On the scale of life's problems, having a chipped pedicure, or a pedicure in a polish color you realized you hated only after it was fully applied, falls very, very low. But it's summer and we're in sandals every day, so we've gotten pretty familiar with our feet — and we think they deserve to spend the season with a shiny, fresh, on-trend paint job.
We asked two top nail artists —
Stephanie Stone and Whitney Gibson — for the biggest color trends of summer, plus the exact polishes that will flatter on light, medium, and dark skin tones. Unlike foundation matching, Stone tells us, nail-polish-to-skin-tone matching is not an exact science, and can take some serious swatching to find a perfect fit.
Ahead, we’ve taken the guesswork out of the process and rounded up the most stylish shades for your specific skin tone. Your next spa night just got a lot chicer.
Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.
Interesting Pastels Pastels are a tried-and-true warm-weather staple, but Gibson recommends taking your typical lighter tones, and spicing them up a bit. "Instead of the pinks and oranges you're used to, try a pistachio or a periwinkle," she says.
Fair This creamy mint tone is way more fun than baby pink, but not as in-your-face as straight-up green. Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored High-Shine Nail Lacquer in Good Friday, $18, available at Marc Jacobs Beauty.
Medium Stone, who has a medium skin tone with reddish undertones, personally opts for this subdued pastel lavender. Essie Nail Polish in Full Steam Ahead, $8.50, available at Essie.
Dark Gray polish can often wash out fairer skin tones, but it looks amazing against dark skin. This dusty shade adds a lighter dimension in a subtle way. Chanel Le Vernis Long-Wear Nail Colour in Washed Denim, $28, available at Chanel.
Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.
Neons Neon toes make any shoe significantly more fun and flatter your tan. Gibson loves "warm neons (safety orange, for instance) that bring out the warm undertones in skin."
Fair Those with pale skin might think to shy away from bright orange, but it's actually the perfect punch of color. Floss Gloss Nail Polish in Neon Nacho, $8, available at Floss Gloss.
Medium Stone tells us that yellows look really great on olive skin tones and work to add soft brightness. This one is made even cooler by the fact that it's offbeat and not your traditional sunshine shade. Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Glaze Nail Lacquer in Lux, $18, available at Marc Jacobs Beauty.
Dark This florescent shade will look almost as good as your mojito will taste — almost. Essie Nail Polish in Vices Vera, $8.50, available at Essie.
Photo: J ohn Shearer/WireImage.
Nudes "This is sort of a duh, but nude tones are flattering and go with everything," says Gibson. "This summer, I'm into sheer nudes (as opposed to last year's super opaque nudes) for a really feminine look. Think of them as a BB cream for your nails." Stone agrees that pinks and neutrals are a classic summer pick and recommends taking the trend a more playful route. "Try a pink ombré manicure switching each nail from neutral to brightest for a playful look."
Fair A cult-favorite, this OPI pink is the most subtle gloss for fair skin. OPI Nail Lacquer in Sweet Heart, $5.75, available at Beyond Polish.
Medium This ultra-pale pink will make medium skin tones appear more tan. LVX Nail Polish in Nu, $18, available at LVX.
Dark This barely-there shade lets your toes go naked, but in a chic, shiny way. Plus, you're sure to feel kind of sexy swiping on a shade named "Clothing Optional." Essie Nail Polish in Clothing Optional, $9, available at Essie.
Photo: Araya Diaz/WireImage.
Chromes "More exciting than your average metallic colors, chrome polish is futuristic and chic, plus, you won't be able to stop staring at your nails," Gibson says. "For truly high-shine color, most nail techs reach for the chrome powder, which is rubbed gently over painted nails. Some brands offer polish with the bling of chrome, though."
Fair A soft metallic, like this silver, won't wash out fair skin. Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Glaze Nail Lacquer in Stone Jungle, $18, available at Marc Jacobs Beauty.
Medium I mean, it's called " Game of Chromes" — need we say more? Sally Hansen Nail Polish in Game of Chromes, $7.46, available at Walmart.
Dark The bottle is cool enough to be put on display in your beauty shrine; the shade inside provides a tri-color chrome-finish that will have people doing a double-take of your toes in the elevator. Christian Louboutin Nail Color in Chrome II, $30, available at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Photo: Chelsea Lauren/WireImage.
Shimmer Gibson believes that shimmer is due to make a comeback. "I think shimmer can be sexy in a vintage, throwback way — think frosted tips in the '60s." We're about it.
Fair This silver polish has a hint-of-chrome feel with a subdued sparkle. OPI Nail Lacquer in This Silver's Mine, $5.75, available at Beyond Polish.
Medium Caramel may be the most graceful way to do shimmer. This deep nude looks lovely next to medium skin tones. OPI Nail Lacquer in Sweet Caramel Sunday, $5.75, available at Beyond Polish.
Dark Who says twinkle-toes can't be taken at its most literal? Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish in Terra Coppa, $7.46, available at Walmart.
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