Which pink nail polishes are best?

Pink is a fun, versatile color that makes nails look lively and eye-catching. Apply light, pastel varieties for special occasions, or lean into bright ones for evening and summer looks. Pink looks great on most skin tones and is forgiving in its application. 

OPI Nature Strong Natural Origin Nail Lacquer in Big Bloom Energy is a classic, all-purpose pink nail polish with staying power.

What to know before you buy a pink nail polish


Pinks run the gamut from toned-down and classic to wild and carefree, so consider the event. An elegant affair calls for an understated, muted tone, while a day at the beach lets you pull out all the stops with the hottest pink you can find. Having a good collection of pinks for all occasions lets you find the right one every time.

Sheer vs. solid

Pinks are a tried-and-true component of the classic French manicure. If you’re looking to achieve the look, find a flattering pink with a sheer consistency so the white tips of your manicure show through. If not, a solid pink is a good choice. If you’re looking to update the look, consider adding a layer of mattifying polish on top to give your nails an on-trend look. 

Light vs. dark

Pink can have two distinct moods: demure, classy light pinks and fun, upbeat dark pinks. Match your shade to your own mood and your outfit. Dark pinks are more specific and harder to match but make more of a statement. Light pinks, many of which fall close to the “nude” family, blend with everything. 

Top coat

A clear top coat is always a smart addition over any color nail polish, but it’s particularly useful over pink nail polish, especially the lighter shades. Normal bending of nails as you go through your day can cause tiny cracks that can take on a gray tone over a few days. Over time, these cracks are where your nail polish begins chipping. Even without chipping, they make your manicure look tired and unsightly, a problem specific to light shades. A good top coat, reapplied every few days, can prevent these cracks from forming.

What to look for in a quality pink nail polish


Pink nail polish looks cute, but it can also do double-duty as a nail fortifier. Look for formulas with strengthening ingredients such as collagen to keep nails strong.

Right shade for your skin tone

Pinks come in a range of options, from cool pastel to warm, almost peachy tones. With dark pinks, the range is similar, from bright, blue-infused pinks to hot pinks with distinct red or orange undertones. If your own skin tends to the cool side, opt for pinks closer to the blue side of the color family. For warm skin tones, warm pinks look best.

Shimmer or solid

The mood of a pink nail polish can differ considerably from a shimmer to a solid color. If you want to infuse a bit of fun and whimsy into your look, consider a shimmery pink.

How much you can expect to spend on pink nail polish

You can find a decent drugstore pink nail polish for under $5. Premium brands with special fortifying ingredients or vegan formulations cost $20-$30.

Pink nail polish FAQ

Is pink nail polish OK for a job interview?

A. Pink is a classic and is totally acceptable for work and interviews, particularly in its pale, pastel shades. You may want to avoid more distracting shades in any hue when putting your best foot forward for a job interview, but it’s an individual choice.

What nail art designs look best with pink nails?

A. Anything shimmery in either gold or silver is an attractive choice with pink nail polish. Give your nail tips a kiss of gold for a fun twist on the classic French manicure. White marbling is a fun look to try on pink, giving it visual interest while keeping the look soft. Stickers in any color, like white or even a hotter pink, is a bold idea.

What are the best pink nail polishes to buy?

Top pink nail polish

OPI Nature Strong Natural Origin Nail Lacquer in Big Bloom Energy

OPI Nature Strong Natural Origin Nail Lacquer in Big Bloom Energy

What you need to know: The plant-based ingredients in this polish are easy on nails and yet hold a lot of pigment for a bright, clean look. 

What you’ll love: This fast-drying, eye-catching color is perfect in summer, or when you want to bring the summer vibe back at other times of the year. 

What you should consider: The lack of stronger chemical ingredients means this nail polish doesn’t last as long as conventional formulations.

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty

Top pink nail polish for the money

Essie Pinks Nail Polish in Free to Roam

Essie Pink Nail Polish in Free to Roam

What you need to know: This is a glossy, high-energy, pretty pastel that looks good on most skin tones. 

What you’ll love: This lovely, full-coverage color has excellent staying power and is chip-resistant.

What you should consider: If you’re looking for a completely solid color, you may need to apply a third coat.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty

Worth checking out

NAILS INC. Plant Power Nail Polish in Mani Meditation

NAILS INC. Plant Power Nail Polish in Mani Meditation

What you need to know: This is an understated, muted pink with cool undertones that’s good for most formal or professional occasions.

What you’ll love: This vegan formula is free of sulfates and parabens, two of the ingredients in nail polish that most commonly cause irritation. It’s vegan, cruelty-free and its packaging is recyclable, so you can feel good about its low impact on the world.

What you should consider: Due to its mild composition, it tends to last less time than standard-formula nail polishes.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora


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Maria Andreu writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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