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Nail trends will come and go, but nude nail polish will always be in style. That’s because the eternal trend can be dressed up or down, elongates the fingers and hands for an elegant look, and works with every outfit.
But nudes come in a range of different shades and tones, so finding the right one for you can seem overwhelming. That's why we did the hard work for you.
Ahead, the best nude nail polishes for every skin tone.
Best Overall: Essie in Topless & Barefoot
Truly a universal nude nail polish, Essie’s Topless & Barefoot flatters all skin tones. It’s the ideal mix of cream and beige, with just the right touch of baby pink mixed in. Essie’s polishes are famed for their long wearing, flawless coverage and chip-resistant formula, plus they are free of DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde.
Best Splurge: Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Toasted Sugar
Just like everything else Tom Ford makes, his nail polish looks and feels incredibly luxurious. This classic nude works with all skin tones, since its terracotta undertone warms up fair skin, while the sandy hues highlight medium and darker tones. The high-performance polish delivers great shine and coverage and won’t fade.
Best for Fair Skin: Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture Nail Lacquer in Rose Abstrait
Those with fair skin tend to have pink and blue undertones, so you’ll want a nude nail polish that compliments that coolness and works with your coloring. This pretty pale-pink polish looks fresh and cheery on fair skin and delivers a subtle pop. Plus, YSL’s polish is super shiny for a high fashion feel.
Best for Medium Skin: JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Nostalgia
Flatter medium skin tones with a pink-y beige, which brightens. Plus, green veins are more obvious on medium tones and pinks can soften the look, making you appear younger. This shade was inspired by classic Hollywood flicks from the 1950s, yet the color also looks contemporary and cool. The hue is part of JINsoon’s permanent collection of nail polish mainstays.
Best for Olive Skin: Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish in Re-Nude
To bring out the best of olive skin, opt for a caramel nude, like Sally Hansen’s Color Therapy Nail Polish in Re-Nude. Its barely there reddish undertones look neutral for this skin tone. Plus, the Color Therapy line actually improves the health of your nails while you wear it since it is infused with nourishing ingredients. It also lasts for up to 10 days without chipping or fading.
Best for Dark Skin: Zoya Professional Lacquer in Brigitte
Dark tones have the most options when it comes to nude nail polish since their skin works with a wide range of colors. However, avoid greige shades, which can look washed out and dull. A rosy beige, like this one by Zoya, tends to be the most complimentary since beige is a chic juxtaposition with dark skin and warm rose tones flatter it. This brand of polishes is vegan and five free, so there’s no need to worry about toxic ingredients.
Best Metallic Nude: Smith & Cult Nail Polish in 1972
If you like your nudes with a little sparkle, Smith & Cult’s Nail Polish in 1972 is the one for you. The perfect metallic rose gold works for everyone and seems to magically change its color depending on which skin tone it is on. The formula also has long-lasting wear and high shine.
Best Taupe: OPI in Taupe-less Beach
A cross between light gray and lavender makes this perfect taupe. Not too yellow and not too pink, that’s exactly what makes it work for all skin tones. The elegant, timeless shade goes on completely opaque. This neutral works year-round and can be dressed up or dressed down.