Nail Polish Colors for Dark Skin

There are plenty of flattering nail polish shades to choose from when you have dark skin.

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Sure, you can brush on any color nail polish that strikes your fancy, but dark-skinned divas, just like other ladies, need certain colors that flatter them. Once you figure out what the undertones in your skin happen to be, you'll know how to choose the best shades for you. Then, with total confidence, you can sport nail polish shades you've only dreamed about wearing.

Bright and Beautiful Shades

When you're sporting dark skin, and want a red polish, choose a bright and true shade of red for your best pick. You can also afford to pull off all kinds of other bright shades that catch your eye. The key is to hold the polish you like next to your skin and see if it has a blue- or yellow-based tone. If it's blue-based, forget it; you need yellow-based tones for the most flattering effect. Want an orange-red shade? Go for it.

Do the Darks

You can pair dark polish shades and dark skin with ease. Think deep burgundies and chocolate browns with reddish tones. Black shades are in from time to time, and you can do those, too. Again, look for yellow-, or even brown-based tones, as opposed to blue-based tones. A plus is that these darker colors do justice to shorter nails, in case you want to rock a fun look.


Pale, nude, sheer shades tend to make dark skin look older than it is. If you want a more feminine shade than a super bright or ultra-dark shade, go for a hue of pink in a yellow-based tone. Avoid too much white in the polish, or you'll be sporting a chalklike look that will really stand out against your dark skin. For a more intense hue of pink, apply more than one coat.

Extra Advice

When you polish your nails, especially in brilliant shades, you can expect that people's eyes will be drawn to your digits. Make sure you take care of your nails, cuticles and hands so they look in tip-top shape, instead of worn-out, run-down and ragged. Dark-colored polishes can stain your nails, so opt for a base coat. After your nails are dry, dip a cotton swab in nail polish remover and swab your cuticles for nail-polish perfection.

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