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Professional Nail Polish: Colors for the Work Place

Updated on February 13, 2014
You must choose carefully which nail polish you wear to work
You must choose carefully which nail polish you wear to work | Source

Do you want to wear nail polish at work, but aren't sure which color to choose? Wearing the wrong color on your nails can hurt your image of professionalism. Because of this, picking a nail polish color that is appropriate for the office can get kind of tricky, especially since color trends vary and change with each season. Here is a breakdown of which colors are generally safe for the workplace, and which to stay away from.

How to Choose the Right Color

Your goal is to choose a color that will show off your personality and taste, while still appearing professional. Most colors can be professional, as long as you get that color in the right shade. When choosing your shade, always aim for the darker side of the spectrum. These are warmer than their bright counterparts, and are more appropriate for work. For example, look for deep reds, rosy pinks, emerald greens, navy blues, etc.

Bright colors, such as yellows, fiery reds, aqua greens, or anything that resembles a neon lamp is a big no-no. The last thing you want is to show up at work with your nails looking like highlighters! That can be very distracting for both you and your coworkers, and it takes away from your professional appearance.

"Crackle" nail polish
"Crackle" nail polish | Source

Take Out the Boring!

Sometimes, a solid color just isn't enough. There are some options for spicing up your nail polish, without seeming unprofessional.

French Tip: A french tip is when the tip of your nails is painted a different color than the base. With this method, a bolder color can be used for the tips because they will occupy a smaller portion of the nail. This significantly lessens the stunning effect that bright colors have, and your nails won't distract you or anybody else. You can even get away with applying sparkle or shimmer to the tips.

Crackle: The "crackle" trend is becoming very popular. This is when one base color is applied, and the second color is meant to go on unevenly, causing the nails to look "crackled". An example of "Crackled" nails is in the photo on the right.

Nail Art: Nail art is completely acceptable in the workplace, as long as it's appropriate for all ages, and won't be deemed distracting. Many nail salons offer to apply creative designs, or you can do them yourself.

When designing your nails, remember to stick to the color rule that I talked about before. Most designs should conform to a professional appearance as long as the colors used to do them are appropriate.

What's your take on nail polish in the workplace?

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