I had one of those Devil Wears Prada moments in the aisle of Target the other day trying to decide between two white nail polishes–Essie’s “Blanc” and “Marshmallow”…

“It’s such a hard decision,” I told my husband as I gazed at the two tiny bottles of polish, “they’re just SO different.” He looked at me like I was somewhat crazy.

It’s true though – they WERE different. Blanc was more pure white. More chalky. A little more opaque. Marshmallow was warmer, skewing a little bit pinkish-grey. We stood in the aisle for five minutes while I compared the bottles, finally deciding on Marshmallow, and I painted my nails with it that night. Two coats and a layer of Sally Hansen Insta-Dry topcoat later and I had perfectly wintery white nails.

I love white nails in winter for a few reasons. One, because it’s different. Girls everywhere are donning glistening navy, ebony, and concrete colors now – white is typically reserved for summer, since it looks excellent with a tan. Since I’m tan year-round, this works for me. Two, white nails are fresh and flattering. It makes your hands look lovely. White polish looks great on any nail shape or length. Three, it’s unexpectedly seasonal. Even if you live somewhere that hasn’t been hit with snow yet, snowy nails are a cute little nod to winter. Winter white, anyone? Love.

When choosing the perfect white polish, you’re going to want to choose a premium formula–think Essie, OPI, Chanel, MAC, etc. Cheaper white polishes, in my experience, tend to streak in their application and require extra coats for a uniform look. Also keep in mind that all whites aren’t created equal–you can expect varying undertones, opacities, and shimmer (or lack thereof) even within the same brand, so it can be a good idea to try before you buy, or, at the very least, to see some shades in person!

Ready to shop? Here are a few of my favorite formulations to get you started.




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