Raise of hands, please, anyone who’s with me in finding nude nails a titanic turn-on. Hurrah, high five!
Not of the nude polish persuasion? Think of the hue in the context of say, a pump or stiletto. In much the same way that flesh-coloured shoes can lengthen your limbs, nude lacquer lends the illusion of longer, more delicate digits.
Bear in mind, though, that a nude is never just a nude: Subtle gradations in shade and saturation complement different complexions. To make things easier for you when navigating the nail-care aisles, simply thumb through this handy e-guide and zero in on the precise polish colour that’s best suited for your particular skin-tone.
All hands on deck? Good, let’s go!
FAIR: Pinkish polish plays off the blue undertones of pale skin, so if you’re a porcelain princess, give sheer salmon shades the thumbs up. On “good nail” days, you may just be able to get away with a lashing of Dior’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Nail Glow, $37: Just one coat and the pink of your nail appears pinker and the whites, whiter.
If a translucent tint is well, too naked for your taste, cover up by opting for an opaque off-white eggshell that boasts the entirely welcome benefit of masking blemishes on your nail bed. Try Chanel’s covetable Le Vernis in 661 Precious Beige, $38, which rates as one of my favourite luxe lacquers ever.
MEDIUM: You’ll find a happy medium, so to speak, in shades that skew towards the chocolatey end of the spectrum; tawny taupes like Tom Ford Beauty’s beguiling Nail Lacquer in Toasted Sugar, $48, help to counteract the greenish cast of warmer skin.
Another handy tip that’s in the same green vein: Steer clear of camou nudes, which tend to have the unfortunate effect of making medium skin tones look sallow and sickly – you’re literally dirtying one’s hands, such as it were.
TAN: Creamy corals that are just this side of rosy – think Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in 547 Peach of Cake, $13.90 – make for an incredibly pleasing pop against dark skin. (Or go really deep with a honey toffee if you insist on a nude-nude.)
Slap on the wrist if you’re reaching for greyish beige, though, which can come off as chalky on chocolate complexions. (Actually, so-called “greiges” are just ghastly all round, but that’s a rant for another day.)
Fingers crossed that this list will help you in polishing up your nude nail game. Have fun getting naked!
Want more nail news? Try your hand at negative space nail art, which is both incredibly cool and unbelievably easy to execute at home.
Makeup: Zhuo Ai Yi from Makeup Entourage, using Urban Decay
Hair: Alvin Ong from Arx Salon, using Shiseido Stageworks
Art direction: Michelle Tham
Styling: Niki Bruce, assisted by Hong Xinying and Ainslyn Lim
Models: Nadia R and Grace L