The 5 Shades You Need for a Capsule Nail Polish Collection

Capsule Nail Polish Collection Shades

In my teens and early twenties I had such a vast collection of nail polish colours. It was actually quite ridiculous. I probably only ever wore three shades on a regular basis, but it seemed highly important to have such an extensive offering. Now choice is the last thing I want when it comes to beauty. The less decisions I have to make the better!

And, for that very reason, I have dramatically downscaled when it comes to nail lacquer. Truly, I only think you need 5 shades in total. And I’ll prove it to you with my capsule nail polish collection…


Bus Red Nail Polish

Obviously no nail polish capsule collection would be complete without a classic bus red. It’s a timeless choice that screams Hollywood Glamour and works year-round. I’ve noticed that bus red is pretty much the only nail colour Olivia Palermo ever wears, and if it’s good enough for her… (I’m wearing: Respect by Deborah Lippmann)


Nude Nail Polish

I’m still searching for my perfect nude. It’s a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack, because there is so much choice and you need the one hue that perfectly compliments your colouring. I believe “the one” is out there though. I just haven’t found it yet… (I’m wearing: Muguet by Dior)


Capsule Nail Polish Collection

I honestly don’t remember grey/beige nail polish being a “thing” up until the launch of Chanel ‘Particulière’ in 2009. It was the nail polish that launched a thousand copycats, and greige hues still have a place in every woman’s beauty arsenal. I tend to gravitate towards polishes with brown undertones, as it’s most flattering to my skintone. (I’m wearing: Nuts About Brazil by Cheeky)


Coral Nail Polish

Coral pink is probably the least essential hue on this list. However, it is such a lovely option for summer. And it does look especially lovely on toes! Essie’s ‘California Coral’ is the shade to covet. But as I tend to only wear coral polish when I’m on my summer holidays I stick to cheap-and-cheerful bottles from Rimmel. (I’m wearing: Instyle Coral by Rimmel)


How to Build a Capsule Nail Polish Collection

Just like coral pink, wine red is another seasonal essential. I love wearing deep berry hues and rich burgundys throughout Autumn/Winter. These sumptuous reds also look fantastic when paired with gold and rose gold jewellery, but tend to appear a bit “off” next to silver. So that’s something to consider before applying. (I’m wearing: Berries and Cream by Rimmel)

Do you also have a capsule nail polish collection? If so, which colours make up your edit? Leave a comment below to have your say…


  1. Tania Jayne says:

    Such beautiful shades! I’ve just switched to gel polish and really don’t want to spend a small fortune on lots of new polishes. I’ve got a lovely grey and a nice nude shade. I’ve also got a great option for french tips, but would like to add some more seasonal shades. I’m going to be using this as a guide and picking up a red, burgundy and possibly as deep purple or navy (as I find greens often clash with the green tints in my glasses). I’ve never tried greige before, but I love how it looks on you, so I’ll be on the hunt for one of those too! Thanks. Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

    • cocos_tea_party says:

      Hi Tania! A deep purple and navy sound lovely for autumn! And you should definitely keep an eye out for a nice greige. It’s my favourite colour to wear on my nails – especially as it usually goes well with everything so I don’t have to worry about my nails clashing with my clothes xxx

  2. Laura says:

    Lovee these shades and the photos, look fab!

  3. Noemi says:

    I don’t agree about greige a coral pink because they look quite bad on me but the other colors are very beautiful. I also have a thing for metallic nail polishes. I really like your rings, anyway, most of all the ones with the stars, lovely!

  4. I love this post! I’ve been wanting to start a nail polish collection. I had hundreds of polishes and I got rid of all of them because I didn’t use them! Now, I’m ready to start up again with some great colors.

  5. Coffee Glam says:

    Really nice suggestions! the coral hue is one I didn’t think of and it’s a great idea for summer!

  6. Stella says:

    Such a great post! My essentials are:
    1. A very pale opaque pink which I wear most of the time – Essie Fiji
    2. A bright coral red for summer or when I feel like it such as Tom Ford Coral Blane
    3. A classic deep burgundy which is my jam for fall/winter. My favourite is Essie Spike With Style

    All the others are pretty much variations of the above. I occassionally wear off white, blackened eggplant, lilac, coral and mauvy nudes to switch things up depending on the season but 80% of the time it’s one of the first three.


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