How to choose a nail polish color that suits black and olive skin?


If you have dark skin and love changing nail polish colors, or “varnish”, for our Portuguese readers, this guide is for you! Here, you will find several tone options that match perfectly with your skin, taking into account your undertone.

*Guide for our Portuguese readers: “Esmalte” means “Varnish” and “enamels” is the plural of “Varnishes”.

Skin undertones

Table with the different skin undertones

Before we talk about nail polish colors, it's important to understand skin undertones. Human skin can have warm, cool, neutral or olive undertones. The warm undertone is characterized by reddish, yellowish and orange tones. The cold undertone is characterized by greenish, bluish and violet tones. The neutral undertone is a middle ground between the two extremes. The olive undertone is characterized by shades of olive green.

To discover your undertone, look at the color of your veins in natural light. If they are greenish or brown, it indicates that your undertone is warmer. If, on the contrary, your veins are more bluish or violet, it means that your undertone tends towards cold. Veins of different colors, in turn, can say that your undertone is neutral.

Nail polish colors for formal occasions

If you need to have impeccable nails for a formal occasion, such as a wedding or a job interview, the most recommended colors are nude and pastel tones. These colors are elegant and discreet, and match any look. In the title of each color, there is a nail polish that we indicate and below where you can find more options.

The colors we recommend are:

Pinkish nude (for warm undertones)

You can find more pinkish nude nail polishes here.

Light beige (for neutral undertones)

You can find more light beige nail polishes here.

Light pink (for warm undertones)

You can find more light pink nail polishes here.
You can find more pastel lilac nail polishes by clicking here.

Nail polish colors for informal occasions

If you want to be a little more daring with your nail polish colors for informal occasions, like a happy hour or a walk in the park, neon tones are a great option. They are vibrant and cheerful, and match perfectly with dark skin. Some options are:

Nail polish colors that don't suit dark skin

There is no nail polish color that doesn't suit dark skin, but some colors may not flatter your skin as much. For example, very light tones, such as white and baby pink, can make your hands look pale. Very dark tones, such as black and brown, can make your hands look heavy. But, if you like these colors, you don't have to stop using them. The tip is to choose intermediate tones, such as gray and wine.


We hope this guide has helped you choose the best nail polish colors for your dark skin, taking your undertone into consideration. Remember that these are just suggestions, and the best way to discover the colors that suit you best is to experiment. So, how about choosing a new color and rocking your nails? And don't forget to tag your profile Dark Skin on Instagram, ok? We'll love seeing the combinations you create! Kiss!


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