Beauty: feelgood nails

Nail Polish - Craig Jewell

I love a £5 bargain that makes me squeal more than a £200 serum or a fancy perfume that costs the earth.

When Models Own's Ice Neon nail polishes arrived, all jolly and uniform like a pack of new highlighter pens, I did exactly this. They were out of the case and on my nails within minutes – all five shades, in fact. I just couldn't choose.

Yes, they're a bit daft, but this is precisely why they're so joyful. Painted nails are already a mildly ridiculous concept, if you think about it, so I say don't fight it, just revel in the fun. However dull my week is, I still smile every time I look down at my Illamasqua blue speckled nails that make my fingertips look like stolen blackbird eggs, or my Nails Inc Feathers polish that resembles whatever laid them.

Flamboyant nails are also a great way to give your style some quirk and edge without breaking professional dress codes or looking like mutton dressed as lamb. And, crucially, my picks below are easy. We're not talking nail art here – these don't come with pens, foils, glue sticks and gems; they're just lovely, feelgood polishes. Whack two coats over a basecoat, allow to dry thoroughly and finish with topcoat. These six make me happy.

Models Own Ice Neon nail colours, £5 each, or five for £20,
Matt finish, dense neons that I can't keep my hands off. Irresistible.

Revlon Colorstay Nudes Nail Enamel, £7.99,
Skin-coloured nail polish, in every shade. Better than it sounds; go a bit darker than your hands.

Illamasqua speckled nail polish in Fragile, £14.50,
I'm obsessed with these. Beautiful, sludgy pastel shades like Cadbury's Mini Eggs.

Nails Inc Feathers, £11,
I want not to love it, but I do. Three coats make nails look as if they're covered in tiny feathers. Cute bottle, too.

Kure Bazaar polish, £14.95,
Non-toxic eco nail polish – 85% of natural origin – in fantastic, vibrant shades.

Rimmel London Cocktail Colour In A Flash, £3.99,
Iridescent, fine-glitter polishes in bright, tropical colours. Baby Bellini is my favourite.

Powered by article was written by Sali Hughes, for The Guardian on Saturday 13th April 2013 09.01 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010