Professional Nail Polish Colors for Work

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After 4 1/2 years of working at a marketing agency where the dress code is pretty lenient, I’ve decided to take a leap and am moving to a new company. Fortunately, the dress code is pretty similar, but I definitely want to make a good first impression. That had me thinking about what nail polish I would wear for my first day.

After digging through my nail polish collection, these were the top contenders. Each of these shades is professional and not too loud, and work very well in the winter months. Some of the lighter shades would be perfect for spring and summer as well. Here are my top choices:

Light Neutral Nail Polish Colors


Colors from left to right:

1 – Zoya – Dot

I am a huge fan of the ballet baby pink. Colors like Essie fiji and Zoya Dot are so pretty for any season, and since it’s not a bold pink it also works in a professional atmosphere. I love Zoya nail polishes because they are 5 free of harmful chemicals. This is a bit more girly, so I feel it works better on younger professionals.

2 – Pure Ice – Rumors

If you are into pinks and reds, this muted mauve is so pretty! Plus, since you can pick this up at Walmart, it’ll cost you under $3.00.

3 – Essie – Glamour Purse

This is one of my all time favorite nail polish shades. Essie glamour purse is the perfect everyday taupe that goes with all different looks. This is a great staple to have in any collection, but works really well for a professional.

4 – Sephora Formula X – Thrilling

This is one of my newer additions to my collection. Sephora’s Formula X line is one of the best I’ve tried – it’s completely chip resistant and goes on so easily. Thrilling is a griege-y nude that is a bit brighter so that it doesn’t blend in completely with fair skin tones.

Dark Nail Polish Colors


Colors from left to right

5 – Sally Hansen XTreme Wear – Grey Area

The Sally Hansen XTreme Wear formula is out of this world. Not only is it cheap as chips, but it lasts so well. It looks like Grey Area is discontinued (darn), but any dark grey would do the trick.

6 – Sephora Formula X – Obsessed

Obsessed is a dark merlot shade that works well in the fall and winter. It’s a bit on the dark side for spring and summer, but looks very stunning with a pulled together look.

7 – Essie – Skirting the Issue

It’s not coming off as much in the photo, but Essie skirting the issue is a touch more of the berry-tone than Obsessed. Again, this dark shade is more suitable to fall and winter, but is so classy with any winter wardrobe.

8 – Essie – Wicked

Essie wicked is really as dark as I would go in a professional setting. This almost black color is a bit more edgy, but I think it would be so stunning for someone in a more creative setting. From a distance it appears to be black, but up close it reveals a dark splash of wine.

What are your favorite nail polish colors for a professional setting? Leave a comment below!

*Some of the links in this post are compensated by commission

  • i love the ballet pink, it’s perfect for spring! i tend to go for the warm neutral shades for the workplace, essie’s topless & barefoot is one of my favorite ones

    may i ask what you do for work? marketing sounds very interesting!!

    • Samantha

      Hi Ying, thank you! I also love the ballet pinks. I work in a digital marketing agency and I specialize in search engine optimization which is a lot of fun. Since I love blogging and online marketing, it’s a great way to combine my passion for consumer behavior with web, which is helping me to improve my blog, HTML and SEO. I’d highly recommend it if you’re analytical and like thinking about why people perform different searches/what terminology to use to be more engaging.

    • whoa that sounds awesome! i studied psychology in school so i love figuring out the reasons behind peoples’ actions esp when it comes to the digital world. do you have any suggestions on how to get started in a field like yours, such as taking a HTML class or gain experience in online marketing?

    • Samantha

      Yes, definitely – I took for HTML and CSS, and HubSpot offers free certifications that are really helpful for the platform and learning about inbound marketing. For SEO I subscribe to Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Journal’s newsletters, and you could also do a free certification for Google Analytics. Aside from that, I find that doing an internship with a marketing agency is infinitely helpful as well if you have the time available. Hope that helps!