The timeless nail polish Helen Mirren swears by for at-home and on-the-go manicures

Offering a chic *and* understated wash of colour to your nails, Helen Mirren's polish of choice is a true staple

Helen Mirren is pictured with a sleek bob and wearing a purple dress whilst attending the "La Plus Precieuse Des Marchandises" (The Most Precious Of Cargoes) Red Carpet at the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 24, 2024 in Cannes, France/ in a pastel pink template
(Image credit: Getty Images/JB Lacroix/FilmMagic)

Looking for a subtle yet elevated nail colour that translates to both special occasion and everyday wear? Helen Mirren's go-to nail polish is a cult favourite and will impart the most flattering wash of sheer pink to your fingertips.

While 2024 nail trends have offered what feels like endless manicure inspiration, from seasonal looks to an all-out renaissance of French tip nails, we all still likely have that one nail colour, above all others, that we return to whenever we require a foolproof look. If you're currently in the market for such a reliable shade, we've got good news for you, as Helen Mirren has shared one she swears by when doing her nails at home or on the go.

Unlike some celebrity-approved products, it also won't cost you three figures (in fact, it won't even cost you two). But as with Helen Mirren's signature perfume, it will make a very chic addition to your beauty arsenal...

The £9 nail polish Helen Mirren relies on for at-home and on-the-go manicures

When it comes to choosing a timeless manicure, neutral nails and milky hues are often the go-to. In fact, finding a signature, minimalistic nude or a flattering creamy pastel can feel akin to finding the perfect shade of lipstick; it can always be relied upon to elevate your look. Of course, that might sound easier said than done – but Helen Mirren uses this specific (and very iconic) Essie nail shade that removes the guesswork for a reliable, chic go-to.

Sharing the contents of her beauty bag with Harper's Bazaar for its "Inside My Beauty Bag" YouTube series), Mirren revealed that she uses Essie's "Ballet Slippers", a pale, cool-toned pink. It's subtle, sheer and the ideal hue for those who love the bubble bath nail trend or are looking for the perfect French tip nail or glazed nail base colour. 

This classic, affordable shade is also widely-rumoured to be a favourite of Kate Middleton's and was also long-reported as the late Queen Elizabeth II's signature shade. The monarch is said to have worn the shade for three decades. 

Mirren also shared a good tip for maintaining your manicure on the go: keep whatever shade you're wearing in your handbag for touch-ups, which is exactly what she did in the video. 

How to achieve the perfect mani with Essie's Ballet Slippers

To compliment this understated hue, you could opt for either an elegant almond shape or an equally minimalistic style like squoval nails. As for the colour itself, apply two to three coats – gradually, to ward off streaks – and follow up with a high-shine top coat, (like this one from Beauty Pie). A cuticle oil is also key to maintaining your nails' health and keeping them looking fresh. 

Naomi Jamieson
Digital Beauty Writer

Naomi is a Digital Beauty Writer from woman&home, where she covers everything from skincare to fragrance but specialises, particularly, in makeup and nail trends. Through her work, Naomi gets to share her trend expertise and share her own shopping recommendations and product reviews. Previously, she worked as a Lifestyle News Writer for My Imperfect Life magazine, where she used her savvy for TikTok to bring readers the latest beauty buzzwords, fashion movements and must-have products. 

Before that, Naomi split her time between both GoodTo and My Imperfect Life, whilst training for her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ, for which she earned a Distinction. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but leapt into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing. Now, when she isn’t reporting on the best perfumes and latest beauty releases, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping...