Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pastel Blues for Nails



It seems that every year about this time I have a longing to wear light, airy pastel blues and cheerful sky blues. Today's post features nine of my favorite light blue nail colors. Some are new (Nails Inc.'s Chelsea Physic Garden), and others not-so-new (Chanel's Riva). Most recently, my quest for the perfect pale blue led me to Julep's Liz, which is the lightest blue I've come across yet and was the inspiration for this post. 

Left to right: Sally Hansen Blue-Away, OPI What's With the Cattitude?, Nails Inc. Chelsea Physic Garden, Nars Kutki

The first four shades show above are what I consider "swimming pool blue"--an eye catching, fun, and quintessential summer shade. If you like this type of color, I recommend Sally Hansen's Blue-Away, which is an excellent value and has a formula that is on par with, and in some cases better than, the others shown here. It is quite similar to both Nars' Kutki and OPI's What's with the Cattitude?, which is just a touch darker and slightly cooler-toned. Nails Inc.'s new limited edition spring shade, Chelsea Physic Garden, is a pretty blue creme that I could not resist--but after comparing it with Blue-Away, I recommend saving a few dollars and trying the Sally Hansen instead.

Left to right: Nails Inc. Chelsea Physic Garden, Nars Kutki, Sephora by OPI Havana Dreams, China Glaze Kinetic Candy, Chanel Riva 

Sephora by OPI's Havana Dreams is a soft, wintry blue and is the most sheer of the bunch. The formula can be a bit streaky, so it looks best with three coats. China Glaze's Kinetic Candy from last spring's Electropop collection is a lovely cloud blue with a hint of grey. Chanel's Riva is a semi-sheer baby blue with fine iridescent shimmer from the 2010 Cruise collection, Cote d'Azur.

Left to right: China Glaze Kinetic Candy, Chanel Riva, Topshop Tidal, Julep Liz 

Topshop's Tidal is a sophisticated light blue creme that verges on grey. This is a nice, subdued shade that might appeal to those who normally shy away from brighter blues. Lastly, Julep's Liz is a pale pastel blue that is about as light as a blue can get without being mistaken for white. This is the first Julep polish I've ever purchased and I wasn't sure what to expect. I love the color, though, and look forward to giving it a try!  


  1. Sally Hansen: Blue-Away
  2. OPI: What's With the Cattitude? 
  3. Nails Inc.: Chelsea Physic Garden 
  4. Nars: Kutki 
  5. Sephora by OPI: Havana Dreams 
  6. China Glaze: Kinetic Candy 
  7. Chanel: Riva 
  8. Topshop: Tidal 
  9. Julep: Liz 
In full sunlight



In indoor lighting





Do you have any light blue polish recommendations or other favorite shades you like to wear when spring arrives? 



18 comments:

  1. what beautiful colours :O those first 4 look very similar, normally I am not the biggest fan of blue but those pastel blues look wearable. I now have two nail polishes on my wishlist :D / Claire xxx

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    1. Hi Claire, I like to use the brighter blues for pedicures mostly. Really pale blues work nicely for hands too because they seem more neutral. xx

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  2. Beautiful blues, mm! Love that first shot - so fun and whimsical.

    As an owner of a lot of blues, I was astounded by the fact that the only ones from your list I have are Havana Dreams and Riva. Lovely collection. Pastel blues make me happy. :)

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    1. Hi Liz, Thank you :) I had taken a photo of the sky when I was in my backyard and thought, why not use it as a background for the polishes? I like pastel blues because they remind me of the beach and sky - peaceful, happy things!

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  3. Oooh, this is such a fun post! I usually don't do pastels but pastel blues like these are one of the few that I can pull off. Riva is a very interesting shade, never seen that before! I think the OPI one is my favourite tho! ^^

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    1. Hi Teri, Thank you! :) I really like the OPI shade as well. I think I might use it for a blue pedi this weekend! :)

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  4. What a beautiful post! I really love all the photos, although I like bright turquoise or cobalt blue more than pastel blue.

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    1. Hi Marina, Thanks so much! :D I love bright turquoise and cobalt too and have a few favorites! I'd like to do another post with darker blues sometime :)

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  5. Hi Shannon,

    What a fun post! I thought the cloud inspired graphics were awesome too! I have Havana Dreams, which I think is a really great light blue. I think I'd like to add a dustier blue to my collection as well--- maybe something like China Glaze Kinetic Candy :)

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    1. Hi Dovey, Thank you! :) I have been trying to learn how to do more creative things with Photoshop and the blog is a good place to practice! :) Kinetic Candy is a pretty shade - Topshop 's blue is very dusty and can almost look gray.

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  6. I adore your pictures :) It always look perfect. Chanel Riva is so pretty and I regret that I didn't get it few years back.
    Anyway I miss your nature inspired pictures - I love it :)

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    1. Thank you Memoiselle! Riva is lovely, but luckily there are a lot of new pretty pale blues on the market now.
      I have been meaning to post some nature photos I took at one of my favorite places in Miami a few weeks ago. I think I will try to do it this weekend :)

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  7. i had that nails inc one on my shopping list but for some reason i didn't get it... I think it needs to go back on my list, hehe! :)

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    1. When I first saw it in the store I was really drawn to it, but after getting it home and comparing it to other blues I realized I probably could have skipped it since it is so similar to other shades I own. It is a lovely blue though :)

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  8. Wow! You have quite an extensive collection of baby blue polishes. I'm jealous. I only have 2: Sephora by OPI Havana Dreams and Chanel Skyline. I returned Chanel Riva because at the time I was not happy with the sheerness of its formula but now, I kind of regretted it :(

    I also love robin egg blue for nails in the spring/summer. My favorites are Chanel Nouvelle Vague and Dior Saint-Tropez.

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    1. Hi Paige, I don't know how I ended up with so many blues lol :) I find I don't wear Riva often - it is pretty, but not spectacular :) Robin egg blue is so pretty and the two you mentioned are among my favorites! :)

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  9. I just found your blog last month on my Birthday.You take some fantastic pictures of the nail colours.I have to get some exciting and Spring/Summer colours .The Blues are just beautiful.Have you posted any oranges or red colours?I was wondering where you get those nail wheels?

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    1. Hi Norma, Thank you! :) Last year I did a series on nail polishes inspired by fruit colors, like tangerine, watermelon, etc. You can find them by entering the term "fruit" in the search box, above right.

      I purchased the nail wheels on ebay a couple of years ago. I'm not sure if you live in the States, but they also sell them at Sally Beauty Supply. :)

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Thanks for commenting!