14 Neutral Nail Colors You Need to Know About

Neutral nail colors are amazing.

They are also massively underrated.

If you need a nail color that will go with your skin tone and all of your outfits (yes, even that purple floral catsuit and that metallic ultra mini skirt) a neutral will save your life.

Every. Single. Time.

This post is dedicated to 14 nail colors that I personally own and that have made my nail life easier.

No more color clashes!

Just gorgeous nails that make you look perfectly polished and pulled together.

No matter what.

So, are you ready to level up your nail game?

’cause I got tips, tricks, and advice to share.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this post:

Neutral nail colors: why are they so great?

Let’s start by explaining what neutral colors are and why they are so versatile.

Technically, neutrals are colors that don’t have a lot of color in them.

What does that mean?

Well, it means that they don’t fit into clearly defined color categories like “red”, “blue”, “green” or “yellow”.

Because they don’t have strong pigments, neutrals can blend and mix with most other, stronger, bolder colors.

This ability to blend in makes neutral nail colors highly versatile.

They flatter any skin tone and won’t clash with your clothes.

What colors are neutral for nails?

So which nail colors are classed as neutral for nails?

The most popular neutral nail colors are white, beige, nude, blush and navy.

Black, brown, and tan are also on the list, along with off-whites like ivory and cream.

Gray is another great option that has a lot of variations.

You could go for a pale gray, mid-gray, or a dark, gray shade and your nails would still be neutral.

Gray also comes in a wide variety of tones to choose from.

Surprisingly, sage and olive green are also considered neutral nail colors.

Silver and red are also highly wearable if you want something a little bolder.

Silver nails work with everything and red has become so classic in the nail world that you can wear it like a neutral.

How do you pick a neutral nail color?

All the colors in this post will work for everyone regardless of skin tone.

But there are a few tricks you can try to get the perfect match for you.

The first tip I can give you is to find a neutral nail color that matches your skin tone.

Matching based on tone

To do this, you first need to know if you are warm or cool-skinned.

I have a whole article on how to match nail colors to your skin tone, so check that out if you want to learn more.

Basically what you need to do is look for nail polish with the same undertones as your skin.

So if you are warm, go for orange or yellow-based neutrals like peachy pink nudes or ivory.

If you are cool, look for cool-toned neutrals like bluish grays or navy.

The second tip I have for you is to try shade matching.

Shade matching

Shade matching works by choosing nail colors that have the same depth as your skin tone.

So paler colors for pale skin, medium tones for medium skin, and darker tones for darker skin.

Basically, you are matching the intensity of the nail polish color to your skin tone for the best match.

Alright, now that you have a few tricks up your sleeve, let’s dive into the list of colors!


Black nail polish does go with everything, but it does look a bit goth if you have pale skin.

My pro tip for my fellow pale-skinned beauties is to go for a very dark purple shade that almost looks black.

Trust me, it looks way less stark and is still very versatile.

Below are my recommendations for black nail polish.

I’ve included an alternative for those with very fair skin.

Black gel polish – Beetles Audrey black(click to check price)

Regular black nail polish – Zoya Willa

Zoya Willa ace vanessa https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/

Black polish alternative for fair skin – OPI Lincoln Park After Dark.

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark beautynailz mls https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/


You can’t go wrong with white.

Any shade of white nail polish will work with any outfit and for any occasion.

If you have warm skin, a yellow-based off-white like ivory will be the most flattering for you.

And if your skin is cool, try a soft, cool white.

Here are my white nail polish recommendations:

White gel polish – Modelones Milky White(click to check price)

White regular – OPI Alpine Snow. Alpine snow is a crisp, pure stark white that’s perfect for summer toes btw.

opi aline snow mylacqueredlife https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/


There are so many shades of gray, so this is a great time to try shade matching.

Here are my favorite grays:

Light gray gel polish – Born Pretty(click to check price)

Light gray regular polish – Zoya Dove

zoya dove nutshellnails https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/

Medium gray gel polish – Beetles gray gel(click to check price)

Medium gray regular polish – Essie Cocktail Bling.

This is one of my all-time favorite shades.

It goes with everything and The color is really chic and understated.

Essie Cocktail Bling lala land 7 https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/

Dark gray gel polish – Vishine dark gray(click to check price)

Dark gray regular polish – Zoya Kelly

zoya kelly ace vanessa https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/


Navy nails scream sophistication.

I love how they elevate any blue jeans outfit.

Get your fix with these nail polishes:

Essie – After school boy blazer

essie after school blazer https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/

Navy gel polish – Meitawilltion Jade Navy

Navy regular polish – Zoya Sailor

zoya sailor zoyajpn https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/


Nude can be anything from the lightest pinky beige to a dark brown.

For the best match, find a color that looks natural and harmonious with your coloring.

Essie – In good taste

nellnailsit essie in good taste https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/

Here are 2 universally flattering nudes I’ve tried:

Nude gel polish – Beetles Mocha Mousse Cake(click to check price)

Nude regular polish – OPI Tiramisu for two

opi Tiramisu for Two britanniahousehairandbeauty https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/


Creamy beige is another no-brainer when it comes to nails that work for everyone.

Essie Mind-full meditation

essie.on .allie mind full meditation https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/

Here are some beige beauties for you to try out:

Beige gel polish – Beetles Stone Beige

Beige regular polish – OPI the Beige of reason


Brown nail polish looks fabulous on medium to dark skin.

