The Best Pastel Nail Color Palette for Everyday Nails

The Best Pastel Nail Color Palette for Everyday Nails

The Essential Guide to Pastel Nail Colors

Few color palettes radiate calm, sophistication, softness, and beauty quite like pastels. Pastel nails take inspiration from cotton candy, unicorns, and spring flowers, letting us wear a little bit of happiness on our hands all day long. 

And the best part? This year, manicure lovers have decided pastels aren’t just for spring anymore – In 2022-2023, an increasing number of trendsetters are rocking pastel nail designs all year long, and we’re loving it! Read on to learn more about pastels and how you can use them to create a beautiful, fashionable manicure.

What Are Pastels?


Images by @NuGenesis Nails

While we usually think of baby blue, soft pink, and butter yellow when we hear the word “pastel,” this term includes any color that’s both light and somewhat desaturated. For example, certain shades of gray (like our popular nail dip powder color, Serenity Sunday), lilac purple, pale peach, and mint green can also be considered pastels. As such, pastel manicures are incredibly versatile, with options that can be adapted to work with any outfit or skin tone. 

As a color palette, pastels were initially developed for use in painting in the 1400s; however, they truly rose to prominence during the Impressionist movement of the 1800s (think Monet and Renoir). Pastels remain popular in the worlds of art, fashion, and beauty for the soft, dreamy mood they convey. 

How to Choose the Best Pastel Nails for Your Skin Tone

One of the most important considerations when choosing a manicure color is how well the shade will flatter your skin tone. The right nail color has the power to make your skin “pop” and draw attention to your best features, creating a truly memorable look. 

Image source: Internet.

If you have pale skin and “ash” tone blonde or brunette hair, we recommend sticking to cool-tone pastels, such as our Nugenesis Nails Baby Blue dip powder, or silvery grays. If you have pale skin and warm brown or red hair, on the other hand, pastel pink, yellow, and green should be your go-to shades. 


Images source: Internet.

For those with tan or light brown skin, pastel peaches (e.g Nugenesis Nails Peach Bum dip powder) and yellows are a great way to highlight the gold overtones of your complexion. 


Images by @NuGenesis Nails

Against dark brown skin, pastels provide a wonderfully striking contrast that’s sure to get you noticed. Though virtually any pastel shade works with dark skin, olive green hues (like  Nugenesis Nails Bamboo Green dip powder) and lilacs (Nugenesis Nails Forget Me Not dip powder) are often particularly flattering. 


Images by @NuGenesis Nails

The 8 Top Pastel Manicure Trends for 2022/2023

Now that you know how to choose the best pastel nail shade for your complexion, it’s time to think about design. Because pastels are all the rage this year, nail artists have come up with an awesome array of creative, colorful manicures to choose from, like the eight looks below:


1. Pastel Ombre Nails

Images by @Dipping by Tony Huynh 


 For this look, start with a nude base coat and gradually apply your chosen pastel color in layers to create a “fade-in” effect towards the tips. This style generally works best on longer nails, so you may want to consider using acrylic or gel nail extensions, especially if your natural nails are prone to chipping or cracking. 


2. Gold Details

Images by @Dipping by Tony Huynh



One of the primary concerns people have about pastel nails is the worry that they’ll look “washed out,” especially if they have tan or warm brown skin. To prevent this, and add a bit of metallic flare to your nails, consider placing a thin gold stripe down the middle of each nail. Alternatively, you can paint metallic designs (like moons and stars) on each nail or add a streak of metallic flakes to one nail on each hand. The possibilities are endless!  


3. Pastel French Tips

Images by @Dipping by Tony Huynh


Another take on the combination of nude shades and pastels, this twist on the classic French manicure involves separating the nail into two sections: The nude nail bed and opaque tips. However, instead of keeping the tips solid white, they’re filled in with one or more pastel shades. Unlike pastel ombre nails, this manicure style works equally well on short, medium-length, and longer nails.

4. Translucent Pastel Nails

Images by @Dipping by Tony Huynh
Translucent nails can be created in two ways: You can either apply pastel jelly nails over your natural nails or mix a drop of pastel nail lacquer with clear lacquer, then pa int over clear nail tips before applying a high-shine topcoat. Either way, the result is a light, mesmerizing look full of ‘90s nostalgia. 

Want to make translucent nails even more fun? Consider adding a light coat of glitter or crystal accents!


5. Textured Pastel Nails

Image by @mousenails700


Another great way to keep pastel nails from feeling bland is to add raised, textured designs, such as the popular knit sweater pattern or criss crossed lines. Or, for something more delicate and feminine, try adding a white lace texture over pastel nails.


6. Pastel Details

Image credit on picture

 Another area where pastels truly shine is nail art: Because pastels harmonize well with nude shades, they’re perfect for adding creative designs to nude nails, such as lightning bolts, colorful clouds, or planets and stars. Pastels can even be used to put a softer spin on animal print nails.


7. Pastel Rainbows

Image by @Bella Nails


 Rainbow nails are undeniably youthful and fun, but they can get overwhelming when applied with bold colors. That’s why we love pastel rainbow nails: They retain all of the bright, swirly magic of the rainbow, but they won’t overwhelm the rest of your look.


8. Alternating colors

Images by @NuGenesis Nails


Can’t decide which shade of pastel is your favorite? Why not choose several? Applying a different hue to each nail is a simple, easy way to make your pastel manicure more interesting, and it’s one of the most popular nail trends on Instagram right now. 


Bring Pastel Nails to Life with NuGenesis Nail Dip Powders, Gels & Lacquers 

Another essential step to creating the perfect pastel manicure is choosing a high-quality nail varnish. Pastel nails must be highly pigmented and evenly applied to achieve a beautiful effect, especially if you’re attempting a more challenging look, like ombre or translucent nails. 

At NuGenesis, all of our dip powders, gel colors, and nail lacquers are made in the USA and Canada from premium ingredients, so you can feel confident you are using quality products developed for professional use. Plus, NuGenesis Nails does not test on animals or use animal byproducts, all while being strong enough to last up to four weeks! Start browsing our collection of nail colors today to put your spin on the hottest pastel nail trends.

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