show off perfectly groomed nails.
Olive & June The Sheer Set
BUY IT: $40; oliveandjune.com
Why settle on one when you can have four top-selling sheers. This collection includes BEB (sheer white), EC (sheer peach), CHM (sheer tan), CCT (sheer pink)—it’s a sheer for every season. Bonus: It also comes with the brand’s fan-favorite Super Glossy Top Coat.
Revlon Nail Enamel Sheer Petal
BUY IT: $3.84; amazon.com
Give this pinkish nude a try if you’re looking for a bit more coverage without going full-on opaque. Don’t skip the base or top coats, they’ll set this polish a sparkle.
Ella+Mila Nail Polish Dessert Island
BUY IT: $11.39; amazon.com
A peachy pink sheer will highlight warmer skin tones to perfection, plus, you can feel good about the 7-free formula that skips harmful chemicals found in many other popular lacquers.
essie Treat Love & Color Nail Polish In a Blush
BUY IT: $8.99; target.com
Essie’s Treat Love & Color line is designed for one-step strength and color application. This soft pink will help strengthen nails in just one week.