13 Awesome Nail Polish Brands You Need to Know

Open-toed shoe season means you suddenly have more real estate that urgently requires painting.

It's open-toed shoe season and that means you suddenly have more real estate that urgently requires painting. Consider skipping a matching moment with your mani and pedi and instead opt for complementary colors. Or an accent nail. Or nail art. Whatever creative way you decided to lacquer up your nails, you'll need a sweet stash of polishes to see you through summer and beyond. Here are 13 brands, some old standbys, a few indie darlings, and a couple cult faves, to help you update that polish collection.

Smith Cult

Known for her '90s-era boundary breaking polish company Hard Candy, Dineh Mohajer followed up with this badass collection with delightfully acerbic shade names, like Bitter Buddha, Shattered Souls, and bestselling Stockholm Syndrome.

Nailed Lacquer in Stockholm Syndrome, $18, smithandcult.com

Treat Collection

Further evidence that natural doesn't mean crunchy (in case it's not obvious by now), this luxe-looking Berlin and LA-based line adheres to super strict EU cosmetics regulations yet looks so chic you'd never peg it as eco.

Nail Polish in Arthouse, $18, treatcollection.com


Editorial and backstage legend Jin Soon Choi knows her way around a bottle of nail polish (after wielding them for a couple of decades) and used that expertise to create the perfect formula—shiny, long-wearing, and opaque.

Nail Enamel in Nostaglia, $18, jinsoon.com


If you enjoy intricate nail art, but don't possess the talent or ambidextrousness to paint teeny-tiny renditions of Hello Kitty or French Fries, this Southern Cali brand's nail wraps will make your arty mani dreams come true. Also, they have a great range of eco-friendly nail polishes in case you want to give it a go.

Nail Lacquer Holos in Gravitates Toward Me, $18, ncla.com


The New York nail mini-chain turned polish company churns out cool colors and collaborations with everyone from the Streicher sisters to Yes Way Rosé.

Nail Polish in Ludlow, $18, tenoverten.com

Christian Louboutin

What is a man to do after he corners the luxury shoe market? For Christian Louboutin, it was to design an equally covetable, but slightly more affordable collection of nail polish. No surprise the most popular shade is a bright cherry that perfectly matches his signature red soles, which spawned a trio of complementary reds.

Rouge Louboutin, $50, us.christianlouboutin.com

Formula X

Sephora's in-house polish line is extensive; incorporating everything from eye-catching nail art to bananas special effects finishes to innovative nail treatments.

Sheer Strength Treatment Nail Polish in Wondrous, $12.50, sephora.com

Deborah Lippmann

While doing nails and whipping up polishes was initially a side hustle for Deborah Lippmann while she pursued her love of singing, It quickly turned into a full-time job. Musically themed collections and shades named after song titles are a nod to her other career.

Nail Polish in Happy Birthday, $20, deborahlippmann.com

Nails Inc.

The Brits were slow to get behind professionally painted nails so when Nails Inc. first opened it was a pretty big deal. Now it's chain of salons and polishes are everywhere and can count bold-faced Londoners, like Victoria Beckham and Alexa Chung as fans. Also, they introduced us to the genius invention that is spray polish.

Mayfair Lane Gel Effect, $15, us.nailsinc.com

RMS Beauty

Green goddess Rose Marie Swift created a whole cosmetic line free of nasty chemicals and followed eco-friendly suit with this line of natural nail polish that's also vegan, cruelty free, and sans gluten or GMO byproducts.

Nail Polish in Luminizer, $15, rmsbeauty.com

Lauren B.

Niece to hair guru Philip B., Lauren found she couldn't find a luxe polish line that lasted and offered the colors she liked so she just created her own. As you do.

Nail Enamel in Rodeo Drive, $18, laurenbbeauty.com

Kester Black

This Aussie import's small batch polishes look cool and will make you feel good about wearing them as they're five-free, made using sustainable production methods and recycled materials, and one (Australian) dollar from every purchase goes towards worthy charities, like Water Aid and Animals Asia.

Nail Polish in Buttercream, $16, seedtoserum.com

Butter London

Another polish collection from across the pond, Butter's various shades have made appearances on runways all over the world but the brand stays true to its Anglophile roots with Brit-slang names, like Sloane Ranger and Knackered.

Nail Lacquer in Yummy Mummy, $15, butterlondon.com

Which one do you have in your vanity?

Lots of Love!!!