The best nail polishes for your skin type and budget

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We round up the best of the best, plus the top nail polish tips you need in your life

There’s nothing worse than spending an hour painting your nails, only to have it looking dull and chipped the next day. First of all, it doesn’t look nice. And second of all, ain’t nobody got time for that. The best way to combat this problem? Invest in the best nail polish available.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve tested every nail polish on the market to find out which ones last the long haul. The requisite? They must give great colour with just two layers. Preferably, good colour with just one. The colour also has to look even – none of this dark ends and light cuticles business.

They also mustn’t chip easily (or peel for that matter), and finally, they need to keep their shine or remain matte depending on the formula type. There’s no point in painting your nails a lustrous red, only to have it dull down after a day. And there’s certainly no point in painting your nails with a chic matte nail polish, only to have it look dusty AF mid week.

Once you’ve found your ideal formula, choose the perfect colour for your skin tone too. Unfortunately, when it comes to shades, it’s not a one fits all scenario. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy every colour – especially if you’re a fan of nail art. You just need to choose the right tone out of that family. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a quick guide. And, when you’re done, shop our round up of our five favourite nail polish formulas on the market right now.

Best nail polish for fair skin

The best nude nail polish for you is sheer pink, rather than beige (which will look more yellow). If you’re after something classic, go for a cool, blue toned red to brighten up your skin. But if you want something darker, try navy – it a universal colour. For a softer colour, go for pastel purple or a any type of pink – this is the one colour that will work with your skin tone, no matter the intensity or undertones. Generally, polishes with cool silver hues in them work best.

If you want to make your hands look younger, go for a retro pink. And to make them look more tanned, try a deep green. If you want your nail bed to look smaller, try a deep electric blue. And if you want to make your hands look slimmer, go for sheer pink.

Love beauty? Our sister site Powder can match you with the best products to suit your needs. Start off by finding your perfect eye cream here!

Best nail polish for medium to olive skin

Your ideal nude nail polish is beige. Unlike fair skin tones, which look dull when up against beige, medium skin tones can handle this hue without leaving the skin looking washed-out. However, the perfect shade does depend on your undertones. Medium skin with cool undertones, should generally go for deeper hues of beige. On the other hand, medium skin tones with warm undertones should generally go for cooler shades of beige.

Orangey-reds will work best for you – bringing out the warmer tones. As will peachy pinks and sky blue. And if you’re after a darker hue, try a deep grape purple. It’s one of the most flattering colours for this skin tone.

If you want to make your hands look younger, go for hot orange. And to make them look more tanned, try hot coral pink. If you want your nail bed to look smaller, go for a dark grey blue or dark red. And if you want to make your hands look slimmer, go for sheer nude or pink beige.

Best nail polish for tan to dark skin

When it comes to nude nail polish, you can’t go past cream and beige. Both of which work to compliment your skin tone and bring out the warmth. Deep skin tones can also wear both pastel and dark purples. As do all shades of red. But if you’re looking for something that will really bring out the best in your skin tone, go for cobalt blue. You’ll see what we mean when you put it on.

If you want to make your hands look younger, go for something like bright mint. And to bring out the warmth in your skin tone, try lemon yellow. If you want your nail bed to look smaller, go for deep green. And if you want to make your hands look slimmer, go for toffee beige.

Best nail polish remover

The only thing standing between you and the perfect manicure? Your old manicure. So be sure to use the best nail polish remover when you’re bored of the colour of your nails – and, if you prefer getting them done by a professional, read our guide on how to remove gel nail polish without ruining your nails.

Of course, these days there are several different nail polish remover formulas to choose from too. You can opt for nail varnish remover and cotton wool, pre soaked remover pads (we recommend Quickies), or even tubs that you dip your finger in and, voila, your nail comes out clean.

Scroll through our round up of the best nail polish formulas on the market, and be sure to stock up on nail polish remover when you shop.

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