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Color Splash Manicures and Pedicures

Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2009

Being a bride is all about the details -- right down to the polish on your nails. Before you hit the aisle, choose the perfect nude for your manicure and the best bright for your pedicure.

Do specific nail polish colors work with my skin tone? Yes! Read on for our expert picks.

Nail Color for Dark Skin
Those with deep complexions should choose semi-opaque lacquer in shades of peach, pink, or nude. Anything lighter, such as sheer pink, will "make you look like you forgot to get a manicure," says Ji Baek, owner of Manhattan's Rescue Beauty Lounge and author of "Rescue Your Nails: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Perfect Fingers and Toes" (Workman Publishing, 2008).

Our Picks
Zoya Nail Polish in Jessika
Lippmann Collection Nail Lacquer in My Romance
Estee Lauder Nail Lacquer in Golden Goddess

Nail Color for Medium Skin
Olive-toned brides should reach for sheer, sunny hues for maximum impact. Whereas cool shades like bubble-gum pink can make medium tones appear sickly, "yellow-based polishes such as peach and buttermilk create a subtle contrast, making skin look healthy, not washed out," says manicurist Jin Soon Choi of Jin Soon Natural Hand and Foot Spas.

Our Picks
Jessica Cosmetics Custom Nail Colour in Courage
Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Polish in Sheer Pink
Creative Nail Design in French Pink


Nail Color for Fair Skin
If you're lily-white, then barely there shades will disappear against your skin. To bring some color to your complexion, go for deeper neutrals such as juicy apricot or petal pink. Not only are they perfect for your tone, but these hues will "create a super romantic, feminine finish, too," says Deborah Lippmann, manicurist and founder of Lippmann Collection.

Our Picks
Jessica Cosmetics Custom Nail Colour in A Kiss Is Still a Kiss
Essie Nail Polish in Sugar Daddy
OPI Nail Lacquer in Second Honeymoon

Nail color for All Skin Tones
"An intense, fiery-red pedicure flatters every skin tone," says manicurist Jin Soon Choi of Jin Soon Natural Hand and Foot Spas. "Plus, it's the ultimate shade for a summer wedding or a beach honeymoon. There's no better way to celebrate than with a vivid color." Try it on your toes for your big day.

Our Pick
Essie Nail Polish in Lacquered Up

Get your toes in tip-top shape for wedding day.

Go Glam
A neutral shade on your hands is one thing, but a bland polish on your toes can be a bit of a buzzkill. Instead, paint on creamy, heavily pigmented shades that stand out -- like pop-art fuchsia, rich plum, and sunny tangerine. "They're fun and happy," says Choi. "And when worn on the toes, they scream, 'Let's party!' "

Our Picks
Nail Lacquer in Gee Whiz
Chanel Nail Color in Lilac Sky
Zoya Nail Polish in Kara

Get Punked
If you're the kind of bride who looks to the runway for inspiration, reach for Baek's couture-worthy favorites. "Instead of French tips, which feel dated, try opaque, flesh-pink polish," she says. "It conceals yellowish nail beds as well as nicks and dents." Feeling more adventurous? Reach for chinoiserie red or unpredictable ocean blue.

Our Picks
Sally Hansen Salon Nail Lacquer available at Walgreens in Made You Blush
Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Polish in Under the Stars
OPI Nail Lacquer in Lunch at the Delhi


Natural Inspiration
Need a color inspiration? Look around you -- between the flowers, the beach, and the steamy weather itself, the season has plenty to offer. "I love a sheer lavender," Lippmann says. "It looks beautiful against white." Shimmering sand and daring crimson are equally striking options.

Our Picks
OPI Nail Lacquer in Sand in My Suit
Chanel Nail Color in Dazzling
Lippmann Collection Nail Lacquer in Purple Rain

Get Our Picks for the best treatments and lotions for your hands and feet.

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