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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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)
Here are my all-time fav spring shades for light skin from CND:
Aurora collection, Winter Glow
Flirtation Collection, Be demure
Kiss from a rose
Don’t hate – hydrate – a white-pink pearl
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:
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.
Run wildflower – a luscious lilac.
Day drift away – soft pink with cream undertones.
Need a vacation – bubblegum pink.
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.
Blu – a soft, delicate baby blue.
Eleni – a light, seafoam blue creme.
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.
It’s now oar never
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:
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
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
Birch – a gentle, gray-beige lavender
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.
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
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
Jingle belle – a cool, silvery metallic
Seas the Day – a cool mint with shimmer
Toy to the world – Vibrant coral red
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
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.
– 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