Do your mani and pedi need to match?

Say goodbye to a uniform mani-pedi with these simple tips
By Ingrie Williams,

ManiPedi Getty Images

Q: Should my mani and pedi match?

A: The answer, in a word, is no. The nail colour on your hands needn’t be the exact same shade that’s on your toes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s a classically chic look, especially if you’re sporting classically chic colours. Pale pink, a rich red or a deep dark shade (the latest iconic colour) always looks ladylike displayed on both tips and toes. But with today’s proliferation of eye-popping colours, cool finishes and life-changing treatments (thank you, Shellac and Axxium), limiting yourself to one shade is a tad boring and unnecessary.

Okay, so you know you don’t need to match, but you should be coordinated. This is the fun part, because there are so many options. You could go the monochromatic route, choosing two shades in the same colour family—say a light pink mani and deep pink pedi. Or you could pair a sheer, pale polish with a dark and dramatic one. I love this look for sporting the nontraditional, hit shades of the season, such as a neon hue or a metallic colour. Or you also could try two different colours that share the same depth of tone, for example, vibrant fuchsia and an equally bright orange.

In terms of which shade should go where, there is the notion that your manicure colour should be unassuming while your pedicure colour is more daring. It’s kind of the polish equivalent of a mullet hair style: business up top, party down below. If you work in a conservative environment, this is definitely something to consider. It’s hard to be taken seriously when your hands are decked out in blue shimmer, so it may be best to keep such shades on your toes. But if you’re not limited by a professional dress code, I say mix it up!

Polish is such a low-risk style commitment, you can afford to splash out a bit. Even the brightest shade or craziest pattern can’t offend when your nails are kept short. And that’s one rule that shouldn’t be broken: trim is in and talons that jut past your fingertips are a no-no.

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