8 Nail-Polish Colors That Are Like Happiness in a Bottle
Marie Kondo achieves it by tidying up. Elle Woods gets hers in Brooke's Butt-Buster workout. Sometimes, learning what makes you happy means looking around. For beauty enthusiasts, adding a punch of color to your everyday — with, say, your polish choice — can be a quick way to spark joy.
First, from a logical standpoint: "One of the reasons a fun manicure or nail polish can really boost your mood is because it's one of the things we see the most throughout the day," Sigourney Nuñez, manicurist and OPI's education manager, tells POPSUGAR. "Your nails and hands are always in view."
There's also psychological proof that certain shades can provide a sense of optimism, calm, or relaxation. Surrounding yourself with warmer tones, for example, can make you feel safe and uplifted; cooler hues can help put you at ease. The key is to consider the mood you're hoping to strike. "I would choose a color that makes me feel like I'm anywhere else other than my apartment," says Lisa Logan, celebrity nail artist and ambassador for Nails.Inc.
Ahead, we're breaking down the eight nail-polish colors that can convince your brain to think happier thoughts. (And if that doesn't work, you can always try them all together: "Using rainbow colors in your manicure is a simple way to inspire joy and happiness," says Nuñez.) What, like it's hard?
Yellow Nail Polish
Yellow — particularly a soft-meets-sunny blend of yellow and orange — is the perfect dose of happy that's more than a "niche, one-season trend," says Rita Remark, manicurist and global lead educator for Essie. "I love that this shade is trending because it means yellow is now a nail color that has staying power. It's more approachable and less of a risk. A color that previously felt polarizing and controversial among nail enthusiasts now boasts variations of hue and more options for those of us trying to find the perfect complement to our skin tone."
Blue Nail Polish
When you can't get outside every afternoon to observe the blue skies on your own, reach for a polish to give you that same sunny feeling. "I love a cool pastel look to remind you of spring, even if you're indoors," says Logan. This cool-toned color in particular can be especially effective in promoting rest and relaxation, bringing out your best ideas and intuitive thinking.
Pink Nail Polish
Research has proven time and again pink's psychological impact on people for years (the color has even been used in prison cells, as it's been shown to calm angry inmates within 10 minutes). Beyond its ability to calm the mind, it can also spark a sense of joy in uneasy times — making it the perfect hue for your fingernails right now.
Gray Nail Polish
The "gray space" nail trend is a form of self-care in and of itself. "Grays are making a mark because they're a contemporary color but also cozy, soothing, and serene," says Essie celebrity manicurist Michelle Saunders. "Gray signifies balance and serenity, and I think sometimes we forget how it feels to be still and neutral. Manicures are part of self-care and the perfect time to find a bit of peace; by choosing the 'gray space' theme we can give ourselves a gentle reminder of this."
Orange Nail Polish
Right there next to yellow on the color wheel, orange is a warm nail-polish hue that can boost your energy and optimism. "From poppy red to vivid peach, orange undertones signal that [warm weather] is here," says Eleanor Langston, chief creative officer of Paintbox in New York City. "Corals, peaches, and salmon shades are the modern version of millennial pink and are ultraflattering on all skin tones."
Green Nail Polish
Psychologically speaking, green so strongly symbolizes nature that it's no wonder painting it on your nails can bring a sense of calm and tranquility. If you're itching to feel connected to the outside world — and who isn't during a time of self-isolation and social distancing? — a swipe of green nail polish can bring that feeling to your home at a time you need it most.
Purple Nail Polish
Any shade of purple — from lilac to amethyst to lavender — can help spark creativity, which makes this the perfect nail-polish color to swipe on if you need a dose of creativity or are experiencing a case of writer's block.
Red Nail Polish
Red nail polish is so much of a classic, it's easy to want to layer it on to feel a sense of normalcy in your new day-to-day. It's also close to yellow and orange on the color wheel, so applying it as your next manicure can have a positive impact on your mood.