The definitive guide to picking a nail polish colour that suits your skin tone
When shopping for make-up, you’ve probably heard people use terms like “warm”, “cool” or “neutral” to talk about the tone of your skin. These refer to the undertone of your skin and are the colours that come through from beneath the surface. It doesn’t matter how fair or dark your skin is, people of all skin colours can have warm, cool or neutral undertones. The good news is, once you have figured out your undertone, it will help you pick a nail polish shade that will look divine. Of course, if you find a colour that speaks to you, that sparks joy, stick with it. There are no rules.
Working out your undertone is easy when you know how
Figuring out the undertone of your skin is as simple as looking at the inside of your wrist in natural light.
Cool skin has hints of blue or pink coming through. Look at your veins, if they are dark blue or purplish, chances are you have cool skin. Finally, if silver jewellery suits you best, it is likely you have cool skin.
- Go-to colours: bright blue, royal blue, sapphire, emerald, amethyst, deep purples, lavender, cerise, ruby, bright rose
- Neutrals: grey, navy, pristine white
- Colours to avoid: oranges and yellows
Warm skin looks yellow, sallow, peachy or golden. If gold jewellery is your go-to and your skin rarely burns, but tans, chances are you fall under warm skin.
- Go-to colours: oranges, reds, golden yellows, amber, honey gold, olive green, deep turquoise, magenta, plum
- Neutrals: taupe, hot chocolate, creamy whites, latte
- Colours to avoid: icy shades, jewelled tones (amethyst, sapphire, ruby)
Neutral skin has no obvious undertones and, as an added bonus, you can wear both silver and gold jewellery.
- Go-to colours: neutral colours that fall in the middle of the colour spectrum. Light peach, dusty pinks, soft rose, placid blue, jade green, cameo green
- Neutrals: taupes, greys, off-whites
- Colours to avoid: anything too bright or vibrant, reds and yellows (go for a soft yellow if you must do yellow)
Olive skin is the exception to the above guidelines. If your skin looks vaguely ashen or grey, this may be you. Olive skin is a combination of your natural skin tone, a slightly yellowish undertone and a green hue that is unique to olive skin.
- Go-to colours: bubblegum pink, dark plum, rosy mauve, lilac, red-orange, bright teal, wine red, creamy pink, coral
- Neutrals: champagne, chocolate brown
- Colours to avoid: pastels, navy blue, gold