1981 was an important year for beauty lovers and nail salons everywhere: It’s when the inimitable Essie Weingarten launched her eponymous nail polish brand. Though Essie debuted with just 12 classic colors—many of which are still fixtures of the lineup today—the company has since produced a staggering 900 plus shades. Regardless of your druthers for dressing your digits, you’d be hard-pressed to find a hue they haven’t immortalized in one of their iconic lacquers.
That said, choice paralysis at the nail salon is a very real thing. (Surely we’re not the only ones who have spent too many minutes panicking in front of those tidy rows of bottles, struggling to commit to a single shade?) To help ease the burden of picking the best Essie polish on the spot, we’ve narrowed those hundreds of shades down to our 29 favorites. Keep reading to discover our top picks.