The 7 Best Nail Colours For Your Skin Tone In 2022

A new year brings lots of new nail trends, colours and ideas.

There’s nothing more exciting than picking out the next colour for your mani. We’ve rounded up our favourite on-trend shades for the year ahead, from bold brights to neutral hues. So, whatever your nail preference, there’s surely a shade to suit it.

But before we browse these delectable nail colours, let’s break down the best shade pairings for your skin tone to discover which shades you should shop to suit your complexion.

A light and dark skinned hand intertwined wearing pink nail polish

How should I pick out the right nail colour for my skin tone?

Nail colour is a personal choice, and there are no concrete rules to choosing the next shade or shades for your manicure.

But if you are concerned about choosing the right shade to match your skin’s natural tone or undertones perfectly, there are some colour rules to follow.

Finding a complementary shade can help show off your manicure, making your nails and hands appear healthy with specific shades even helping to make your hands look younger.

Here are our top nail colour pairing points for your skin tone:

Fair to light skin tones

Light skin hand wearing pastel shades

Fair skin is made up of blue or pink undertones. 

When choosing colours to best suit fair skin, you want to try and accentuate these undertones or completely work against them.

Deep colours such as midnight blue and navy complement blue undertones, helping the nails appear flawless and healthy.

Bright colours such as flamingo pink and electric blue offset blue and red undertones and help to improve the appearance of the skin. 

Pastel shades are also a great choice for pale to light skin and help to add a healthy glow to the fingertips. 

Light skin tones with slightly more colour than fair skin work well with whimsical shades to add a fresh and airy look to your manicure. 

Dusky pink and cloud whites work particularly well with this skin tone, as do highly-pigmented purples and reds if you prefer a richer colour for your nails.

Be wary of pairing dark colours with fair skin, as these can leave the hands looking pale and washed out.

Medium to olive skin tones

olive-skinned hand wearing blue nail polish

The nail colours you can wear are endless for medium to olive skin tones! 

If you want to narrow down your choices, olive skin tones should stick with colours that compliment warm skin’s orange undertones, such as warm reds, creamy pinks and bright teals.

Dark burgundy tones, purples, blues and pinks also work well against this skin tone for happy, healthy, glowing nails.

As golds and rusts sit close to the colour of the skin, you should avoid some shades of these colours if you want your nail colour to pop.

Dark skin tones

Dark-skinned hand wearing bright coloured nail polish

Due to their cooler undertones, dark skin tones work best with bold colour choices.

Bold brights such as orange-reds and yellows and earthy clay tones look amazing against this skin type. And the good news is, classic colours such as floral shades of pink and red all work successfully. 

Although most colours are suited to a dark skin tone, it’s best to choose those that suit your skin’s undertones. 

How to work out your skin’s undertones 

Inspect the underside of your wrist. If you see yellow and gold shades in your skin, then you have warm undertones, whereas pinks and blues are features of cool undertones. If you can’t see either, your skin is most likely neutral.

Another way to test is with jewellery. If gold suits you the most, your skin is probably warm, whereas cool undertones look great wearing silver.

Whichever undertones your skin has, choose colours or the shades of those colours that will pair well with them. For warm tones, choose warm colours, and for cool, opt for cooler colours.

Ultimately the nail colour you choose will come down to personal choice. There are no set rules to follow, and just like with makeup, if you love wearing colour and feel good in it, you should continue to wear it, irrespective of your skin tone! 

However, if you’re struggling to find the colour for you, our skin pairing tips will help you choose your next shade.

What nail colours are in fashion this year?

The eclectic nature of this season’s nail colours means that there’s a nail colour for you, whatever your skin tone or preference. Whether you’re a fan of a bold, bright, or a more relaxed, neutral shade, these nail choices will help you stay on trend this season.

Here are our colour favourites for the year ahead:

  1. Joyful jewel tones

Jewel tones are trending in fashion, homeware, and clothing, which is certainly the case with nail colours. 

