These Are Our Favourite Essie Nail Polish Shades

Even if you’re not a DIY-mani person, chances are you’ve heard of Essie nail polishes. The brand is truly iconic – thanks to it’s high-pigment, long-wear formula and fun shade names – in fact, even Meghan Markle is a fan (she wore Ballet Slippers on her wedding day). But with so many shades on offer, it can be hard to choose from the brand’s extensive lineup. To give you some inspo, we asked the staff at BEAUTY BAY HQ to chip in on their favourite Essie shades.

Salt Water Happy

“A perfect pastel shade, Salt Water Happy is my go-to for bringing soft sky hues even on grey days. I love the intense pigment of Essie polishes and this colour gives me total sixties vibes! Salt Water Happy is super versatile and I love wearing it with other pastel colours on my nails too to mix it up.” – Alex, Senior Social Media Exec


“I’ve been wearing the shade Lilacism all summer long and I just can’t get enough. It’s the perfect pastel hue that subtly allows you to pay tribute to the pastel trend and adds that little pop of colour to your day. To top it off its super long lasting and dries really quickly! Safe to say I’m obsessed.” – Justyna, Paid Social Assistant

Ballet Slippers

“Without any doubt Ballet Slippers is my perfect shade of polish; a subtle delicate pink that gives the nails a sheer wash of colour creating an even tone on the nails. I love it as it’s totally understated but when you catch your nails you get that ‘buzz’ of a fresh salon mani – and you get feeling that without the price tag!” – Olympia, CRM Manager

Sand Tropez

“In the summer months there’s nothing I love more than light-coloured nails against a tan – major holiday vibes! But this year, I couldn’t help but notice that my go-to bright white was reminding me of high school maths classes spent painting my nails with Tipp-Ex – anyone else?? I tried a few off-whites and pale pinks which just weren’t quite doing it for me, before hitting gold with Sand Tropez. It’s a neutral, sandy beige which gives a more sophisticated spin to the look. I can’t wait to (hopefully) wear it on an actual sandy beach next summer.” – Grace, Beauty Editor

Precious Cargo Go

“Whenever I’m struggling on which nail polish to wear, I always find myself turning back to Precious Cargo Go. The perfect khaki green that’s not to dark and not too green, this nail colour always looks on-trend and suits whatever I’m wearing. It’s one of the Expressie Quick Dry Formulas (perfect for a gal who’s usually short on time like me), meaning that after applying a couple of coats I don’t have to be on edge about smudging my fresh set for the next few hours. A pet peeve of mine is chips in my nail polish after five minutes, but this formula lasts really well without scuffing or chipping. This is my fail-safe go-to no matter what my mood.” – Kate, Content Assistant

Clothing Optional

Clothing Optional is my fave nude polish ever. It’s super easy to apply, long-lasting, and this colour literally goes with anything. If in doubt I always wear this shade. Work? Date night? Brunching? Just can’t go wrong with a lil nude.” – Ellie, Social Media Manager