Enter this week’s beauty hero—the nude polish.
It’s a timeless classic that is as important as a classic white shirt in every chic wardrobe. The metric to judge any nude nail polish would consist of longevity, tone, and finish. And let’s not forget coverage; it is just as important. We like our nudes glossy but with a hint of colour, expensive but undone, classic but cool. You get it.
It works really well with most wardrobes and a chip here and there isn’t as easily noticeable as a red polish.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
Finding the right shade to suit your skin tone (and doesn’t make it look like death) and getting the colour just right is the biggest challenge. It’s like shopping for the right under-eye concealer; the shade needs to work well with your undertones.
Editorial Manicurist Rica Romain suggests (in an interview with Instyle): "If your veins are blue, you have a cool undertone, and if your veins are green, you are warm."
Here are a few colour-matching rules to make sure you’re on the right track:
1. If you have a fair skin tone, opt for nudes with a hint of pink to offset any redness in the cuticles.
2. Skin tones with a yellow undertone should avoid polishes with a warm yellow-y undertone. A cooler undertone would do the trick.
3. Olive tones should opt for deep beiges and maybe even an unconventional nude-grey as a cooler alternative to nude.
4. Women with medium to darker skin tone can go for browns with a touch of mauve, lilac, and purple undertones.
THE TOM FORD NAIL LAQUER RANGE
We went straight over to the Tom Ford counter to sample a range of their nude polishes and run a test run before making our suggestions. So why Tom Ford? The ultra-luxe Tom Ford Nail Lacquer formula lasts for days! No ugly brush strokes, bubbling, or unevenness. It delivers a smooth finish once everything dries down.
Tom Ford also has a wardrobe of nudes to select from—peachy-nude, warm nude, grey, grey-ish nude, and barely there. Also, we love the bottle; it’s ultra-chic!
The shade Toasted Sugar was an all-round winner here. But here are some more of our favourite conventional and unconventional nudes to consider:
LIGHTER SKIN TONES | BARELY THERE—SUGAR DUNE
Your ultimate sheer nude with a tinge of pink. It flatters your undertone and doesn’t wash you out.
FULL COVERAGE NUDE—MINK BRULE
If you’re looking for a nude to cover up the leftover stains (from a red or darker shade), this one will do the trick. It works well for all skin tones. You only need one coat, minus a glossy topcoat, as it delivers a good amount of coverage with just one coat.
FOR MEDIUM TO TANNED SKIN TONE—TOASTED SUGAR
This sugary, sandy nude comes in a creamy finish. The shade can build up with two to three coats but it looks beautiful with a single coat, too. It works well for warmer undertones.
DEEPER SKIN TONES-BLACK SUGAR
Black Sugar is an unconventional shade. It’s extremely flattering on deeper skin tones but would also work beautifully as an alternative to nude for any skin tone. The creamy taupe with the red and gold shimmer adds a little extra to the finish and look of this nail lacquer. The formula is thin, so you might need a few coats to create an opaque deep nude look.
And while we're on the topic here, we would love to hear your suggestions. Please leave us a comment below with your favourite nude polish! <3
Photography | Wono Kim
Words & Styling | Zeenat Wilkinson
In partnership with Tom Ford Beauty.
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Zeenat Wilkinson is the Founder and Editorial Director of Sauce.
Her work as a fashion producer, writer, and freelance stylist can be seen in the likes of Vogue, Grazia, Nylon and Black Magazine, internationally, and locally in Fashion Quarterly, Viva/NZ Herald and more. 100% dog person.