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Red, Pink, Green? The Meaning of Nail Polish: What Does Your Color Say About You?

Updated on January 6, 2016

Do you think that the color you choose to paint on your nails is merely a reflection of a color you think is pretty? Well, perhaps you should think again.

When you see someone with bright red nail polish, you make a judgment about that person. It may be consciously or subconsciously, but a judgment is made, nonetheless. What about when you see someone wearing black nail polish? I think you see my point.

So, before you give yourself a manicure (or have a professional do it for you), think about what impression you want to make on people. Here's a run-down of what different nail colors say about the wearer. 

Variety of nail polish colors (image source: www.losgatosobserver.com)
Variety of nail polish colors (image source: www.losgatosobserver.com)

Your Nail Polish Color Palette

Fire-Engine Red: You're sassy, self-assured, and not afraid to be dramatic. Bright red is a bold, look-at-me color that is a symbol for passion, fire, and confidence. You love the spotlight, and you take charge of situations.

Hot Pink: You're spunky and energetic. Pink is a color that is associated specifically with women, and hot pink lets you show your spunk and spice.

Pale Pink: Painting your nails pale pink is a subtle expression. You are likely quiet, or at least you don't want to stand out, and youthful. Pale pink is not significantly different from the color of your nails (if you're caucasian), but you still want to show your soft side.

Black: Painting your nails black is a classic symbol of anti-establishment. It doesn't mean you are depressed or going goth, but it's a way of rebelling against the norm and showing some of the darkness in your personality.

Navy Blue: This is a color of sophistication and authority. Wearing this color on your nails tells people to listen up, because you're in charge.

Aqua (Light) Blue: You're showing the youthful and calm side of your personality when you paint your nails a light blue. Aqua is a cool color, a nonchalant color.

French Manicure: You are glamorous and professional. You don't need a whole new color; your nails look good as they are, and you simply emphasize and define yourself.

Magenta: A combination of the reds, pinks, and purples, magenta is feminine but not flashy. You are vibrant and youthful, but you don't need to be the center of attention at all times.

Orange: This color is bright and vibrant, for people who want attention drawn to them. It also symbolizes autumn and the changing seasons: a time of brightness and change.

Dark Brown: A dark and rich color, this shade of brown indicates boldness and authority. You like your nails like you like your men. Just kidding.

Maroon: Maroon is a warm color, a combo of red and purple, retaining the authority of red and the confidence of purple. It's a mature, sophisticated color that, when worn on your nails, invites respect.

Coffee-Colored: You are earthy and energetic. Tan and light brown are earth tones, cool colors that bring you closer to Mother Nature.

Green: This color invokes images of vigor and the environment. Going "green" in your nail polish exudes earthiness and spunk.

Deep Purple: Purple is the color of royalty. Wearing it on your nails shows you have a confident personality, and you're not afraid to stand out from the crowd.

Lavender: You are graceful and collected. A combination of pink and purple, lavender is feminine and confident without the youthfulness of pure pink.

So the next time you get a manicure, or even a mani/pedi, don't just ask yourself, "What color is my favorite?" Ask yourself instead, "Who am I? And what does my color say about me?"

What does your nail polish color say about you? (image source: www.stargazer-products.com)
What does your nail polish color say about you? (image source: www.stargazer-products.com)

Comments

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    • gwendymom profile image

      gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

      I just had my nails painted last night in a color called Long Kiss, it's a Christmas red color, My favorite color though is called I'm not really a waitress and it is a burnt orange, it's very pretty. I had no idea that the colors might reflect your personality or mood, very interesting. Great job!

    • Nicole Winter profile image

      Nicole A. Winter 8 years ago from Chicago, IL

      What an awesome hub, thanks for writing it, I wear all these colors from time to time so it was interesting to see how my mood might be affecting my nail color choice! It's not something I would have thought of, but thinking back on specific nights I knew what my nail color was is interesting in hindsight. Thanks for linking to my article, I really appreciate it.

    • ProfoundPuns profile image
      Author

      ProfoundPuns 8 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Thanks for reading and for commenting, gwen and Nicole! I'm fascinated by color symbolism, particularly the types of colors that you choose to associate with yourself!

