There's A Flattering Shade Of White Nail Polish For Everyone

Are you more OPI Alpine Snow or Essie Marshmallow?

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A beauty truth we'll never deny is that we're a sucker for neutral nail colors—it just can't be topped. It works on all skin tones, during all seasons, and for all occasions—a hat trick we like.

Going with a classic nude nail color, like Ballet Slippers or Bubble Bath, can feel uninspired, but neutral doesn't need to translate to bare. There's taupe, the low-key grayish looker. There's barely-there peach if you feel like sweetening up your spring mani. And there's the ultimate neutral move: white nails. White nails never look dull. Simple as that.

Soft White Nails

All at once, white nail polish is incredibly wearable, flattering on everyone, and feels like a fun statement even while flying low on the color radar.

Before getting a white manicure, the first thing to know is there are varying levels of opacity (from light to full coverage) and undertones to pay attention to, even if all polishes appear white. Here are seven white nail shades you can choose from, with help from OPI Professional Sigourney Nunez.

Classic Shades of White Polish

Alpine Snow

Ah, the classic. This one works on everyone, and you'll recognize this all-time favorite. "Whether I am trying to execute a crisp white manicure or need to add white details to a nail art design, OPI Alpine Snow is my go-to white shade," says Nunez. It's an opaque, bright white shade that pops on a fresh summer glow like no other.

Another stark white nail staple is Essie Blanc.

Classic Shades of Soft White

Slightly less stark than crisp white, this shade feels decidedly more like a soft marshmallowy white, which is fitting considering our go-to shade in this range is Essie Marshmallow.

Coming in at a close second, OPI Funny Bunny is a forever favorite. Three coats give the perfect opaque, soft white finish.

Shades of Off-White Polish


This polish is a not-your-basic white nail shade. Described as effortlessly cool, we prefer wearing it in the winter, as it's not too bright or summery and perfectly matches the chilly weather outside—and your cute winter outfits.


"If clients are a little hesitant to try full-on white nails, I would recommend I Cannoli Wear OPI. It's a pale, creamy gray," recommends Nunez.


If you love Essie Ballet Slippers, we get it, but why not give this updated version a spin on your digits? It's just as subtle and muted.

Go with one to two coats of Ten Over Ten Nail Polish in Washington or (you guessed it) OPI Funny Bunny.

Unique Polish Hues


Another classic that withstood the test of time is this shade—perhaps the most flattering of the bunch. It ventures into Ballet Slippers territory without going fully nude. Try a more opaque option with Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish in Sheer Nirvana.


If you like optical illusions, this one is for you. This nail shade will look white, blue, gray, or greenish, depending on your angle. It's a mood ring for your fingernails. We haven't found a quirkier and more fun take on the trend than JINsoon Kookie White.

Shimmery White Nail Polishes

The biggest attention-getter in the family, a shimmery or pearlescent white nail color, is perfect when you always want to feel like an ice queen. "If you're looking for something layerable with a hint of shimmer, OPI Kyoto Pearl is a satin white with slight sparkle," adds Nunez.

You can pull off this look during the holiday season or for an early spring occasion. We recommend going for an iridescent manicure with World's Your Oyster Babe Iridescent Nail Polish by Nails Inc. Any way you wave your hand, it will appear perfectly frosted.

When it comes to white nail polish, you can't go wrong, from crisp to celestial.

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