The Best Nail Polish Color For Each Skin Tone

      By Mandie Brice·· 2 min read

      When you think of color matching, one of the last things on your mind might be your fingertips, but an essential part of a good manicure is making sure that you choose the right color! It is important to consider your skin tone, your undertones, and your lifestyle!

      The last one, lifestyle, is vital, because as I mentioned in the article about the current trends in makeup, we are still working on figuring out a long-lasting, quick, do-it-yourself system for nail color. So, if you’re the kind of person whose nails are last on the beauty to-do list, you may want to consider finding the best nude color for your skin tone, because chips and outgrowth won’t be as obvious as they would with a very contrasting color!


      There are finally a lot of great nudes to choose from with a universal range of skin tones, from fair/ivory-type nudes to a much darker shade, almost black, for those on the deep end of the spectrum. If after you match the proper shade from a light or dark standpoint and it still looks a bit “off,” you may need to go over with a very light/sheer polish with your undertone to make it look more natural. Many who have very fair-toned hands will need to add an extremely light pink overtop to mimic their natural tone, while others may need a slight orange, yellow, or blue top coat to make it look natural.

      You can find this without trying tons of different topcoats by looking at the veins on the inside of your forearm. If they are blueish, you have a cooler undertone, and if they are greenish, you can go for a warmer color. Or, if silver jewelry looks better on you, you’re more suited to cooler tones, but if gold is better, you have a warm undertone! There’s also the possibility that you’re neutral (if both look good on you), which means you probably can go with a clear top coat! If you’re aghast at the idea of letting your nails grow out or be chipped, then you probably already keep your mani well-groomed and know what looks great and what doesn’t, but just in case, here’s an easy guide for beautiful nails!

      Fair skin:

      If you have fair skin, pastels are a great choice, unless you’re going for the Goth/Vampy look! If you’ve read my previous article on royal favorites, it should come as no surprise that a royal family favorite is perfect for pale skin: Ballet Slippers, made by Essie!

      Other great colors for fair skin beyond pastels are gray, chrome, or a bright red for a femme fatale look!

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      Olive Skin:

      If you have olive skin tones, usually it’s best to avoid yellows and army greens, but almost every other color looks great! I think Pepper by Zoya is a great choice - it’s bold, but has a wine-toned tint to it, and brings out the depth of olive tones. Metallic gold is another fun option!

      olive skin nail polish

      Tan skin:

      Bronzed babes have it all! Tanned/medium skin has a benefit of being able to flaunt just about any color under the sun. I absolutely love a great flash of bright to enhance contrast. One of my favorites is the bright pink “24/7” made by Sinful Colors, but a bright yellow, flashy metallic silver, or a beautiful lavender are all great choices!

      evie - nails -

      Dark skin:

      If you’re up for a high contrast, I love a bright yellow against dark skin, like the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear nail polish in Mellow yellow, but if you’d like a less “in your face” option, a pearlescent purple (or burgundy) looks gorgeous as well!

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