Spring is sort of a weird time for your skin, right? You’re coming off of a long winter, so you’re super pale and sort of wan. You might even describe yourself as pasty. Yellow. Not sexy. And yet, the weather’s getting warmer—so it seems somehow inappropriate not to be sporting a sun-kissed glow (if only we could fast-forward to July). No worries, we have a surprising quick fix that’ll magically make you look like you just returned from Ibiza…in seconds! The right shade of nail polish. Yep, your mani-pedi can give the illusion of a sunlit, radiant complexion. Here are our faves.
Any color that’s lighter than your skin tone will make your complexion pop (dark, deep hues will do exactly the opposite—avoid plums and navies). For the most drama, try a bright white or ivory hue! So Malibu. Pro tip: If you want high drama, go for a matte shade; glossier whites are a softer look.
Try: RGB Nail Polish in White, $18 | shop it
Cool pastels bring out warmth and color in your skin, no matter how fair or deep your complexion. Bonus? A minty green-blue acts as a color corrector, counteracting the yellow and pink-ish undertones that rear their heads after a long, pale winter.
Try: Essie Nail Color in Mint Candy Apple, $8.50
Shimmery metallics (gold, not silver) reflect light, bringing a sunny glow to your fingers and toes. And what’s more Bora Bora–getaway than that? Keep your nude as pale as possible—tawny hues flatter fair-to-medium skin; caramels look great on darker skin.
Try: Bobbi Brown Glitter Nail Polish in Bare Peach, $15
Tia Williams has been a beauty editor for 15 years, at publications like Elle, Glamour, Lucky, and Essence.com. Back in 2005, Tia created one of the first beauty blogs, Shake Your Beauty, where she wove her love of products through hilarious vignettes from her life as a beauty expert and mom living in Brooklyn. She’s also written several books, including the best-selling novel The Accidental Diva and supermodel Iman’s The Beauty of Color. Follow Tia on Twitter @shakeyourbeauty.
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