I’m not sure exactly when it happened—or, more accurately, why—but for the past few weeks, I’ve seen nothing but straight-up ugly nail polish colors all over the place. Well, perhaps ugly isn’t the right word: Rust, for all intents and purposes, isn’t the worst hue on the color wheel, and perhaps orange isn’t that offensive, but where shades of light pink (think: Essie’s Ballet Slippers, Smith & Cult’s Ghost Edit) took over our Pinterest pages for the first part of our current decade, now it’s impossible to scroll through Instagram without seeing burnt sienna, rusty browns, or worse, moss-green-colored fingertips. Yep, it’s official: The ’70s trend has filtered over to our beauty routines, too.
Case in point: The sales associate that helped me at Reformation last weekend had what looked like oxidized polish on both her hands and her feet; then I strolled by my favorite LES boutique, The Frankie Shop, to see the shelves stocked with half a dozen brown nail polish hues; and over Memorial Day Weekend, I must’ve bookmarked a handful of blogger photos with bright orange nails—no, not lipstick red or a cool apricot, but rather a near-blinding shade of orange that would sooner resemble a pumpkin. And I can’t get enough of them.
While I’m over here bookmarking photos of lemon-tinged mint green polish on Instagram, click through for the three biggest—and, uh, ugliest—nail polish trends of the summer, plus see my favorite shades of each.