Painted Ladies

Nail polish is shaping up to be this summer's number one accessory, which you probably knew. It makes sense; when it's too hot for makeup and too humid for layers it's easy to mix things up with a new coat of polish. And since we've spotted everyone from A-list actresses to CEOs sporting shades far off the traditional spectrum of pink, there's no wrong time to debut your current favourite shade of blue. To get you started, we've identified the exact hues gracing a few of our favourite tastemakers.On Hanneli Mustaparta: To achieve a shade of gold nearly identical to her custom-made Calvin Klein gown, Hanneli turned to a mixed bag of tricks. First, her gel nails were painted nude, then layered with light pink and topped with a coat of silver sparkle powder mixed with clear nail polish. Right before they dried, her manicurist added bigger silver sparkles on top. If that sounds intimidating, try Deborah Lippmann's Sugar Daddy ($18) or Laura Mercier's Cinema Noir Nail Lacquer ($18) in Organza.

On Doutzen Kroes: Wearing a couture dress on a red carpet no longer demands a coat of clear polish. At last month's Cannes Film Festival, Doutzen Kroes paired her white Versace dress with L'Oreal's Colour Riche Nail Polish ($5) in Safari Chic. For a gold-flecked version try Butter London's Wallis ($14) and for something more vibrant, Avon's Emerald Noir ($6). At a salon that only stocks Essie? Look for Going Incognito ($8).

On Kristen Stewart: Kristen Stewart's not one for matching, but Chanel's celebrity nail artist, Ashlie Johnson, painted the actress' nails with Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour ($26) in Graphite, a metallic polish that's just slightly darker than Stewart's Guishem dress. Orly's Steel Your Heart ($8) is similar, though less glittery, while Butter London's Diamond Geezer ($14) lightens things up a bit.

On Whitney Port: Whitney Port accessorized her crop top with another one of this summer's mega-trends: blue polish. She chose Essie's Bikini So Teeny ($8), a periwinkle shade with just a hint of glitter. Thakoon for Nars' Kutki ($18) keeps the powdery colour without the shimmer while OPI's What's With the Cattitude ($25) has the best nail polish name we've ever heard.

On Liu Wen: Not surprisingly, the Estée Lauder face chose one of the brand's new spring shades for her turn on the Cannes red carpet. Liu Wen's Pure Colour Nail Lacquer ($19) is sold out in Caviar, but plenty of brands are offering shades of grey (!) this summer. Dior Vernis ($23) in Gris Montaigne is perfectly sparkle-less and Julep's Nail Vernis ($14) in Meryl is toxin-free.

On Emma Stone: As if Emma Stone's flowery red Lanvin dress wasn't fun enough, Elle, her manicurist, layered two different Revlon colours--Surfs Up ($5) and Blue Mosaic ($5)--for a sort of turquoise shade that offered a surprising contrast. If you have neither the time nor the palette with which to whip up a custom shade, try Lancôme's Aquamarine ($15) or Sally Hansen's Blue Streak ($5).