The Best Spring Nail Colors for Your Skintone

There’s nothing like a good mani-pedi to pull you out of the winter slump and brighten up your mood for spring. Out of the countless color trends this season, three are really staking out their ground as fingertip essentials: white, baby pink and cobalt blue. And while scoping out the latest nail trends is easy, making them look amazing on your hands and feet takes a keener eye—and some knowledge about your skin’s undertones.

The first step is to figure out if you have warm or cool skin. “A great way to determine this is to look in your closet and see what colors you have in there the most,” says Michelle Saunders, Essie Lead Manicurist. If you wear a ton of blues and greens, chances are you’ve got cool undertones. Reds and oranges? You’re probably warm. If your dresser is packed with pink and white, you’re probably both.

While knowing what colors look best on you can help, your veins can also be a good indication. If the veins running on the underside of your wrist and forearm mostly appear blue, you have cool undertones. If they’re green or blue-green, you’re warm.

To help you wear spring’s hottest nail colors in the most flattering way—and save you from sorting through countless bottles with minute hue variations—we figured out which variations will best complement you, according to your skin undertones.

1Cobalt Blue Polish for Warm Undertones

“If you have warm skin undertones, you can wear blue, but make sure it’s a tad bit lighter and softer,” Saunders says. A softer shade will be more flattering since it’ll have more white blended into it, warming it up a bit. To keep things light, try a shimmery shade that adds a bit of silver to brighten up the deeper tones.

Try: SpaRitual Nail Lacquer in Navigate, $12, Sonia Kashuk Nail Colour in Rain Check, $5, Jin Soon Nail Polish in Cool Blue, $18

2Cobalt Blue Polish for Cool Undertones

Since it’s a cool color by nature, blue is flattering on anyone with similar undertones. Try a deeper cobalt to cash in on this color that’s having a major fashion and beauty moment.

Try: Formula X The Liquid Crystals in Beacon, $13, Maybelline Color Show Nail Laquer in Blue Bombshell, $3, Topshop Beauty Nails in Varsity, $8

3White Polish for Warm Undertones

A sheerer white polish (rather than opaque) will give those with warm undertones a softer, more elegant-looking manicure. And you might think white is white, but there are actual countless variations, from icy “diamond” white to pale buttery white. If you’re warm, look for whites that have a hint of peach in them.

Try: Treat Collection in Snow Drops, $18, Morgan Taylor Nail Laquer in Heaven Sent, $6, Flower Nail’d It Nail Laquer in Go With the Flow-er, $5

4White Polish for Cool Undertones

White looks chic and fresh paired with cool undertones, says Saunders. The cooler and darker your skin, the more opaque and true white you can go, since your skin can handle the extra depth that an opaque polish adds.

Try: Topshop Beauty Matte Nails in Milk and Honey, $10, Sonia Kashuk Nail Colour in White Lie, $5, Jin Soon Kookie White, $18

5Baby Pink Polish for Warm Undertones

If your skin is warm, look for a pale pink that has beige or flesh-colored tones, says Saunders. “This will flatter the hands mostly because it will pick up the warm tone in the hands and look really feminine and elegant.” The shade should sort of blend in with your skin and not pop out too much.

Try: Essie in Spin the Bottle, $9, Treat Collection in Good Thing, $18, Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish in Mayfair Lane, $14

6Baby Pink Polish for Cool Undertones

A true pink polish will complement your cool tone and look super flattering against your skin. Opt for a more opaque color—it’ll appear brighter on your hands and add a pretty, subtle pop of color.

Try: Essie in Romper Room, $9, Londontown Lakur in Waterloo Sunset, $22, Nails Inc. in Kensington Square, $10

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