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So Fresh and So Clean – The White Nail Trend

By on July 6, 2009
in Celebrity, Trends, White with 36 Comments
This past weekend P. Diddy hosted his annual 4th of July fete, The White Party. It’s always great for celeb watching as the Hollywood set gather to celebrate Independence Day and support a cause decked out in their finest white garb. This year Diddy co-hosted with Ashton Kutcher to benefit Malaria No More.

With a strict “white only” dress code I knew there would be some fab white nails on parade like the ones on my fave Kardashian sister Khloe. I just LOVE her. Khloe, as Chelsea Handler so eloquently put it, “you’re a real bitch and I like it!”

But Khloe isn’t the only celeb who’s been sporting bright, white tips, the trend has been spreading like wildfire. Over the past couple weeks I’ve tested a whole mess of shades so if you’re looking for suggestions on the best whites to buy for summer, read on.


Even style icon Gwen Stefani who’s known for her retro chic makeup & hair has ditched her signature red nails in favor of white and I’m liking it. Like black, white goes with everything and it can accent a look by making it more mod, fresh, funky, etc. It’s a statement color in spite of its neutrality.

Take Gwen and Lea Michele, star of my new fave fall show Glee. On Gwen white tips look rocker and edgy. On Lea the color adds a girly, upscale feel.

Though one thing plagues most white polishes… application. I’ve found that all white polishes I’ve tried have one of two major issues:

1. Thick, chalky and streaky
2. Thin, milky and semi-sheer

So you’re either putting on three coats to get the thick lumpiness even or you’re applying four coats to get the polish opaque. Even my all time favorite, China Glaze White Kwik Silvr (below), needs three coats and it’s the BEST white I’ve ever used. Yellows have the same problems so I believe it’s just a side effect of trying to make light colors opaque.

So what can you do to wear white tips with ease? My best suggestion is to wear a shimmery/glittery hues because they hide flaws better than cremes. White Kwik Silvr and Orly Gogo are hands down my favorites in the shimmer/glitter category. WKS brings on the bling so if you want to kept it subtle, opt for the Orly.

China Glaze White Kwik Silvr

Orly Gogo


If sparkle isn’t your thing, look for a softer white. Yes, you need multiple coats to get it opaque but the formulas on these are easier to control and even with 3-4 coats they don’t look thick. My faves are Essie Marshmallow and OPI Peace Baby!. Peace Baby! doesn’t offer as much coverage but it’s workable.

Essie Marshmallow


OPI Peace Baby!


If you’re dead set on the stark, creamy look then go for it full-on. You need a Wite-Out shade that isn’t overly chalky. It has to have major shine or else you may as well just paint your tips with correction fluid or, you know, OPI Alpine Snow Matte. Of all the truly opaque whites I tested these three are your best bets for decent application that won’t make you want to throw the bottle against the wall.

China Glaze White Out


Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On


Shades by Barielle Enduring

What do you think of this trend? Are you on board or jumping ship?

Do you have a favorite white that I didn’t mention? Have you found one with perfect application that’s still in production? I’d love to hear which ones tickle your fancy.

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  1. Sunday Love | June 19, 2011
  1. Anonymous says:

    THANK YOU for naming names. This is what I read polishblogs for–opinions, positive AND negative, from people who test many more products than I'm willing to pay for.

  2. naildesign says:

    Hmm white, I've never thought of it as a color to wear alone, but after seeing your pics of different whites, I kinda like it! Have to try :D

  3. Snowdrop85 says:

    I really love this look, I have started to wear it this summer as I saw Khloe Kardashian wearing a really bright white. I have been using Nails Inc Floral Street and I have found it doesn't really streak and is quite thick in application. I love your suggestions.

  4. Jaime M. says:

    Eh, I do love a sheer white nail. But something about an opaque white screams "I got bored with the white-out in study hall."

  5. Catanya says:

    I absolutely love the look of white nails! The nail looks you have posted are amazing!!!

  6. midwestgrrl says:

    I use Milani Whitest White. It's inexpensive, and I haven't had a problem with application.

  7. Ava says:

    I love it. I love that it doesn't clash with all the fun bright summer clothes. I love that there are so many options–sheer, shimmmery, opaque, matte. I think this trend is a keeper!

  8. Allison M. says:

    Like the Essie the best with the Orly a close second.

    P.S. Not a fan of Khloe because it's all too easy to be famous for absolutely nothing.

  9. Nessa says:

    I found that SH Insta Dri in Whirlwind White (I used it for the first time for my 4th of july mani see here) really is a great white. No streaks, dried quickly and only 2 coats!

  10. Shadowy Lady says:

    I'm jumping on board. I adore white nailpolish. My fave is OPI's Timeless is More and Color Club Oooo la la.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I L-O-V-E the white polish trend. It looks great with so many skintones and will let you spice up the "neutral" look. I enjoy the stark-white myself and love that it allows me to make a statement without having to worry about matching whatever I'm planning on wearing since it goes with everything!

