Our Favorite Nude Nail Polishes to Complement Every Skin Tone

August 11, 2020
By: Angela Melero | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
Our Favorite Nude Nail Polishes to Complement Every Skin Tone

There are a few beauty trends out there that we can safely say will never go out of style. Nude nail polish is one of them, along with a bold red lip and classic black winged eyeliner. . No matter how many nail art trends and manicure styles come and go, nude polish and neutral nails have staying power. There’s truly something to be said for a shade that works for every season and occasion.


Nude nail polish comes in a variety of hues and tones
from sheer pinks to natural, rich browns. To find the best nude nail polish for you, we sharing our complete guide for every skin tone below.

Nude Nail Polish for Deep and Dark Skin Tones

When searching for the perfect nude nail polish for dark skin tones, it’s safe to say that most shades are going to flatter your skin. While light and bright shades offer a nice contrast, rich, dark nudes look dreamy and natural against your fingers. Try deep taupes, dark browns and warm roses. 


The best nude nail polish shades for deep and dark skin:


Essie Nail Color in Clothing Optional: For deeper skin tones, this Essie nail polish shade is a super flattering sienna brown that offers just enough contrast and warmth. 


Nails Inc Keep It Tonal Nail Collection: 
Keep It Tonal is a nail set that comes with four rich nude-based hues for dark skin tones: mocha brown, khaki, natural and mushroom.
nails inc keep it tonal, essie in clothing optional

Nude Nail Polish for Medium and Olive Skin Tones

Medium skin tones typically have yellow or golden undertones. Go either the lighter, brighter route with pinkish nudes that lean on the cooler side or try pale taupes or light beige shades to get the perfect sheer polish shade.


The best nude nail polish shades for medium and olive skin:


Essie Nail Color in Bare With MeAs a member of the Essie Wild Nudes Collection, Bare With Me is the perfect naked nail polish color. It has an apricot tone with a gray cast, helping it land on the cooler side and complement medium and olive skin for stunning nude nails.


Paintbox Nail Lacquer in Like Mystery
: This sandy shade puts a twist on your standard neutral nail polish color. It has a slightly pink, soft and milky hue that makes it complementary to all skin tones, especially medium and olive.
paintbox like mystery, essie bare with me

Nude Nail Polish for Fair and Light Skin Tones

Because of your lighter skin tone, white or beige nudes should be avoided as they can wash you out. The key to rocking nude the right way is to allow it stand out in contrast to your complexion. We know, this sounds a bit counterintuitive to the word “nude,” but it’s the truth. Sheer pink shades are the best way to go as they add a touch of warmth to your fingertips. 


The best nude nail polish shades for light skin:


Essie Nail Color in Ballet Slippers: There’s a reason this little number has been an Essie nail polish best-seller for years. The pale pink shade works wonders on any skin tone and nail shape, making it a staple in every salon and beauty drawer (including ours)!


Aila Make Him Wait a Day: This opaque blush pink hue is subtle but still gives the look of a clean and crisp, classic nude manicure. It’s the perfect barely-there color with just a touch of shine. 

essie ballet slippers, alia make him wait a day

Tips For the Perfect Nude Manicure

Applying nude nail polish may seem like a no-brainer, but according to the pros, it still requires a little finesse. In addition to picking the right shade, there are a few key rules you should follow to achieve the best neutral nail finish.  


1. Steer Clear of the Cuticle: “Whenever I apply nail polish, I always avoid the cuticle area and if I do get a little polish on the skin, I wipe it off immediately,” says nail artist Mimi Wilson. Another easy way to fix mistakes is to dip a cuticle brush in nail polish remover and use it to brush over the paint on your skin.


2. Triple Up: “When I use nude nail polish, I like to apply it in two thin coats and one thicker, to avoid any streaking,” says nail artist Reina Santos. “I usually apply three coats to achieve opacity. The third coat is applied a little thicker to even everything out. I also use a generous amount of top coat to smooth out the polish.”


3. Moisturize the Nails: Because your nails are going to be about as naked as can be, your hands will be on full display. Make sure you’re keeping them looking healthy and hydrated. That means your cuticles need to be in check, too.
Design: Hannah Packer

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