The Meaning of Your Nail Polish Color

Female hands on top of colorful nail polish palette

Let’s give a well-deserved nail polished hand to all the fashionistas out there who love a good manicure. Whether you like bright-colored nail polish, natural tones, or crystal clear, a regular manicure not only makes your hands look great, it makes you feel great too. As a matter of fact, some folks add manicures to their self-care routines and look forward to how uplifting and relaxing it makes them feel.

You might recall a scene in the 2001 blockbuster movie, Legally Blonde, when aspiring attorney Elle Woods played by Reese Witherspoon frantically seeks out a nail salon to ease her disappointment when finding out her boyfriend was engaged to another. Sitting in the manicure chair instantly settled her down. A famous quote Elle said during the movie, “whoever said orange is the new pink was seriously disturbed,” may not have been about nail polish color, but conveys how important color can play in fashion and first impressions.

Today, nails and the multitude of ways they are shaped, polished, and designed have a huge impact on who you really are inside.

Nail Polish Color Speaks Volumes About Your Personality

Happy curly haired woman showing manicured yellow nails

It doesn’t matter if you give yourself a manicure or hit the salon and treat yourself to the real deal (the hand massage is always amazing). Beautifully cared for hands and nail polish colors mean more about you than you might think. Color theory teaches us that different colors send signals and messages to your brain that can affect how you think and the way you perceive things.

Gloria Williams, a personal manicurist to Oprah Winfrey, has been doing nails for more than 30 years and believes this is true. “The nail polish colors people pick says a lot about their personality,” she explained in an Insider article. “People who opt for a bold red manicure are daring, independent, and aren’t afraid to take chances,” she said. “People who pick pink like to play it safe. They are pleasant and try whatever they can to make people happy,” she added.

Williams isn’t the only professional who has studied nail polish colors and personality. Color experts all around the world agree that color is far more than just a visual nuance. It is a powerful indication of how you see the world and how others in the world see you.

Popular Nail Polish Colors and Their Meanings

Take a look at some of the most popular nail polish colors and what they say about you.

Basic Black Nail Polish Is Dark and Mysterious

Woman with black nail polish on her hands

This is the darkest dark nail polish color. It has gained popularity over the years, especially in the Goth fashion scene. You may be surprised to know that in some cultures, black nail polish was worn hundreds of years ago by royalty and signified social ranking. Black is usually associated as a symbol of anti-establishment and is worn by those with a touch of rebellious nature. Today it isn’t just reserved for those living a darker lifestyle, it is acceptable in mainstream society. Celebrities like Jessica Alba and Nicole Richie are touting their black nails to complement their red carpet fashions. Those who wear black nail polish are confident, mysterious, and like to stand out in a crowd. Guys and gals also paint their nails black to show their status within a special group, for example, a rock band or a biker club.

Dark Blue Nail Polish Shows You Are True Blue

Woman hands with dark blue manicure and lilac flowers

Dark Blue is another dark nail polish color that demands attention. This color shows you are sophisticated and edgy with a touch of authority in your personality. You enjoy being the center of attention and owning the room. Blue nail polish shows you are powerful and intelligent. Throughout time blue has been associated with truthfulness, hence the term “true blue,” and represents honor and integrity. When you wear dark blue nail polish, be careful because some people associate it with depression or sadness. Make sure you aren’t swallowing your feelings but rather make a beautiful fashion statement about who you are.

Light Blue Nail Polish Makes You Approachable

Fingers with light blue nail art

Light blue and Aqua blue nail polish portray to the world that you have a youthful spirit no matter what your age. It may also show you are tender, naive, and inexperienced in worldly matters and love. This makes you approachable and likable. Light blue means you have a tendency to go with the flow and are calm in every situation. Light blue is the perfect nail polish for younger gals who are in a relationship. Light blue nail polish is a code used on the social platform TikTok, which means someone is “off the market” or a way to announce a brand-new relationship.

Gorgeous Green Nail Polish Shows You Are Energetic

Closeup of manicured female hands with stylish green nails

Any shade of green is a powerful sign that you are spunky and are loving life! Green is the nail polish color associated with energy, vigor, and adventure. It shows you are not afraid of taking risks, especially if you reap big rewards. Green is exciting while, at the same time, tells the world that you are determined in your decisions with a down-to-earth, humble vibe. There are many shades of green nail polish, but they all have one thing in common. They show you have a trendy, fashionable side and enjoy life’s successes.

Fire Engine Red Nail Polish Is Dramatic and Bold

Woman with classic makeup and red nails

Red is the all-time color that symbolizes fire, passion, heat, and confidence. According to Stylecaster, back in the 1950s, red nail polish was considered promiscuous, and some churches made women remove their red polish before Sunday service! Today a fire engine red polish is totally acceptable anywhere. It says that you are confident and ready to take charge of any situation. People know you are up for a challenge, and your sassy, self-assured personality will step up anytime, anywhere. Red nail polish also shows you are glamorous and like to stand out in the spotlight. A little drama is enjoyed in your life, for sure.

