What color nail polish looks best with a tan? Full guide.

What color nail polish looks best with a tan

Summer is here, time to show off that tan! But what nail color should you go for? If you wanna know how to make tanned skin pop, read on. This post is all about what color nail polish looks best with a tan. 

We’re gonna deep-dive into this. But for those in a hurry to get poolside, here’s the short answer:

The best nail polish colors to wear with a tan are neons and brights. Canary yellow, vibrant orange, and lime green look great with tanned skin. Bright crisp white, and pastel shades also look amazing with a tan. Try Lavender, lemon yellow, seafoam green, or a peachy coral nail polish. For a contrasting look, try a light blue in a shade like cornflower.

Here is a handy skin color nail polish chart.

pale skin nail polish color matching chart

Ok, now you have a basic idea of what color nail polish looks best with a tan.

Let’s dive a bit deeper, see what kind of looks we can create, and find out which color is the best for you

Here’s a table of contents for easy navigation:

What color nail polish looks best with a tan? – Neons and brights

What color nail polish looks best with a tan? – Contrasting shades

What color nail polish looks best with a tan? – White

What color nail polish looks best with a tan? – Other options

Nail polish colors to avoid with a tan

Final thoughts

What color nail polish looks best with a tan? – Neons and brights

Make the most of your sun-kissed skin by painting your nails in a neon or bright shade.

Citrous shades are great for showing off your tan. The bolder the better!

neon citrus yellow nail polish for tan

Canary yellow is the ultimate nail color for tanned skin. 

If you really want the best possible combination, a bold yellow in a metallic finish will give you the biggest impact.

Bold, bright, or neon shades like acid yellow, carrot orange, and lime green nail polish look gorgeous with a tan.

Orange really brings out the warm red and brown tones in naturally tanned skin. 

A word of caution – if your tan isn’t natural, then be careful with orange.

Spray tan tends to have orange undertones. Adding orange nail polish into the mix is only going to make your tan look more fake.

What color nail polish looks best with a tan? – Contrasting shades

Another way to get your tan noticed is to use contrasting nail polish shades.

pastel nail polish for tan

The best way to get a good contrast between your skin and your nails is to go for a pastel nail polish.

Any pastel color will work beautifully with your tan.

Lighter shades are usually better. Let’s say you want to go with blue for example.

Look for shades like cyan, tiffany, and cornflower blue.

You could also go for a greeny-blue like mint or seafoam green.

Lavender, lilac, rose, peach, baby pink, and lemon yellow are also great choices to bring out a tan.

What color nail polish looks best with a tan? – White

white nail polish for tan

Personally, I don’t like to wear bright or neon nail colors.

They definitely work well to complement a tan, but they just don’t fit with my personal style.

So what’s my go-to color for summer nails?

White. 

No matter what skin tone you have or how dark your tan is, you can’t go wrong with white.

White nails will bring out your tan beautifully. White suits everyone, and it goes with anything and everything in your closet. Huge bonus!

There’s a reason why you see so many white clothes for sale in summer.

Not only does white keep you cool, but it also brings out a tan.

For maximum impact, steer clear of off-whites and go for a crisp, pure white.

OPI’s Alpine Snow is perfect for showing off tanned hands.

What color nail polish looks best with a tan? – Other options

Still haven’t found your perfect polish match?

Let’s look at a few other options. Starting with metallics.

Metallics:

metalic nail polish for tan

Of course, you can wear a metallic shade of any of the nail polish colors recommended in this post.

But what about gold, silver, copper, and rose gold?

Gold nail polish is a surefire way to channel your tanned goddess. 

It’s stunning against tanned skin and it will perfectly complement your summer glow.

Throw on some gold jewelry and you’re ready to party!

Silver will stand out against your tan. It will draw more attention to itself as opposed to your skin.

Copper and rose gold are both great nail color choices to wear with a tan.

I like Essie’s Penny Talk, it looks perfect with a tan.

Pink and coral

Hot pink and coral are 2 other nail polish shades you can try.

hot pink nail polish for tan

Both will look radiant against tanned skin, giving you a healthy glow.

In fact, almost any shade of pink looks good with a tan. The lighter the shade, the darker your skin will seem in comparison.

A subtle blush shade might be all you need for a cute daytime look. Or go for a Fuschia if you want to add a little more drama.

Nail polish colors to avoid with a tan

Black nails are not the best choice to wear with a tan. They don’t reflect the sun, offer little contrast, and really don’t do much to show off a tan.

Darker shades of nail polish like deep purples and emerald greens are fine to wear with a tan.

But they won’t make your skin sing like some of the other colors in this post.

Red can also be quite tricky with a tan. If you have your heart set on red, go for an orangy-red rather than a cherry red and your tan will thank you!

Final thoughts:

So that’s it! 

I hope you enjoyed my “what color nail polish looks best with a tan” post.

If you found this one useful, then you might like these:

What color nail polish goes with a black dress? Full Guide.

What Color Nail Polish Should A Bride Wear? Complete Guide.

What color nail polish goes with a Champagne dress? Full guide.

What color nail polish goes with a Coral dress? Ultimate Guide.

What color nail polish goes with a Fuschia dress? Ultimate Guide.

What color nail polish goes with a green dress?

Best acrylic nail brands: the most popular brands for acrylic nails.

5 Awesome Gel Nail Kits to Create Beautiful Nails at Home.