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For something as seemingly basic as a neutral nail color, finding the perfect match is often easier said than done. Though determining the best neutral nail polish for you will largely come down to your color and finish preferences (e.g., shiny versus matte), there are a few things to keep in mind. Generally, when looking for a “neutral shade”, fair skin tones will want to reach for beige and pale pink polishes, those with tan or olive complexions will find that warm beige and light brown hues complement their skin best, and darker skin tones will likely want to go with a rich mocha or dark brown shade. That said, all of the aforementioned polish colors can be considered neutrals for any skin tone — pale pinks look stunning on Black skin, and rich browns juxtapose nicely with super-fair complexions — so at the end of the day, pick the neutral shade that you like most.
To keep your manicure looking its best, you'll want to ensure that your nails are completely clean before you start painting. Because neutral polishes can be light and sometimes sheer, thoroughly removing any old nail polish and natural oils from your nails is key to achieving crisp, smooth color. To avoid the streaks that often come with sheer and creamy neutrals, after your base coat, apply a thin coat of color to your nails. Once that has fully dried, paint on a second coat, being careful to keep it thin and as even as possible. After giving the second coat ample time to dry, seal in your color with a top coat.
Whether you want a barely-there, sheer pink polish or something with lots of sparkle, you’re bound to find your perfect neutral match from the list ahead.