Out with the old and in with new, as the saying goes — even when it comes to your favorite polish shades. Although it’s always safe to stick with what you know, there's an unspoken thrill in finding a new nail polish brand that can stand up to a cult-favorite counterparts, especially when it's good enough to give your tried-and-trues a rest.
And while we'll always love mainstays like OPI, Essie, and the like, these new polish brands are taking real-life influence — and ingredients — to create collections that are technologically advanced to provide the best nail care. Pear Nova, a brand founded in 2012, looks to the runway for inspiration create rich color palettes each season. And Nailvana L.A. separates itself from the competition by adding an ancient tree extract to each polish so that a unique experience is created with every manicure.
These new brands are also an easy way to try some of the latest trends, especially if you've been hesitant to veer from your everyday nudes. KB Shimmer, for example, offers chrome tones that you can't miss. And while Paintbox's debut collection is offered in pairs, all six shades are beautifully interchangeable.
If you're ready to give a whole new look to your nail polish collection, ahead, find seven new brands that will replace even the longest lasting cult-favorite nail polishes.
The Big Difference: Pear Nova was founded by Rachel James, an esthetician, stylist, and makeup artist who's well versed in seeking inspiration from near and far.
“From people-watching in our hometown neighborhood on a small Chicago stoop to bathing with rescued elephants in Phuket — no matter where we find ourselves, we always bring our ideas back to fashion so that our color palettes not only add to someone’s wardrobe but inspire it as well,” James says.
The One To Swatch Out For: With Pear Nova, you'll find a selection of cremes, shimmers, color shifters, sheers and metallics on the shelves, all ready to create vibrant and trend forward manicures. Not sure about a shade? "Thick Dip & What Not always grabs everyone’s attention!" James tells TZR. "The polish is a sheer navy blue shade shifter that changes to purple depending on the angle it's looked at."
The Big Difference: This new brand strives to keep its polishes 8-free, vegan, and cruelty-free. Not only is Nailvana L.A. a clean polish brand, but it possess a unique touch in its formula. "Nailvana L.A. is different because I added myrrh extract, which helps strengthen your nails," founder and celebrity manicurist Gina Alcedo says. "Because I added myrrh, I wanted a wooden cap which adds a special touch to the bottles of polish."
The One To Swatch Out For: Try out Nailvana's best-selling shade Rockingham Red for an everyday look. "My colors are pretty classic for the everyday woman," Alcedo notes. Each shade that the brand offers is versatile for work, play, and special occasions. The brand is also launching a new Hollywood collection on July 1, which contains three new shades including Amal-ified — reviewed and blessed by Mrs. Clooney herself.
The Big Difference: "Sundays is a wellness-inspired nail care brand," says namesake salon founder and nail artist Amy Lin. "You should never have to sacrifice for beauty. That’s why we promise to provide healthy and high-quality products and services for both our customers and employees."
The One To Swatch Out For: Ling worked with experts to create polishes that offer high shine and intense pigmentation with every swipe to ensure salon quality high shine without all the toxic chemicals. "No. 7 and 27 are the best selling this summer." No. 07 is a dusty rose with a hint of beige, and No. 27 is a deeper rose shade.
The Big Difference: "In an age where many brands have social media managers and full-time teams to interact with customers, KB Shimmer is very hands-on," says Christy Rose, founder of KB Shimmer. Rose, who is also a nail artist, handles all of the social media for the brand herself and enjoys the personal connection with those who love the polish. "It lets me keep an eye on emerging trends and create collections that reflect directly what customers want."
The One To Swatch Out For: Although there are many shades to select from, a notable hue is Chroma Chameleon. "This polish flips from rosy hues of pink to bright grassy greens and cool blues for a shade that almost reflects a rainbow on your nails," Rose says. Other best selling shades include Guava Nice Day, which is in KB Shimmer's newest Seas The Day collection.
The Big Difference: With over 117,000 manicures performed since its New York City salon opening in 2014, "Paintbox is the preeminent color authority, elevating every aspect of the manicure experience, where its creative artists are truly color theorists, constantly encouraging clients to step outside their comfort zones, all while remaining under the umbrella of an elevated, modern style aesthetic," says Eleanor Langston, Paintbox chief creative officer.
The One To Swatch Out For: Paintbox just launched Power Couples, which are pairings of six shades of "unexpected colors that are paired together as a form of style expression," according to the brand.
The Big Difference: "AILA Cosmetics is special because we combine health, beauty, and function while keeping the product personal and fun. Each nail color has a story behind it and everyone relates to at least one of those stories. And of course our products are effective, healthy, lush and long-lasting,” Dr. Cary Gannon, founder AILA Cosmetics and board-certified podiatrist tells The Zoe Report.
The One To Swatch Out For: AILA's polishes remain free of harmful chemicals that damage the nails like parabens, sulfates, and formaldehyde resin to name a few.
Olive & June
The Big Difference: "Olive & June elevates the salon experience, giving women personalized attention and luxury service at an approachable price," says founder and salon owner Sarah Gibson Tuttle. "With a new line of products, O&J is elevating the at-home experience too,"
The One To Swatch Out For: All Olive & June products are 7-free polish and remain as clean and long-lasting as possible. Some notable shades to test are GH, an opaque baby pink, and BI, which is a peachy, coral tone.
The Big Difference: "With the over-saturation in the market we experience today, I found myself longing for the wonder and amazement of a time when shocking colors were only to be found in newly discovered wildflowers and bird feathers," Christine Cameron Koehler, Flora 1761 founder and former fashion and home décor buyer, says. "I’ve dreamed up all of our shades with that same sense of discovery in mind."
The One To Swatch Out For: "Some of our best-selling shades are Speckled Hellebore — a stunning rose gold, and Sheer Camellia, which has become the new “go-to” shade for many women," Koehler notes.
Bonus: Mazz Hanna
The Big Difference: Mazz Hanna, a certified crystal healer, wanted to share the powerful effects of crystals and made it the mission of her brand to combine the high vibrational stones into luxurious, natural, hand-crafted and healing products. "Each hand-selected crystal is cleansed and charged in the California sun before receiving a blessing by a Shaman under a full moon," Hanna tells TZR.
The One To Swatch Out For: While Mazz Hanna doesn't have nail polishes (yet!), the amethyst roller ball cuticle oil enriched with jojoba and lavender oils is widely popular. It's easy to apply and great for fighting the urge to bite your nails and cuticles, too.