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The 14 Best Yellow Nail Polishes You Can Get Right Now

Best Yellow Nail Polish

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Yellow nail polish. Such a polarizing shade. Why? Because, regardless of whether you love or hate it on your nails, if you’ve ever applied a yellow, you know the issues that plague the color family.

Yellow gets the Nail Polish Problem Child of the World Award. They’re either super sheer or opaque and streaky. And while one-coat reds, blues, etc exist, a one-coat yellow is our chupacabra. That being said, I’m often asked what the Best Yellow Nail Polish is, when I’ve just finished railing on one in a review. So I’ve got 14 streak-free, opaque yellow nail polishes for you.

The Challenge

There’s something about yellow pigment that apparently doesn’t play well with nail polish base. Which is why, when a good yellow is discovered, it’s scooped up like the last Popsicle on a 100-degree day. So, I set out to find only the best yellows in my stash.

I literally applied, multiple times, every single yellow I own that is currently available.

To qualify, every shade on this list has to be…

  • Available. They are either core colors, still for sale, or released for Spring/Summer 2014.
  • Opaque in 2-3 coats with no streaks or bald spots after the last coat is applied.
  • Self-leveling. No thick, goop-y formulas here.
  • Requiring no special tricks to get it even and flawless.


The 14 Best Yellow Nail Polishes Currently Available

Cult Nails New Day ($12,

Cult Nails New Day swatch

Cult Nails New Day

LCN Soft Daisy ($7.50,

LCN Soft Daisy  swatch

LCN Soft Daisy

COVERGIRL Pina Colada ($3.04, Note: Some perm CG displays have the Glosstinis from last summer when Pina Colada was released. Others have the Capitol Colors Glosstinis. It will vary by store.

COVERGIRL Pina Colada Glosstinis Nail Polish-Swatch


Maybelline Citrus Collide ($4.19, Drugstores)

Maybelline Citrus Collide swatch Bleached Neons

Maybelline Citrus Collide

China Glaze Sun Upon My Skin ($3.25,

China Glaze Sun Upon My Skin swatch

China Glaze Sun Upon My Skin

Dermelect Buzz-Worthy ($10.50,

Dermelect Buzz-worthy nail polish swatch

Dermelect Buzz-worthy

Morgan Taylor Watt Yel-Looking At? ($8.50, Note: This one is a true neon so it doesn’t accurately capture on camera. aka It’s bright, you guys.

Morgan Taylor Watt Yel-Looking At swatch

Morgan Taylor Watt Yel-Looking At

OPI I Just Can’t Cope-acabana ($9.49, Note: Seriously, one of the best yellows I’ve ever used. Not to be partial but GET THIS!

OPI Just Can't Cope-acabana swatch

OPI Just Can’t Cope-acabana

Sally Hansen Sizzlin’ Saffron ($4.09, Drugstores)

Sally Hansen Sizzlin Saffron swatch

Sally Hansen Sizzlin Saffron

NYC Copacabana ($1.99, Drugstores) Note: This has a slight shimmer and was spotted at Rite Aid just last weekend.

NYC Copacabana swatch

NYC Copacabana

Milani Yellow Whiz ($4.49, Note: All Milani nail polishes are being phased out for the new Color Statement line so get the old ones while you can.

Milani Yellow Whiz swatch

Milani Yellow Whiz

FingerPaints Hula Aruba ($5.49,

FingerPaints Hula Aruba swatch - Summer 2014

FingerPaints Hula Aruba

COVERGIRL Sulfur Blaze ($3.04, As I mentioned above, some perm displays have the Capitol Colors Glosstinis. I know Rite Aid does in my area.

COVERGIRL Sulfur Blaze nail-polish Capitol Catching Fire

COVERGIRL Sulfur Blaze

LVX Citrine ($16,

LVX Citrine swatch

LVX Citrine

Best Yellow Nail Polish

Which of these yellows do you own? Which ones do you plan to pick up? Did I miss an amazing yellow? Please share your favorites with us.

