British Nail Polish Brands Invade the States

The British are coming! The British are coming! Brit beauty brands have come across the Atlantic, landing on our shores and ready to take over and become the reigning queens of nail polish. Brands such as Ciaté, Rococo Nail Apparel and Nails Inc. have made a name for themselves with innovation, creative color and cheeky packaging that puts them toe-to-toe and finger-to-finger with their American cohorts.

Charlotte Knight

Charlotte Knight

Ciaté Paint Pots

Ciaté Paint Pots







Founder: Charlotte Knight

Range: 73 colors, with three additional caviar manicure colors

Iconic colors: Mistress, a red meant to emulate Louboutin’s classic hue and worn by Adele at the 2012 Grammy awards; L.A. Confidential, a creamy off-white

Ciaté (say it: see-ah-tay) stands for “colour, innovation, aspiration, trend and extraordinary.” The brand doesn’t even call their formula a polish. Instead, it’s a “paint pot.” While that may sound lofty for a brand that bedecks each bottle with a petite bow, it’s what founder Charlotte Knight has stuck to since her brand’s inception. Case in point? 2012’s nail art phenomenon: the caviar manicure. Blending an array of colors to create a realistic, multi-dimensional effect, the caviar manicure set (which sells out so fast at Sephora that nail art junkies have resorted to buying out craft stores for supplies) pulls together elements of luxury, art and beauty.

The statement-making manicure isn’t all the label is known for, though. Cult favorites include: Cookies and Cream, a nude; Skinny Jeans, a powdery blue and Mistress, a deep vampy red. The brand’s bottle design has also made it a favorite for collectors: the long-handled brush allows for a more controlled stroke and the brush has 250 bristles, assuring that even a nail polish novice can achieve  a smooth, even coat every time.

Ciaté is now available at Sephora stores nationwide. For their complete range of colors, visit

Ange and Vernice Walker

Ange and Vernice Walker

Rococo Nail Apparel New Geisha Collection

Rococo Nail Apparel New Geisha Collection









Rococo Nail Apparel

Founders: sisters Ange and Vernice Walker

Range: 51 colors, including the Lab Nude series, a range of skin toned polishes meant to match any skintone

Iconic colors: Gold Leaf, a clear polish with actual gold flecks, is a glam way to top off any manicure, no matter the shade.

Staying small but gaining a huge following sounds impossible, but it’s exactly what sisters Ange and Vernice Walker have done with their range of nail polish — ahem, nail apparel — Rococo. The sleek bottles are a mainstay at London Fashion Week, where designers such as Burberry’s Christopher Bailey regularly employs the brand’s Lab Nudes on each model’s fingernails. The chic duo has also kept their brand under the radar by being selective about their distribution.

Space.NK stores are the only place to get them on this side of the pond, meaning you’ll have to trek to one of the NY locations or find a spot inside Bloomingdale’s to snag these ahead-of-the-curve colors. Rococo has become known for creating colors that appear multidimensional, deep and complex. Last year’s New Geisha collection proved they weren’t just the label to go for if you’re looking for a nude. Each color integrated varying degrees of shimmer, color-shifting pigment and more.

Rococo Nail Apparel is available at Space.NK.

Thea Green, MBE

Thea Green MBE

Nails, Inc. Crystal Cap Polishes

Nails Inc. Crystal Cap Polishes








Nails Inc.

Founder: Thea Green MBE

Range: 146 colors, including magnetic, special effects, mattes and crackles. Each shade is named for a London locale.

Iconic colors: Baker Street, a bright cobalt blue; Notting Hill Carnival, the industry standard yellow polish and Porchester Square, a murky nude greige. Nails Inc. is also the brand responsible for the magnetic polish trend.

It takes a lot to earn an MBE (the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for those who aren’t up to date on their chivalric code), but Nails Inc. founder Thea Green received one from the Queen herself in 2011 for her outstanding contribution to the beauty industry. What did she do to earn such a distinction? Collabs with Brit brands such as Jonathan Saunders and Kate Middleton-approved Issa don’t hurt. Neither does running a 58-strong chain of salons that employs over 400 people in the UK and Ireland. But when it comes to color, no other import label has the range or innovation of Nails Inc.

From matte to magnetic, 3D glitter to eye-searing neons, Nails Inc. is the first on the scene when a trend hits the masses. When they debuted at Sephora in 2011, Americans went wild for everything from the crystal-capped polishes to the special effect shimmers and crackles. Fans didn’t even care that they were only getting a taste of the brand’s full offerings. Recently, the brand has debuted its Couture service, which allows shoppers to add a distinct cap (choices range from crystals to studs) to any of the brand’s colors, add their own personalized color name and ship it to their favorite lacquerhead in a one-of-a-kind box.

Nails Inc. is available at Sephora.

Images courtesy Ciaté, Space.NK and Nails Inc.

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Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.