(From L-R) Topshop 'One Hot Minute', Essie 'Luxedo', Barry M 'Lychee', Maybelline 'Ceramic Blue', Essie 'Stylenomics', Technic 'Carnival'
Topshop One Hot Minute (swatch here) - I've spoken in the past about this being a pocket-friendly dupe for the YSL Babydoll Nail Polish and I still think it is, it's a shade I just can't get enough of and it hasn't left my toenails for at least 3 months solid (pedicures have been removed and reapplied though, of course). If there were ever a suitable pink for A/W it would be this. Not too dark, not too bright, just a stunning berry shade that cuts the mustard all year round. The formula isn't half bad either.
Essie Luxedo - a deep berry shade that typifies a classic A/W choice, this polish is perfect for adding a little bit of mani-glam during the colder months. A truly dark purple, so dark in fact that it could pass for black in some lights. Out of every shade here it's definitely the one I'd call my go-to and that Essie brush means it's just lovely to apply.
Barry M Lychee (swatch here) - this is still the only shade from Barry M's Gelly range that I own, which is mad as I really love the formula of it. There's something about A/W that draws me towards neutral shades as well as the rich berry tones, so this is the perfect subtle antidote. It's super glossy and stays on my nails for an impressive amount of time with no chipping too - what's not to love?
Technic Carnival - if you can't whack on a bit of glitter during the festive season then when can you? Generally I'm not a huge fan of glitter polishes, so at a couple of pounds this dupe for OPI's coveted Rainbow Connection was much more appealing to me than the real thing; especially considering I only get about a weeks worth of use from it over the entire year. It's just perfect for Christmas though, last year I layered it over a navy blue and I got so many compliments on my nails at various Christmas parties. This year I'm thinking about pairing it with a lighter blue, decisions decisions...
Maybelline Ceramic Blue - the stand out choice of my picks is this pastel blue, but hear me out on this one. A/W not only allows for deep tones, but cool, crisp shades are definitely in too; and it doesn't get much cooler than this. A fresh, cornflour blue with a hint of silver shimmer, it's frosty but in ever such a good way. I don't own another polish that resembles this either, which is pretty rare for me! (I've just found out the shade has been discontinued on the highstreet, so if you hurry you can get it incredibly cheap online).
Essie Stylenomics (swatch here) - the most sophisticated of the lot, I'd describe this as an incredibly rich dark green, and again it's one that translates even darker depending on the light. I wore this to death last winter and I expect I will this year too, it's just so versatile and the thick brush makes application an absolute dream. I rave on about Essie polishes all the time but they really are worth the buck!
Topshop One Hot Minute (£5.00) | Essie Luxedo (£7.99) | Barry M Lychee (£3.99) | Technic Carnival (£2.49) | Maybelline Ceramic Blue (£1.99) | Essie Stylenomics (£7.99)