What To Do When You Can’t Wear Nail Polish to Work

Freak out! …Just kidding! Not being able to wear nail polish at work may be daunting especially if you’re ‘all about your nails’ and haven’t had that restriction before. So here’s some tips on how to survive and even get around the “no nail polish at work” rule. 


There are some jobs that say you can’t wear nail polish but what they really mean is:

  • No Nail Art
  • No Long Nails
  • No Fake Nails
  • No Dark Colours
  • No Bright Colours
  • No Fun

purple spill ban

The last one was another joke, but basically, they don’t want your nails to be at all noticeable.  They should blend in with everyone else’s and not draw attention to them. So, this opens up a few avenues.  You might be able to*:

  • Wear Clear Nail Polish
  • Wear Sheer Nail Polish
  • Wear Nude Nail Polish

*If you’re unsure whether you can bend the rules, check first


It may be sad, but there are some forms of employment where nail polish is an absolute no-no, and in these situations I would NEVER advise you to bend the rules.  This rule is often in the medical and food industry and is to do with if the nail polish chips, risking infection and spread of germs etc.

But just because you can’t wear nail polish to work, doesn’t mean your nails have to look bad.  You can:

  • Keep them shaped perfectly so they always look neat and tidy
  • Buff them if you want to recreate a glossy look
  • Keep them super moisturised to avoid dry hands and rough cuticles

…and if you think about it, you’ll have an even stronger love for nail polish when you get to wear it on the weekends/spare time! Which is a good thing 🙂

Are you in a situation where you can’t wear nail polish to work? Do you bend the rules or play by the rules?

23 responses to “What To Do When You Can’t Wear Nail Polish to Work

  1. I’m lucky I work in an office with no restrictions on nails – as long as they are clean pretty much anything goes!

    • So lucky!!! I work in a hospital, so no nail polish. Which I think is actually a bad thing. At work we use very strong hand sanitizers and soaps, they make everyone’s nails chip. Some of the girls actually break the rules and get gel nails because they don’t chip and are so strong. I think they have a point but I’m too chicken to break the rules!

      • Totally understandable for hygiene/medical reasons, so I get it. But it’s not great on your nails. Like you said the sanitizers and constant hand washing will dry them out making them brittle, increasing peeling and chips! Though, it’s a hospital, it’s not worth risking it. Don’t think you’re a chicken at all, I think you’re doing the right thing!

    • Yes, very true! At my school the rules were broken all the time though lol every break time you would see girls standing outside the staff room with cotton wool and nail varnish remover taking it off!

    • Definitely! Funnily enough that’s what I’m sporting now. I was thinking that goes under the ‘clear’ part but you’re right to point out the difference. Gives an almost satin look close up, but from afar hardly noticeable 🙂

  2. Thankfully work let’s me go crazy with mine but I try not go over the top with neon colours because no one needs that in their life in that office.I usually keep it simple if I do nail art otherwise I’ll just wear a single colour

    • Another lucky one!
      lol @neons in the office, might be a tad distracting! Simplicity tends to be the way to go for work situations. Neon skittle manis are reserved for free time 😛

  3. Great post! I work for Clinique and had to wear subtle nail polish for years. Of course, I didn’t always follow the rules ;). But now that they have nail polish, I have way more leniency.

    • So cool you work for Clinique, love their skincare! That makes sense being a brand that’s about a more natural, less is more approach. I’m sure you must be an expert on all the nude and ‘barely there’ shades lol and a sneaky different colour can’t hurt too much 😉 I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Clinique polishes are so colourful, must have been a welcome change!

  4. I work in a kitchen, so no polish for fear of getting it in someone’s food. Nail wraps are pretty indestructible and I’m considering gel top coat over nail art. (When i learn more about it!) A friend works in child care, so no polish for her either, kids might eat it!! Ah rules!! 😦

    • Yep, the food industry is not keen on nails/nail polish. Did you ever see that episode of Friends where Monica loses a fake nail in the quiche lol?
      Interesting that you can’t wear it in child care, I just thought it was long nails/nail extensions!
      Gel top coat sounds like a good idea. Obvs you have to check or make your own decision on that but it should help with chips and breakage

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s