STYLE
03/28/2013 10:01 am ET

Pastel Nail Polish: Why You Don't Need A Tan To Pull Off The Look (PHOTOS)

I hear this all the time: "That's a pretty nail polish color, but I couldn't pull it off." As a woman with a darker complexion, I agree that certain shades standout against my skin tone. But seeing as though I occasionally break beauty rules, I want to prove that every woman can pull off pastel nail polish.

With Easter right around the corner, makeup counters are lined with nail lacquers in soft shades of pink, green, yellow and blue. And this season's textured nail art trend has also introduced us to pastel polishes mixed with tiny flecks of glitter.

"Pastels are perfect when you're not quite ready for the vibrant brights of summer," says Jane Park, Julep CEO and founder. "They are the beginning of a color, which is a great metaphor for spring."

These nail shades may be one of the simplest ways to wear color, however, we know that there are some of you who aren't sold on their versatility. Especially when we've been told over and over that these muted polishes look best when you've got a tan. Park's pro tip to finding a pastel nail color that suits you: go for a grey undertone.

"The trick is to make sure the pastel isn’t too white-based for your skin tone. If you have a lighter skin tone, make sure the pastel color has more color pigment than white," Park explains. "Smokey pastels are the new neutral. They look soft and flirty on light skin tones and really give a pop of opaque color on darker skin tones."

But Park cautions that you shouldn't treat your nail color as you would lipstick. "You can experiment with a broader array of shades," she says. "If you’re obsessed with orange, the way I am, try a muted coral. If you love deep violet, lavender is the perfect expression of that color this spring."

Another tried-and-true trick to get the most out of your pastel nail polish: Use an opaque base coat. "A creamy white will bring the color forward," says Park. "You can also overlay a 'jelly' (tinted clear polish) to make the color more alive. To mute a pastel, wear it over a neutral 'greige' -- this will have the opposite effect of turning down the color dial."

Will you give pastel nail polish a go? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.

And if you're feeling inspired...

Pastel Nail Polish

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