Have you ever fallen in love with a nail varnish, only to paint your nails and be left feeling like something feels a little…off? It turns out there’s actually a reason behind it – and it has to do with your skin tone.

The world may be our oyster when it comes to picking what colours you want at your next manicure, but picking ones that complement your skin’s natural undertones can help take your nails to the next level and make sure you don’t come away from your appointment feeling a little disappointed.

Thankfully, SeniorMyleeAmbassador and manicurist to stars like Holly Willoughby, Sandra Oh and Anne-Marie, Tinu Bello is on hand to tell us exactly what to look out for.

First things first, you need to know what your skin’s undertone is. This is actually a very straightforward thing to find out, and you probably have some idea of what it is without even realising it.

According to Tinu: “To find your undertone, look at the colour of the veins on your wrist, as well as your facial complexion to distinguish if you have any other specks of colour popping through. If you have a cool-undertone, you are likely to have blue or purple veins. In terms of your complexion, if you have fair skin, you will have hints of pink/red and blue in your skin, while dark skin tones with have hints of red or purple.

“Someone with a warm undertone will have green-ish coloured veins. Fair complexions tend to have a hint of peachy or golden colour in their skin, while darker complexions will have either an orange or gold to them.”

What do you do if you can’t distinguish which undertone you have? “If you can’t tell what colour your veins are, or they’re a mixture of blue, purple or green, then you’re likely to have neutral undertones. This means you have a combination of warm and cool tones, so you might not actually be able to determine looking at your skin which tone you are!”

Finding the right nail colour for your skin tone

Cool undertones

If you have cool undertones, you’re going to want to go for colours that have red, blue or purple tones to them, which will mirror your skin’s natural cooler tone. Although colours like red are a staple in just about everyone’s manicure rota, it doesn’t mean you can only exclusively pick from the red, blue or purple family. Tinu said: “If you have cool undertones, you’ll want to opt for polishes that have a red, blue or purple tone to them – anything warmer can make you look washed out. In particular, mauves and berry tones work well for cool-toned skin.”

She recommends shades like Mylee’s lilac-based blue Once In A Blue Moon Gel Polish, £6.66 here (Was £8.99), and Raspberry Gel, £8.09 here (was £8.99), but you can also pick from other colours of the rainbow that have a colder undertone, like this cool-toned sage green shade from Manicurist, £14 here.

Warm undertones

If you have greenish veins or a golden, peachy coloured skin tone, Tinu said: “You want to go for warm, earthy-toned colours to really make your mani pop – so look for colours with yellow, orange or gold undertone to them.”

She recommends stickign to copper or brick shades of red for a statement-making manicure, like Mylee’s Break A Red Gel Polish, £8.09 here (was £8.99), or if you want to mix up your shades a little you can opt for colours like coral pink, teal, olive greens and amber, like essie’s Row With the Flow, £6.41 here.

Neutral undertones

Those of you lucky enough to be blessed with neutral undertones can pretty much have their pick of the colour spectrum, as just about anything will suit your skin tone!

Tinu said: “ Because you are a mixture of warm and cool undertones, you’re likely to suit any nail shade you try on. If you’re really keen on minimising the search for your ideal shades, pay closer attention to your other features, such as your hair colour and eye colour.”

You can opt for a trending colour like essie’s Nail Polish in Pearly White Shimmer, £8.99 here, or stick to a classic hue like OPI’s Big Apple Red Nail Polish, £14.30 here, that’s perfect for the festive season.

Although picking the right shade for your skin tone can help stop you being disappointed post-nail appointment, the most important thing is that you love the colour you choose. Happy colour picking!

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