“Nudes are one of the hardest shades to find for any skin tone,” says editorial and celebrity manicurist Jackie Saulsbery.
She should know, having perfected the art of the manicure on some of the most famous celebrity fingertips in Hollywood, including Mariah Carey, Adele, and Queen Latifah.
But you don’t have to be a pro to know that just a slight difference in the shade of a lacquer can make the difference between hands that look soft and dewy and those that might peg you as an extra from The Walking Dead. The good news: “There are so many excellent brands and hues that work with each complexion,” she says.
The trick: Instead of trying to go all matchy-matchy with you polish and skin, Saulsbery's says to paint on one of the universally-flattering favorites that warm up every skin tone. Ahead, 5 perfect polishes that do just that.
Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture Nail Lacquer in 24 Rose Abstrait
Why Saulsbery loves it: “One of my all-time favorites for dark and also paler skin tones, this lacquer has a rosy undertone, so looks excellent on dark skin, caramel skin, and lighter tones, and leaves nails looking fresh and clean.”
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Color in Slick Slate
Why Saulsbery loves it: “It’s one of my all-time favorites and works with anyone, but especially with someone who has green undertones in her skin. Known for its quick dry time, this polish grabs the nail beds and looks really chic.”
Essie Gel Couture Nail Polish in Sew Me
Why Saulsbery loves it: “Not only does Essie’s quick-drying Gel Couture formula go on with no base coat, you’ll be amazed how well it works on any skin tone.”
Nails Inc. Nail Makeup
Why Saulsbery loves it: “Nail Inc.’s Nail Makeup works just like a universal concealer and heals and hides any damage to the nail bed while covering any ridges.”
Jin Soon in Moxie
Why Saulsbery loves it: “This color makes nails look more vibrant thanks to its gorgeous pink undertones, which work with almost any complexion. Plus, when it comes to darker skin tones, the pinker the polish the better — making this nude an all-time favorite!”
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