Self Tanning Questions

What Colour Nails Look Good on Tan Skin? (Explained)

Written by: Anastasija

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When you’ve got a tan, whether it be a natural suntan, you’ve been to a salon and had a spray tan, or you’ve coated yourself in a gorgeous self-tanner, it’s the perfect recipe for summer, holiday vibes. What’s another way to indulge yourself and bring out that tan? Your nails, so read on to find out which colours suit tanned skin.

Rose gold

Rose gold

If you want to add some glam and glitz onto your nails, rose gold is the perfect shimmery hue to complement tanned skin, and it creates an enviable balance with the different tones that vary throughout your skin. In all honesty, you can get away with any metallic colour when you’ve got a tan, but there’s something about rose gold that sets it apart from the others.

Because of the slightly rosy undertones it brings, you’ll find a greater contrast with your skin than a regular gold, so it will appear bolder, but still softer than a silver, which will stand out boldly.

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Bright white

white nails

To be honest, most people are probably aware that a bright white nail polish is the fastest, easiest way to make your tan stand out and your nails looks fresh all at once, but it’s a classic colour that definitely deserves its place here.

When choosing your white, it’s more important than any other colour that you pick a high-quality polish, as any streaks or patchiness will be accentuated when they’re in a white polish. Other than that, feel free to paint away!

Bestseller No. 1
wet n wild Fast Dry AF Nail Polish Color, White Lovey Dove-y | Quick Drying - 40 Seconds | Long Lasting - 5 Days, Shine
5,895 Reviews
wet n wild Fast Dry AF Nail Polish Color, White Lovey Dove-y | Quick Drying - 40 Seconds | Long Lasting - 5 Days, Shine
  • Fast Fashion: In just a single coat, this polish provides rich color that dries in as little as 40 seconds and lasts up to 5 days. That means fast drying without fast chipping, so you can get on with your life without worry of a smeared, ruined manicure
  • Rich Color: Available in a rainbow of colors in everything from solid to sparkle finishes, these nail polishes give your nails just the pop of color they need to stand out in the crowd

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Aqua blue

Aqua blue nails

If a gorgeous aqua blue doesn’t remind you of the ocean in the sun, what does?! This bold yet equally as easily wearable colour will certainly bring out the tan on your skin, as blue is very complementary to brown and yellow tones, and you’ll be looking even glowier.

Plus, it’s a great colour to pair with your clothes, too, as it’s easy and goes with many other colours, and will take you from a day at the beach to a dressy evening out all while looking classy and appropriate.

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essie Salon-Quality Nail Polish, 8-Free Vegan, Aqua Blue, In The Cab-ana, 0.46 fl oz
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Neon orange

Neon orange nails

If bold, bright colours are your favourite selection, you should definitely try a neon orange out whilst you’ve got a tan. It does a fantastic job of contrasting the hues on your skin and making them darker, whilst also being more wearable when you’ve got a tan. If you’re itching to use a neon polish at some point, hold out until you’ve got a tan and you won’t be disappointed.

One quick tip is to paint a bright white polish on the nail as a base wherever you’re planning to use the orange, and follow with the neon orange on top, once the white is dry. This will intensify the neon brightness and prevent patchiness, fading and streaks.

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Also read: What is a Good Self-Tanner? (Best For Face And Body)

Mustard yellow

Mustard yellow nails

For someone who prefers a softer, more mellow nail option, a mustard yellow is the sunniest and happiest colour that’ll bring out your tan whilst also looking subtle. It’s a very warm colour in itself and looks best with a tan as the brown in your skin will bring out the yellow hues.

If you’re using a mustard yellow and you’re interested in nail art, why not try creating a cute flower pattern on one or two nails on each hand for an extra pinch of summer flair?

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OPI Nail Lacquer, Marigolden Hour, Yellow Nail Polish, Malibu 2021 Collection, 0.5 fl oz
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Brown and neutral hues

Brown nails

The neutral nail polish trend is everywhere this year, and one of the great things about it is that it suits all skin tones fabulously. So, no matter how deep your tan is, you won’t go wrong with a brown or neutral polish job.

One popular option is to pick five different shades of brown and paint them from lightest to darkest across your fingers, or you can even create some interesting nail art with them – there are plenty of ideas to explore online and on social media.

Bestseller No. 1
wet n wild Fast Dry AF Nail Polish Color, Fall Reddish Brown Get Stone | Quick Drying - 40 Seconds | Long Lasting - 5 Days, Shine
  • Fast Fashion: In just a single coat, this polish provides rich color that dries in as little as 40 seconds and lasts up to 5 days. That means fast drying without fast chipping, so you can get on with your life without worry of a smeared, ruined manicure
  • Rich Color: Available in a rainbow of colors in everything from solid to sparkle finishes, these nail polishes give your nails just the pop of color they need to stand out in the crowd

If you click Buy on Amazon and make a purchase, I'll earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Sage green

Another very trendy colour this year is sage green, and it’s very easy to see why. For a soft, natural vibe, this gentle hue has you covered, and it’s a versatile colour to wear out, too, as it matches many things whilst also standing out just the right amount. When you’ve got olive undertones in your skin, sage green will look particularly fitting, but it works with any other undertones, too.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, there’s always the option of mixing the colours we’ve listed above and experimenting with different combinations. Why not try to create a gradient effect on one finger or choose alternating colour between each finger? The choice is yours, so feel free to get creative and choose whatever you fancy!

Bestseller No. 1
ZOYA Nail Polish, Sage, 0.5 fl. oz.
234 Reviews

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Final thoughts

If you’re looking for the perfect nail colour to complement your fresh sun-kissed glow, we’ve got you covered. There are so many different colours available, and so many of them will stand out and accentuate your tanned skin, so experiment and find what works best for you!

About Anastasija

Welcome to my website! I'm Anastasija, and as a redhead with a sensitivity to the sun, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect sunless tanner six years ago.

After extensive research and four years of personal experience, I'm here to share my wealth of tips and tricks for achieving a beautiful, sun-kissed glow.

Whether you're interested in self-tanners, spray tans, or safe sun exposure, this website covers it all.

Join me as I provide valuable insights and guidance for various methods of getting that desired tan.

Anastasija thirsty for tan about me

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