105 Nail colors for fair & pale skin – everything you need to know 2023

Whether you go to the salon or do your own nails at home, you want to make sure they look their best. But knowing what colors are going to work well for your skin tone isn’t easy. If you have pale skin like me, you’re gonna love this post! Here’s everything you need to know about nail colors for fair and pale skin, so you can have the perfect nails no matter what time of year it is!

Got a party to get to?

Here’s the short and fast answer:

Light, neutral nail polish shades like pale gray, ivory, beige, and soft white look great on fair skin. Light pink tones and pinky nudes can also be really flattering. Pastel shades and soft muted colors work well for fair skin. You can also wear turquoise, coral, burgundy, or navy nail polish.

Here is a skin tone nail polish color matching chart that will help you if you have pale skin.

pale skin nail polish color matching chart

Now that you have the basic answer, let’s dive deeper and find out what looks you can create!

Here’s a table of contents for easy navigation:

Neutral nail polish colors for fair skin

Neutrals are by far my favorite nail polish colors to wear.

They work for every occasion, from a fun day out to a dressy night on the town. Plus, they go with every outfit!

The key to choosing a flattering nail color is sticking with shades that won’t clash or overpower your skin tone.

For fair or pale skin, I recommend going for lighter neutrals like the ones below.

– White

As a fair-skinned beauty, you can’t go wrong with white.

You literally can’t get any lighter!

Any shade of white or off-white will work with fair or pale skin, so feel free to play around with lots of different white nail polish shades.

Try a crisp, pure white like OPI’s Alpine Snow if you want a bolder look.

And for something a little softer, try a milky white like Zoya’s Adel, or a pearly white like Zoya’s Genesis.

– Ivory

Ivory is basically white but with yellow undertones. It looks amazing on fair and pale skin.

To get your ivory fix, check out OPI’s Coastal Sand-tuary or Essie’s Going steady.

– Beige

If you want an elegant, chic look that works with your fair skin and all your clothes, look no further than beige.

Essie does 2 great shades I love. For a true beige, try Sand-Tropez. For a beige with a subtle hint of pink, go for Topless and Barefoot. Both are beautiful on fair / pale skin.

– Gray

If you’re fair, you’ll need to find the right shade of gray nail polish for your complexion.

You’ll want to stay away from darker greys and look for something soft and light.

I love gray nail polish. Seriously, I wear it all the time.

I actually have 3 different gray shades that I keep coming back to.

Chinchilly is an Essie shade I can highly recommend. I’ve used this a lot against my ghost-like skin and it always looks chic! It’s not a “dark” gray but for me, this is as dark as I like to get.

Then I have a mid-gray that I absolutely adore. I think it’s one of my favorite all-time nail polish colors. You have to check it out, it’s called Cocktail Bling.

I also really like this light gray with a hint of blue which is also an Essie polish (I guess Essie just does a lot of gray shades I like!) It’s called Press Pause.

– Nudes

When it comes to nudes, the best match is going to be one that compliments your skin’s undertone.

If you are cool-toned, then pinky nudes will be most flattering. If you have warm undertones, then a peachy nude will serve you well.

Not sure about your skin tone? Check out my How to match polish to your skin tone perfectly post.

Natural nail colors for light skin

Like the natural look? Natural nail colors for light skin cross over a little bit with neutral shades.

To keep your look subtle and natural as a light-skinned beauty, you should look for soft nude shades, creamy white shades, or pinky nudes with barely-there taupe undertones.

One thing that can make your polish look less natural is if you are wearing a color with the opposite undertone to your skin.

For a seamlessly natural look, figure out what your skin tone is. You could be warm, cool, or neutral.

Once you know your tone, then you can look for polish shades that have the same tone as your skin.

For example, I’m cool-toned. So I always check polish descriptions to find nail colors that have the word cool in the description.

Another great tip is to filter the search for cool or warm colors (Zoya lets you do this).

Spring nail colors for pale skin

Omg, I’m so excited! all the spring collections have just come out and I’m obsessed!

Here are my top picks for spring nail colors for pale skin:

OPI:

Quest for quartz – shimmery rose quartz that’s magical for fair skin!

Achievement unlocked – a lovely lavender creme.

