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June 18, 2012  | by: Lauren Kuhl


Wicker-stitch clutch bags, “wow” wedges, and bold bangles: these accessories have the power of transforming an outfit. Just as handbags and footwear remain the quintessential go-to accessories in reinventing an ensemble, an often overlooked component is one’s manicure. Freshly painted nails in several of this summer’s most sought-after colors are both on-trend and seriously chic. Like the season’s hottest trend, nails in bright hues are all the rage. Here are some tips in achieving your most dazzling nails in accordance with skin-tone complexion.

Fair: Fair-skinned beauties often look best in lighter shades of nail polish and those with pink or blue undertones. Fear not, however; this old adage does not mean automatic disqualification from rocking this season’s bevy of brilliant brights. For a ravishing red hue, try “It’s Raining Men” by Deborah Lippmann. “Pop Art Pink” by Essie is simply perfect, not too sheer with just the right amount of pigment to produce a polished effect, pun intended. Feeling wild? “Bikini So Teeny” and “Turquoise and Caicos” both by Essie, were produced with fair-skinned ladies in mind. The shimmery cornflower blue and minty hue reminiscent of island seas, respectively, work oh so well with fair skin, as the innate blue undertones of these two shades dazzle and impress.

Bright red nails and matching lips at Christian Dior

Medium: Warmer shades across the color spectrum are ideal for women with medium colored skin. Coral epitomizes summer, as this balmy pink works harmoniously with medium complexions. Essie’s “California Coral” combines orange undertones with a subtle pink hue, producing the perfect coral shade. Another classic color, Essie’s “Fiji” really stands out on medium skin tones, as its creamy undertones make a seemingly neutral pink pop. Add a clear coat of sparkle or glittery polish for a more playful and glamorous appeal.

Essie's Summer 2012 Collection

Dark: From elegant pinks to cherry reds, and perhaps more significantly this season, the wide array of brightly pigmented polish, you really can wear it all! If you’re feeling daring, vivid shades of orange make a statement on dark skin. Try Essie’s “Meet Me At Sunset” for a vibrant shade that is true to this bold hue, or Dior’s “Psychedelic Orange” for a more coral-take on this particular shade. A pale, yet bright green, like “Navigate Her” courtesy of Essie, is a feast for the eyes, as the contrast between calm chartreuse and a chocolate complexion proves a pleasant pairing of opposites.

Model Chanel Iman strikes a pose with orange-hued nails

While these shades have been suggested in the hopes of providing you with your best and most successfully polished nails, nail color is a fashion statement, and like other accessories, calls for experimentation. That being said, fair-skinned ladies are more than encouraged to don a daring shade of tangerine, or any other bright for that matter. Your choice of color is truly an individual decision, and trial and error is certainly the best route to finding your most polished look. Happy hunting!

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