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The 10 Nail Colors Every Woman Should Own

These popular nail polish shades have you covered for every situation from a job interview to a hot date
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In 1917, Cutex introduced the first commercially available nail polish -- a rosy pink, the only nail color a proper flapper needed for a bangin' mani. One hundred years later, it's possible to find nail polish in every color of the rainbow. With so many options, how does a gal choose?

To make it easy, we've distilled the most popular options into a shortlist of nail colors that every woman needs. As trends come and go, these 10 nail polish colors will stand the test of time.

Of course, there are plenty of women who consider 10 nail polishes a paltry amount. If you're one of them, these tips will help you edit your polish collection to the essentials:

• Dump any polishes you've had for more than two years; they'll be prone to clumping and air bubbles.
• Know your complexion's undertone, i.e., warm or cool; get rid of any polishes that don't have the same undertone. If it's not flattering on you, it's dunzo.
• Got any polishes you never loved in the first place? Give them to friends, toss them, or even return them. (Stores like Target, Sephora and Walgreens have generous return policies for cosmetics). You've heard it before: If you haven't worn it in a year, you never will.

Image via Getty

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Nail Polish Color No. 1: Pink
Why you need it: Pink may fall in and out of fashion (in 2016, it was everywhere) but a pink manicure is always in. Bubblegum, fuchsia, dusty rose, or classic baby pink -- there is most certainly a pink that looks pretty on you.

When to wear it: Pale pink is the workhorse of your nail polish wardrobe, great for every day; bright pinks are made for exotic vacays, dates, and hot weather.


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Best Pink Nail Polish Colors
Glossier Nail Polish (limited edition) The burgeoning beauty brand's first foray into nail polish is the ideal powder pink.

JinSOON, Moxie, $18
If ballerina pink ain't your style, you'll love this grayish "millennial pink," new from tastemaker Jin Soon.

Nails Inc Paint Can Spray On Nail Polish, Hoxton Market, $12
This happy, hot pink polish is just the thing you need for a lightning-fast pedicure.

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Nail Polish Color No. 2: Red
Why you need it: Ancient Egyptians wore nail polish, but only the upper echelons of society were allowed to paint them red. To this day, red nails are a symbol of timeless sophistication. A true red polish -- one that reads neither cool (blue) nor warm (yellow) -- can always be counted on.

When to wear it: Anywhere, anytime, especially when you want to feel put-together and powerful -- at a job interview, or on a first date.


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Best Red Nail Polish Colors
Revlon Nail Enamel, Cherries in the Snow, $4 Revlon introduced red nail polish to market in the 1930s with this shade. This cool red crème polish remains a best-seller.

Dior Vernis Gel Shine and Long Wear Nail Lacquer, Rouge 999, $27 The neutral undertone in this Dior classic makes this polish look smashing on any woman.

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Gloss, Rouge Radical #530, $28 This stunning new shade from Chanel is translucent in the bottle, like beautiful strawberry jelly. Apply one coat to nails for a sheer wash of poppy red; apply two coats to get an intensely shiny, fiery red.

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