Neutral nail colors are often overlooked in favor of brighter, bolder options. But neutral tones can be a great way to give your nails a polished, enhanced, low-key look–perfect for the average workday, a serious occasion, or just for nail polish wearers who aren’t crazy about bright shades.
Finding the right shade of neutral nail polish can be a little harder for beauty lovers with darker skin. That’s why we’ve created the guide to buying the perfect, neutral tones to complement dark skin shades with different undertones.
Nail polish for dark skin with warm undertones
1. O.P.I.’s Samoan Sand Nail Lacquer: This bright yet delicate beige is super easy-to-wear, with sandy pink notes that look complement golden skin undertones. Somehow elegant and casual at once, this neutral color is a great pick for any season or occasion. ($10.49)
2. Vetro’s Mocha Gel Polish: This creamy, mocha polish has subtle, peachy undertones that would flatter any dark skin tone with coppery undertones. It’s an understated, sophisticated color that would look at equally at home at a fancy brunch, an edgy bar, or a high-profile office. ($10)
3. Deborah Lipman’s Natural Woman Gel Lab Pro Color: This delicate, almond beige has gentle pink notes to complement warm skin undertones. It’s a warming, cheerful color that will look especially striking against darker skin. It’s also formulated to color your nails without damaging them, so you don’t need to worry about weakened, brittle nails. ($20)
Nail polish for dark skin with olive undertones
1. Deborah Lipman’s Beachin’ Gel Lab Pro Color: This creamy, taupe brown will perfectly complement olive undertones, creating a subtle and flattering contrast. Like most neutral colors, it would be hard to go wrong with this shade–although, as its name suggests, it would be a gorgeous pick for a summer beach day. Best of all, one or two coats of this polish are enough to create a deep, even color. ($20)
2. Dior’s Incognito Vernis Couture Colour Gel Polish: If sophistication had a color, it would be this medium, neutral pink. The perfect color to create a delicate contrast with olive skin undertones, this shade manages to be flirty, subtle, and queenly all at once. ($28)
Nail polish for dark skin with cool undertones
1. Mani-Q’s Modern Nude Gloss Polish: This milky-pink shade works especially well on medium-dark skin tones with pinkish undertones. It’s a soft, gentle, neutral pink that could suit a range of occasions and styles–the perfect, neutral tone to have handy (pun intended). It’s also one of Rihanna’s nail artist’s favorite polishes, just in case you needed another reason to fall in love. ($9.95)
2. Deborah Lipman’s Baby Love Creme Nail Polish: This light, creamy shade of pink would perfectly complement darker skin colors with cool undertones; its pinkish hue will bring out pink notes in the skin, and keep the skin from looking grayish. Reminiscent of ballet and crisp, cozy mornings, this is the perfect nail color for the girly girls out there. ($18)
Camille Bond is a freelance writer based in New York City. She has interned in the film industry and the publishing industry, as well as for a political campaign. When it comes to the world of beauty and wellness, she loves researching natural skincare brands, concocting DIY recipes, and discovering new mediation techniques!