Nude Nail Polish: InStyle Finds The Perfect Shade For Every Skin Tone

Nude Nail Polish: InStyle Finds The Perfect Shade For Every Skin Tone

Nude nail polish is the hottest shade this season, but finding the perfect one for your skin tone can be a challenge. Even if – like me – your hands are so unusually hued you’d given up hope of finding a nude nail varnish to suit, check out our tried and tested best...

Whether you’ve pink or yellow-based hands, you can find your perfect nude. It’s just important to find the nail varnish that’ll give the right effect; groomed and chic. Not corpse chic, but perennially polished chic. 

For a timeless shade, it’s having a real moment this season, having been worn at pretty much every SS15 show. Literally. We’re talking BCBGMAXAZRIA, Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, Diane von Furstenberg, DKNY, Rag & Bone and Victoria Beckham. 

At Alexander Wang, Michelle Saunders gave models an opaque, short rounded nail in a beige nude shade, while at Derek Lim, Jin Soon went for an understated pinky wash. Manicures were even more natural at Rag & Bone, with a high-shine, natural look. 

The classic nude nail was taken to the next level at Victoria Beckham and Holly Fulton where nails were given a matte top coat, and Sibling where it was used as a base coat for nail art.

Being a subject close to my heart, having absurdly pink – almost magenta – hands, I decided to attempt to find ‘the perfect nude’. As with every thing ‘perfect’, it’s subjective, so the team trialed the best nude shades around to find out which suited what skin tone.

One of the mains things we discovered is, more than usual nail polishes, it’s hard to judge what colour a nude will go when applied over a base coat, applied again, top coated and dried.

Another thing; nude isn’t overly forgiving so it’s important – even more so than unusual – that your nails are kept in good condition. 

Whatever your skin tone, even if – like me – your hands are so unusually toned you’d given up hope of finding a shade to suit, check out our tried and tested best nude nail polishes… 


Rita Ora For Rimmel Nude Nail Polish In Let's Get Nude, £3.69

Jess Lacey, Acting Beauty Editor, says: 'I usually bypass nude nail polishes because they never seem to go on evenly and you end up needing four coats or so to get an opaque coverage. However, this one went on a dream. A really creamy consistency and a good coverage from just the first coat. It's the peachy side of nude but just warm enough to make it elegant rather than mannequin hands. The downside? It didn't last very long at all, two days max. The chips weren't too noticeable because of the colour but still, I would've liked longer with it.' 



Bourjois Paris La Laque Nail Varnish In Chair Et Tendre, £6.49

Maxine Eggenberger, Digital Writer, says: 'Admittedly I'm not much of a mani kind of girl but when it comes to nude nails, I'm a bit of a sucker for them. However, I don't know if you can really call this Bourjois Paris La Laque polish in 'chair et tendre' nude — once it's on your nail it becomes way peachier in tone and although it suits my light skintone, it's probably not for you if you're complexion is truly porcelain. 

Once applied it takes AGES for the varnish to dry and, even after an hour, I still found it tacky to the touch. However, the brush does spread near to the perfect width of your nail so it makes it super easy to apply. 

In short, I'm a little on the fence when it comes to this nail varnish but thinking about how mega it'll make my summer tan look, I think I'll probably come around…'



Soigne Nude Nail Polish In Creme Au Berre, £11

Charlie Hall, Senior Picture Editor, says: 'The colours comes up a touch more pinky than it looks in the bottle. It's super-flattering though and is really easy to apply. It would be great with a tan.'



Tom Ford Nude Nail Polish In Show Me The Pink, £26

Niki Browes, Associate Editor, says: 'It didn't go on quite as smoothly as I'd liked but it dried to a flawless pinky nude finish.'



Revlon Nude Nail Polish In Check Mate, £6.99

George Driver, Beauty Writer, said: 'I wasn't sure about this nude at first as I normally prefer a pinkier tone and this comes under the milky cappuccino category for me (yes, that is a thing). But I was pleasantly surprised; the taupe tone made my nails look chic and minimal rather than sickly. Plus the concentrated pigment meant two coats was more than enough, making it perfect for last minute lazy nail painting. I'll start wearing it now and when I get a tan (read fake tan) it'll look even better. Nude nail varnish success!' 



Essie Nude Nail Polish In Spin The Bottle Nail Polish, £7.99

Rebecca Gillam, Digital Assistant, says: 'I'm always on the hunt for the perfect nude nail varnish but, having magenta hands, it's not that easy to find a shade that doesn't emphasise their bizarre colour. Essie's Spin The Bottle is a bit pinkier than it looks in the bottle and I 've realised, from experience, it's best for me to stick with yellow-based tones. That said, it will be someone's perfect nude as it went on smoothly - two coats gave it a flawless finish - and lasted well.'



Watch this space for more nude nail polish trials and Tweet us any shades or brands you'd like tested...

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