Whether you're still feeling the deeper or more neutral nail polish shades of winter or you're ready to move into some spring-y pastels, Valentine's Day is the perfect time to chuck all those seasonal rules out the window. But the holiday is more than just red and pink manicures. There are a multitude of Valentine's Day nail colors to choose from, and Bustle spoke to a few experts to uncover some shades you may not have thought about wearing for the romantic holiday.
While a classic red or a cute pink French tip always works for the occasion, those who want to switch things up have a bunch of options. Bustle spoke with manicurist Mimi D, Orosa Beauty founder Carolyn Chen, and Pear Nova founder Rachel James to uncover some of the best nail polish colors that bring romantic vibes in unexpected hues, and you may be surprised to hear about some of them. From pastels inspired by candy hearts to color combinations you wouldn't have considered before, there's a whole world of shades at your, well, fingertips.
If you want to switch up your manicure before the big holiday, here are 15 super-cute Valentine's Day nail polish colors to consider.
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Mimi D's recommendation for V-day nails? Go with black. To soften it up, she recommends pairing it with a nude, gold, or silver polish — think of it as the mani equivalent of the black dress you'll wear on your date.
Both Mimi D and James love using nude as a Valentine's Day shade. While you can wear it with black polish, they both agree that nude and red is a chic festive mani choice.
While James recommends pink-based nudes, you can opt for a bolder finish if you want extra oomph. This neutral, barely-pink shade from Essie features a gorgeous metallic sheen. Just be sure to find a shade that suits your own skin tone.
4. Light Blue
Another unexpected shade for V-Day? Pastels. Chen says these light hues are candy heart-colored, which makes them just as perfect for the holiday as they are for spring.
5. Soft Yellow
Like the light blue shades recommended by Chen, you can also opt for a soft, pastel yellow. Not only is it a great way to usher in the brighter hues of spring that are just around the corner, but you can also go full Skittles manicure and pair it with a few more pastels.
Food themes are in for Valentine's Day 2021, and according to Chen, chocolate is a must for your manis. "Pair a chocolate brown shade with a pink for a delicious chocolate strawberry look," she tells Bustle.
To get the full strawberries and chocolate look recommended by Chen, you'll need a red polish (which everyone should have in their collection anyway). Pair it with a chocolate shade or wear it with a cream hue for a strawberries and cream take on the Valentine's Day nail color idea.
Speaking of that strawberries and cream nail look, grab a shade like People of Color's Makeda to try the design. Plus, if you're planning to do any nail art, this light shade could make the perfect base for a French tip.
Another recommendation from Mimi D? Gold. She recommends pairing gold and red or gold and black for Valentine's Day manis. Plus, the shade makes a great accent for nail art.
For an update on classic Valentine nail colors, Mimi D recommends fuchsia. The shade is bold but isn't the usual hot or neon pink you may expect, and it pairs perfectly with lighter pink if you're trying nail art.
If fuchsia feels a little bold, tone things down by going with a mauve shade. This hue embraces the classic pink tone typically found in Valentine's Day nail colors and mixes it with dusty purple for a more romantic and muted shade.
12. Light Pink
Light pink is always a romantic shade. Plus, if you want to switch up your manicure a few times before the big holiday, you can mix and match this color with other soft hues for a Skittles style.
Another versatile option? Glitter. It's one of Mimi's recommendations, and it works with nearly every shade as an accent. But if you really want to go next level, try this multi-colored boom of colored glitter from JinSoon.
If glitter just isn't your thing, you can always opt for a shimmer finish. This polish by Smith & Cult features blue reflections within the hot pink base for added dimension.
Finally, if you want to stick with the warm and sultry shades of winter, a great red wine-hued nail keeps the romantic theme going.
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