Disclosure: Product samples were provided by reps for . Affiliate links appear in this post. When you purchase through an affiliate link, you help support this site. For more info view my Disclosure Policy
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  1. Dailies 07/25/14 | Scents of Self | July 25, 2014
  1. Lisa N. says:

    Great yellow recommendation! Its a color I don’t have a lot of so I might check some of these out.

  2. Kellie says:

    China Glaze Sun Upon My Skin is $6.75 on Amazon, not $3.25. I wish it were that cheap lol. You totally left off Zoya Pippa which is a gorgeous yellow creme!!

  3. Anna says:

    Great run down. I love these useful posts. I’m not really a fan of yellow so I was surprised to see I actually own two of them. That Morgan Taylor one looks beautiful though

  4. Jenn says:

    Thank you for this! I have yet to find a yellow that “works”, but after reading this post I have renewed hope… and new items on my shopping list. ;)

  5. amie says:

    Great list! Another fabulous yellow is Julie G Canary Islands!

  6. Risu says:

    The Milani and the OPI are my two favorite yellows; I have the OPI on my toes with some pink and yellow glitter right now. I also like China Glaze Sun-Kissed from a couple summers ago.

  7. Amy Falise says:

    Very nice review thank you! I don’t own any if these.

  8. Emily says:

    What about Zoya Pippa??

  9. Medusa says:

    Can’t say I’m a yellow nail polish fan because of how it looks against my skin. I think this color works best on those with darker skin.

    • I can understand that. Though I do think there’s a yellow out there for everyone. Then again, I believe that there’s a version of every color family for everyone.

  10. kelly says:

    I’ve read some good reviews on Color Club Macaroon Swoon.

  11. “A one-coat yellow is our chupacabra” Bwahaha! This is a really helpful post! Thank you. :)

  12. Mickie says:

    Oh, Milani. Why anyone would think “Yellow Whiz” would be a good name for a polish is beyond me…

    Also, great post! ;)

    • I know, right? I thought the same thing. I mean, the 12 yr-old boy in me giggles about it but who wants to tell someone they’re wearing “Yellow Whiz” on their nails?

  13. Dee says:

    Hmmm…I will check out the OPI one, but I would say yellow is only good darker skin is a fallacy. I have tanner skin, and I still don’t love yellow polishes on me. I do own butterLondon’s Jasper, which I occasionally tolerate.

  14. Melany says:

    Finding a great yellow polish that doesn’t look like dried mustard on my nails is a task! My favorites are OPI’s “I Just Can’t Cope-acabana” & Color Club’s “Almost Famous.”

  15. Lark says:

    Never thought about how desperately a yellow polish list needed to exist – thanks for the hard work and info! I love I Just Can’t Cope-acabana! OPI knocked it out of the park with the Brazil collection, right? I like the LVX polishes I have tried thus far, but don’t have a yellow from them. Need to try that, and the Morgan Taylor neon! Not that they would “qualify” for the list here, but here are a few I love: SH Xtreme Wear Lemon Zest, SH CSM Hello Sunshine, and my fave neon EVAH: Orly Glowstick.

  16. Viktoria says:

    I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I can’t get decent results with 2 coats of OPI Cope-a-cabana – actually, at 3 coats I still see some imperfections (though the camera already does not notice them).
    I was really happy with this summer’s Essence LE from their Brasil collection – it’s called Yeah, Copacabana! Sorry for teasing you with a LE and from a brand that (I guess) is unavailable at US – but maybe someone in comments finds this bit of information useful. 2 easy coats. I love it so much I actually bought 3 bottles while it was still available in our drugstores.

  17. Stephanie Smith says:

    Yellow is my favorite color! So thank you so much for posting this. I’m going to be picking a few of these up! Yay for yellow!

  18. Samantha Bradley says:

    I actually have OPI’s I Just Can’t Cope-acabana and Cover Girl’s Sulfur Blaze. They might just be the best yellows I’ve ever used, but for me that perfectly applying yellow polish is STILL my Chupacabra (or Sasquatch). Even my most expensive yellow (Nfu-Oh 158) is still streakingly cringeworthy. So I don’t know if I’ll ever find it. :(

  19. Jennifer says:

    I love Just Can’t Cope-acabana. I wear it with a coat of Oy! Another Polish Joke on top, and it glows! Perfect for summer!

