The Best Nail Illuminators For Subtle Colour
The Best Nail Illuminators For Subtle Colour

The Best Nail Illuminators For Subtle Colour

For a barely-there mani, you need an illuminator. Here are 7 that will give you a polished look, in both sense of the word...
By Sapna Rao

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.


Gel Break Sheer Too Tan-Tilizing, £16.90 | OPI

If you’re a gel devotee whose nails need a break, this is the colour for you. With a strengthening formula infused with vitamins and essential minerals, it revives thin and brittle nails while offering a subtle touch of colour. If your nails are on the drier side, this will hydrate both the nail bed and tip for a neater feel overall.

Available at


Back To Life Recovery Treatment And Base Coat, £15 | Nails Inc

Formulated with rich active oils that will repair seriously damaged nails, this product will mend dry, brittle nails within three weeks. Its hydrating ingredients encourage fresh nail growth, while offering a flattering tint. Use it as a base coat before applying other shades, or wear it on its own for a sheer nude look.

Available at


Nail Polish, £14 | Manucurist

For something a little more pigmented, this pearly, pinky sheen is such a winner. The formula is seriously impressive, using up to 84% bio-sourced ingredients which are also vegan and free from toxic chemicals. Ideal if you want a bit more impact, it won’t dry out or damage your nails in the process either.

Available at


L'Oxygene Nail Lacquer, £15 | Nailberry

Prioritising nail strength, this product harnesses Nailberry’s patented vegan, halal and oxygenated formula to promote healthier nails. And the luxuriously creamy off-white nude makes for the perfect everyday colour.

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Base Coat Abricot Protective Nail Care Base Fortifying & Hardening, £27 | Dior

There’s a reason this is one of the most recommended base coats, strengtheners and illuminators on the market. From its unique texture – which smooths, hardens and lasts – to its flattering peachy nude colour, this is a nailcare hero. Most nail artists will use it as a base, but we recommend adding two coats for a glossy, chic wash of colour.

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Nail Highlighter, £21 | Gitti

Gitti’s vegan nail highlighter is a quick and easy way to add a little something to bare nails. We love that you can tailor the pigment to your preference – either build it up for a dramatic, glittery effect, or go light with one coat for a little touch of sparkle. While you don’t need to go overboard with a top coat, an extra layer will help it last longer.

Available at


Illuminating Nail Concealer, $20 | LONDONTOWN

Promising to instantly lift dull or discoloured nails, this one offers a sheer veil of colour that smooths the nail surface to give a radiant finish. Universally flattering, it dries quickly and lasts, making it a reliable go-to for nails in need. It’s also vegan and has an impressive toxin-free formula.

Available at

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