The perfect nude mani is the nail look to sport right now. Everyone from Rochelle Humes to Victoria Beckham is a fan and has shown off perfectly manicured nails with neutral, skin-toned colours. And most recently, Hailey Bieber’s glazed donut nails that went viral on TikTok gave a slightly more shimmery take on the nude nail. So, for now, it’s time to forget about OTT nail art designs, when it comes to the ultimate in chic nails it’s all about finding the perfect nude nail polish.
The new shades coordinate with foundation shades so you can now get your perfect base and your perfect mani.
How to find your perfect nude nail polish
“I think the perfect nude nail colour is a tone that works not only with your skin tone but your nail base too,” says celebrity nail technician, Michelle Class who has painted the hands of JLo, Naomi Campbell and Nicola Coughlan. “And the colour is somewhere between the two - a touch lighter than your skin colour, but a bit deeper than your nail base.”
But it hasn’t always been easy to find the perfect nude nail colour. Firstly, the lack of deeper and darker nail polishes has been shocking. But even a lot of popular nude shades can look too bubblegum pink or chalky white on every skin tone - very few actually represent a true nude hue.
And that’s where the new Chanel A/W22 Le Vernis nail collection comes in.
The brand has tackled the problem of finding the perfect nude shade straight on by creating 12 new shades of nail polishes, £25 each (there are lipsticks too) that perfectly match all 35 shades of their Ultra Le Teint Fluide foundation. So to find your perfect nude nail polish you first need to know our Chanel foundation shade (if you don’t know this, we recommend going to the very handy foundation matching site findation.com or, if you can, heading to an in-store Chanel counter). Once armed with your shade, you can select the nude nail polish that has been formulated to compliment your skin tone.
How the nude nail polishes work
The 12 new shades have been divided into two undertones: rosy and golden. The six polishes with rosy undertones create a slightly fresher effect whereas the six polishes with golden undertones are a bit warmer and glowier. And unlike when trying to match a foundation and knowing your undertone is fairly crucial to making the perfect match, with these nails colours both undertones works perfectly on everyone, it's just about the effect you prefer.
For those with fairer skin the rosy undertone of the sandy pink shade, Harmonie and light pink, Singularité will work a treat and the golden undertone shade options are Dénudé, a transparent beige or Original which is slightly more like a latte beige.
For medium skin tones, in the rosy undertone there is Spontané, a dusky apricot or Énigme, which is a rosewood hue. The golden undertones are Essentiel, a caramel beige or Inspiration which is a true caramel colour.
For darker skin tones, the rosy undertone shades are Émotion, a brownish rosewood and Désir, a brownish aubergine. And the golden undertones are Impulision, a light chocolate brown and Infinité, a dark chocolate brown.
You can of course wear any of the shades regardless of which foundation shade you are or what skin colour you have but if you’re looking for an almost bespoke colour matching service, then Chanel has done a lot of the hard work for you. And they’re not alone in this colour-matching offering. If the perfect nude lipstick still evades you as well as the Chanel ones that accompany the nail polishes, Clinique’s Even Better Pop Lip Colour Foundation Lipsticks, £21, are a range of 28 nude shades that all complement their foundation shades.
Nude nails: why we love them
Michelle credits some very practical reasons for why the nude mani is having such a moment right now.
“By matching your nail colour so close to your skin colour it does create the optical illusion that your nails are longer, making this a great look for those with shorter nails.
“It’s a look that wears really well. Regrowth is going to be as noticeable and any little nicks or chips aren’t going to show up as much as a bright and bold colour would so this is a manicure that will last you much longer.”
And whilst we believe anyone can sport any type of beauty look regardless of age, there is something very youthful about this nail look. “I think it’s because when you wear a nude shade that truly works with your skin tone, your nails and your hands almost become extensions of each other and if your nails look really glossy and healthy and essentially like the best version of themselves, your skin and your hands also look like the best version of yourself.” And who doesn’t want that?
Our pick of some other great nude nail polishes
Here are some other nude nail polishes we love.
A gorgeous tonal pink that's not too white and not too bubblegum.
This warm coffee-caramel shade looks great with just one coat and even more impactful with two.
A soft and sheer apricot shade - don't be deceived by the colour of the bottle, it's a lot more skin toned than it looks.
A warm cocoa shade that has a great glossy finish to it but definitely needs two coats for the best effect.