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I’m going to keep it 100 for a second: rarely do I think about finding the best nail color for my skin tone. I just like what I like. And as someone who doesn’t frequent the salon and usually gets mani-pedis on a whim, I tend to choose polishes on the fly or based on whatever my friend is getting. (Pro tip: never walk into a nail salon if it takes you more than a couple of minutes to make the simplest decision. You’ll be there all day.)
On the other hand (see what I did there?), I will admit that a bright color against my brown skin does put a little more pep in my step. Finding nail products that brighten your complexion with little to no effort isn’t a completely lost art. Though not absolutely necessary, seeing the difference it makes in selfies–or in this case, nailfies–makes searching for them worth that little extra effort.
The quick breakdown: those with fair skin should aim for colors that won’t wash out your pale complexion. A starter list of shades for you includes nude, classic or blue-toned reds, sheer pinks, bright fuschias, pastel lavenders, and navy blue.
For anyone with an olive or light brown skin tone (because I despise the word “medium”), the colors you choose truly depend on your undertones, but here are some universally-flattering options: beige-nude, orange-reds, peachy-pinks, sky blue, and deep purple.
Lastly, those with dark skin tones can go crazy with high impact colors such as neon pink, pastel and dark purple, pretty much any shade of blue, deep red, and sheer nude. Here are some newbies that cover the color spectrum.
For Fair Skin:
essie “Stirring Secrets”
A light nude with hints of rose.
The prettiest pastel purple.
Sinful Colors Sinful Mattes Collection
“Dragonfly,” a classic red with a matte finish is included in this collection of bold shades.
For Olive Skin:
essie “You Do Blue”
A periwinkle blue with an iridescent lilac finish.
Smith & Cult “Doe My Dear”
A coffee-esque nude.
Smith & Cult “Soul Purpose”
A metallic midnight blue.
Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure. “Meteorite”
A pewter shade with a dazzling metallic finish from the brand’s vegan collection.
For Dark Skin:
A metallic fuschia pink.
Cuccio Color “See It All In Montreal”
An low-key opaque nude.
A shimmery eggplant purple.
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