The Best Nude Nail Polishes for Every Skin Tone

Finding the perfect nude polish is always a challenge. Too light and it will make your hands look pale and lifeless. Too dark and your skin can look sallow and muddy. Skyy Hadley, a celebrity manicurist and owner of As U Wish Nail Spa in New Jersey, shares some foolproof tips on how to find the best neutral shade for your skin tone. 

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essie angel food

If You Have Fair Skin

A good trick when deciding what color is best for your skin is to match it to your natural nail bed, says HadleyLadies with fairer complexions tend to look best in barely-there pinks that will subtly brighten your tips without overwhelming them. 

Essie "Angel Food" ($9)

jin soon nostalgia

If You Have Medium Skin

Creamy nude polishes work well with medium skin tones because they provide just the right amount of contrast while picking up the inherent warmth of your complexion, says Hadley. (A crisp white is another flattering option for when your tan deepens in the summer.)  

Jinsoon "Nostalgia" ($18)

opi samoan sand

If You Have Olive Skin

A peach or beige shade that’s slightly brighter than your skin will bring out your natural tan. Conversely, warm browns or mauves can get lost on your fingers and should be avoided. 

OPI "Samoan Sand" ($13)

tenoverten broome

If You Have Dark Skin

Rose or taupe shadeare particularly flattering against darker skin, because they provide just the right amount of contrast, while adding warmth, says Hadley. One color to avoid? Cool grays, which can make your skin look washed out or dull. 

Tenoverten “Broome” ($18)

mented cosmetics brown and bougie
Mented Cosmetics

If You Have Deep Skin

Darker skin can handle a variety of colors, but coffee-colored hues like cocoa and mocha work especially well. Tip: Swipe three thin coats to get a smooth, opaque finish.

Mented Cosmetics "Brown and Bougie" ($8)

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Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...