The Best Neutral Nail Shades for Your Tanned Skin Tone

A neutral nail polish goes great with a tan.

Photo: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

There is nothing more classic than a neutral manicure. It whispers, "I'm chic, elegant, and tasteful" without saying a word. Just as with makeup, certain shades flatter some skin tones more than others. If you're donning a rich summer tan, or have naturally dark skin, the right neutral polish will pop gently against your bronzed bod without overdoing it.

Essie Mademoiselle

A feminine pale pink looks ladylike and elegant on nails, any time of the year. Essie Mademoiselle is the perfect shade of ballerina pink. It gently draws attention to a flawless mani by creating a muted, subtle contrast when paired with tanned skin. "InStyle" beauty editors voted it the top shade in their annual Best Beauty Buys list from 2005 through 2007, 2009 and 2011.

Essie Sugar Daddy

"InStyle" editors describe Essie's Sugar Daddy shade as "sheer, creamy and classic." The barely-there pink is a step up from clear nail polish -- you'll defintely see some color with this shade -- yet has the same refined, subtle look. It looks like your nails, but better. The ultimate go-with-everything shade, this color never clashes -- no matter what you're wearing. New York manicurist Barbara Mutnick told "InStyle," "it's my go-to shade."

Essie Not Just a Pretty Face

"InStyle" editors recommend Essie's Not Just a Pretty Face as the best neutral for medium to dark skin tones -- which means it will look fab against a tan. The editors say it's "just a bit opaque," and when on nails, it looks super shiny. The natural-looking color is neutral yet polished (pun intended).

OPI Samoan Sand

If you've got naturally dark skin, OPI's Samoan Sand is a no-brainer pick for knockout nails. Ultra flattering on dark-complected ladies, this shade also looks stunning against a deep, dark tan. Its gorgeous taupe hue is set off beautifully by a sun-drenched glow. "InStyle" editors gave it the nod for best neutral nail shade in their 2007 and 2011 Best Beauty Buys features.

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