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, last but most important, 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 technicians to share what they recommend for each and every engagement ring.
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 a soft pale pink. Jenna Hipp, a celebrity nail stylist whose clients include Jennifer Lawrence, Miley Cyrus, and Lea Michele, suggests splurging on top-notch cuticle care and well-nourished and hydrated hands instead of an elaborate design or color.
Try: Miracle Gel in Little Peony, $7.49, Sally Hansen available at Target
With this traditional-shape stone, you can go several ways, according to Lauren Berkovitz, the founder of Lauren B. Beauty Nail Couture. For longer nails or a larger stone, she suggests keeping it classic with a neutral semisheer 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.
Try: Ceremony at Sunset, $18, Lauren B. Beauty
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,” she says. “Try a trendy color with some dimension, like a cream with milky undertones.”
Try: Bare With Me, $8.99, Essie available at Target
The princess cut, with its angular, square lines, looks classy, rich, and timeless—the exact inspiration for 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).”
Try: Le Vernis Nail Colour in Dragon, $23.53, Chanel available on Amazon
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 supersaturated cabernet hue or dark midnight with a hint of blue,” she says. She recommends against nail art or accents for this cut, as they can easily clash with this shape and the linear cuts.
Try: House of Blues, $18, Lauren B. Beauty
This beautiful and timeless 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. For the shape of the nail, Hipp recommends asking your technician to file them almond shaped. “This style is known for slimming and elongating the fingers, so an extroverted empire nail art would be on point.”
Try: You’re So Vain-illa, $8.95, OPI available at Walmart
Though the radiant cut shares many qualities of a cushion cut, radiant tends to have more rectangular corners and a less oval appearance than the cushion. “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.” Another easy effect she recommends is to paint nails nude and, with a soft sponge, apply silver polish or glitter to create a gradient effect.
Try: Set in Stones, $7.69, Essie available at Target
“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-toned color that’s neither too light nor too dark for the fall and winter months, or a taupe or rose gold for the summer.
Try: Dancing Shoes, $18, Lauren B. Beauty