Everyone has a certain selection of shades in their nail polish collection - no matter how big or small it may be - that are fit for certain occasions. Personally, I like to have a good variety of shades and brands as a base, and then build upon that with other, less wearable colours for those random occasions or moods. A girl's always got to have a solid, go-to red, for example, before you go around buying turquoise glitter shades and matte yellows - but hey - that's just in my opinion!

Like I said, a shade that every girl needs in her arsenal is an all-purpose red, and one of my favourites is a limited edition shade from OPI  called 'The Spy Who Loved Me'  - a bright red speckled with barely noticeable gold flakes. This is one of my go-to's for my toenails all year round - not only because it is a damn good nail polish, like most from OPI, and a splendid shade, but also because I suck at painting my toenails, and the smaller brush that comes with this mini-sized bottle makes the whole process a hell of a lot easier!

During the warmer months, I'm a strong believer in wearing bright nail polishes to enhance your tan (and in my case, I can use all of the help I can get!) Models Own has some fabulous shades for this, but a colour that I really love is Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Polish in 'African Tea Rose' - a blue-based pink with an ever-so-slightly iridescent finish that compliments any skin tone. I fell in love with this shade even before its UK launch and was first in line to pick it up when it eventually landed in my local Boots. As well as looking great with a bronzed glow, this shade fills the need for a pretty pink polish in your collection. 

When the autumn leaves start to change and drop to the ground, I love me a good burgundy shade to see me through the colder months. For many a year, I loved a shade by OPI called Boris and Natasha, which proved to be the perfect shade for me. Unfortunately, as with many of my favourite OPI shades, it was limited edition, so the time soon came when I had to replace it. Enter Essie's 'Bahama Mama' - a near identical dupe for my beloved Boris and Natasha that, luckily for me, is a permanent fixture in Essie's marvellous collection.

When it comes to lighter shades, I like to have a pastel shade and a classic white in my collection, and my favourites are from OPI in the form of 'Steady as She Rose' and Essie's Nail Laquer in 'Blanc'. 'Steady as She Rose' (from an ancient Pirates of the Carribean collection) is a muted pink/grey/lavender that works well for any occasion. I've been trying to search for a dupe of this online to no avail, but the closest I've spotted is Essie Neo Whimsical, which is slightly darker but belongs to the same shade family. As for Essie's Blanc, I've tried a good few white polishes in my day and this has emerged as my favourite. It's creamy, easy to apply, and very white without looking like Tipex. 

Last but not least, a girl's got to have a good, reliable metallic shade for those summer nights and oh-so-special occasions. Enter Orly's Nail Polish in 'Rage' - a stunning rose gold foil that not only looks killer but also applies effortlessly (without streaks, I might add, which is a real accomplishment for a metallic shade!) and lasts pretty damn well. 

So, there you have it - a peek into the basic shades that I need to have to complete my nail polish collection! Do you have some staple colours? Are they similar choices to mine? I'd love to hear about them! 

I x


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