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Nude manicures: How to choose the perfect shade for your skin tone

This year, the nail trend at the Oscars seemed to be “less is more.” We couldn’t be happier that some of our favorite nominees like Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain chose soft colored nail polishes. Below is how to pick the perfect nude polish that is sure to complement your skin!

Anne Hathawa and Heidi Klum with nude manicures

Owner of the trendy Los Angeles and Japan based MARS the Salon, Hiroko Fujikawa confirmed the new go-to look for nails this season by giving us a few tips and tricks on keeping our nude manicure red carpet ready. Pair Fujikawa’s nail expertise with a SheKnows tweak, and your nails will be as stylish as ever!

Pick your perfect polish

Choosing your nail polish is going to be the make or break step for your manicure. Depending on your skin tone, personal style and daily schedule, you will want to pick a nail polish that suits you best. Fujikawa’s top three favorite nail polishes for a nude manicure are Essie polish in Allure, Essie polish in Fed Up and OPI Samoan Sand. We couldn’t agree more — these colors are too cute!

Because skin tone will play a key part in picking your go-to polish, we have put some of our favorite polishes into categories to make choosing a little bit easier.

Essie polish in Allure

Fair skin

Out of Fujikawa’s top nude nail polishes, we are going to vote Essie polish in Allure (shown above) as our number one color choice for fair skin. This polish has an elegant look that is definitely going to pop against a lighter skin tone. Essie Mademoiselle is another awesome color for fair skin nude manicures. The pink in the polish will keep your nails looking sleek!

OPI Samoan Sand

Medium skin

OPI Samoan Sand (shown above) is another of Fujikawa’s choices and would be absolutely perfect for medium skin tones! This color is soft and chic but has a slight pink undertone that will definitely stand out. OPI and Mariah Carey partnered to produce a nude polish with a hint of sparkle, OPI A Butterfly Moment, and it’s our top choice for anyone with an olive or medium skin tone.

Essie polish in Fed Up

Darker skin

Another one of Fujikawa’s favorites, Essie polish in Fed Up (shown above) is the perfect color for those with darker skin complexions. The color is very soft and will give a chic look for a darker skin toned person’s nude manicure. OPI Tickle my France-y is a nude polish with an awesome color effect. This color is sure to give a bare look and complete any nude manicure on dark skin tones.

Don’t forget the basics

Now that we have our perfect nail polish picked, Fujikawa recommends a couple more ways to complement your nude manicure. Keep your nails short and sweet to add a more natural effect to your manicure. After giving your nails a trim, go over them with a decent amount of base coat polish. This will keep your manicure looking fresher longer. Take your time with your nude polish and be sure to cover every piece of your nail. Complete your new polished look with a glossy finish on top. Essie’s No Chips Ahead will keep your nails shiny and long lasting. Voila! Mission accomplished — your nails now look Oscar carpet ready!

More ways to keep your nails red carpet ready

French manicure steps
Nail design tutorial
Maintain beautiful nails on the go

Photo credits: Apega/, Brian To/

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