Earthy tones, combined with rich greens and deep, jewelled colours, are the style of the day, so opt for emerald greens, stand out teals and vibrant purples when choosing your mani colour. A metallic, shimmer or glitter finish makes for a chic finishing touch.

DND’s Duo Gel & Nail Polish Set in Emerald Quartz and Halo Gel Nails Gel Polish in Pandora are perfect picks for this trending jewel tone.

  1. Pretty in pink

This season, any pink goes, so there’ll be a perfect shade for you irrespective of your skin tone. From baby to bubblegum and Fuschia to fandango pink, whichever shade you love, it’s time to think pink with your next manicure shade.

Choose classic pink shades for dark skin tones, creamy shades for olive skin, bubblegum for medium tones and dusty pinks for fair skin for a perfect polish pairing.  

We love Jessica’s Just Married for that perfect creamy shade and Nailberry’s Bubblegum for a real pop of pink. 

  1. Periwinkle blue is the colour of optimism

As predicted by Pantone, periwinkle blue is the colour of 2022. Much of the predicted colours for this year are rooted in warmth and optimism, with bright hues topping most colour lists. 

The best thing about periwinkle blue is that it goes perfectly with most skin tones and is a perfect fresh colour for spring.

CND Vinylux’s Down By The Bae and Zoya’s Professional Lacquer Jo will help your nails stay ahead of this season’s periwinkle trend.

  1. Cheerful cherry

Red is a classic colour that never goes out of style, so it’s no surprise that it’s back for 2022. 

This season’s red choice is cherry for its fun, bright feel and a cheerful nod to summer holidays. Featured everywhere, from both hair trends to car colours, it’s no surprise that cherry red is a hot colour trend for nails.

If neon isn’t for you, choose cherry for perfect holiday nails. OPI’s Charged Up Cherry and vegan-friendly favourite, the Manicurist’s Red Cherry, are shades that add a flash of colour to make your nails pop.

  1. Simple soft white 

Soft white is trending in interior design and nail art as it’s a sign of tranquillity, simplicity, and inner peace. 

It’s a timeless and comforting shade so it’s perfect as an alternative to pinker, neutral tones. White is a bold and fun neutral nail colour that still feels like a statement style while flattering all skin types. 

Wear your soft white nails confidently, choosing shades such as OPI’s Funny Bunny for a timeless and flawless finish.

  1. Salted caramel shades

A perfect standout choice for dark skin, skin with yellowish undertones, or sun-kissed skin, salted caramel is another shade favourite for 2022.

Still sitting on the nude and neutral spectrum but brighter than a classic tan shade, salted caramel nails offer a welcome, fun twist to a traditional nude manicure.

Highly pigmented and effortlessly cool, perfect yours with shades such as Le Mini Macaron’s LED/Gel Polish in Salted Caramel or Jessica Phenom’s Caramel Drizzles for a summer twist.

  1. Opulent olive green

Big in interior design, homeware and fashion accessories, olive green is a perfect pick for most warmer skin tones. As earthy neutrals rise in popularity, it’s time to pair your nails with your surroundings. 

Whether you go for full nails or a featured French tip, olive green is a failsafe choice for fabulous nails to carry you through the seasons.

Halo’s Olive Grove and OPI Infinite Shine Olive For Green both capture the olive trend beautifully and add an earthy touch of nature to your nails.

Find the perfect on-trend colour for your nails at Nail Polish Direct

Whatever your skin tone or colour preference, nail colour is an extension of your personality and should be worn confidently, regardless of your skin tone.

If you’re looking for perfect pairings to your skin tone, accentuate or contrast undertones with fair skin, play around with colour but avoid gold and rust if your skin is medium to olive, and don’t be afraid to go bright and bold if your skin is dark.

Use the underside of your wrist or your jewellery colour of choice to pinpoint your skin tone colour and choose colours that work with it for the best results.

Then, whether you’re all about a joyful jewel or a pretty periwinkle, explore our top 2022 nail colour recommendations for fabulous and flawless colours that will keep your nails on-trend throughout the year. Shop the links above to find your 2022 favourite for flawless nails that transcend trends!

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