10 Ways to Update Your Go-To Nude Manicure

Just one step outside your comfort zone, wedding-ready nails await

Updated 09/24/18

Photo by Elizabeth LaDuca Photography

There’s nothing wrong with your go-to nude nail polish—in fact, the look is one of our favorites! But weddings call for something a bit more special, don't you think? And whether you’re the bride, a bridesmaid, or a guest, there are plenty of other options for your nails than just a solid, barely-there shade.

But like we said, we love a good nude. So rather than ditch the classic shade, we’re showing you 10 ways to update the it. Whether you’re into negative space, color blocking, or hints of bling, here’s how to make a nude manicure feel brand new, just in time for those wedding bells.

If you can’t decide between a clean, classic mani or going all out with eye-catching nail art, strike a balance with simple color blocking. Choose a nude that matches your skin tone, and pair it with a second shade of your choice (possibly the color of the bridesmaid dresses, and marry the two with a simple abstract pattern.

There’s some seriously underutilized real estate happening on the ends of your nails! For a more modern take on the old French tip, swap the old-school white tips for a dainty collection of floral nail stickers.

If there’s one day that calls for dressed-up cuticles, it’s your wedding day. You need a little bit of bling to match that rock on your finger, after all.

Planning (or attending) a destination wedding? What better way to capture the ambience than to have it painted right on your ring finger. Think: Palm leaves for a ceremony on the island of Phuket or plumerias for a wedding in Maui.

Why do rings get to have all the fun mixing metals? Give your mani the shine it deserves with metallic accents. Extra points for pairing it with negative space.

Swap a solid manicure for an entire composition of geometric shapes in shades of nude (and maybe even some super neutral pastels). From afar it’ll look like a clean, classic mani—but up close will reveal an artsy arrangement.

The color nude comes in all shades and tones. Who said you have to just stick to a single one? Work two (or more) into a single nail-art design for a pattern that looks au naturel without being a total snooze fest.

Whether you’re throwing the bouquet or fighting to catch it, flowers are everywhere at weddings. There’s no better way to step up your wedding-day manicure than to lacquer dried mini flowers on top of your go-to nude polish.

Sometimes it’s good to think inside the box. Tracing your entire nail from tips to cuticles with a thin stroke in a contrasting shade frames your go-to nude manicure in a modern and edgy way.

If you just can’t part with your solid nude manicure, we got you. Playing with contrasting shiny and matte topcoats to create a barely-there pattern will be a subtle step out of your ordinary look, without totally abandoning your favorite hue.

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