How to Know When a Nail Polish Shade Isn’t Right for You

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I caught up with Deborah Lippmann backstage at the Costello Tagliapietra show at New York Fashion Week where she was creating a cream on cream layered nail polish look. They were applying her Waking Up in Vegas polish (a cool, putty hue) with Fashion (a warm taupey shade) layered on top. And, they were customizing the specific shade for each of the models by applying more or less of each shade so the end hue would flatter their unique skin tone.

That, of course, brought up the question: How can you tell if a nail polish shade is right for your skin tone? To that Lippmann replied, “If you apply your polish and your cuticle seems to change color, the shade isn’t right for you.” For example, if you apply a sheer or red shade and “your cuticle seems to look more gray or darker than usual, the color doesn’t work,” she says. And if you wear a nude shade and your cuticle looks red, you need to keep searching for a nude that does flatter your skin.

But, if you are dead set on wearing a trendy shade that doesn’t seem to flatter your skin tone, you can still sport it. Simply “apply thinner layers of the polish,” says Lippmann if this is the case. Less opaque hues are a bit more forgiving.

So tell me, does the polish you’re wearing right now work? Look down at your hands and tell me what you see.

If you have a beauty question you’d like me to have these beauty geniuses answer backstage today, send ’em in by commenting on this post.

One Reply to “How to Know When a Nail Polish Shade Isn’t Right for You”

  1. Good advice! I will say, that I tend to stick to colors that I like to wear. Orange is a color that does not work for me, neither does coral and pinks with too much yellow. Not so bad on my toes, but definetely avoid shades like that on my fingers.

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