At Fashion Week for autumn/winter 2017, we saw a rainbow of colours—ranging from bold neons to subtle pastels. But one of the most popular runway nail trends seen around the world was more minimalistic: the nude nail. We spoke with the experts about techniques and polishes needed to nail the “au naturel” look in the salon.

NudeNails LeftLess is More

While nude nails aren’t new, they have soared in popularity—seen all over the runways, including at Ryan Lo’s show at London Fashion Week. Nude nails were embellished with gold framing around the cuticle and adored with chains for a whimsical effect. While chains aren’t likely to be popular (or practical) for your salon clientele, nude nail accents are an easy way to elevate your nail services. “You can do any bare colour nail with accents. Art on the side—a stroke of a different colour on the side of nails for a sleek, simple, romantic look,” says Liliya Leheta, an education ambassador for CND.

For clients who prefer a simpler look, look to OPI’s Infinite Shine Lacquer in Bubble Bash, which was used at Stella McCartney’s show at Paris Fashion Week. “Going simple and natural is kind of nice since we’ve been going vibrant for so long,” says Daphne Voth Hoggans, an OPI educator from Edmonton. Voth Hoggans says for the McCartney show, it was just one coat for more of a camouflage, contouring look that’s very natural looking, topped with the Infinite Shine Gloss [top coat] for high shine.”

Depending on how opaque your client’s desired polish is, Leheta recommends using CND’s RidgeFX, which was also used at the Simone Rocha show at London Fashion Week to mimic the look of natural-looking nails. “It’s a thicker base coat that fills in any ridges on the nails,” says Leheta, who also suggests using RidgeFX as a base coat for nude polish. “I see a lot of people with damaged nails. With nude polish, you can see all the imperfections of the natural nail. This coat creates a very nice base for the colour.”

Think Outside the Box

For clients who may not want to bare it all, CND has launched Project Echo, an expansion of its Vinylux line that includes three shades created to match some of Shellac’s most popular nude shades—Nude Knickers, Satin Pajamas and Rosebud. “The colours match with any skin tone, and what I like about them is that they are full coverage. That’s what a lot of people are looking for right now,” says Leheta.

OPI recently launched its Powder Perfection line of 29 nail powders, including four nude shades. “It’s great for customers that love gel colour and want high-shine, but may have a longer nail length or higher oil content in their nails, so gel colour doesn’t seem to be working well for them. Powder Perfection gives them the same colours as the long-wear, but also the durability and strength for longer nails,” explains Voth Hoggans. “You have the colour options and are able to offer them in different types of products suited to the customer.”

The bottom line: There’s a nude shade for everyone. “Everybody’s nail beds have different tones,” says Voth Hoggans. “Some are more pink and some are more olive, so if you use the same nude tone it may not look as flattering.” 

Products to "Nail" the Look


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