Just like choosing a wedding dress, selecting the right nail color for your big day is a personal process. Your hue should reflect you—that is, your style, wedding theme, venue, dress, and, of course, your ring.
You’ll want to choose something tasteful, something classic, and something you won’t regret decades down the line. Depending on the color of the band (be it rose gold, platinum, or white gold) and the stone (be it diamond, emerald, or sapphire), you might find that a certain shade of polish gives your ring the best chance to sparkle and shine.
To help guide you toward the best wedding day nail color for you and your particular sparkler, we asked top nail technicians Jenna Hipp and Lauren Berkovitz to share what they recommend for each and every engagement ring.
Meet the Expert
- Jenna Hipp is a celebrity nail stylist whose clients include Jennifer Lawrence, Miley Cyrus, and Lea Michele.
- Lauren Berkovitz is a nailcare entrepreneur and the founder of Lauren B. Beauty.
If your fiancé was wise enough to select this classic cut for you, you’ll want to choose an equally timeless style for your nails, like a neutral nude or soft pale pink. We love Sally Hansen's Miracle Gel in Little Peony. Hipp suggests splurging on top-notch cuticle care for well-nourished nails, and hydrated hands instead of an elaborate design or color.
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With this traditionally shaped stone, you can go several ways, according to Berkovitz. For longer nails or a larger stone, she suggests keeping it classic with a neutral semi-sheer mauve like her Ceremony at Sunset shade, which is romantic and refined. “It has a touch of pearlescence, which gives the shade some extra dimension; warm, rosy undertones make it sexy and flattering on everyone.” If you have a simple setting for your round-shaped stone, she suggests a bolder accent color that’s seasonal, like a deep red or pink.
The beauty of this elongated cut is that the diamond often appears larger than it technically is in terms of carats. Berkowitz suggests shaping your nails in a similar fashion—medium to long oval shapes—to complement the shape of your ring and to elongate your fingers. “Keeping your nails manicured mirroring the same shape as your ring will give you a polished yet consistent look,” Berkowitz says. “Try a trendy color with some dimension, like a cream with milky undertones.” We recommend Essie's Bare With Me.
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The princess cut, with its angular, square lines, looks classy, rich, and timeless—the exact inspiration for its complementary nail color, notes Hipp. “If your nails are long and well-manicured, you can’t beat a vibrant, classic red, which will pop perfectly against a white dress and a white rose bouquet (think Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly).” Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Pirate is a classic favorite.
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The rectangular shape of this ring naturally accentuates the cut in the stone and its clarity, explains Berkovitz. That’s why she suggests a classic and clean color like a sheer petal pink or neutral peach that leaves your nails gleaming, healthy, and natural-looking. “If you want a pop of color, try a super-saturated cabernet hue or dark midnight with a hint of blue,” she says. Her House of Blues shade fits the bill perfectly. She advises against nail art or accents for this cut, as they can easily clash with this shape and the linear cuts.
This beautiful and elegant teardrop shape demands to sparkle on its own, which means a subtle, more subdued nail design and color, like a soft pastel pink or barely there beige. We're thinking something along the lines of Essie's Mixtaupe. For the shape of the nail, Hipp recommends asking your technician to file them into an almond shape. “This style is known for slimming and elongating the fingers.”
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Though the cut shares many qualities of a cushion, radiant stones tend to have more rectangular corners and a less oval-like appearance. “The radiant diamond mimics crushed ice, so maximize the effect with a nail that does the same thing,” says Hipp. “Chunky glitter mixed with clear can be unbelievably chic, and you can mix golds, rose golds, and silvers for extra dimension.” Try Essie's Set in Stones to achieve the look. Another easy effect she recommends is to paint nails nude and, with a soft sponge, apply silver polish or glitter to create a gradient pattern.
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“This shape screams fun," says Berkovitz. “Be bold and daring with something exciting and out of the box that works well with your skin tone and season.” She suggests a teal or deep jewel-tone color that’s neither too light nor too dark for the fall and winter months, or a taupe or rose gold for the summer like her Dancing Shoes polish.