Neutrals on nails may be quite continental—Chanel kicked off the craze for greige with its iconic Particulière shade—but color is a girl’s best friend. This summer, nail companies have unleashed a rainbow of offerings, no surprise after such a grey winter. “Neutrals can be a bit stuffy and act as a downer, while bright colors are captivating and stimulating,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “The human eye is notoriously fickle. Just like children, we seek out the new and want to break away from the same-old.” That means shades ranging from Sally Hansen’s sky blue Model Behavior (created in conjunction with designer Prabal Gurung) to OPI’s shimmering shocking pink, Come to Poppy. “Bright colors lift our spirits,” says Eiseman, “and nail polish is a cheap, fun way to add a splash of energy to your life.”

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