  12. KrystalBall says:

    Wow, I haven't worn white nail polish since junior high, when I'd get bored and paint my nails with Wite-Out. I've got a bottle of CG White on White that I use for french tips, that I might try out.

  13. violet says:

    i think a creamy beige or eggshell white looks very clean and classy but i think it can also look tacky. brooke hogan and her mom come to mind. they always have long white squared acrylics on their orange tan. yeck!

  14. mhernandez says:

    I adore Essie's Picket Fence, since it's pretty opaque in 2 coats and has a nice ivory tone to it.

  15. Anonymous says:

    always looks like white out to me

  16. I Buy Books says:

    I picked up a bottle of Maybelline's Snow Bunny a few weeks ago (was on clearance so might be going out of production). It's closest to the White Kwik Silver. I've found it's easy to apply and it wears well.

  17. Amira G. says:

    I wouldn't wear plain white nails, but I occasionally use China Glaze White on White as a base for sheer polishes. In my experience two coats are opaque and free of streaks.

  18. CandyPaint says:

    I have ALWAYS loved white nail polish ESPECIALLY on my toes, glad to see others are embracing it :-) I usually use OPI Alpine Snow (reg version). I looks real cute with the the konad fishnet stamp in any color on top.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Where's OPI Funny Bunny?

  20. Selina says:

    I'm not sure about this trend, I agree with everyone who said it looks a little too much like white out (or Twink as we call it in New Zealand!). However I just put Color Coub Paris White on my daughter's nails (as a base for black polka dots) and was really impressed with the application. It was a three-coater but applied really nicely. It's a very white white, if that makes sense.

  21. Heather says:

    If you can't find China Glaze White-Kwik-Silver (my Sally's didn't have it), take a look at Finger Paints "Private Collection." True white with fine white glitter, nice smooth application, good coverage in two coats, opaque in three.

  22. Becky says:

    I'm wearing Orly White Out on my toes right now, and I have had tons of compliments on it. It was a little hard to apply (thick creme, hard to get even), but overall, it's an awesome Summer option. Makes the toesies look tan!

  23. Mc Huggs :) says:

    Hi Michelle:

    I saw this young lady who had a amazing manicure and matching pedicure of solid and dazzling white polish. It look stunning! I have a bottle of OPI "Peace baby" and was going to use that as a base coat for the Susan Komen Walk for Breast Cancer with a pink ribbon (or ribbons) painted on with Essie's "Pink Pansy," I believe the shade was called. In support of make more people aware of breast cancer.

    Due to a perosnal family problem I was unable to work as a crew member of the Susan Komen 3 Day Walk. Nevertheless, it is a stunning color that can be used a hundred different ways as a base coat under any color (I have been told) that makes the colored nail color "pop" as mentioned in some women's fashion magazines "Super Model tricks of the trade." Or worn alone as pictured here on your web blog.

    ((((((Love Michelle))))

    Mc Huggs :)

  24. wavycats says:

    A couple of summers ago, Allure featured white polishes. They also had the remedy for streaks; I think it was from the owner of Rescue Beauty Lounge. She said that after you apply your base coat, instead of the first coat of polish, apply top coat. Wait about 5 min. and then apply your polish as usual and then, of course your regular top coat. It really works, not just with white polishes, but any polish that streaks.

  25. Sarah @ Salescoop says:

    Yay! Time for the black's other half to shine and get some attention! I've loved putting white on my nails since forever, but people would look at me as if I painted my hands with wite-out. I definitely love the Orly's take on the white polish. It has a pearly glow and opaque to my liking!

  26. Stef says:

    I LOVE the white nail trend! Love love love!!! I'm going to pick up a bottle of the China Glaze Kwik Silver, because it's gorgeous!

  27. max.fabulous says:

    THANK YOU for this post! I love white polish and I've been rocking it all summer but having to all kinds of crazy mixes to find the perfect shade of white for my DDD skintone….until the amazingness that is essie marshmallow came into my life and it's all thanks to you!

  28. minion says:

    i just painted my nails white with barry matt white. while it took 3 layers it's not streaky. and it is ver opaque. and a true white. love it!

  29. douglas savoca says:

    Even as a male, I being one who gets routine pedicures to keep my feet looking fresh & sexy, have embraced the whiteout polish color . I wear it on my toes, this looks great with a tan and draws alot of attention to my toes and toerings. Get many positive compliments..Women love it!!! Shows confidence and style…Try it guys!!!

  30. Kellie says:

    Did “So Fresh and So Clean” come from 50 First Dates? :)

  31. Nina says:

    I have a golden olive skin tone, it’s fairly deep on my hands and finding a white has been hard. But Essie Marshmallow is perfect!! It’s sort of a jelly and it looks clean light and amazing. I really think that is an amazing polish !!

  32. Julia says:

    I love this trend!! I’m going to buy Sally Hansen’s X-Treme Wear White On next time I go to the drugstore :)

  33. chelsae says:

    i LOVE white nail polish. my favorite atm is essie blanc.

  34. michelle allen says:

    OPI Swedish Nude is pretty decent.

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