    • mayhmong profile image

      mayhmong 8 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for the info. I'm a nail technician and sometimes wonder what the hell are these people thinking, wearing such a color like that? But like you say, it really does reflect their personality.

      Like little kids they like it bright pink, blue, or green with glitter on top. Most of my nursing clients would wear a pale nuture color. Most white girls like their nails with french design, while black girls like it with wild and crazy designs.

    • Rachael Rush profile image

      Rachael Rush 8 years ago from Los Angeles

      I love it! I have often wondered what peoples nail color means about them because I am very particular about mine. :)

    • profile image

      wendy 7 years ago

      I love nail polish. Loving Chimera at the moment I found them online, and now I'm addicted, great quality too.

      I can see lots of great colours and finishes on this hub. Very good hub

      Wendy

    • awesomeness79 profile image

      awesomeness79 7 years ago from UK

      Really great hub. According to this I am glamorous and professional..I wish :-)

    • profile image

      Rachel Williamson 7 years ago

      I just had my nails colored a color named frosted raisin.It's a red colr.

    • Nail Technician profile image

      Nail Technician 7 years ago

      Haha, Great Hub! sometimes my clients bring in their own polish that i would never have on my shelf, and it always surprises me when i look at my work and go.. "huh, it really works for them" :) i was surprised to see nothing about the french manicure.

      check out http://www.nailtechniciancourses.org/uv-gel/uv-gel

      id love to get some of yall's opinions on things :)

    • profile image

      Jenna 7 years ago

      What does doing something uncommon say?

      I have cow spots on my nails right now, heh.

    • profile image

      Sheila Craan 7 years ago

      Very nicely presented! I actually never put much thought to the meaning of nail polish color and how it is related to a persons' personality. I simply thought nail polish should match a lady's outfit.

    • hbdavid1 profile image

      hbdavid1 7 years ago

      amazing! I love nail colours, imactually fascinated by bright colours and I have a huge collection of Barry M colours and I have to change my nail colour every week!

    • pumpkincat210 profile image

      Courtney Rhodes 7 years ago from Houston, Texas U.S.A.

      how about multiple colors. I have on pink, white, blue, and green stripes.

    • suhanaasif profile image

      suhanaasif 7 years ago

      nice topic:)

    • profile image

      barbiegirl123 6 years ago

      i paint my nails fire engine red ONLY and this is sooo true about me!

    • profile image

      blahblah 6 years ago

      brilliant work! no more words :)

    • profile image

      Leah 6 years ago

      This is so cool.

      I just painted my nails a deep, glittery blue-tinted purple called 'Ultra Violet'.

      Since it's a cross between deep purple and navy, I'm apparently sophisticated, confident, royal, and I like authority?

      Spot on.

      http://i53.tinypic.com/34px93r.jpg

    • Klena profile image

      Klena 6 years ago from England

      What an excellent hub! I regularly love to wear multiple colours on my nails but at the moment, it's been a vivid fire-engine red and has been for a few months!

      The psychology behind the colour is wonderfully accurate - and my partner agreed once I'd read the description out to him!

      I can't wait to read more of your hubs, excellent work! :) Have a great New Year!

    • profile image

      Alternative95 6 years ago

      I usually wear black so it is interesting to see how that affects how ppl look at me

    • profile image

      kate  6 years ago

      i am the color navy blue i have control

    • profile image

      Lizday13 6 years ago

      What about yellow and white, clear, glitter?

    • profile image

      Lauren 6 years ago

      I disagree with this, mostly because i own a huge variety of every color family of polishes, and i let my BF pick the colors i wear sometimes. So no, if I'm wearing sparkly blue (like i am now) It's not based on my mood, or personality, it's because it got the most votes on the MUA nail board.

    • profile image

      Anon 6 years ago

      I wear them all. So I'm dramatic, spunky, youthful, energetic, quiet, don't want to stand out, rebellious, sophisticated, calm, glamorous, not flashy, want attention drawn to me, bold, mature, earthy, and confident without being too youthful.

      Either I need a hell of a lot of medication and it's a miracle I can form a sentence or this isn't quite accurate.

