What Color Nails Goes With Everything?

Some of us don't want to do our nails every day, matching them to each and every outfit we wear. But we also don't want to clash. Obviously, the solution is to find a universal shade, one we can wear with any outfit, day in and day out. So what color nails go with everything? We've researched leading recommendations to bring you the best bets.
Ten do-it-all nail polish colors that work with everything are:
  1. Red
  2. Beige
  3. Blush pink
  4. Nude
  5. Gray
  6. Cream
  7. White
  8. Ivory
  9. Silver
  10. Brown

Keep reading to learn more about each color - when and how to use them, our favorite picks, and more. Later in the article, find some points for matching your nail polish to your outfit (just in case you ever really want to) and how to pick the best color for you.

A woman showing her red nails, What Color Nails Goes With Everything?

Neutral Nail colors work for everything

As you can see, almost everything on the list is a neutral color. Because of this, it works with any outfit. However, some are better for certain seasons or complexions. For example, darker-skinned complexions can pull off brown nail polish any time of year. For the fairer among us, brown is a bold statement that works a lot better in fall than in summer. Read on as we go through each color and any caveats or exceptions for its use.

1. Red

A woman holding a red nail polish in her hand

Red is a bold and vibrant color that works with everything. The only exception? If you're past the days of youthful skin and hands, red polish with blue undertones may make your hands look older. Just compare your red to something orange and something blue. Held side by side, it will be easy to see if it has a warm red or cool blue undertone. As long as you avoid blue (which tends to bring out blue-ish veins that are more prominent in aging skin), you're good to go.

Try this favorite by OPI, called Big Apple Red:

Click here to see Big Apple Red by OPI on Amazon.

2. Beige

A neutral that works with any outfit and any time of year, this one should only be avoided by the fair-skinned. Beige tends to make pale skin look yellowed (use nude instead). For the medium or darker-skinned, try this light beige:

Click here to see Buns Up by essie expressive on Amazon.

3. Blush Pink

Beige might be a no-go for our fair-skinned friends, but, conversely, blush pink is the best friend to those fair of face. While anyone can pull off a blush pink if desired, few colors look quite as good on fair skin as a lovely shade of blush.

Click here to see Plush Blush by Sally Hanson on Amazon.

4. Nude

Picking the right nude can be a bit tricky. If you're darker-skinned, you can get away with basically any nude. Those with medium complexions wear beige best (listed above). For lighter skin types, stick to a light nude such as this one:

Click here to see Be There In A Prosecco by OPI on Amazon.

5. Gray

For a more modern and edgy style, try gray. It's hip, current, and trending at the moment. Not to mention, gray goes with everything and is particularly stylish for the winter season.

Click here to see Sophisticated by Revlon on Amazon.

6. Cream

This color can be used year-round. However, there's something just warm and comforting about a nice, rich cream in the fall or winter. A perfect match for olive skin or anyone who wants to brighten up a warm complexion.

Click here to see Light Beige Creamy Lacquer by Duri on Amazon.

7. White

Similar to cream, this color works for all complexions and skin types. The only exception? White looks best on short, natural nails.

Click here to see White by OPI on Amazon.

8. Ivory

With cool undertones, ivory is the opposite of cream - use this if you have a cool complexion and want an off-white shade.

Click here to see this Vegan White Tea by Sally Hanson on Amazon.

9. Silver

This might be a bit too daring for some of us to use on an everyday basis. It's certainly unique and bold. Whether you use it regularly or just for a night on the town, silver really is a neutral that goes with everything. Just be sure to avoid clashing with gold jewelry.

Click here to see Trixie by ZOYA on Amazon.

10. Brown

On the right skin tone, browns can work just like any other nude. Avoid going too dark if you want a neutral look - stick within the confines of your skin tone in order to pull it off. If, however, you aren't going for a natural look, be as bold as you want! Brown works with almost any skin tone, especially in the fall, and it's especially trendy right now.

Click here to see Totally Toffee by Revlon on Amazon.

How Do I Choose The Right Nail Color?

To choose the right nail color, you'll need to know if your complexion is warm or cool. In addition, you'll need to know if your skin type is considered fair, medium, or deep.

To determine between warm and cool, first look at the veins around your face or your hands (your face may be easier to tell). If they appear blue, then this indicates a cool complexion. More yellow or green means a warm complexion. If they don't seem to be either? You may be neutral. Most people with olive skin fall into the neutral category.

Still not sure? Another hint is that warm complexions tend to look better next to gold jewelry, and cool complexions wear silver well. Try holding one of each beside your face and see which suits your skin.

Light skin has very little melanin and tends to burn easily. Medium skin tone is more of a beige, a balanced neutral (olive skin is considered medium).

What Is The Most Flattering Nail Color?

If you've determined that you're warm-toned, then stick to browns, reds, and oranges for the most appealing look. This includes other colors such as pink or gray - you can wear them well, but pick one with a brown undertone. For example, with pink, pick a beige-pink rather than a cool blue-toned pink. (Can't tell? Look at it on a pure white background for help.)

Nail polish isolated on a white background

If you are cool-complexioned, then focus on reds, pinks, and purples and select colors with a blue-base. For those with neutral skin, then lucky you, you can wear anything!

Light-skinned people should typically avoid dark colors that create a washed-out effect as far as light or dark complexions. Black, deep browns, rich plums, and related colors will generally be too intense for that skin type. On the other hand, olive or medium skin looks best with bolder tones - anything too light tends to go unnoticed. With deeper skin types, stick with bold, vivid colors that really pop.

Should You Match Your Nail Polish To Your Outfit?

It's not necessary to match your nail polish to your outfit. Rather, find a color that complements the outfit. For example, if you're wearing a printed dress, don't wear patterned nail art that competes or clashes with your clothing. Pick a color for your nails that complements your look, or stick to one of the lovely neutral shades listed above that go with everything.

In Conclusion

Your nail polish doesn't have to match every outfit you wear. Instead, just focus on nail polish colors that complement the rest of your clothing. An easy way to achieve this is to stick with a few basic neutrals that go with everything. Some great colors that work with any outfit are red, beige, blush pink, nude, gray, cream, white, ivory, silver, and brown. You can pick a shade from any of these colors that suits your complexion and skin type, for a timeless look that will work with any outfit you put on.

For more, try reading:

Should Lipstick Match Nail Polish?

23 Types Of Nail Polish And Finishes

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