The 10 Best Neutral Nail Colors That Work for Every Skin Tone

Sometimes, a flattering color is hard to find.

Nail polish is one of the simplest ways to make a statement; it can change your mood, make you feel glamorous, or remind you of your favorite vacation spot.

I love getting manicures — they make me feel like I'm putting a fancy outfit on my hands. The one thing that gets me is the vast array of nail polishes available. I can never decide which color to go with.

We all have different skin colors and undertones, and sometimes it can be hard to find a shade of nail polish that suits you. I've certainly had a few unflattering manicures where the color looked great in the bottle and bad on my nails. So, what are the rules when it comes to finding a color that suits your skin tone?

"There are no rules to color and you should one-hundred-million-kajillion percent wear whatever colors bring a smile to your face," says celebrity manicurist Rachel Messick. "I also understand that finding an amazing real-life human-toned neutral nail polish can be a challenge."

Below, Messick shares a few of her favorite nail polishes for different skin tones.

Hand model shows fingernails painted with a neutral pink color
Chelson Tamares/Unsplash
01 of 10

ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color Nail Polish: Nourishing Nude

Product shot of ORLY Breathable Treatment + Color Nail Polish in Nourishing Nude
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Two coats of this all-in-one polish and treatment will have your nails looking perfect for days without the hassle of a base or topcoat. "This is my go-to color on set for clients of all skin tones," says Messick. "It's the perfect balanced, semi-sheer beige tone and looks great on everybody."

02 of 10

Essie Gel Couture: Of Corset

Product shot of Essie Gel Couture nail polish in Of Corset
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This sheer nude gel nail polish is complemented with subtle warm chestnut tones and has luxurious long wear. "It's the perfect peachy neutral with just a hint of warmth," says Messick.

03 of 10

ORLY: Coffee Break

Product shot of Orly nail polish in Coffee Break
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This polish is packed with a rich pigment that provides a two coat coverage every time. "Apply this semi-sheer brown, to give a uniform and lengthening vibe for deeper skin tones," says Messick.

04 of 10

Dazzle Dry Nail Lacquer: Mind Your Mani

Product shot of Dazzle Dry Nail Lacquer in Mind Your Mani
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If you're looking for a color that is close to your natural nail shade but has a bit of a sheen, Mind Your Mani is the perfect, barely there, milky pink. Messick says she loves to use this as a base for classic French manicures.

05 of 10

Butter London Sheer Wisdom Nail Tinted Moisturizer: Deep

Product shot of Butter London nail polish in Deep
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"This brown looks absolutely gorgeous on cool and warm deep complexions," says Messick. The all-in-one tinted moisturizing polish protects nail integrity while delivering natural, healthy-looking nails.

06 of 10

Cirque Colors: Linen

Product shot of Cirque Colors nail polish in Linen
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"This fabulous, sheer bone white is a beautiful polish for brightening up the hands without adding too much color," says Messick. The subtle shade that can be worn alone or as a base for some colorful nail art.

07 of 10

Misco Beauty Nail Lacquer: Worthy

Product shot Misco Beauty Nail Lacquer in Worthy
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This peachy-rose, chip-resistant polish delivers durability, high shine, and quality pigment for nails you can feel good about—without harmful ingredients. "It's a great bright sheer polish that you can layer for more impact," says Messick.

08 of 10

J. Hannah: Ghost Ranch

Product shot of J. Hannah nail polish in Ghost Ranch
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This lush brown pulls inspiration from artists' palettes and natural elements like red rock to provide a super chic color with a high-quality finish.

09 of 10

Static Nails Liquid Glass Lacquer: You Make Me Blush

Product shot of Static Nails Liquid Glass Lacquer in You Make Me Blush
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This breakthrough formula is loaded with rich pigments and natural antioxidants that provide a healthy manicure. "Apply this pristine semi-sheer neutral rose to bring out the natural blush tones," says Messick.

10 of 10

Essie: Cliff Hanger

Product shot of Essie Nail polish in Cliff Hanger
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This milky-brown neutral nail polish with pink undertones is the perfect color for a natural look with a high gloss finish.

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