    • profile image

      leanne 6 years ago

      What about gunmetal and silver nail varnishes? I wear gunmetal a lot but I also wear red, purple, pink, blue and black. I did wear French manicure but i read in a review employers find it tacky.

    • profile image

      6 years ago

      I'm with Anon -- either I'm horribly schizoid or this isn't accurate. My nails were sparkly brown two days ago, now they're a purplish-grey. Nothing changed about my personality in two days, it's just the colors that I like and wanted to try out.

    • ProfoundPuns profile image
      Author

      ProfoundPuns 6 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Hi all, thanks for all the comments! I never expected people would be so passionate about this topic! The way I look at it, your nail polish color reflects a particular facet of your personality. Of course people don't wear the same color all the time! Just like you choose different colors for your nails, you have different moods and different pieces of your identity that show on a given day. Sometimes I'm feeling dramatic and want to wear red; other days I want to blend in and so I wear pale pink. You wear lots of colors, but you don't necessarily wear them at the same time.

      Of course when you paint your nails, you don't think to yourself, "What part of my identity do I want to show today?" But I thought that this was fun to think about and consider... like a horoscope. Hopefully you enjoyed it but didn't take it TOO seriously!

    • profile image

      Nikki nunya bidnez 6 years ago

      You know i never really thought about the color that i almost always wear {maroon} was like that i wil, positively absolutely will think of it next time i paint my nails!!!!! ;-D

    • profile image

      greatroxen 6 years ago

      Very interesting blogs and beautiful designs you have post in this blogs. I really prevaricate your blogs thanks for post. http://marialist.com/-1/posts/3_Real_Estate/18_Hom...

    • profile image

      :)  6 years ago

      What if you paint your nails with all sorts of those colors? I never use just one color. But this was really interesting to read.

    • poochie710 profile image

      poochie710 6 years ago from America

      This is a very cool hub, but as I kept on reading, I felt as if some of the colors started to have the same meaning. I believe if you are to do a Hub like this, each color should be identifiably different from the others.

      Ex.- Navy Blue- Authority, Brown- Authority, ect.

    • saif113sb profile image

      saif113sb 5 years ago

      I just had my nails colored a color named frosted raisin.It's a red, pink, are green colr.

      Thanks for the great information hub.

    • Emeraldgreen21 profile image

      Atell Rohlandt 5 years ago from South Africa

      Brilliant hub, and it definitely makes interesting reading! I wear almost all colors, but tend to go for pinks, greens, blues, purples, silver, black, red....oh ok, that defeats the purpose of mentioning a few eh? LOL I like them all, honestly I do! :-)

    • profile image

      Tobi 5 years ago

      i love wearing black and purple nail polish and i love nail polish

    • profile image

      madison 5 years ago

      i love nails so much that you can play with your nails

    • profile image

      Holly 5 years ago

      I agree and disagree. A lot of it is just common sense, what the colors in general usually represent, not just with nails. The colors CAN reflect your mood or personality... but not always. Me, I'm shy, quiet, afraid to speak up in public, love girly colors but love bright colors too, yet at the same time I'm stubborn and opinion and probably conceited sometimes. I wear anything from pale pink to bright orange, bright red, white, dark purple, anything, greens, midnight blue and baby blue. USUALLY I try to match the outfit I'm wearing (if not, then I go with pink because it's my favorite color), if I do my nails at all. The only issue with that is I'm often too lazy to take the nailpolish back off. So they KIND of match your mood...but at the same time not really. Clearly, you won't paint your nails a certain color to begin with if you're not in the mood for it. Lol. And any color you like will obviously reflect some part of your personality.

    • RingFinger1 profile image

      Gilbert Jansz 4 years ago from Illinois

      I have had a passion for painted nails since I was a young boy. When my wife screwed me over, I wanted to find a way to symbolize that I was F'd by her so I decided to paint my now naked ring finger nail. So to those of you who's spouse/parter F'd you up, pait your ring fingernail now!!

    • profile image

      Aleksandra 3 years ago

      This web sight is boaring.

      Even if i am 10 years old i can make up a better web sight then this.

    • profile image

      Anonymous 23 months ago

      I just got my nails done yesterday and it's rainbow colored, what does that show then?

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