Hot Pink Nail Polish Is Playful and Fashion-Forward

Fashion model with hot pink nail polish and brightly colored makeup

Hot pink nail polish shows you are full of energy with a touch of a rebellious spirit. This bold and beautiful color is associated with a spontaneous, playful lifestyle. It’s fun, flirty, and fabulous while showing your romantic, feminine side. Not everyone can wear hot pink nail polish with confidence. Wearing shades of hot pink polish can make others think you are not serious and a bit immature. That said, if hot pink and brighter pinks are your favorites, wear them with confidence just like the original, confident, fashion-forward diva you are!

Light Pink Nail Polish Is Feminine and Lighthearted

Hand with light pink manicured nails and lily flowers

Much different from hot pink, light pink nail polish is a more subtle shade for a more subtle person. It shows you are a quiet, behind-the-scenes gal with an understated classic style. For generations, soft pink has been associated with femininity. It shares with the world that you are warm and approachable with a cheerful, bubbly personality. People like to be around you and your lighthearted spirit. Light, soft pink shades show you are a romantic and love being in love. Light pink is a safe nail polish shade for career professionals and women who like their polish to coordinate or blend with their outfits.

Bold, Beautiful Orange Nail Polish Embraces Change

Female hands with orange manicured nails on a towel

Orange nail polish is a hands-down show-stopper for sure, and it means that you are bubbly and cheerful. It is a warm color that shows you are happy, confident, and the ultimate optimist. You are a half-glass full thinker and always see the bright side of life. You look forward to moving into a bright, successful future. You are kind, caring, and generous with your time and energy. You embrace change for the better good. You are always looking for a good time and are the life of the party, no matter how big or how small.

Burgundy Nail Polish Unveils Your Authoritative Side

Woman with burgundy colored nails reading a book

Maroon, wine, or burgundy colored nail polish shades reveal your mature, sophisticated side. Just like the color’s name, It is a warmer, darker shade that is a bit on the serious side with a sweet touch. It shows you are confident, self-assured, and experienced. Burgundy is a chic and trendy shade that shows you are up for a challenge and ready to win at life and love. Colleagues, family, and friends are comfortable asking you for advice about difficult subjects, especially those of the heart. You are sensitive to their most secret issues and are happy to give them advice. Your personality and aura are attractive to others, so keep in mind that you have this influence over them.

Dark Purple Nail Polish Reflects Royalty

Closeup of female hand with dark purple nail design

There is a lot of history packed in dark purple nail polish. Purple is a color reserved for royalty, so when you wear it on your nails, prepare to be noticed off and on stage. Creatives like artists and actors love this complex color combination. They, too, are complex, with many layers, moods, and talents. Dark purple nail polish reflects that you are a confident individual who sees the world differently than others. You love your God-given talent, even though it may be haunting you morning, noon, and night. Be prepared to be noticed by strangers because your delightful nail colors will help you stand out in the run-of-the-mill crowd.

Nude Nail Polish Shows Just Enough Color

Hand with nude nail polish color in fluffy sweater

Nude nail polish colors are magical because they blend in with beauty and elegance. This barely-there nail color shows you are a classic beauty, and you know your individual forever style. You select what trends you like without hopping on every new fad that comes your way. You are pretty and polished in every way, from your everyday workout wear to your extra special evening wear. Nude nails fit the bill! Your no-nonsense, low-maintenance style is like magic without being fussy. Nude shades show you are a true friend who is truthful and transparent.

Crystal Clear Nail Polish Is for Gals on the Go

Applying clear nail polish on hand

Clean and crystal clear nail polish shows you are a no-nonsense, down to Earth person that takes time to paint her nails, but doesn’t have patience for annoying chipped color. You are busy, care about how you look, and a coat of clear works for you. You are a doer, using your beautifully manicured hands to get whatever job needs to be done. You are a leader when needed and a team player when asked. You are a go-getter with a spirit that is infectious to everyone you meet.

White Nail Polish Is Stylishly Trendy

Closeup of woman's hands with white nails holding flowers

White nail polish is reserved for very special guys and gals. It is the color of innocence, purity, and cleanliness. Your white nails show you are neat, organized, and a bit of a perfectionist. You care about your style, the latest trends, and your surroundings, and it shows in volumes. You know what you want out of life and who you want to accomplish and live it with. You are always up for a challenge and ready to negotiate for the best deal or outcome. You have an open mind and genuinely care about your opponent, whether it be your friend or foe. You are known to paint your pinky or ring finger a different color to show your wild side or even add nail art and jewelry when you are in a creative, colorful mood.