The Look: The navy nails that dominated red carpets several years ago are back, thanks to two influential launches-the denim-inspired trio of Les Jeans de Chanel and the glamorous Christian Dior Blue Tie Collection. Kristen Stewart, seen here at the premiere of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, opted for a metallic take on the hue to enhance her sparkling J. Mendel gown.
The Polish: While the limited-edition Chanel and Dior lacquers went into near-instant extinction (good luck getting your hands on a bottle), there are other glistening blues that achieve a similar impact. To channel Stewart's light-catching look, try Deborah Lippmann nail lacquer in Lady Sings the Blues, a shimmering navy with flecks of glitter.
2. Pastel Purple
The Look: Girl-about-town Alexa Chung recently paired the intergalactic print of Christopher Kane's leather minidress with vibrant lilac nails. "Violet captures the spirit of creative independence," says Arnold. "It's simple yet sophisticated."
The Polish: Follow in Chung's footsteps and wear Nicole by OPI nail lacquer in Play Fair for a flirty pop of color. Don't want to fully commit? Opt for a base of sheer milky white topped with one coat of lavender for a subtler take on the sweet shade.
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3. Classic Red
The Look: Classic red, à la Jessica Alba's nails at an Armani event earlier this month, never go out of style-and will put your fingertips in the spotlight. "Like jewelry, nails color makes a statement," says Essie founder Essie Weingarten, who exclaims, "The bolder, the better!"
The Polish: Sure to garner you attention on the holiday party circuit, Essie Nail Color in Size Matters is part of the brand's new Cocktail Bling collection. Weingarten recommends pairing the blazing shade with a high-shine topcoat and carrying a jeweled or sequined clutch in a contrasting hue.
4. Dark Chocolate
The Look: At Christian Louboutin's 20th anniversary party in New York City, Lea Michele set off a snow-white Versace dress with brownish-black nails. Indeed, according to manicurist Jin Soon Choi, black-a mainstay in recent seasons-is most current with a hint of cognac.
The Polish: Stay away from the straight shots of black from seasons past, and try a shade like Lancôme's new limited-edition Le Vernis Devine lacquer in Noir 29, which catches the light with a golden undercurrent. "It's more modern and sophisticated," says Choi. Also, two coats are best (any less, and streaking will look obvious).
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5. Muted Gold
The Look: When Marion Cotillard needed to transition seamlessly from the red carpet of the Contagion premiere to more casual talk-show appearances, celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann opted for Believe, a golden beige polish from her eponymous lacquer line. "A soft, shimmering gold looks good on everyone," she says.
The Polish: "We're seeing a lot of gold this season, especially as we approach the holidays," says Lippmann. For a 24-karat rendition of Cotillard's dazzling look, check out Dior Vernis in Rouge Or, a luminous polish part of the brand's gold-flecked holiday collection.
Click Here to See the Runway's Take on These Hot Hues!
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