The iconic nail polish Helen Mirren adores for a versatile and chic, on-the-go manicure

Offering a timeless and refined tint to your nails, Helen Mirren's polish colour of choice is a true staple to add to your collection...

Helen Mirren attends 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 cream and beige template
(Image credit: Getty Images/Dominique Charriau/WireImage)

On the lookout for a nail colour that effortlessly bridges the gap between special occasions and everyday wear? Helen Mirren's nail polish go-to is the signature sheer pink to add to your collection...

While the 2024 nail trends have offered what feels like endless manicure inspiration, from seasonal looks like coral nails to an all-out renaissance of French tip nails, we likely all have that one colour, above all others, that we return to whenever we require an infallible manicure. If you're currently in the market for such a reliable shade, however, the contents of Helen Mirren's beauty bag might just inspire you, as it turns out she relies on one, very iconic hue when doing her nails at home or on the go.

And, unlike some celebrity-approved products, it also won't cost you more than a tenner 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 a chic, every-occasion mani

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 Essie nail shade that removes the guesswork for a versatile and 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 complement 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. One of the best hand creams is also a great addition to your nail care kit, especially if you are prone to dry and peeling skin around your nails and cuticles.

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...