Join TZR editors for Main Squeeze, the series dedicated to sharing beloved beauty products — be they bold, effective, or simply fun — that make our week just a little bit better. Ahead, Team TZR spotlights their favorite winter nail colors of the moment.
Winter beauty looks often skew towards the moody end of the spectrum. While the holidays bring a bevy of bright and cheerful colors, the rest of the season feels a little melancholy. Whether it's a dark matte lipstick or soft smoky eye, it's easy to rely on vampy seasonal shades to get you through the cold months. But when it comes to your manicure, it can be fun to switch gears. Even if you’re a loyalist, the best winter nail colors are too good not to try. From the recent Instagram trends like cool blue to the timeless reds and pinks, there’s truly a look for everyone.
The chilly season is also the perfect time to get creative with your manicure. Maybe you’re sticking to your deep burgundy and wine shades. Why not try adding a matte topcoat to spice up the appeal? Or perhaps you’re leaning toward a snowy color palette and want to incorporate a subtle wash of shimmer to maximize the wintery feel. Regardless of where your creativity takes you, you can rest assured that you’ll end up with a stunning manicure.
When the weather is at its worst, a trip to the salon may be out of the question. Instead of braving the elements, take a cue from the TZR team and opt for a DIY look. Read on to see our go-to winter nail colors below.
“Navy has been my go-to shade this winter as it's not as stark as a black polish but still gives that moody, mystical vibe that I love to embrace in the colder months. This shade from Olive & June has been used ad nauseam thanks to its shiny, gel-like finish that offers some dimension to the midnight hue.”— Angela Melero, executive editor, TZR
“The fan favorite moody nail polish color formally known as Vamp, Chanel's Rouge Noir has had a dedicated following since it debuted on the Paris Fashion Week runway in 1994. And I'm one of its many cult-followers, which also include Demi Moore and Nicole Kidman. It's been my go-to shade for the colder months because I like that it's slightly edgier than red but not as extreme as black lacquer.”— Erin Lukas, deputy beauty editor, TZR
“I used to steer clear of opaque light-colored polishes, but this winter’s nail trends have changed my opinion. Recently, I’ve been opting for fresh snow shades and this creamy lavender color. It’s nice and thick, so I only need two coats for complete opacity, and it feels aptly seasonal when the weather is at its coldest.”— Jessica Fields, beauty writer
“I'm strictly a salon mani kind of lady, but you better believe if they have Chanel polish, I'm making a beeline for it. This deep red feels like the perfect pick-me-up for deep winter — it's bold, but still moody enough for the cold weather.”— Alison Syrett, deputy fashion editor, TZR
“I basically have two modes: summer and winter. I have all-time favorite nail polishes to go with them — both by the same best-selling brand, too. In warm weather, you can consistently find me in JINsoon's Daisy. But come winter, I switch over to another glittery shade from the line, Shake It. The reflective flecks are smaller, darker, almost a gritty glitter that feels appropriate for the low, gray clouds and freezing temperatures. But the sparkle and subtle pops of brighter colors like pink make it an undeniable mood-booster, which is such a good choice for this time of year.”— Amanda Ross, beauty editor, TZR
“I’ve never been one to wear red, but considering the color trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down in 2024, I’m beginning to dabble in it. One place I’m starting? With a deep red polish, like this baby from Essie. It’s rich and playful but not overly so.”— Kelsey Stewart, associate fashion editor, TZR
“When it comes to nail polish, I stick to colors I know will look good with my skin tone. The one I go back to time and time again is this classic dark red shade — it never gets old. Besides the fact that it goes well with whatever I'm wearing, I love the fact that it's non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free.”— Kathy Lee, editor-in-chief, TZR
“I love a good winter white — including on my nails. During the colder months, I opt for a soft hue instead of the thick, bright white hue I gravitate toward in the summer. Aprés' Baby's Breath is the dreamiest milky white when applied with three coats. It goes on so smoothly and leaves a lasting shine.”—Rebecca Iloulian, director, newsletter revenue and marketing
“This near-black purple polish has been one of my go-to winter shades since high school. I love that it virtually pairs well with any outfit and my vast ring collection. Plus, I can count on the OPI formula to stay chip-free for days.”— Lukas
“When my nails are longer, I love to play with jelly polishes for a fun look. This caramel shade reminds me of the sticky drizzle on top of a latte. The finish is wild and even has that candy-coated translucent look like the candy. Two coats usually give me a nice, even manicure, but I like to do three, then add a glossy top coat to really amp it up.” — Fields