What color nail polish was popular in the 70’s?

Hey, feeling inspired by the groovy 70’s? Want to know which nail polish shades were all the rage back in the day? This post has everything you need to know about nail polish in the 1970s. So let’s find out what color nail polish was popular in the 70’s.

Here’s a handy table of contents to help you find your way around!

Nail polish colors that were popular in the 70’s

Nail polish colors that were sold in the 1970’s

A brief history of the 1970’s nail scene

1970’s inspired nail polish colors that are available now.

Final thoughts

In the 1970s, women wore warm, natural shades of nail polish.

Earthy colors like brown, green, yellow, orange, and cream were very popular.

Chocolate, tan and golden browns are iconic 70’s colors.

These shades were used in fashion, make-up. and of course, nails.

Warm neutrals like sandy beige and cream polish shades were also used.

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Because beige and cream are a perfect match for the warm colors that were fashionable back then.

Natural earthy greens like olive, avocado, and pistachio were very popular nail colors in the 70’s.

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This makes sense given that they pair so well with brown.

Mossy greens with a lot of yellow in them are also very 70’s.

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As are natural orange polishes like burnt orange, and brown-orange creams.

When it comes to yellows, shades like sunflower, lemon, and amber nail polish were popular.

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Warm-toned nail polish dominated in the 70’s, but there were some cool shades available.

Spearmint, ice, or baby blue polishes were often worn in the 1970’s with brown and orange.

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The French manicure was also invented in the 70’s.

It quickly became the must-have manicure for the rich and famous.

Nail polish colors that were sold in the 1970’s

So, what nail polish colors were available in the 70’s?

Let’s find out!

There was quite a large range of nail colors on the market as it happens.

Below are some real nail polish shades advertised and sold in the 1970’s.

These polish colors were all sold by Max Factor in 1973:

  • Gingersnap Bronze
  • Liquorice Cream (a light gray creme)
  • Banana Ice
  • Sweet Violet
  • Sugarfrost Lilac
  • Blueberry frost
  • Peppermint (this is actually a pink shade)
  • Lime Parfait
  • Frosty Toffee
  • Glazed Carrot
  • Frosty Green Apple
  • Baby blue
  • Hunter Green Frost
  • Frosted Grape
  • Liquorice Stick (not black – more of a silver shade)
  • Lemon meringue
  • Frosty Chinchilla
  • Pink Almond
  • Frosted Blue Gumdrop
  • Pistachio
  • Blue Fox Frost
  • Devil’s Food Frost (a warm, rich brown)
  • Mocha Malt (an earthy, sandy neutral)
  • Sugar Lilac
  • Frosty Panda
  • Crushed Spearmint
  • Peach Whip
  • Bon Bon Blue

A brief history of the 1970’s nail scene

What was happening in the nail world during the 70’s?

Let’s take a peek into the past and find out!

In the 1970’s the trendsetters of the day were Hollywood starlets.

Women in the 70’s would look to popular actresses like Brooke Shields, Faye Dunaway and Dianne Keaton for inspiration.

Hollywood wanted a nail style that would work with an actress’s entire wardrobe.

So in the mid-seventies, the founder of Orly – a guy called Jeff Pink (perfect name) stepped up.

His solution to the problem was the French Manicure, which he invented.

The French manicure took off.

It wasn’t long before it appeared on the models at the top fashion shows in Paris.

This exposure made the french manicure extremely popular during the second half of the decade.

Especially with wealthy women who could afford the very latest advances in nail tech.

Gold nails were also at the forefront of fashion.

Nail charms and nail art were making their way into the mainstream during the 1970s.

It was also the first decade that nail drills were used.

This allowed nail techs to perfectly sculpt acrylic nails.

1970’s inspired nail polish colors that are available now

If you’re inspired by 70’s nail trends, here are some nail colors you might wanna check out.

Orly has a 1970’s inspired collection Called Day Trippin’.

Here are the shades:

  • Can you dig it?
  • Kitsch you later
  • Here Comes the Sun
  • Happy Camper
  • Red Rock
  • Feeling Foxy

If you like China Glaze, check out these 70’s inspired shades:

Here are some groovy offerings from CND:

And Essie: (sorry these are not available any more but you can use them as a guide).

70’s OPI nail polish shades:

Smith and Cult seventies colors:

Final thoughts

Wow, who knew that the 1970’s were so cool?

There was a lot going on in the nail industry back then.

It’s interesting to learn about the trends of the past.

They almost always come back around, so it’s good to know what was popular back then.

That way you can draw from the past and add a modern take.

I hope you had fun finding out which nail polish shades were popular in the funky 70’s!

Get creative and have a blast experimenting with these colors to make your very own 70’s-inspired nail art!


  • Phoebe Meadows

    Phoebe Meadows is a self-proclaimed nail addict, always on the lookout for the latest trends and techniques. When she's not creating stunning nail designs, you can find her researching the latest nail care products or experimenting with new techniques.