Shades of Neutral

Everybody needs a hot scarlet and a funky mauve, but the nail polish fun shouldn’t be limited to bright and bold color. You also need a few perfect neutrals in your lacquer wardrobe. These versatile shades will take you from work lunches and date nights to weekend escapes, all without detracting attention from your sassy sandals or outré printed dresses. Here’s the scoop on neutral polish, and four versatile shades that are sure to work with every skin tone.

Why You Should Go Neutral

Neutral polish allows you to maintain first-rate hands without clashing with your fashionable wardrobe. It enhances the appearance of longer fingers (beige especially), comes in a matte or glossy finish, and appears less chipped than bold color.

Insider Tricks

A glossy finish is best to contrast with multicolored patterns in clothing, and also helps prevent hands from seeming too mannequin-like. Typically, blue-based shades work best with fair skin, and yellow-based shades work best for darker complexion. If you’re in between, or are lucky enough to have gotten some sun—opt for a polish with a hint of gold or brown.

The Traditional Pink

A universally loved neutral, pink is perfect for French manis or being subtly girly. Zoya’s Loretta is a universally soft shade with cool tones that will compliment all skin tones. It’s sheer but has a crème finish—ideal for any occasion.

The Classic Pearl

White is a tricky color to work with—it can be too soft or too metallic, which makes it hard to fit a range of skin tones. Look for a sheer shade that you can layer on, like OPI’s Funny Bunny. Brush on one coat for a sheer look to compliment a fairer skin tone, or add a second or third for a frosty shade that contrasts prettily with darker or tanned skin.

The Flattering Beige

The most neutral of them all, beige creates a seamless continuation of your hands — it’ll make your fingers look longer and more elegant. Zoya's Minka is an opaque creamy shade with silver accents and a hint of shimmer.

The Trendy Sage

It’s only natural that the most earthy color of them all, green, would work its way into the neutral crowd. But don’t be scared of these shades — muted grays tone down the green and make them flattering on all skin tones. Essie’s Da Bush will pick up even the slightest olive tint in your skin and make for a fun and special summer neutral.

Prep for the next shade wherever you are with Deborah Lippmann’s Stripper To Go.

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