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The best nail polish colours for your skin tone
With the party season fast approaching, choosing a shade of polish that you know you’ll be happy with is crucial. As it turns out, not all nail polish shades are flattering on every skin tone. And you don’t want to cringe every time you see photos of yourself wearing a hideously unflattering shade of nail polish on your nails.
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So to help us all avoid nail polish regret this party season, we spoke to two experts to find out how to choose the best nail polish colours for our skin tone.
The best nail polish colours for light skin tones
Similar to shopping for a new foundation, choosing a nail polish shade based on your skin tone is the best way to ensure you pick a colour you’re happy with. Mavala’s National Trainer, Tracey Winder, says that the secret to choosing a flattering polish for light skin tones is to find a shade that doesn’t compete with your skin or wash it out. “If your undertone is pink, go for sheer pinks with a cool base - beige nudes can look yellow and jar with your soft, rosy complexion,” says Tracey. “Select a true red with blue undertones to work best with fair skin – hold the red up to the light and if it’s sheer, give it a miss.” As a rule, Tracey suggests opting for shades that have a blue/ cool base for fair skin tones.
Knowing your undertones really is key in finding a flattering polish. According to Sally Hansen Nail Expert, Alison Bowhill-Hayes, It’s important to find out if you have warm skin with more of a yellow base, or cool skin with more of a pink base. “To see what your skin tone is, look at the veins in the back of your wrists, if they look blueish you have cool skin, if they look greenish you have warm skin,” says Alison.
The best nail polish colours for medium skin tones
Again, Alison suggests checking whether your your undertones are cool or warm, then looking at your skin tone to choose the right shade or polish. “A medium skin tone can wear almost any colour,” she says.
Medium skin tones can be flexible in which colours they wear, so it’s a good idea to choose your polish based on your undertones instead of focusing too much on your skin tone. “Cool tones suit anything with a blue base and warm tones suit anything with a yellow/ orange base,” explains Tracey. “This is the primary way of determining the best shade, from there it’s a matter of trial and error,” she says. However, if you’d like to mostly skip the trial and error part, Tracey adds that medium skin tones can’t go wrong with dark burgundy and wines, or with vibrant colours like pink, blue, yellow and orange.
The best nail polish colours for dark skin tones
The best shades to compliment a dark skin tone are the stand out, brighter shades. “Dark skin tones can usually carry off bold, bright and adventurous nail polishes, especially the more trend-led shades,” recommends Tracey. “Generally speaking deep burgundy, blues, vibrant purples and plums work well - avoid whites and pastels as your hands will look washed out,” she says.
After determining your undertones, Alison suggests that you consider the length of your nails as well. “Short nails look great in dark wines, plums and navy, whereas long nails look great in black, charcoal, deep purple reds,” she says.
Many women prefer a chic, shorter nail length, but if you struggle to grow your nails because of nail weakness or a nail concern, it’s best to address it by treating and nurturing your nails at home. “Prep the nail with a specific nail hardener like Mavala Scientifique Penetrating Nail Hardener, which works to strengthen the nail by bonding the three layers of the nail together, thereby creating stronger, more healthy nails,” suggests Tracey.
What are your favourite nail polish shades? Did you find the tips in this article helpful?
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