  20. Tina says:

    You included my two yellow go to’s, Milani for a bright and Cult Nails for a softer yellow. I don’t know if it is available anymore, but Sally Hansen Lightening is also a great yellow and I use for it often for stamping. Maybe Sizzilin’ Saffron is the same under another name? Does it smell as sweet?

  21. Great list. OPI I Just Can’t Cope-acabana really is amazing! I remember being very impressed with butter LONDON Cheeky Chops. It was just about perfect in one coat = win.

  22. Abbi says:

    Thanks for all of this research! I own NYC “Lexington Yellow” with no complaints, but it could be that NYC just makes good formulas all around! I want to hear more about Milani being discontinued. I love affordable 5-free formulas! You mean their current line of colors? What more can you tell us (in advance) about the Color Statement line?

    • The Color Statement line is replacing all current Milani polishes, so I’m told. So expect to see all the others on clearance. I haven’t had a chance to really play with the Color Statement polishes yet but the bottles remind me of Nails Inc.

      • Abbi says:

        Ooh girl! Dupin’ Nails Inc straight out the gate! I nabbed my first Color Statement from CVS tonight when I saw it. “Ink Blot” (dark navy–I finally got over my “if it’s almost black it’s black” problem). Good formula, no staining. Still 3 to 5 free though? Didn’t read the ingredients closely. Rimmel Kate Moss has a cylindrical bottle too, but a slanted top. The color variety for CS hasn’t wowed me yet.

        • I practically needed a jeweler’s loop to read the ingredients but it’s 3-Free. I tried a couple colors and so far so good. Like you said, the color variety isn’t stellar but I’m sure they’ll add more fun colors as time goes on. They had to include the staples if they’re phasing out the old shades.

  23. Jen says:

    I had Milani’s Yellow Whiz (such a bizarre name), but I hated it. I was surprised to see it here. Maybe I got a bad bottle, but it was streaky and goopy and definitely did not dry quickly. I was going to throw it out, but maybe I’ll add some nail polish thinner to see if it helps.

    I’ve since bought Julie G’s Canary Islands and I like it much better. I recently saw OPI’s I Just Can’t Cope-acabana at Nordstrom Rack, so maybe I’ll take another look.

    • I’ve had really good luck with the Fast Dry line in general. Though I’m sad that it’s being phased out. :( It could have been a bad bottle. I see people playing with bottles in drugstores so often that when I get a bad bottle, I figure someone opened it before me and didn’t seal it well. Happens too often, I’m sad to say. Thanks for the Julie G rec!

  24. Tricia says:

    Although I have to be careful about finding yellows that suit my pale, cool-toned skin, I really like yellow nail polish! There are some great ones here! I’m so sad to hear that Milani is going away. :(

  25. redsquid says:

    You inspired me to go home and fish out Julep Sunny, a metallic yellow, and while the quality is wonderful, the color is just too-too for me, definitely a bright POP of color. I can’t stop looking at my hands, but not in a good way. :-) I think I need a more pastel yellow, and definitely not a metallic. ~Linda

  26. steffy says:

    So far my favs are Revlon Colorstay Buttercup, Kleancolor Pastel Yellow (takes longer to dry but sooooo smooth!), Julep Blake, Rimmel Sherbert Sweetheart Sweetie Crush (sparkly texture w/slight pink glow), and China Glaze Lemon Fizz.

  27. Deborah says:

    What a fun post! And I couldn’t agree more about OPI I Just Can’t Cope-a-Cabana.. it’s a must have!

  28. whitelace says:

    I have CG’s Pina Colada which is very complementary to my fair skin. I stick to more delicate shades of yellow which work best for me. Similar ones I have are Unicorn (Sinful Colors), Lemon Fizz (China Glaze), Buttercup (Revlon), and Lemon Meringue (Model’s Own). Guess it’s easy to tell I love yellow!