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 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
Black polish alternative for fair skin – OPI Lincoln Park After Dark.
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.
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
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.
Dark gray gel polish – Vishine dark gray(click to check price)
Dark gray regular polish – Zoya Kelly
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
Navy gel polish – Meitawilltion Jade Navy
Navy regular polish – Zoya Sailor
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
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
Creamy beige is another no-brainer when it comes to nails that work for everyone.
Essie Mind-full meditation
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
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
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
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
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
Dark olive regular polish – OPI Suzi the first lady of nails.
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
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
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
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.
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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