Do you have a pale, fair or light skin tone? What are the best nail polish colors these tones? Read on to find out more details to choose the, best brands plus more ideas that will give the most amazing results.
How to Choose Nail Polish Colors for Pale, Light & Fair Skin Tones
When you have a pale or fair skin tone, you want to choose ideally nail polish colors that will create an interesting contrast and won’t make your hands look washed out. The choice of your ideal nail polish shade depends on how fair your skin tone is to begin with, as well as your natural skin undertones e.g. cool or warm.
For example, some people have alabaster skin with neutral undertones, some have fair skin with peachy pink skin undertones, and some have fair skin with yellow or olive undertones like most Eastern and South Asian populations. If you are not sure what your dominant skin undertone is, look-up the color of your veins in natural sunlight. If they look like cool blue purple, you have cool pink undertones, if they have a green tint, they are have warm yellow undertones. Finally, if you see no visible purple blue or green veins, you have neutral undertones.
As a general rule, fair skin tones with pink undertones do well with cool pastel nail polish shades whereas warmer fair skin tones are complemented with light or medium warm nail polish shades. If your skin tone has no obvious undertones, you can pretty much sport any light nail polish shade and even medium ones, except from too dark shades.
Best Nail Polish Colors for Pale Skin
If your natural skin tone is extra light that almost looks like a milky white or alabaster beige shade with subtle pink or peach skin undertones, these nail polish shades will look good on you:
- Pastel Light Blue Shades like baby blue and light teal or grey blue. Recommended brands and shades: Essie light blue, Opi It’s a Boy, Revlon Blue Lagoon, and China Glaze Bahamian Escape.
- Light to medium baby or candy pink shades like OPI pink of hearts, Essie Flawless, and China Glaze in shades Fight Like A Woman and Shocking Pink.
- Mint green and teal shades like OPI’s mermaid tears, Orly’s Mint Mojito, Model’s own Jade Rock and Mac’s Peppermint Patti.
- Light brown/nude shades with pink undertones such as Deborah Lipmann’s Modern Love, OPI Tickle My Francey and Chanel’s Rose Cache.
- Metallic gold, graphite and silver shades like Sally Hansen’s Satin Glam in Go Gold, OPI Nail Lacquer in Don’t Speak, Chanel’s Graphite and L’Oreal Valiant.
Stay away from: Deep vampy colors like eggplant, burgundy, magenta and similar shades as these will make you look extra pale and reddish in a not so good way. Dark and warm brown shades are also not your best choice.
Now if your skin undertones are pale but towards the yellow side, these nail polish colors will look ideal on you:
- Vibrant greens like grass green, olive green, jade green and sea green like Revlon’s Jaded Night, Opi’s Jade is the New Black and Essie’s Pretty Edgy.
- Coral reds like Essie’s Come Here, Zoya’s Heidi, and China Glaze’s sneaker head shade.
- Warm reds like Opi’s Vodka and Caviar, Orly’s Precicely Poppy, Rimmer Mars.
- Orange brown nail polish shades like NYX in dark beige, OPI A-piers to be tan, and Revlon Colorstay in French Roast.
- Mustard Yellows like Opi’s The It Color. Barry M’s Mustard, and Nars Thakoon Amchoor.
Stay away from: dark shades with cool purple undertones like deep purple, magenta, dark grey blues, and deep silvers as these will clash with your fair yellow skin tone and make your fingers look extra pale and yellow.
Best Nail Polish Colors for Fair/Light Skin
If your skin is fair to light with no obvious skin undertones, you can pretty much sport any nail polish shade except from dark yellow, berry, magenta and dark purple shades. The best nail polish colors for your skin tone category are:
- Nude brown shades with neutral undertones such as Opi in San Antonio, Mac Peachestock, Essie Brooch The Subject, and Cult Nails Cruising Nude.
- Light Corals like Opi’s Got Myself Into A Jumbalaya and Bubblebath shades, Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel in Life’s a Peach, and Milani’s Fashion Design.
- Bright Teals like Milani Fresh Teal, Butter London in Bright Teal Nail polish, Mac Kloreen, and Elf Essentials in Teal Blue
- Bright Fuchsia Pinks such as Essie’s Flirty Fucksia, Nars Schiap, Barry M Shocking Pink and Revlon’s Fuchsia Fever
- Pastel Yellows like Cover Girl’s Pina Colada, Maybelline Citrus Collide, Illamasqua Blow Nail collection
- Metallics like Opi’s Silver Chrome, Chanel La Vernis in Peridot, and Essie’s Good as Gold
- True Red shades like OPI Big Apple Red, Nars Dovima, Essie’s Hipanema, Estee Lauder in Pure Red.
Nail Polish Tips & Ideas for both Fair & Pale Skin
If you belong in the fair/light skin-tone category, other than trying out the solid color shades recommended below, it would be also nice to play with nail designs to make your nails and skin tone look more interesting. If your skin tone is light with pink undertones, an easy idea to add some jazz to your existing nails is to add some silver sparkles or a transparent multi-color glitter nail polish on top of your light shade. Similarly, if you have light yellow skin tone, gold or bronze glitters or gemstones will work best over your solid hair polish.
Regardless of your skin undertones, you can also play up your solid nail polish with mini floral designs, stars, and any other cute small shape you can think of as long as it’s in a complementary shade to the one you are using as your base polish color. Pastel blues or mint greens for example, do well with pastel pink or coral nail designs whereas darker greens or reds do well with silver, gold, yellow, white and purple pink colors.