How to Match Your Lipstick to Your Nail Polish? – An Extensive Guide for Color Coordinating!

by Stephanie Yankova

Are you someone who likes to color coordinate their outfits to the T? Matching socks, lingerie, even hair ties – the whole shebang! If that’s you, then you’ve probably asked yourself the following question, too – how to match your lipstick to your nail polish? Do you even need to match your makeup to your manicure? Are there any universal colors that just go with everything? We are just as meticulous about our appearances as you, so we’ve got all the answers right here! 

how to match lipstick nail polish classic black manicure nude pink lips

Should Your Nails Match Your Makeup?

Matching the color of the nails to the lipstick or the eyeshadow that you’re wearing is a commonly used approach by professional makeup artists. You’ve probably noticed this when browsing through editorial photoshoots in magazines or photos from fashion runways. This type of color coordination has a strong aesthetic appeal, especially if you’re wearing an outfit in a neutral color palette. While there is no rule stating that you should match your nails to your makeup, it’s an effective way to introduce a subtle and elegant accent to your appearance.

Read also: Should Your Manicure and Pedicure Match? – 3 Ways to Coordinate Your Nail Art

How to Match Your Lipstick to Your Nail Polish?

classic short nude manicure how to match lipstick nail polish guide


Matching your lipstick to your nail polish is not a newly invented approach. In fact, many beauty and fashion houses such as Chanel and Guerlain launched matching lipstick and nail polish shades back in the 00s. While switching between different colors may have been a quick and simple task in the past, this isn’t quite the case in the age of acrylic nails. Nowadays, if you have a gel nail set, you would normally wear it anywhere between 3–4 weeks. Does that mean you’ll have to wear the same color lipstick for a whole month in order to match them? The short answer is NO. This is where color theory comes into play. Keep reading to learn how to color coordinate your lipstick to your nail polish like a true artist!

Monochromatic Color Combinations

monochromatic color scheme shades of red

A monochromatic, or monochrome, color scheme is built by using different tones, shades, and tints of a single hue. For example, ruby, crimson, and blush are all different shades of the color red. If you only use shades of one singular color to create an outfit or a makeup look, they would be classified as monochromatic. This is probably one of the most popular and straightforward ways to color-coordinate your lipstick to your nail polish. It’s elegant, fool-proof, and instantly elevates your appearance. Let’s take a look at some of the most flattering lip-nail combos!

Classic Red

how to match lipstick nail polish classic red monochromatic combo

There’s no need to say much about this choice of color, as it speaks loud enough for itself. Women have worn this shade as an expression of their femininity and refinement for generations! If you are ever in need of a confidence booster, simply whip out your reddest red lipstick and nail polish, and you will feel like the most fabulous woman in the room – I guarantee that!

Burnt Orange 

matching lipstick nail polish burnt orange monochromatic combo

Now, burnt orange may be an unpopular color for some when it comes to lipsticks, but if you have tanned or dark skin trust me when I tell you – it’s a game-changer! Unlike coral, this particular shade is much more muted, which makes it incredibly wearable during all seasons. If you want to quickly elevate your simple outfit, a combination of burnt orange lipstick and nail polish will do that with ease!

Deep Nude Pink

how to match lipstick nail polish deep nude pink monochromatic combination

Nude pink is one of my favorite colors to wear mainly because it transitions really easily from day to night. It looks soft and natural on the skin, almost like an elevated version of the true color of your lips and nail bed. I usually opt for more pastel shades of nude pink during the summer and switch to deeper hues for fall and winter.


nail polish lipstick black monochromatic combo

This may or may not be an unpopular opinion, but I think there is something incredibly intoxicating and alluring in a black lip-nail combo. It’s cool, edgy, completely unexpected and an undeniable statement that’s bound to make an impression! If you’re feeling brave and are looking to add more character to your simple everyday outfit, this is definitely a combination you should try out!

Read also: Should You Match Nails to Dress? 9 Artistic Styles That Express Your Individuality!

Complementary Color Combinations

complementary color scheme shades of blue brown

Complementary colors are those that sit opposite of one another on the color wheel. These are usually the color combinations that you would consider rather bold and outrageous at first, and gradually grow fond of. The reason for this strong first reaction most people have to complementary colors is because of the strong contrast they create. Some find it appealing, others amusing. The bottom line is that it has its own unique aesthetic qualities and when introduced to makeup, it can help create a true masterpiece.

Red + Green

red lipstick green nail polish how to match complementary colors

Truthfully speaking, this may easily be one of my favorite color combinations to wear during the fall. A bold red lip in contrast with a set of rich green nails is my epitome of fall “old money” beauty.

Nude + Blue

beauty color combinations nude lipstick blue nails complementary color matching

Technically speaking, if you look at the color wheel the complementary color to blue is orange. However, I doubt that many people would casually rock an orange lipstick, so the closest shade based on this contrasting combination would be nude. I have to admit, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with blue nail polish until I started pairing it with nude clothes. I genuinely grew to love this color contrast, and now it even reminds me of the beach, which is something I appreciate during the colder months. Matching it with any shade of nude lipstick has the same aesthetic appeal!

Analogous Color Combinations

analogous color scheme shades of red pink orange purple

Analogous colors are those that sit right next to each other on the color wheel. These color combinations usually have a really soft, calming, and visually appealing effect on people. This is a great way to coordinate your lipsticks to your nails for those who enjoy experimenting with ombré!

Orange + Red

orange lipstick red nails polish analogous color matching

Orange and red is a color combination that oftentimes gets frowned upon, however, I’m here to rid it of its bad karma! Whether you decide to combine these two colors together to create an ombre effect or wear one as lipstick and the other as nail polish, they go together like bread and butter!

Nude + Green

how to match lipstick nail polish green nude analogous shades

Another color match that I absolutely adore is wearing nude lipstick with green nail polish. This is such an earthy, grounding, and minimalist color combination that for some reason always makes me feel really polished. I am personally not a fan of the nude lip during the summer, so this is definitely I combo I would wear predominantly during the fall and winter. If you want to take this look a step further and give it a little more pizzazz, opt for a shimmer gloss and a metallic dip for your manicure!

Read also: Should You Match Your Lipstick to Your Outfit? A Guide for Choosing the Right Color

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