Nail polish is one of the simplest ways to make a statement; it can change your mood, make you feel glamorous, or remind you of your favorite vacation spot.
I, myself, love getting manicures, they make me feel like I'm putting a fancy outfit on my hands, but one thing that gets me is the vast array of nail polishes available: I can never decide which color to go with. There's simply too much choice.
We all have different skin colors and undertones, and sometimes it can be hard to find a shade of nail polish that suits your skin tone — I know I've certainly had a few unflattering manicures; let's just say the color looked great in the bottle and bad on my nails.
So, what's the rules when it comes to finding a color that suits your skin tone? "There are no rules to color and you should one-hundred-million-kajillion percent wear whatever colors bring a smile to your face. I also understand that finding an amazing real-life human toned nude nail polish can be a challenge," says celebrity manicurist Rachel Messick.
Below, Messick shares a few of her favorite flattering nail polishes for different skin tones.
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ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color Nail Polish: Nourishing Nude
Two coats of this all-in-one polish and treatment will have your nails looking perfect for days without the hassle of a base or topcoat. “This is my go-to color on set for clients of all skin tones,” says Messick. “It’s the perfect balanced, semi-sheer beige tone and looks great on everybody.”
Essie Gel Couture: Of Corset
This sheer nude gel nail polish is complemented with subtle warm chestnut tones and has luxurious long wear. “It’s the perfect peachy neutral with just a hint of warmth,” says Messick.
ORLY: Coffee Break
This polish is packed with a rich pigment that provides a two coat coverage every time. “Apply this semi-sheer brown, to give a uniform and lengthening vibe for deeper skin tones,” says Messick.
Dazzle Dry Nail Lacquer: Mind Your Mani
If you’re looking for a color that is close to your natural nail shade but has a bit of a sheen, Mind Your Mani is the perfect, barely there, milky pink. Messick says she loves to use this as a base for classic French manicures.
Butter London Sheer Wisdom Nail Tinted Moisturizer: Deep
“This brown looks absolutely gorgeous on cool and warm deep complexions,” says Messick. The all-in-one tinted moisturizing polish protects nail integrity while delivering natural, healthy-looking nails.
Cirque Colors: Linen
“This fabulous, sheer bone white is a beautiful polish for brightening up the hands without adding too much color,” says Messick. The subtle shade that can be worn alone or as a base for some colorful nail art.
Misco Beauty Nail Lacquer: Worthy
This peachy-rose, chip-resistant polish delivers durability, high shine, and quality pigment for nails you can feel good about—without harmful ingredients. “It’s a great bright sheer polish that you can layer for more impact,” says Messick.
J. Hannah: Ghost Ranch
This lush brown pulls inspiration from artists’ palettes and natural elements like red rock to provide a super chic color with a high quality finish.
Static Nails Liquid Glass Lacquer: You Make Me Blush
This breakthrough formula is loaded with rich pigments and natural antioxidants that provide a healthy manicure. “Apply this pristine semi-sheer nude rose to bring out the natural blush tones,” says Messick.
Essie: Cliff Hanger
This milky-brown nude nail polish with pink undertones is the perfect color for a natural, neutral look with a high gloss finish.
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