The Best Nude Polishes for Brown Skin

by Coco + Creme

Nude nails are a chic way to update your look this season. Nude nails are close to your skin complexion with a beige undertone making it look more polished than bare nails. Nude nails are a great addition to this season’s bright trend and color-blocking trend.

But like nude shoes and makeup, one shade does not fit all.  Finding the right nude for your skin tone can be an arduous task. What’s a brown girl to do when she wants to get in on the latest nail trend? The answer is a bit of searching.

Choose the nude nail polish closest to your skin tone.

-If your complexion favors Rihanna’s, try Deborah Lippmann Naked or OPI At First Sight. If it favors Vanessa Williams’, try Essie Milky Way.

-If your skin tone is closer to Nia Long’s, try OPI San Tan-tonio. If it’s closer to Kelly Rowland’s, try Ginger + Liz Brown Sugar.

-If your skin tone resembles Alex Wek’s, then you should paint your nails with Revlon Hot For Chocolate. If it more resembles Viola Davis’, try Butter London Lacquer in Tramp Stamp.

Now that you have your perfect nude shade, here are a few steps from celebrity manicurist Dawn Sterling to perfect your manicure:

1. Moisturize your cuticles!

“It’s all about the moisturize. The less cuticle damage, the less work and clean up you have to do.” Dawn recommends Carol’s Daughter Jojoba and Lemon Cuticle Oil or Sally Hansen Cuticle Oil that can be found at the drugstore.

2. File your nails lightly.

3. Use alcohol to dehydrate your nails.

4. Apply a basecoat then apply color of your choice followed by a topcoat.

Dawn likes Duri Rejuvicoat or a basecoat and Seche Vite for a topcoat.

Would you rock nude nails?

-Channing Hargrove

  • Yb

    What if your caramel complexed? What nail colors do you reccommend?

  • Jaslene

    Love this.

  • la mala

    Check out RGB Cosmetics’ nail tints. They’re blendable nudes to help you get the shade you want if you can’t find it. I was going to try them but San Tan-tonio is good enough for me right now.

  • Yulez

    I was just getting ready to recommend them! They have a nice assortment, and are adding nail foundations. This trend is a year old. Clutch is a little late.

  • Gigi Young

    I’m Rihanna’s complexion, and Avon’s barefoot beige is a wonderful nude color.

  • DasaniFRESH

    I am sorry, but this is a bit dumb; even though my skin tone is more closely resembling Alex Wek’s, I am NOT going to paint my nails a “chocolate” color. By definition, by nails are a “natural” color, such as the inside of my palm. Nails are not MEANT to match your skin tone. This article is highly disappointing. Especially, realizing that the darker shaded sisters end up with the most unnatural looking polish colors. There is no such thing as a “nude” color as this meaning is referential to particular group of people (whites), completely marginalizing brown skin. How often have you shopped in a store, looking for the perfect “nude” to match yourself with. I wish we’d stop using that term. Shame on this article for reinforcing marginalization!

  • Some girls like the nude style.

    That is no way in marginalzing. I personally love nude nail polish. It looks profession and non flashy. But not every nude is the same nude. I’m always looking for the perfect nude because all the bottles labeled nude are the color of the inside of my palm (white) and not the outside (brown). Plenty of people love the nude look and it’s great the including brown woman in their defintion of nude.

  • OSHH

    @ Yulez this article is about that old, just reposted from Coco and creme

  • Lynette

    L’Oreal just released a collection of nudes that (gasp!) includes a decently full range of skin tones.

  • marloweovershakespeare

    Amazing how Clutch posts can be in sync with your life. I painted my nails with some red wine-colored OPI polish the other day (and it’s been a HOT minute since I’ve painted my nails) and I have to say OPI is the ULTIMATE brand for my nails. And I was actually thinking of buying a few shades of brown next time for that “nude” effect. GO CLUTCH!

  • Bosslady

    I agree with DasaniFRESH, I’m closer to Kelly Rowland’s complexion, but the shades you recommended for Viola Davis and Alex Wek are too dark to give the nude effect. People closer to their complexion should likewise use the ones you recommended for Kelly Rowland and Nia Long.

  • Melissa

    Hello Ladies,

    Try Deborah Lippmann, “no more drama”. My complexion is ebony like Alex and this color compliments all skin tones in my opinion. You can also google the color and find dupes since DL nail polishes are pricey.

    OPI’s Innstruck Bronze is pretty, similar to the color listed for Nia Long. We can wear any of these colors though.

  • apple

    i knew some low self esteem person ws going to come complain about the chocolate color

  • apple

    i have claw nails and i was considering painting my nails nude (i’m rihanna color)..def gona do it tomorrow now

  • Pingback: Nude brown | Premiervirtual

Latest Stories

Sonia Sotomayor Wrote A Blistering Dissent Against the Supreme Court Decision Upholding Michigan’s Affirmative-Action Ban


ColorofChange Wants Bravo To Ban Violence From RHOA


Lupita Nyong’o Named People’s Most Beautiful


69% of Americans Favor Mandated Birth Control Coverage

More in Beauty, Nail Polish
5 Things To Keep In Mind When Coloring Your Hair

Trend To Try or Watch Fly By: The Afro Wig