Nail polish for every skin tone

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

So you love nail polish but you’re not always sure which colours will suit you? (And you try to avoid the side-eyes from sales assistants when you’re frantically painting each nail with testers in-store). Nail your next mani with these hot new colours and our guide to finding the perfect nail polish for your skin tone. From everyday nudes, to punchy pinks and metallics with major star power, we’ve got you covered!


Every woman needs a trusted neutral nail polish for interviews and occasions when you want your nails to look kept – but not too OTT. Not all of us can be Rihanna all the time. A nail polish that gives a natural flush of colour always looks classic, so opt for rich taupes and nudes, or go for a playful candy pink that’ll suit most skin tones.

Fair skin: Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy in Beginners Luck, R129,95
Medium: SinfulColours in Tan Lines, R35
Dark skinned: Essence I Love Trends in Nude Sweet Nude R39,95
All tones: Rimmel Super Gel in Angel Wing, R89,95


The best way to boost your mood? Bright colours and tones that pop. Steer away from your everyday shades and try one of these bold choices that are bound to put a spring in your step. Mina has a range of striking colours to choose from, and we simply love this indigo shade from the new Orly Breathable range, which has recently received halaal certification from the Islamic Council of South Africa. Pretty nail colours for all Beauties!

Fair skin: Mina The Nail Polish in 153, R99, 95
Medium: Yardley Gel Lac Nails in Fuschia, R64,95
Dark skinned: Rita Ora for Rimmel London, in Tangerine Tent, R60
All tones: Orly Breathable in Just Breathe, R165


Add an instant touch of glam with these sparkly paints in a selection of different finishes for every occasion. Stick to classic gold or add glitter to your favourite nail polish for a quick glam update. Jewel tones with a metallic flair are especially striking and often complement most skin tones. We love this emerald green polish from Mina, and the bronze shimmery effect from the Sorbet shade that looks great on pretty much every skin tone. Try it as an accent nail for added star power.

Fair skin: Essence Out of Space Stories in 03, R42
Medium: Sorbet Pro Gel Effect in Desert Sand Storm, R110
Dark skinned: Essie in Ready to Boa, R134,95
All tones: Mina The Nail Polish in 177, R99,95

We’re spoiled for choice! Which colours do you have your eye on?

Want to write a comment? Sign in here sign up now
Tell your friends
  1. Fana_kw Karani-wookey

    Hi. I would like to know where do I purchase Orly breathable? I really love having some colour on my toes. Has any one tried the Inglot breathable range?

    2 days ago •

  1. Sammy

    I do love the essie nail colours they always a fave just not sure if the metallics would suit me though

    4 days ago •

  1. Gervase

    In the brights category I feel the Tangerine Tent is way too bright for someone as dark skinned as me but I would like to try Essence I Love Trends in Nude Sweet Nude in the neutral category. Some nudes tend to look way too bright against dark skin tones so I tend to avoid nude shades

    1 week ago •

  1. Cookie Nandlall

    Essie Nail polish my current trend with all my manicure and pedicure. Long lasting and awesome array variant shades for all seasons. Third week on an no touch ups done or chipping.

    2 weeks ago •


    Essence Gel nail polishes are my absolute favorite, and the shades are great. Long lasting, no chips or smudges

    4 weeks ago •

    1. BeautySouthAfrica

      We definitely agree, Tarryn :) What is your go-to colour?

      3 weeks ago •

  1. Jasmin Naidu

    I recently tried the Essence Gel nail polish which retails for only R29.00, I simply love it. The brush applicator glides on perfectly on my finger nails. The colours are also very trendy.

    4 weeks ago •

    1. BeautySouthAfrica

      Thanks for sharing, beauty :) What is your favourite hue?

      3 weeks ago •

  1. Sarah Holtshousen

    Have always been a fan of the neutral colours, but have been adventurous and been rocking some bright purples. Quite keen to see how that Mina yellow looks. Next stop – metallics!

    4 weeks ago •

    1. BeautySouthAfrica

      We say GO FOR IT! Try the Sorbet Metallic. It’s close to a neutral shade, with added shine and wow factor. xo

      3 weeks ago •

  1. meganswart

    This article is great! I prefer a DIY-mani over a unnecessarlily expensive trip to the salon, any day. I particularly adore the entire Essence Gel-range, (or ANY Sorbet product, to be honest).

    4 weeks ago •

    1. BeautySouthAfrica

      Thanks Megan :) Those are some pretty great brands. We hope you’ll experiment with a fun new colour when you do your next mani xo

      4 weeks ago •

BeautySouthAfrica - your pre-shop stop for all things beauty is South Africa’s most comprehensive online beauty magazine and your pre-shop stop for product information and reviews. From the latest international make-up trends to the hottest new products on the market, we offer insights into the glamorous world of beauty. Join like-minded beauty fanatics in our loyalty program and earn points, trial beauty products and share your experiences.

Become a beauty addict!

Get great deals and climb the ladder to a Gold Star!


Sign In