Nude Nails for Every Skintone

Beauty PSA: ‘nude’ isn’t just one color.

By: Meagan Wilson
Photography: Renée Rodenkirchen

The word ‘nude’ has gotten a bad rap in beauty. Largely because it’s not really a color, but somehow—in a totally fucked up and exclusionary way—it’s basically come to be synonymous with a specific, one-size-fits-all shade of pale beige.

In an effort to find the perfect shade of nude for a range of skintones, we consulted manicurist Arlene Hinckson, who polished a gaggle of girls at our offices last week. Here, the advice she imparted on us, plus the holy grail colors she recommended for our models.

“The easiest way to pick the best nude for your tone is to match the polish with the color of your hand. Then go one or two shades up or down, and choose the one you like the best.

“If you know your undertone, that makes it a lot easier. If you're blue, go toward a nude with a hint of pink. If you're green or olive, pick a nude that's more peachy. I find red and purple undertones can handle a wider nude spectrum. This skin can carry all the shades I suggested, along with the browner nudes and even taupe.

“If you’ve tried every nude and still can't find the perfect one, just layer up! After your base, add a layer of the closest nude to your skin then top it with a sheer.”

 

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