- A shade that matches your natural skin tone. (Yes, I realize that everyone is a different shade of “nude.”)
- Opaque. Most flesh tone polishes are made for French manicures, making them very sheer. When you want a nice, uniform color, it will take at least three coats to reach something near opacity. But then, you have to deal with having three coats of polish on your nails -- and it takes forever to dry, so you usually smudge or pull the polish before it's perfect.
GET NAKED! I've Finally Found The Best Nude Nail Polish For ANY Skin Tone.
So a while ago, I felt like the only articles I was writing were ones about nail polish. Now, obviously, I live for nail polish. I don’t paint my nails because I’m gay, I paint my nails because I’m cool.
But I needed a break from writing about nails for a minute. I felt like nail polish was the Destiny’s Child to my Beyonce; it was holding me back! I just needed to break out and spread my wings. I’m a free man! I can’t be boxed in!
But nothing lasts forever. I’m back on the nail front and I am ELATED about the product I am about to share with you! Ready?
One of my all time favorite nail LOOKS is a nude nail. They are perfect for any time of year. Great with a sundress in the spring, a denim jacket and white shorts in the summer, all of your layers in the fall, and an elegant GOWN in the winter. Related: never listen to anyone that tries to tell you the “hot nail trend” is nude nails, which they will try to do numerous times every year. Take it from me here and now: Nude is always in.
Nude nails are clean, classic, timeless, understated, and sophisticated. I am none of those things, but when I’ve got a fresh set of naked nails, I FEEL like I am, and that’s what’s important. Like, when I’m stumbling out of the front door of my apartment on one of those mornings wearing dirty, stretched out Free City sweatpants and an old L.A.M.B. hoodie, looking like something that was dragged out of the deep recesses of one of Jessica Simpson’s walk-in closets in 2007, I will still feel like I am put all the way together and dressed to the nines with nude nails.
BUT THERE’S A CATCH. Isn’t there always?
It is very hard to get nude nails that are:
I won’t include a picture of all of the nude shades that I currently own that don’t work, because I am not trying to inadvertently shade any particular nail company. But trust me when I say, I have more than a handful of bottles that didn’t do the job. And nail polish isn’t cheap, okay?! I don’t mind throwing down $8 for a new bottle, but it’s defeating when you realize that shade isn’t what you hoped it would be. With me, this has happened with flesh tone shades more than any other.
But no more! Let me introduce you to the RGB X HIPP Skin Tone Specific Nail Color System by RGB Cosmetics and celebrity nail stylist Jenna Hipp.
Having been frustrated by nude polishes only referring to one shade, usually light to medium, Jenna Hipp and RGB created a system of nudes for everyone. No matter what your skin tone, this system allows you to customize both color and coverage.
First, let’s talk about the “Nail Sheers,” which allow you to mimic and perfect the color of your natural nail itself, instead of matching it to the color of your skin.
The Nail Sheers emulate the color of natural, healthy nail, as well compliment your complexion. They didn’t bother with frilly polish names and instead focused on the color, deeming the sheers simply S1-S4.
The shades range from a very translucent, light peach, to a rich, though transparent rose. If you’re looking for a polish to help you achieve the most perfect version of your already pretty, natural nail, then look no further than the Nail Sheers.
Next, my favorites: Nail Foundation.
Nail Foundations are a collection of four opaque colors designed to match every skin tone from light to dark. These can be applied alone, or under the Sheers or Tints (up next) to totally customize the color to match your skin.
I was skeptical, very skeptical, about how well these colors would actually work. I wouldn’t think that it would be that hard to create a formula for a nude polish that achieves opacity as well as your favorite bright crème color, but I’ve been wrong before.
RGB X HIPP got it right. SO right. I could die. Impressive coverage in one coat, full coverage in two. And, it’s quick drying! Hi haters! Once I was done painting my second hand, the fingers that I had started on were dry. It used to take me a frustratingly long time to achieve opaque nude nails, but now, it’s just as quick, if not quicker, than any other usual polish.
All week, I’ve been rocking F1 on my left hand and F2 on my right. I am in LOOOOOVE.
The F1 fits my skin tone the best, but I’m hoping to get so tan by the end of summer that I’ll be able to match F2. I already match F2 if I’m flushed from working out, or if I’m drunk. Progress!
The last members of the RGB X HIPP Color System are the Nail Tints.
These are essentially the sheerness from the Sheers collection, meeting the shades of the Foundations. Think of the Tints as a BB Cream, only for your nails.
Though I’ve been bitching about disliking sheer nudes for this entire article, let me eat my words for just a moment and explain why the Tints are one of the most exciting part of this entire collection.
While the sheerness most nude polishes makes them inadequate, these are the perfect marriage of color and translucence because they can be layered on top of the Foundations or Sheers in order to create the custom shade that is a true match for your own beautiful, naked skin. Though the Foundations are my favorite part of the collection, the delicate softness of the Tints and Sheers are what allow you to pull the shades in whatever direction you want, which is really what this color system is all about.
The Skin Tone Specific Color System has been awarded Best Nude Nail by ELLE, Nylon, and Essence Magazine, but now they've finally got the endorsement that really matters: MINE.
Are you sold? Do you love nude nails as much as I do? What is your favorite look for summer, nails or otherwise? This summer I am all about GOLD. How about you? Let's get nude.
Tynan is nude on Twitter: @TynanBuck.