The pass is always greener – a matcha green that screams spring.

Pixel dust – a pearlescent pink with plenty of sparkles.

Essie:

Essie just brought out a whole new collection of pastel shades that are perfect for fair skin. Try:

Flight of fantasy – A blue pastel with warm yellow undertones.

Keep branching out – A taupe pastel shade with warm yellow undertones.

Sing songbird along – A yellow pastel with white undertones.

Spring awakening – a pastel coral, a true neutral (not warm or cool, works for everyone).

Stretch your wings – A pinky purple pastel with cool undertones.

Well-nested energy – a pastel peach with white undertones.

Zoya:

Chelsea – A powdered blush creme that’s perfect for fair skin and spring!

Sutton – An understated, muted pinky nude creme (not available on Zoya website but available at other online stores)

CND

Here are my all-time fav spring shades for light skin from CND:

Satin slippers

Aurora collection, Winter Glow

Flirtation Collection, Be demure

Strawberry smoothie

Kiss from a rose

Mint convertible

Taffy

Creekside

Unearthed

Mystic slate

Nails Inc.

Don’t hate – hydrate – a white-pink pearl

Drinks on me – a baby pink

Dripping in cool – a soft lilac

Summer nail colors for fair skin

For fair skin, summer is all about floral and pastel shades. Think of the colors you’d see in an English Country garden.

Periwinkle blue is the Pantone 2022 color of the year and looks amazing on fair skin.

You can also throw in a few brighter colors like mint green, red, and turquoise – if your complexion is high contrast.

How can you tell if you’re high contrast?

If your skin is light but your other features like your hair and eye color are dark, then you are high contrast.

But if you have soft, light eyes, hair, and skin then you are low contrast and should stick to soft, muted colors.

Here’s a list of the best summer nail colors for fair skin:

OPI

Pear-adise cove – a vibrant green that’s great for adding a pop of color to neutral outfits.

Make my daisy – a pale yellow, light and bright.

From dusk till dune – a soft pink wash with a hint of glitter.

Essie

Run wildflower – a luscious lilac.

Day drift away – soft pink with cream undertones.

Need a vacation – bubblegum pink.

Lovie Dovie – Flamingo pink.

Beachy-keen – a pale coral.

Geranium – an orangy red that’s great for fair and warm beauties.

Plant one on me – a beautiful muted lilac.

You’ve got me faded – a barely-there pinky-purple.

Ripple reflect – a cornflower blue with red undertones

Seas the day – a pale minty green.

Sunny business – a pale lemon yellow.

Zoya

Blu – a soft, delicate baby blue.

Eleni – a light, seafoam blue creme.

Lilian – a muted aquamarine.

Lake – a soft blue hue.

Lulu – light peach with a touch of coral pink.

Tulip – a light pastel salmon color.

Fisher – a seafoam with a bit of gold shimmer.

Wednesday – a faded turquoise.

Joey – a warm, light pink.

Dot – a pale muted pink.

Missy – a bright pink.

CND:

Magical topiary

Aqua-intance

It’s now oar never

Nails inc:

Mayfair lane – a delicate pink.

Knightbridge nights out – a sheer peach.

Detox on repeat – a barbie pink.

Made in Marylebone – a subtle grey-green.

Fall nail colors for pale and fair skin

Here are some great nail polish shades that are perfect for fair skin in fall:

OPI:

Made it seventh hill – a soft rose gold.

I’ll have a gin and tectonic – a soft tangerine coral

To be continued – a periwinkle blue

Eternally turquoise – a pale greeny-blue

Can’t find my Czechbook – an aqua blue

I can never hut up – an iridescent grey shimmer

This isn’t Greenland – a soft mossy green

If you persist – a cool mauve

Essie:

Beleaf in yourself – an earthy green

Vine and dandy – a nude with warm undertones

Everything’s rosy – soft pink with yellow undertones

Wireless is more – a dusky rose quartz

Zoya:

Rumi – a muted terracotta

Birch – a gentle, gray-beige lavender

Jace – a muted lime green

Arbor – a rich olive green

CND:

Sweet cider

How merlot

Lilac Eclipse

Nails Inc:

What’s your spirituality? – A mid grey

Flex my complex – a rich burgundy

Montpellier walk – a nude brown

Best winter nail colors for fair and pale skin

When the weather turns cold, you should look for deeper shades in the colors that you would wear in summer. Here are some ideas for nail colors for fair skin in winter.

