Tips on how to match nail polish with skin tone are on our today’s menu, ladies, and trust me, you don’t want miss them! They’ll help you get the most of your complexion, avoid that dried out or dirty hands look some nail polish colors can cause and even save by finally learning what to look for. Awesome, right? Well, let’s start matching nail polish and skin tone right now! Check out these tips on how to match nail polish with skin tone that I’ve compiled and tested below, test them yourself to see which ones work best for you and make them a part of your nail routine.
1. Pale with Pale – Dark with Dark
First on my list of tips on how to match nail polish with skin tone is this easy to remember rule I read somewhere and decided to put on test. It says that pale ladies should opt for pale colors, medium dark ladies should go for medium tones while dark ladies should stick to dark polishes.
The Verdict: Although basically true, this approach to matching nail polish and skin tone won’t help you acquire a very diverse collection. Pale rose I use to achieve a nude look in winter does make my hands look kind of dirty in summer, requiring me to switch to a dusky or old rose shade to keep the nude look.
Conclusion: Use this advice if you’re not too into experimenting or are looking for a good tip to help you choose colors that won’t stand out too much. This is one of the simplest tips on how to match nail polish with skin ton.
2. Fair Skin Ladies Should Stay Away from Dark Colors
Blacks, dark blues and pretty much all extremely dark colors are something fair-skinned ladies should be very careful with, as they may turn their hands from classy to goth-like and enhance their pale complexion to the point where it looks corpse-like.
The Verdict: My sister is pale to such a degree that her skin sometimes looks blue and yes, I do have to agree going dark with such a light complexion could be a double-edged sword. However, I find the way some dark colors (particularly plum and red) look very classy on milky complexions.
Conclusion: Trim your nails before you opt for a dark color and you’ll avoid the fang-like appearance and manage to rock every dark color like the trendy lady that you are!
3. The Darker Your Skin is the More Choices You Have
Ladies with darker skin tones should consider themselves blessed as they can pull off almost any color in pretty much every nail length! Pale colors will introduce a really nice contrast, bright ones will make their hands look trendy and exotic while dark shades look glam even on long nails.
The Verdict: I couldn’t agree more and, yay, finally a tip that makes choosing the best nail polish shade for your skin tone not only easy but fun as well!
Conclusion: Experiment but do have your complexion in mind. If it’s warm, opt for warmer shades and vice versa.
4. Complexion Matters
Matching nail polish and skin tone starts with a complexion check! Look at the veins on the inside of your wrist – if they seem blue, your complexion is cool and if they seem green your complexion is warm. Now all you have to do is match cool with cool and warm with warm.
The Verdict: Definitely a way to go! Some cool shades are so not the best choice for my warm complexion, especially when it comes to light nail polishes, while my cool complexion sister steers clear of my yellow and coral polishes.
Conclusion: Having a cool or warm complexion doesn’t mean you won’t be able to enjoy ALL nail polish shades! If the shoe doesn’t fit, try a different pair! Don’t like the way grey goes with your complexion? Try a griege instead!
5. Nail Polish Shades Can Make You Look Paler
A simple rule that pretty much goes for all skin tones – the darker your polish is, the lighter the surrounding skin will look in comparison.
The Verdict: Totally true, as far as I’m concerned. I’d often go for a darker red in winter simply because it looks kind of vampy and aristocratic-like.
Conclusion: Try it, it’s fun! If you’re planning to go with trendy dark shades such as black, navy blue, extremely dark green, you might want to trim your nails to medium length first. Medium tan warm-complexioned ladies will benefit from this the most.
6. Metallics Make Medium Skin Tone Look More Tanned
Metallic nail polishes, especially silver, will make your hands look more tanned.
The Verdict: I think this is one of the reasons I love silver so much and yes, you should try it, too. Be careful, though! If you, similar to myself, tend to tan quite a bit in summer, silver may accent the grayish tinge and make you look ashy instead of bronzy.
Conclusion: Silver is not the only color to go for, of course! Try gold, light blue or even better – a glitzy top coat you can wear over your polishes.
7. Fair Skin: Pro Blue, against Yellow
If you have pale skin, there are certain colors that you may want to avoid and others that you should lean towards. If you're kind of pale, you should avoid yellows and yellow based nail polishes and go for ones with a blue base.
The Verdict: I'm pale and personally I feel that yellow doesn't work with my skin tone at all. Whether it's yellow clothing or yellow nail polish, it just doesn't seem to look great on me. Blue on the other hand is one of my favorite colors.
The Conclusion: Of course, I would always suggest giving it a try, but overall yellow is not a flattering color on most fair skinned people. Blue and blue based colors can look really great though!
9. Go for Gold!
Medium skin can be tough to find a great nail color for. If you're looking for a particular color but can't find one that looks good, try a color with gold flecks and warm undertones.
The Verdict: This trick can make tricky colors, like purple and brown, look good on medium skin tones. The warm undertones help the color better match your skin tone.
The Conclusion: Try, try, try! It may be frustrating to look for colors with gold flecks, but it will be worth it in the end of your search.
9. Skip the Pale Shades
Of course, I already stated that darker skin tones should stick to darker shades of nail polish, but I want to expand on that. Try to avoid shades that are too bright. Also make sure to stay away from silver, white and orange. These colors can make skin appear dull and make it look aged.
The Verdict: This is a pretty good tip. White is something that should probably be avoided for all skin tones, but is especially true of darker tones. Nobody wants to age themselves, or their hands, so unless you're sure it works for you - skip it!
The Conclusion: Go for darker colors. They look better, neater, and classier! If you consider yourself a risk taker, go for it, but I would suggest skipping these colors.
10. Not All Nudes Look Alike
Last but not least, let’s not forget that your choice of nudes should depend on your skin tone, too, and that one nude won’t keep you covered in all situations.
The Verdict: My ideal winter nude is a very pale rose, spring and late autumn require a slightly darker shade while my summer nude is so dark it could pass for a quite noticeable manicure in winter.
Conclusion: If your complexion is such that it doesn’t change easily, one or two colors will keep you covered for most of the year. Otherwise, be prepared to have a wide range of different nudes so your hands always look fresh, clean and natural, and never dirty or ashy!
Does matching nail polish and skin tone play a big role in your nail polish addiction or you tend to choose shades depending on what’s hot at the moment? Have you ever been misguided by swatches and ended up with something that doesn’t look so hot on your hands?
This article was written in collaboration with editor Lydia Sheehan.