Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

Bright Colors, Conservative Office: Nail Polishes for Spring

I’m so excited that it’s finally spring! Even though it actually snowed on Monday in Chicago–but still! Spring is almost here and I’m so ready for nicer weather.  One of the fun things I like about Spring is that I get to slowly transition into lighter, brighter makeup–including nail color!

Obviously how light and bright you can go depends on your work setting. Generally, it’s safe to go for pastels or lighter neutrals as you ease into spring.  However, some law firms are so conservative that any colorful nail polish is a no-go.  Sad!  And of course, you probably shouldn’t wear colorful nails in court until you know the culture of your venue. That’s why it’s important to keep nail polish remover pads in the office; in case you need to remove the color ASAP.  I’ve only ever had to do that twice: once when I had a court appearance and another when I was going to meet some judges and didn’t want to go with chipped nail polish.  So in my experience overall, light and spring-y colors are ways to add some levity and fun into your life, and if you can find a way to sneak in some color I totally endorse it.

Here are my top four spring shades:

springtime nail polishes

One. Sally Hansen Smooth & Perfect in Sorbet.  It’s a gorgeous  light peach that isn’t too frosted or shimmery.  It is in the pastel family, but doesn’t scream Easter color.  And if you’re a brown-skin girl, it looks very pretty against tan skin.

sorbet nail polish

Two. Essie in Go Ginza. I fall for every single Essie collection, but the light purples are always a pretty option.  Go Ginza is a very pale purple/lilac and makes a manicure look very fresh and clean.

essie go ginza

Three. Essie in Resort Fling.  Another Essie, but this coral/light orange is so great when you’re looking for a pop of color but don’t want to go full orange/bright coral (save that for Summer!).  It is also closer to a pastel color than a bright so it doesn’t really distract.  If you can’t go this bright stick with a color like Sorbet, but you want to test the waters and see if bright colors are possible this is a great daring, but not too out-there color.


Four. L’Oreal in Mauvelous. L’Oreal’s polishes are so good, number one. I tend to like their formulas more than most brands.  Mauvelous is a pretty mauve color that is a sister to the greige colors that became the professional woman’s staple colors a few years back.  However, this mauve is brighter than a gray/beige because of its pinky undertone.  If you’re in an office that absolutely wouldn’t be ok with colorful nails then this color is understated enough for most offices, but it still is more colorful than your basic neutrals.

loreal mauvelous

What are your favorite work-appropriate colors for spring?