Nails are one of the subtler ways we use to express ourselves, be it with something as simple as a set of simple, green nails or going all out with fancy acrylics and jewelry. There is a lot one can work with but picking a color is where it starts. And while blue, purple, and orange have been hitting their stride this year, green nails are also having their moment.
We’ve rounded up 15 of our top picks of green nail polish colors for you to try. Plus, you’ll also find a helpful section on matching the perfect green nail color to your skin tone and some tips on rocking green nails to their fullest.
In this article:
Enjoy this spectrum of green nail polishes, representing the best of the best lacquers trending this season.
1. Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Polish in Jealous Glaze
An Allure Best of Beauty award winner, this watermelon green nail polish comes in a cute, stubby bottle, almost resembling the shape of a smile. The polish leaves a distinct wet shine behind, a finish that was inspired by Marc Jacobs’ lacquered coffee table. It features a custom, curved brush for ease of application. Grab the rich, deep green shade from Sephora!
2. NCLA Nail Lacquer in Take A Dip
With a name like Take A Dip, this pastel sea-foam hue will leave you with a set of green nails meant to wrap around a pool or beachside drink. And on top of the formula offering a high-shine and long-lasting finish, it’s also vegan and cruelty-free. Buy it from Revolve!
3. Chanel Le Vernis Longera Nail Colour in 590 Verde Pastello
This green nail polish is enriched with a mix of ceramics that will not only strengthen your nails but also improve the overall quality over time. Its pigment formula is designed to apply as evenly as possible. For the glossiest look, dab a thin layer of primer before painting on three, even coats. You can find this pastel shade at Nordstrom.
4. China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Highlight of My Summer CR
The lively, grass green nail color will keep you warm in the cool months to come. According to reviews, it’s easy to apply, long-lasting, dries quickly, and is equipped with a user-friendly brush featuring a short wand and easy-grip cap. Its smell does come on a tad strong though but nothing a well-ventilated room won’t subdue. Ulta sells this for $7.50.
5. Nails Inc. Nail Pure Nail Polish in Woke Dreams
Part of the Nail Pure 10-free collection, this vegan green nail polish boasts a lasting, breathable formula that takes care of your nails’ health while glamming them up with a glossy, solid, high-shine look. Its sturdy packaging keeps the bottle stable, minimizing the risk of spillage. Find it on Sephora!
6. Pacifica Nail Polish in Sea Monster
With near 500 five-star ratings, this green nail polish may be called Sea Monster but its bright hue is far removed from any beastliness. Its vegan formula is devoid of any parabens keeping it fresh and vibrant, as well as gentle on the nails. Buy this shade from Ulta!
7. Burberry Beauty Nail Polish in Aqua Green
This runway-inspired color comes in an elegant, thick-brushed bottle featuring an almost hourglass-shaped vial inside. The formula is a mix of antioxidant pro-vitamin B5 and myrrh extract to nurture the growth of strong nails, all the while leaving behind a smooth, glossy finish that’ll have you admiring your green nails. Grab this Burberry Beauty from Net-a-Porter!
8. Essie Nail Polish in Mint Candy Apple
The bottle may look as basic as they do but this apple green nail polish is a fan fave because of its rich lacquer boasting a durable, chip-resistant formula free of DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde. And with 3,600+ positive ratings, you know it delivers! Buy it from Ulta!
9. Nails Inc. Holler-Graphic Nail Polish in Cosmic Queen
Carry a little bit of the galaxy with this intense, glitter bomb of a polish. Inspired by outer space, this green nail polish features a holographic mix of gold, purple, pink, and blue flecks atop its turquoise hue. Its wand ends in a wide brush to allow for maximum coverage and it doesn’t need any more than two coats to achieve opaqueness. You can find this shade at Sephora.
10. Ella+Mila Elite Nail Polish in Bon Voyage
This is another vegan, cruelty-free lacquer of an army green hue. It’s a 7-free product, meaning it’s free of formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde resin, camphor, TPHP, and xylene – gentler on the nails. Its quick-dry formula makes it a snatch for painting on some green nails on the go! Get it at Ulta!
11. Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in Darjeeling Darling
This gorgeous shade of green nail polish comes in an even more gorgeous bottle. The formula carries a rich pigmentation that leaves behind a chip-resistant, long-lasting, smooth, and shiny finish. One reviewer rocked her green nails for over a week (with the use of cuticle oil) with zero chipping! Find this shade on Dermstore!
12. Zoya Nail Polish in Gemma
The muted olive green tone of Gemma makes it a solid color to rock in an everyday setting, like work. It’s free of formaldehyde, toluene, DPB, and camphor. It’s also clocked at a 4 on the Zoya intensity scale with 1 being sheer and 5 equaling opaque, meaning that you won’t need more than one to two coats for full coverage. You can purchase this green nail polish from Amazon.
13. Essie Nail Polish in Mojito Madness
With a name like Mojito Madness, this shade of green nail polish couldn’t be anything but the cool color it is. Its light tint has made it a popular choice among nail art enthusiasts as a base. To get the most out of this DBP-, toluene-, and formaldehyde-free lacquer, dab on some apricot cuticle oil, a base coat, two coats of Mojito Madness, and then a top coat for some banging green nails. Get it from Amazon!
14. Young Nails Caption Nail Polish in Not The First Time
Described as a neon green nail polish, there’s some debate among reviewers about the color appearing a tad darker than shown. However, despite that, it’s lauded for its long-lasting formula – free of DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde – and chip-resistance. And while the color may be a shade darker, it’s reviewed positively for its rich pigmentation and easy, covered application courtesy of its 320-strand brush. Find it on Amazon!
15. Julep Zodiac Nail Polish in Gemini
For the zodiac-inspired, this shade for Gemini is a must. It falls on a lime to grassy green base with flecks of silver and gold mixed in it. The color shines in the sunlight and carries the bright and bold characteristics Geminis are known for. The bottle is on the small side but you can get a good 20-30 uses out of it, depending on the number of coats you apply. The formula dries quickly and lasts long while also conditioning the nails for strength. Grab this green nail polish from Amazon!
When it comes to picking nail colors, there are many ways to complement them. Lips, clothes, and makeup being three, figuring out which nail color pairs well with your complexion is great to keep in mind as well.
It also helps if you’re aware of your skin undertone too – cool to warm. A quick look at your skin under sunlight will give you the hint you need. If you spot pink, blue, or red undertones, you’re considered cool, whereas golden, beige, or olive are warm.
If it still isn’t clear, check out your wrist veins. Blue is cool, green is warm, and if it’s both – neutral!
Best Green Nail Polish for Light Skin Tones
All in all, when it comes to those of a pale or light complexion, pastels work best, especially if it’s a green nail polish with a blue base.
Swiping on some dark green nails won’t necessarily look bad but it’ll make fair skin look even fairer, especially those with cool undertones. If you do want to rock dark, earthy shades, consider trimming down the nails.
Best Green Nail Polish for Medium Skin Tones
Olive and tan complexions, and more so those with neutral undertones, can play off the whole spectrum of green nail colors. Lighter shades of green nail polish will play off your warm undertones, whereas darker ones complement the subtle greenish tint olive complexions hold. Definitely play around with earthy colors of green.
Consider metallic green nail polish colors that have gold undertones to bring out the warmth in your skin tone. Whatever green you opt for, give your preference to heavily pigmented options, such as emerald green.
Best Green Nail Polish for Dark Skin Tones
Rich, pigmented shades of green nail polish will pop on darker skin tones, as well as shades with bright undertones because they play up the warm undertones of the skin. Though, when dabbling in dark shades and those with touches of earth tones, like olive green or forest green, be wary of flat, dark shades as they may make the skin look dull in comparison, rather than pop.
Nail polishes are fun though, and there’s a world of possibilities waiting for you at the end of mixing colors. So, don’t be afraid to experiment with these lacquers and rock your green nails with confidence.
Photos via @marta.frankov, Ulta, Nordstrom