11 nude nail polishes that work on multiple skin tones

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Being a brown girl, the term ‘nude’ rarely ever applies to me. Most nudes end up being ashy, pasty and almost grey against my skin, showing that many brands are still behind when thinking about medium- and dark-skinned beauties rocking their products. Even now, if I request a nude base for my nails, my nail tech has to mix two shades to get a tone suitable for my skin. Needless to say, there is definitely room for improvement.

However, the quest to find nude nail polishes that can address a variety of skin tones still prevails, and honestly, I’ve seen some growth. Celebrities like Rihanna, Issa Rae, Viola Davis and others have shown that options out there DO exist, it’s just finding them that can be the challenge. For most deeper complexions, it’s about finding colors with brown bases that aren’t sheer but rather opaque in color.

“As a general rule, the darker the skin tone, the more opaque the color [should be],” manicurist Gina Viviano previously told Refinery29. “Look for a shade closely matching the slightly darker tone of the skin surrounding the nail.”

The awesome thing about nude nail polishes is once you find your stride, you’ll never go out of style. Nude nails are a perfect staple that can be worn all-year round and work with any outfit. If you’re feeling spicy, you can rock a metallic nude. If you’re feeling flirty, you can opt for a nude with a pink undertone. Pretty much, just because it’s a nude polish doesn’t mean it has to be boring.

As you can see, nudes are not all created the same, nor is there a one-size-fits-all shade that works for everyone. However, there are different options and I’ve rounded up a variety of shades that can work for multiple skin tones.

Shop: Londontown Lakur Enhanced Colour in “Crowning Crumpet”, $16

Credit: Ulta

Shop: Essie Spring Nail Polish in “Feeling Wellies”, $9

Credit: Ulta

Shop: Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in “548 – Blanc White”, $28

Credit: Nordstrom

Shop: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in “Bare it All”, $2.99

Credit: Target

Shop: Marc Jacobs Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer in “Ladies Night”, $9 (Orig. $18)

Credit: Marc Jacobs Beauty

Shop: Deborah Lippmann Bed of Roses Nail Polish Set, $36

Credit: Sephora

Shop: NAILS INC. Keep It Tonal Nail Polish Set, $22

Credit: Sephora

Shop: Christian LouboutinThe Nudes Nail Colour, $50

Credit: Neiman Marcus

Shop: Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in “Totem-ly Yours”, $9.99

Credit: Ulta

Shop: Jinsoon Nail COlor in “Dulcet”, $18

Credit: Jinsoon

Shop: CND Vinylux Long Wear Polish in “Lovely Quartz”, $10.50

Credit: Ulta

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