Sheer nails will continue to dominate 2023—here are the best nail polishes for a chic, effortless finish

Guaranteed sophistication

A woman wearing the best sheer nail polish with a denim shirt and leather jacket
(Image credit: Getty Images/Edward Berthelot / Contributor)

Sheer nail polishes are anything but boring. In fact, sheer nails have reigned supreme in 2023 nail trends for their chicness. Not only do they work beautifully for a timeless wedding-day manicure, they also are ideal for everyday wear, as well as night-time glam (especially with the addition of some nail art). 

"I love how clean and healthy a sheer polish can make your nails look with minimal effort. It suits any outfit and works for any event," says nail artist, Marissa Marsh

"A single slick of a sheer, natural-toned varnish can instantly elevate and revive nails of literally any length, size and shape," agrees manicurist Alex Philamond. "It truly is the cure-all for tired, dull or even bitten nails."

But how do you find your *perfect* sheer nail polish? Well, there is one for every taste and skin tone, it's just about trying shades you like and seeing what suits best. As you will see below, I've separated the best sheer nail polishes into four shade sections: pinks, neutrals/nudes, milky whites and clear options. 

Most importantly, opt for something with mega shine, says Alex. "A good quality sheer polish should give a natural sheen of colour and healthy shine to lift and refresh the appearance of your nails."

Keep scrolling for what are, in my opinion as a manicure-loving beauty editor, the best sheer nail polishes (with expert recommendations, too). 

Best pink sheer nail polishes

Best neutral sheer nail polishes

Best clear(ish) sheer nail polishes

Best milky sheer nail polishes

Rebecca Fearn

Rebecca is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor to Marie Claire. She has written for titles including Refinery29, The Independent, Grazia, Coveteur, Dazed, Stylist, and Glamour. She is also a brand consultant and has worked with the likes of The Inkey List on campaign messaging and branded copy. She’s obsessed with skincare, nail art and fragrance, and outside of beauty, Rebecca likes to travel, watch true crime docs, pet sausage dogs and drink coffee. Rebecca is also passionate about American politics and mental health awareness.