Although I don't like to admit this, being a bit of a lacquer hoarder, you can get through an entire year with just ten nail polishes. Okay, you might argue you can get by with just one, or even none but do me a favour and just assume you want like variety and you want to look smart, in fashion and groomed. Whatever the occasion, whatever the outfit, whatever your mood, with these five colours you are covered. Just make sure you use a decent basecoat and topcoat for great application and a long-lasting manicure.

1 A gloss tint

A high-gloss, completely transparent, clear polish with a hint of rosy pink gives your nails a healthy glow, even if they're a bit grey looking.

We like: Nails Inc Diamond Street and Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat

2 A sheer

When you need a clean look but feel your nails need a tad more coverage, a sheer polish gives a veil of colour and coverage much like a great pair of 7-denier tights does for your pasty pins. For an ultra clean, fresh look a sheer is hard to beat.

We like: Leighton Denny Natural White and Essie Ballet Shoes

3 A nude

Over the last few years the greige, taupe trend has taken the manicure world by storm. And no wonder, a true nude goes with everything. From paired down professional frocks to outrageous neon Ts, nudes will do the trick. Wake up, get dressed, don't worry about matching.

We like: Nails Inc Porchester Suare and OPI You Don't Know Jacques

4 A red

For the ultimate in tailored, glamorous chic, red nails are a must. They scream confidence and there's pretty much a red for everyone from bricks to cherries and scarlets to burgundies.

We like: Nails Inc Manchester and St James and OPI Vodka & Caviar and Malaga Wine

5 A dark

Ultra-chic, slightly edgy and sexy but demure, rocking a dark nail colour is a statement in itself. That you are bold and unafraid, but put-together and groomed.

We like: OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, Leighton Denny No Comment and Nails Inc Black Taxi