OPI:

Beyond the pale pink – a pale pink that’s almost nude

Indefinitely baby – a sweet icy cool pink

Cant ctrl me – A light blue with frosty shimmer

This color hits all the high notes – Pearly blue

OPI grand the unicorn by the horns – a gorgeous strong blue-green

Made your look – a cool grey

Merry and ice – a pale pink shimmer

Feeling berry glam – a deep red for a high-contrast look against pale skin

Rhinestone ready – a bold red that’s perfect for Christmas

I pink it’s snowing – a hot pink glitter

Essie:

Jingle belle – a cool, silvery metallic

Seas the Day – a cool mint with shimmer

Toy to the world – Vibrant coral red

Zoya:

Marley – a pale lavender with a silver pearl finish

Meadow – a golden peach with a hint of copper

Jo – a delicate periwinkle blue with a subtle silver shimmer

Nico – a golden pearl with a silver shimmer

Spencer – a camel cream nude shade

CND:

Winter glow

Tundra

Blue eyeshadow

Nails Inc:

Wetherby gardens – a deep mauve

Longing for leister square – a cobalt blue

Best nail color for pale skin with pink undertones

If your pale skin has pink undertones like mine, you’ll want to go for light to medium nail polishes.

Black and super dark nail colors are probably best avoided unless gothic is the vibe your going for.

You can wear some dark colors, like navy blue or a deep plum for example, but the look will be dramatic and high contrast.

Neutral colors like white and off-whites will work well for you, as well as bluish grays.

There’s an Essie shade called Cocktail Bling that I absolutely love. It goes perfectly with my pale pink undertones.

Pastel shades of blue, pink, purple, and green will look great, but stay away from oranges and yellows – they won’t harmonize with your pink undertones at all.

Personally, I love to wear lilac, pinkish nudes and sage green.

Let’s wrap this up:

I hope that you found some great tips to follow when choosing nail colors for fair and pale skin.

Remember, make sure that the shade is light and/or neutral, rather than dark or bold. Avoid bright reds, bright oranges, dark greens, bright purples, etc. If you have cool undertones in your skin then opt for nail polish colors with cool undertones of blue. If your skin is warm go for warmer yellow-based colors. Fair skin will also look best with more muted colors with a hint of gray.

FAQ’s

– How to choose the right nail color for fair skin?

To choose the right nail color for fair skin, you should avoid dark and bold colors, as they will make your skin look washed out. Instead, opt for light and neutral shades that will enhance your complexion. Try to match the depth level of your skin with the color you choose. This is known as shade-matching. Also, try to choose colors that compliment your skin’s undertone.

– What are the best colors for nails if you have fair skin?

If you have fair skin, the best nail colors are light and neutral shades that will enhance your complexion. Soft muted colors will allow your natural beauty to shine without overwhelming your delicate complexion. Some great colors to try include nude shades, pale pinks, light blues, and other soft neutrals.

– Are there any special tips for painting your nails if you have fair skin?

It’s important to pay attention to the color you choose for your manicure! Dark and bright shades will wash out your skin and make it look dull, so stick with lighter, softer shades that enhance your natural glow.  Cool undertones will look best in shades of blue and purple, while warmer undertones should go with oranges, yellows, and reds.

– Are dark nail polishes suitable for fair skin?

No. dark nail colors are not usually flattering on fair skin. Black nail polish looks especially harsh on fair skin. If you want to go darker with your nails as a fair-skinned beauty – try charcoal grey or a plum purple.

– What are the best nail colors for light skin with pink undertones?

If your skin has pink undertones, then chances are you are cool-toned. Cool-toned skin looks best with colors from the cool end of the spectrum, like blue, purple, and green. Or with colors that have a blue base (cool undertone).

Check the polish maker’s website, they should say if the polish is warm or cool. If your skin is fair with pink undertones, go for light-colored cool tones.

You might also like our How to match nail polish colors to your skin tone perfectly guide