04/03/2012 04:40 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Nail Polish Trends: 14 Ways To Get Pastels Right

Pastels can be tricky. The wrong shade can look outdated or worse, make your skin tone look sickly. But we've found 14 softly-sweet nail colors that will flatter any complexion. The key? Finding the best shade for you.

"Muted colors certainly should not translate to dead-looking hands!" says RGB Cosmetics founder, Gina Carney. "Cooler pastels, such as pale blue and green, are flattering to fair skin. They contrast with lighter skin tones, which helps one avoid the chalky effect." If you're medium to olive, Carney suggests shades with "warm undertones, like yellow and a peachy-pink which will complement your skin tone." And for darker skin, pastel colors go a long way, she says. "They're all going to pop, so pick anything from the fairest pastel pink to a more vivid green."

Plus, subtle nail polish feels like a nice jumping-off point for summer's electric blast of color, and a refreshing departure from moody, winter tones. Paler versions are an excellent way to test out nail colors you wouldn't necessarily be bold enough to try. Church service or leisurely brunch, they're the perfect accent no matter how plan to celebrate the day.

Want more? Be sure to check out Stylelist on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.


Subscribe to the Lifestyle email.
Life hacks and juicy stories to get you through the week.