Nude nails


Nicole Elphick

Actress Lea Michele sports the nude look.

Actress Lea Michele sports the nude look. Photo: Michael Buckner

Physicist Sir Isaac Newton might have been discussing motion when he said, “To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction”, but it applies just as much to the world of style. Fashion is a seesaw that moves from one extreme and back again. If sky high heels are in wait just a few seasons and suddenly a flat shoe will look fresh and current. 

So when it comes to beauty this might be the explanation for the return of the nude nail. If you’ve paid even the slightest attention to the world of nail trends you’ve probably noticed that nail art in all its colourful and kitsch glory has gone mainstream. So what’s a trendsetter to do, but try going in the exact opposite direction? 

The current iteration of faux naked nails is not about ballet slipper pinks or a sheer mani appropriate for a spring wedding. Instead it’s all about trying to get as close a match to your exact skin tone as possible in an opaque finish. Dubbed the ‘mannequin manicure’ it’s a futuristic look that Barbie herself would envy.

So if you feel like a romp in the buff, here are a couple of the nude nail shades we love...


Check out Chanel's version, Chanel Le Vernis in Inattendu ($39,


Or, Butter London Nail Lacquer in Shandy ($22,

It’s popped up on the red carpet with Lea MicheleKirsten Dunst and Eva Mendes proving themselves fans. Brands have also taken notice with Butter London earlier this year releasing their Starkers collection and Estée Lauder recently putting out a range of nude shades ranging from fair to dark.  The style works on both short and long nails, and has the added benefit of elongating the look of fingers.