We Tested 10 Bright Nail Polishes So You Can Find The Perfect Summer Shade

Yes, I love my job.

There’s nothing worse than snagging what you think is an awesome nail polish, then realizing it is actually a color that resembles baby vomit.* So for this summer, I decided to try out several in order to show you the best ones and what they actually look like. They range in price, hue and even texture, but they are all bright, bold and wacky for the summer months. Which will you try?

Now, for the record, let me first inform you that these won’t be nearly as pretty as the manicures you get at the salon. Though I’ve always enjoyed doing makeup, I’m only barely getting decent at painting my own nails, buuuut I’m trying to improve. If you have any solid tips, let me know! Now, onto the fun stuff.

L.A. Colors, “Illusion”

LA Color Craze Illusion Nail Polish

While I love this shade of purple, the formula does come out a bit watery and streaky. Still, it’s a very inexpensive shade and it dried impressively quickly.

Laqa & Co. Cosmetics, “Cagney Gold Fleck Manicure Duo”

Laqa & Co Gold Fleck Manicure

My boss tried this out today and I think it looks awesome. Going on a vacation somewhere that you want to look both fun and fancy? This is absolutely perfect. It’s not dark or deep in an autumn way, but it is more dressed up than hot pink or sea foam green.

Morgan Taylor, “West Coast Cool” (darker) & “Varsity Jacket Blues” (lighter)

Morgan Taylor Nail Polish blue and turquoise

I’m pretty unabashedly obsessed with Morgan Taylor polish, and these colors are no exception. They’re so bright and summery, I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of these hues with the yellow of the subway lines and my flats. Here’s another photo in sunlight:

Morgan Taylor Nail Polish West Coast Cool

Dior Vernis, Bonheur

Dior Bonneur swatch test nail polish

I am obsessed with this color and formula. It’s incredibly bright, super glossy (!), and it lasts for ages on your nails without chipping.

Ciate, “She Sells Seashells”

How To Do A Shell Manicure, AKA The Most Wildly Fun Mani For Summer

As you may have seen the other day, I tried out Ciate’s beautiful new Shell Manicure set. This is simply the pink shade it comes with, sans shells. It’s a lovely baby pink that went on smoothly and was soft enough that it matched everything, even when I wore red.

Illamasqua, “Rare”

Illamasqua Rare nail polish swatch

I would never expect to pick up such a vivid neon yellow polish, but this one is just so fun and way out of my typical safety zone. It’s so wild, I love it. If you’re looking to try something out–especially if you want to look tanner–then snag one just like this.

RickyColor, “Night At The Stalkhouse”

Ricky Color Night At The Stalkhouse Nail Polish

Guh, this is basically glow-in-the-dark. I wore this the first night of Governors Ball and goodness, it was fantastic to see under some UV lights.

Kryolan, “Energetic” (brighter) & “Vivid” (darker)

Kryolan Nail Polish Vivid Energetic

These were done for me at Madonna & Co.‘s party, which was so lovely of them to supply. I’ve always known Kryolan to have amazingly vivid makeup, but I had no idea they were so great at nail polish.

Got a favorite nail polish? Tell us in the comments! We would love to hear about which varnishes you’re obsessed with for the summer months.

*Okay, fine, there are many things worse than this. But nothing is worse than hyperbole.