30 Nail Colors That Look Especially Amazing on Dark Skin Tones

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Out of all the decisions you have to make in a day, choosing your nail color probably isn't the hardest. But with so many shade options, it can take quite some time. Thankfully, widely inclusive color options make finding shades that suit your skin tone fun. Another day, another new nail shade launches. And brown-skinned beauties, there are shades made with you in mind. The best nail colors for dark skin tones span, well, pretty much all hues of the rainbow. It's true—there's not one shade that doesn't look good on your melanin-rich skin. High-impact shades pop against dark skin tones, and deep, sultry shades look seamless. Rejoice: We lucked out in this category (it's 2020, and there are still limited foundation shade ranges for dark skin tones). 

If you usually stick to the same nail shades for your dark skin, rest assured that you can't go wrong with having a little fun. Hey, we're all guilty of being creatures of habit with our favorite nail shades. But allow yourself to experiment more with vivid, brighter shades that'll pop against your deep complexion or neutral shades that'll suit your skin just right. Push yourself out of your nail comfort zone and feast your eyes on these 30 fun nail colors that look amazing on dark skin tones. 

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Fire Red

Go bold or go home with a vibrant red shade. A slight squiggle in the middle will add dimension and intrigue. Use precisely applied tape to achieve this negative space style.

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Aqua Blue

Choose a bright blue like this vibrant aqua hue. If you're feeling spicy, re-create the above by adding a metallic adornment in the center for an edgy finish. 

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Pastel Pink

Stand out this season and choose a pastel-colored hue like baby blue or soft pink that will look gorgeous against your skin. 

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Sky Blue

Pairing a neutral skin shade like this brown hue with a bright blue will make for the coolest-looking contrast. 

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Bright White

White nails look so incredibly chic on dark skin. Add some pizzazz with a sharp, silver cutout design like this. 

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Chocolate Brown

This modern style shows how playing with lines seamlessly meshes opposite colorways together. Chocolate brown will always look like it was made for dark skin—adding a splash of ocean blue takes this shade up a notch. 

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Peachy Perfection

A light peach color gives a nice wash of color. Add as many red accent lines as you like, but seriously, the peachy tone here looks fantastic. The polish is Dior's Vernis Nail Laquer in Incognito, $28.

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Fuchsia Fun

Redo a classic french manicure with a high-impact shade like fuchsia that will pop with your complexion.

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A chic rainbow never hurt anyone. Manicurist Alicia Torello flawlessly executed this look with a cheetah-printed tip.

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Berry Bright

Berry shades will instantly brighten up the look of your nails, which are made especially sweeter when mini polka dots are involved.

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Neon Yellow

Yellow neon, or any neon shade, happens to look extra chic, as shown in this classic mani. The bright hue is almost out of this world and garners a second glance.

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Pearly White

Have a little fun with plain white and try a pearlescent variation with a cool purple duochrome.

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Lemon Yellow

Add a freshly-squeezed lemon shade into the mix, and don't be surprised when you fall in love with this joyful look. 

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Never Boring Beige

A light nude or off-white shade is ideal for a minimalist. If you want something that leans on the professional side, try this design. 

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Orange You Lovely

Dive into spring with citrus-inspired nails that'll look especially stunning on deep skin tones. Using the entire spectrum of orange and yellow with cool designs is the way to go. 

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Sparkly Metallics

Get festive with metallic shades that run the gamut. As proven, these will shine on your skin.

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Tropical Tangerine

This tropical tangerine looks extra chic against silver accents for a fun fruit-inspired manicure that has us dreaming of summer.

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Sultry Burgundy

Both the burgundy shade and the negative space used here pop for a bright and playful geometric design.

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Pastels All Around

Try out any pastel hue for an extra sweet look, or combine all your favorites for a multi-colored mani that's perfectly suited for spring.

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Liquid Gold

A buttery hue has flecks of gold woven throughout the polish for a standout yet elegant manicure that works no matter the season. Plus, the intricate eye design has us doing a double-take.

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Earth Tones

Sure this minimalistic mani doesn't paint the whole nail in an earthy wash of color, but as you can see, the deep green, mustard, and earth-toned accents look seriously divine against partially bare nails.

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Light Pink and Metallic

Sheer pink is universally flattering, but we especially love this translucent blush iteration with a raw stripe of metallic pink across the middle against a deep skin tone.

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Classic Matte Red

It's classic for a reason. This shade exudes elegance and makes a statement every time. We especially love the modern matte finish.

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Colorful Chrome

Chrome typically makes us think of silvery, futuristic looks, but this extra shiny, full set really has us thinking. Paint one hand a bright, reflective pink and the other a crisp apple green for the best twist on your standard mani.

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Gold and Peach Brushstrokes

We showcased a punchy peach earlier, but this design mixes a white base with black standout lines, plus additional peach and gold detailing. The whimsical brush strokes look like a painter's palette in nail art form.

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Succulent Green

Call it a green thumb, but we're smitten with this succulent-inspired shade. It works for almost any season. An edgy fall shade, or perhaps, a holiday-inspired addition to a Christmas-themed nail? No matter when you wear it, the plant-inspired tone always looks fantastic.

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Lavender is a gentle, whimsical color we can't help but return to again and again. Lavender oil is known to have serious calming properties, and we can say we're feeling pretty relaxed looking at this top-notch manicure. It's got it all—a minimalistic design, an eye-catching color choice, and a hint of colorful sparkle to seal the deal.

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Bright Green-Blue

This color combo sends our hearts a-flutter. Nail artist Jin Soon used her namesake line in Sinopia ($18) for a coral pop and Keppel ($18) for that beautiful green/turquoise base.

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Primary Colors

Spin a color wheel and choose your favorite primary shade. Better yet, combine them all, like this edgy mani that uses a bright yellow base as the backdrop to a smattering of primary colored gemstones.

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Silver and Gold

This futuristic negative space design incorporates muted silver and gold tones for a standout look. It's not exactly the bright wash of color you'd expect, but there's something so subtle and classic about the mixed metals here, and honestly, we can't look away.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Koulivand PH, Khaleghi Ghadiri M, Gorji A. Lavender and the nervous systemEvid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:681304. doi:10.1155/2013/681304

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