It’s time to strip down to something sheer! Perhaps in reaction to the more revealing ensembles Hollywood has been exploring (here’s looking at you, Miley), see-through polishes are at the forefront of the nail world at the moment, with most major brands having their unique version of the trend to try. Each of these collections have several sheer rainbow shades designed to layer artfully; some have a silver base color to give a metallic effect, while others have a clean white base, or no base at all.
The thin, transparent consistency of these lacquers is best known in the indie world as “jelly” after the watery, translucent, gel-like appearance of fruit jelly. They don’t cover the nail in one coat, but they have an extremely glossy finish and can be used in unique ways that crème polishes just can’t.
If you’re ready to try some of the cool techniques you can do exclusively with these lacquers, put this article on hold and head to our story on page 40 of the September/October 2015 issue of the magazine.
And without further ado, here is our roundup of the 8 transparent polish collections on our radar:
Punctuate neutrals with small bursts of colors almost sweet enough to eat with the Mavala Jelly Effect collection. Plus, you can’t turn down color names as adamantly upbeat color as “Smily Orange” and “Happy Cherry.”
OPI ColorPaints’ formula leans on the more opaque side, and their predominantly ROYGBIV palette is a good start for mixing and layering colors.
3. Morgan Taylor Chrome
Give rainbow-hued manis a metallic finish with Morgan Taylor Chrome – pair teal UltraMarine with orange shade Amber Rush and the Chrome Base for modern beachy nail art.
Add personality to manicures! Caption Lucents has seven layerable colors with expressive names like “Excuse You” and “Note to Self” plus a shiny silver base polish. Mix and match these with other fast-drying shades in the Caption line for perfect, professional nail art.
The Wet Paint Translucent collection boasts a generous 15 shades, including staples like a sheer black (perfectly named Sheer Stockings) in lieu of a designated base color. They are more transparent than many of the other collections (50% sheer), so you can harness the full potential of layering.
The Essie Silk Watercolor differs from its peers with a white base color in place chrome. Their curated eight-color range includes more tertiary colors than the others.
7. Sally Hansen Rodarte
In collaboration with Sally Hansen, designer brand Rodarte created three custom sheer colors that debuted at Fashion Week back in February. The palette features three sophisticated, glass-like lacquers and will be available for purchase in Fall 2015.
These come as a kit containing a 0.4 oz silver base (Platinum Prime) and four teeny sheer shades in Boundless Berry (electric pink), Infinite Indigo (vivid bluish-purple). If you aren’t sure where to start with these polishes, never fear – the set includes three super helpful step-by-step nail art pictorials to try, plus lots of other examples of finished designs all over the box.
Images: respective manufacturers