How to Wear Dark Polish

For Dark Skin: Brown
Photo: Time Inc. Digital Studio; Courtesy of YSL

How to Wear Dark Polish

01 of 12

Best Shades for Light Skin

Best Shades for Light Skin
Juan Rico/Fame Pictures

Celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann says those with fair skin should opt for blue-based shades with soft shimmer, which will look crisp-not goth-even on porcelain hands like Liv Tyler's.

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For Light Skin: Red

For Light Skin: Red
Time Inc. Digital Studio; Courtesy of Essie

A hint of pink gives this crimson a pretty edge.

Essie in Lacy Not Racy, $8; buy online now at

essieshop.com.

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For Light Skin: Purple

For Light Skin: Purple
Time Inc. Digital Studio; Courtesy of Avon

A feminine berry that's not too dramatic for fair skin.

Avon Nailwear in Vintage Vamp, $5; buy online now at

avon.com.

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For Light Skin: Brown

For Light Skin: Brown
Time Inc. Digital Studio; Kassidy Gala

An earthy chestnut looks elegant mixed with metallic.

Revlon in Crushed Crimson, $5; visit

revlon.com for stores.

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Best Shades for Medium Skin

Best Shades for Medium Skin
James Devaney/WireImage

Look for gold flecks and warm undertones which make even tricky colors, like purple, flattering on Eva Mendes and all women with olive or tan complexions.

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For Medium Skin: Red

For Medium Skin: Red
Time Inc. Digital Studio; Kassidy Gala

Classic ruby red with a sexy metallic finish.

OPI in Bastille My Heart, $9; visit

opi.com for stores.

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For Medium Skin: Purple

For Medium Skin: Purple
Time Inc. Digital Studio; Courtesy of Dior

Gold shimmer softens the look of deep violet.

Dior Vernis in Liquorice, $19; visit

nordstrom.com for stores.

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For Medium Skin: Brown

For Medium Skin: Brown
Time Inc. Digital Studio; Courtesy of Orly

The tiny flecks of copper make olive skin glow.

Orly in Golden Maharaja, $8; buy online now at

lotusnailsupply.com.

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Best Shades for Dark Skin

Best Shades for Dark Skin
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Take the trend to the extreme, advises Lippmann, who suggests going for strong hues that border on black. Kerry Washington does just that with nails that match her noir dress.

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For Dark Skin: Red

For Dark Skin: Red
Time Inc. Digital Studio

A deep burgundy that's unapologetically luxe.

Cornelia in Merlot, $9; call, 212-871-3181.

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For Dark Skin: Purple

For Dark Skin: Purple
Time Inc. Digital Studio; Courtesy of MAC

The high sheen of this inky aubergine makes nails pop.

MAC in Illegal Purple, $11; visit

maccosmetics.com for stores.

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For Dark Skin: Brown

For Dark Skin: Brown
Time Inc. Digital Studio; Courtesy of YSL

Dark chocolate is a chic alternative to black.

YSL in No. 36, $19; buy online now at

bloomingdales.com.

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