Try these stunning shades out:

Brown gel polish – Beetles Beyonce Caramel

Brown regular polish – Zoya Spencer

Zoya Spencer 1 https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/


Cream nails are classy, elegant, and chic.

And oh so versatile.

Try out these nail colors for creamy perfection:

Cream gel nail polish – Memeda Milky

Cream regular nail polish – Zoya Chelsea

Zoya Chelsea https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/


Ivory nails are perfect for special occasions and bridal nails.

They also work for everyday wear.

Here are my top picks based on my nail experiments:

Ivory gel polish – Venalisa Ivory

Ivory regular nail polish – Zoya Laura

Zoya Laura https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/

Sage green

Most people don’t realize how versatile sage green is.

It does work like a neutral though, especially for light skin tones.

So if you want something with a little more “color” give these a try:

Sage green gel polish – YTD sage

Sage green regular polish – Essie Sage you love me

Essie Sage you love me https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/

Dark olive

Olive green in darker shades is very complimentary to most skin tones.

But it’s especially nice on medium to dark skin.

You’ll be surprised at how much it goes with.

Here are my favs:

Dark olive gel polish – DND Olive Garden

DND Olive Garden https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/

Dark olive regular polish – OPI Suzi the first lady of nails.

OPI Suzi the first lady of nails https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/


Blush (or blush pink) is one of my favorite neutrals for spring and summer.

It’s super flattering on all skin tones and I’ve yet to find an outfit it doesn’t compliment!

Try these chic blush nail colors:

Blush gel polish – Sally Hansen Miracle gel blush

Blush regular polish – Zoya Rue

Zoya Rue https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/


If you have a special occasion coming up and you’re not sure what you’re wearing yet, go with silver!

It works well with almost any other color and adds a touch of elegance to any outfit.

My top picks:

Silver gel polish – Vishine silver

Silver regular polish – Zoya Trixie

Zoya https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/


Red nail polish is so iconic that you can wear it with anything, even though it’s not technically a neutral color.

There are so many shades of red to choose from.

Here are a couple of my go-to red shades:

Red gel polish – Beetles red

Red regular polish – OPI Red

OPI Red https://nailhow.com/neutral-nail-colors/

Neutral nail colors for work

The best neutral nail colors for work are pinky or beige nudes.

They are understated and chic without being too showy.

Soft white, ivory, cream, tan, dark brown, blush pink and classic red are also neutral nail polish colors that are acceptable to wear in most workplaces.

Neutral nail colors for pale skin

The best neutral nail colors for fair skin are blush pinks, soft whites, or pinky or peachy nudes.

Light gray is another great neutral nail color for pale skin, and navy blue can work really well if you like more of a contrast.

Neutral nail colors for dark skin

The best neutral nail options, if you have dark skin, are tan, brown, beige, and olive green.

You can also wear red, navy blue, and mid to dark gray shades.

Neutral nail colors for wedding

When it comes to weddings, the best neutral nail colors are soft whites, ivory shades, and blush pinks or nudes.

Beige could also work, as could stark white, sage green, or even a classic red.

Navy blue is a very formal neutral color, which makes it a perfect choice for weddings.

Spring neutral nail colors

Lighter neutral nail colors like white, cream, beige, and blush pink are perfect options for spring.

These lighter colors will compliment all the pretty pastel colors that are in style during the spring season.

Navy blue is also a great choice for spring, as it can be worn with both light and dark clothing.

Summer neutral nail colors

For summer, I like to wear light and bright colors.

The best neutral nail color for the summer in my experience is a crisp, pure, white.

Cream, beige, blush pink, or tan can also work very well in the summer months.

If you wear a lot of white, navy blue is also a great choice for summer nails that work with everything.

Fall neutral nail colors

Tan is my favorite neutral nail color for fall.

But beige, cream, olive green, black, white, and red can all work very well for the fall season too.

Winter neutral nail colors

Stark white and bluish gray nails are obvious choices for winter.

Black is also great because the clothes you wear are likely to be darker in winter.

A classic red nail is always welcome in the wintertime and looks festive in December.

Dark neutral nail colors

Black, navy blue, chocolate brown, and olive green are all very dark colors that go with everything.

Try one of these dark colors if you want a more dramatic look.

Final thoughts

Neutral nail colors are perfect for any occasion

Whether you’re looking for a work-appropriate shade or something fun and festive, there’s a neutral nail color out there for you.

Experiment with different shades and find the perfect one for your next event!


Are white nails considered neutral?

Yes, white nails are definitely neutral.

Whether you go for a bright white or a soft off-white, your nails will work with your skin tone and all of your outfits.

Is nude the same as neutral?

Nude is a “neutral” color, which means that it goes with everything without clashing.

But nude and neutral are not the same thing.

In nail polish, nude is a color category.

Nudes tend to be fleshy skin tones ranging from pale pink to deep browns.

Online, you will often find “nude” nail polishes under “neutral”.

But neutral just means a color that blends easily with other colors.

For example, black, white, and gray are neutral but not nudes.

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  • Phoebe Meadows

    Phoebe Meadows is a self-proclaimed nail addict, always on the lookout for the latest trends and techniques. When she's not creating stunning nail designs, you can find her researching the latest nail care products or experimenting with new techniques.