Should Nail Polish On Fingers And Toes Match?

Maybe you've found a great color that you want to put on your toenails. But that leads you to wonder - should nail polish on your fingers and toes match? Do you have to pair a twin manicure and pedicure every time? We've checked with nail technicians and stylists for the answer!

There was a time when it was standard to match your nail polish on fingers and toes. But that's no longer the case. If anything, fashion is more inventive than ever. That includes your mani-pedi options!

If you prefer a homogenous, unified set of nails, then continue to match. But if you want to break out of routine, consider this "permission granted."

Keep reading and learn some surprising advantages of not matching! We'll cover what to keep in mind when you pick colors for your non-matching fingers and toes and some of the best colors for toenails. We'll even give you some tips on what colors make your feet look smaller. Finally, we'll review some of the latest trends for nails and what they might mean.

Matching nalin polish on hand and foot, Should Nail Polish On Fingers And Toes Match?

Should Nail Polish On Fingers And Toes Match?

It was once considered a standard that nail polish on fingers and toes should always match. It was even declared an unofficial rule by the Kardashians, famously.

But it's been more than ten years since Kourtney Kardashian declared that non-matching nail polish "gives her the chills." It's unclear what her official stance might be on the subject in 2022 [we can't find anywhere that she's provided a more current opinion, but we're all ears if she wants to reach out].

However, stylists almost universally agree - 20 matching nails and toes can safely be considered non-essential. If you like the look of a matching mani-pedi, then absolutely go for it. But there's no longer any taboo against picking one color for hands and another for feet.

There are plenty of reasons not to match. They include:

  • You can generally get away with brighter and bolder colors on your toes, particularly for a working professional. You might not want electric blue nails in the office. But an electric blue pedicure lets you have some fun while being a bit more discrete.
  • Nail polish is really an accessory. It's a way to complement your outfit and overall look. You don't necessarily have to wear two matching bracelets. Why accessorize your fingers and toes in precisely the same way?

Female legs barefoot, side view. Woman hands doing feet massage or applying cream.

What Color Is Best For Toenails?

There are two basic schools of thought when picking the best color for your toenails.

  • Go with neutral colors that complement anything. Think beiges and nude shades, blacks, whites, and grays.
  • Select a color that complements your shoe. There's nothing wrong with bolder colors. If you want to paint your toenails purple or green, go for it! Just avoid one that clashes with your choice of footwear.
    • Pick colors that work with, not against, the color of your shoe.
    • One option is to pick colors that are opposites on the color wheel, also known as complementary colors. This is vibrant and exciting. Think yellow with purple, or orange with blue.
    • Another method is to pick colors close to each other on the color wheel. For example, for green shoes, use green, yellow-green, or green-blue nail polish. The similarity makes them compatible and harmonious.
    • Neutral shoes can go with any color. But they often look great with another neutral. If you want something bold, pick a primary color that stands out. Another eye-catching option is contrasting neutrals such as black with white.

For more color tips, try: "11 Great Pedicure Ideas For Dark Skin."

Pink pedicure.

What Nail Color Makes Your Feet Look Smaller?

There are a few different recommendations to make your feet look smaller. Some nail technicians suggest going with dainty colors like pale pinks or pastels. They believe that feminine, delicate colors help give the illusion of more delicate feet.

Others, however, point out that dark colors tend to be the best at minimizing. They suggest using dark shades, which give a trimmer appearance. It also visually draws in the eye, making the overall foot appear smaller. Try a shade of black, brown, or navy.

Closeup photo of a female feet at spa salon on pedicure procedure - Soft focus image

What Does It Mean If A Girl Paints Her Toenails White?

You might have heard somewhere that if a girl paints her toenails white, it means that she's promiscuous. This is an old urban legend, however. So don't fall for it too quickly.

Once upon a time, the general consensus on the internet was "white nails=easy girls." But the meaning has evolved over the years. The latest "white nails" Tik Tok trend actually deals with relationship status.

In this trend, white nails mean you're single. On the other hand, light blue nails indicate that you're taken. There are plenty of TikTok videos where the user dramatically reveals their current relationship status, done with nail color.

Curious? You can read more about this here: "What Nail Polish Color Means You're Single?"

What Does It Mean When A Girl Has One Nail Painted A Different Color?

Young woman hand with gently modern blue manicure nails polish

This is a social convention much like the "white nails Tik Tok trend" described above. The meaning has evolved over time. As a result, how people interpret it can vary.

The earliest internet mentions of painting one nail a different color refer to the practice as "femme flagging." Women in the LGBTQ community who weren't necessarily "out" in all settings would paint one or two nails of their hand a different color.

This made them visible to other femme lesbians - sort of an "if you know, you know" situation. It didn't give their sexuality away to most straight people. Most people didn't understand what the symbol represented in the first place.

Some lesbians weren't comfortable announcing their sexuality to everyone. This was a method that didn't make them an easy target for bigotry. However, it still gave them a method to meet people in their community.

Accent Nails Now

The style has, at this point, mainly become co-opted by fashion. The meaning is more or less lost at this point. People who liked the fashionable look started using it, calling it an accent nail.

As a result, the majority of the people with one nail painted a different color will say that it means nothing. That it's simply a trend, and they like how it's unique or different.

Currently, this is the case - when the symbolism of "femme flagging" became lost; many LGBTQ people stopped using the practice.

Which Nail Gets Painted A Different Color?

Any nail can be painted a different color for the accent nail [unrelated to the practice of femme flagging]. You can choose any nail- or even two- as an accent nail.

The most popular choice is the ring finger. This works exceptionally well for people who already wear a nice ring and want to draw eyes to it.

Some people also use the accent nail to show off nail art. An elaborate and well down nail can be expensive. This makes sticking to just one nail per hand a good financial compromise.

Hands with french manicured nails and a bouquet of flowers

The ring finger is still a good choice for this. It's very visible and prominent. Also, it tends to have a large nail bed that is easy to work with.

If, for some reason, you'd rather draw attention to another nail, then by all means! You can pick any nail you like. It's just a matter of preference.

In Conclusion

There was a time when fingernails and toenails were expected to match. But current styles no longer require it. Many stylists say not matching gives you an extra way to accessorize your outfit. You can pick bold, exciting colors for your toes. Or, you can choose two colors that contrast. If you prefer matching colors, you can still coordinate your mani and your pedi - but you're no longer required to.

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