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2020’s Best-Selling Nail Polish Shades Include Longtime Classics & Seriously Unexpected Colors

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Though the most popular nail polish shades this year are all over the place, there is a thread that seems to run through many of them — and that, of course, is the effect of the pandemic. "Given the nature of 2020, mastering the at-home mani has taken on a whole new level of importance," Mary Lennon, president and co-founder of côte, tells The Zoe Report in an email. That said, for each brand that shared its best-selling nail polish shades of 2020 with TZR, what direction that takes varies.

For some, like côte, 2020 has brought a demand for easy, neutral colors. "It comes as no surprise then, that the most popular shades this year are in the neutral and light pink family," Lennon continues. "Not only are these shades gorgeous and easy to wear, more significantly, they are forgiving colors to apply yourself."

But for other brands, like Janet & Jo., it's clear that customers are searching for some brightness in their lives through their manicures. "I have seen an increased interest in shades that step away from traditional hues," Kendra Woolridge, founder and CEO of Janet & Jo., tells TZR. "More people are experimenting with bold and bright colors that push the envelope, deviating from traditional color palettes."

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The best-selling nail polish shades of 2020 may run the gamut, but the fact remains that manicures — even of the DIY variety — are one of the simple, everyday luxuries that are still ours to enjoy. So if you're looking for a fresh color to add some newness to your beloved mani routine, consider the popular hues ahead.

We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Janet & Jo.'s Best-Selling Nail Polish Shades

"Bright, bold, and fresh shades are taking over, as evidenced by our top sellers!" says Woolridge, who notes that many of the brand's customers this year have said this is their first time trying a bold shade. That's clear from its three best-selling colors, which include a fiery orange-red, a creamy teal-green, and a bright, summery peach.

Pear Nova's Best-Selling Nail Polish Shades

According to Pear Nova founder Rachel James, 2020 (especially this fall) is all about the "skittle manicure" — aka all 10 nails in a different color — and mismatched nail art. While that suggests some pretty bright looks, the brand's best-sellers this year somewhat say otherwise: Its most popular shades include a warm, shimmery brown, a deep burgundy, and a metallic dark green.

côte's Best-Selling Nail Polish Shades

Côte's customers seemed to all gravitate toward one family this year: neutrals and light pinks. As Lennon explains, that can largely be chalked up to ease of use. "Nailing the perfect DIY mani is so much easier with a lighter shade!" she says, noting that even if you have a "little slip onto the cuticle," with these shades "it will hardly be noticeable and is easy to clean."

Orosa Beauty's Best-Selling Nail Polish Shades

Though Orosa Beauty's Digital Marketing Director Marissa Neave says that the sheer pink Rose Quartz consistently ranks among its best-selling shades, its community has been looking to bolder colors more and more as of late. Those include two of its other best-sellers, Wildflower and Clementine, which Neave describes as "unexpected twists on a classic red."

And if those feel a little too summery for you as we move into fall, Neave also recommends an alternative in Cable Car from the brand's new Night Train collection: "It's a super wearable red with brown undertones, which people will definitely be craving with the cooler temperatures."

Àuda.B's Best-Selling Nail Polish Shades

"During Covid-19 we've seen a shift in at-home nail care and 'how to' tutorials for natural nail care," Samara Walker, CEO and founder of Àuda.B, tells TZR. For its customers in 2020, that clearly means a lot of DIY manicures in varying shades of red — a bright, classic rouge, an electric fuchsia, and a sweet baby pink.