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6 Classic Nail Polish Colors That Are Celebrity-Approved

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When it feels like today's extravagant manicure trends are simply not fit for a minimalist — what with the recent rise of rainbow colors, ombré, geometric shapes, crystals, intergalactic designs, and whatnot — the immortal Essies and OPIs of the world save the day with their eternally chic shades. While the coolness of constellations, butterflies, double-dipped Frenches, and embellishments may only last a day, these classic nail polish colors have maintained their cult status for decades.

Take, for instance, Essie's iconic Ballet Slippers. A $9 polish that lives on the shelves of your nearest Target and perhaps the only thing you and the Queen could ever have in common. It's a known fact that the 94-year-old monarch frowns upon nail color of any sort within the royal family, but this is the one subtle shade she makes an exception for. That must indeed be how it wound up making an appearance on Meghan Markle's wedding day.

There are few shades that have reached the celebrity of Ballet Slippers, but the concept of a timeless nail color is nevertheless still there: black, beige, pink, bright red, berry. When things go awry with drawing Orion's Belt, you always know you have these trusted, celebrity-approved hues to fall back on.

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Classic Nail Polish Color: Berry

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A wintry mainstay that has also become acceptable for summer wear is this wine-colored shade. Lady Gaga styled it perfectly with a matching berry lip at the 2020 SAG Awards. Her manicurist, Miho Okowara, used Essie's Berry Naughty for the all-season currant color.

Classic Nail Polish Color: Sheer

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Arguably the most beloved and iconic polish of all time, Ballet Slippers is so ridiculously popular that more than 800 bottles of it are bought every single day in the United States. The shade has been around since the '80s and in 2018, Markle herself wore the royal-family favorite to her wedding.

Classic Nail Polish Color: Pink

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Pink is one of the only non-neutral nail colors that never goes out of style. One beloved shade is Essie's bubblegum-like Cascade Cool, which, according to Daily Mail, Emily Blunt wore with a matching sequined Michael Kors dress to the 2019 SAG Awards.

Classic Nail Polish Color: Black

Black polish has ebbed and flowed out of the goth arena for eons, but right now, it's at peak coolness. Proof: Beyoncé's black nails at the 2016's Super Bowl 50 halftime show, to which manicurist Lisa Logan credited another drugstore staple, OPI Nail Lacquer in Black Onyx.

Classic Nail Polish Color: Bright Red

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Bright as it may be, red is the color that goes with literally everything — leopard print, camo, hot pink, literally everything. This vivid scarlet (erring on orange) that Rihanna wore to the 2013 Grammy Awards, according to HuffPost, was a blend of two Red Carpet Manicure colors, Ooo La Liscious and Red Carpet Reddy.

Classic Nail Polish Color: Beige

A beige nail will never fail you. It's refined, ageless, endlessly chic, and just all-around sophisticated. When you need a break from trend-forward shapes and decals, reach for Topless and Barefoot by Essie, a nude approved by Jennifer Lopez according to Vogue France.