How do you pick your pedi color?

by Emily R | 28 Comments

Do you have rhyme and reason, decide by season, or let a color strike you in the moment? As long as you’re happy, there’s no wrong way to choose.

We’ve learned over the years that there are different methods by which ladies pick their polish. Today we’re decoding a few of them.

Match to your skin tone. If you aren’t sure whether your skin is warm or cool, here’s a quick way to tell:

  • – Look at your wrist in natural light.
  • – Veins appear blue = cool skin tone
  • – Veins appear green = warm skin tone
  • – If you can’t determine if they’re blue or green, you may have a neutral skin tone. Neutral = you can wear anything. Lucky!

The golden rule is warm skin = warm colors (yellow based) and cool skin = cool colors (blue-based). A lot of people may not realize that colors come in both warm and cool tones (eg: warm red vs cool red). Fortunately, there are tons of great color resources online if you’re eager to figure out which shade of sunshine yellow won’t make your glorious skin look green.

Coordinate with your fingernails. Looking around in yoga (we have yoga here in the Julep office. BEST PLACE EVER, but I digress), we see a lot of ladies who choose a color and wear a lighter version on their fingernails and a darker shade on their toes. For example, the cotton candy of Carrie, and the fab fuschia of Drew.

There are also neutral fingernails giving way to wild toes. Ever-stylish Kennedy on fingers paves the way for Ally’s electric peep-toe pop. It’s an unexpected and captivating combo. And we’re in full support of this bold look.

Stay Seasonal/trendy. In our Julep Maven program the gal who stays up-to-the minute with color trends usually qualifies as an It Girl. We do our best here at Julep to keep current with color just for her. When Pantone declared emerald the “Color of the Year,” we released The Emerald Collection. Sorry, it’s now out of stock. Just as neons were making their way on to every surface from head to foot, we released The Brights Collection—non-toxic neons, oh hayyy!—again, out of stock. On trend colors…when they’re gone, they’re gone. And the It Girls are on to something else.

Always wear the same color. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”  Some colors never, ever, ever go out of season or style. Those classic colors usually look great with everything. If you’ve found your favorite and you’re sticking to it: bravo! Some Julep perennial bestsellers include the universally adored red January, a dreamy driftwood neutral Alaina, and Coco the oxblood crème.

Thing is, even traditionalists have their moods, so if someday your favorite color isn’t doing it for you anymore, fret not. We’ll always be here to polish you out of a rut.

Got a color combo that makes you happy? Let us know in the comments! 

  • I am nowhere near flexible enough to do my toes every time I do my fingers. I tend to stick with a standard, like a pink or red, on my toes, while my fingers change color every other day, and can be any crazy shade.

  • Stacy Addison

    Mine are both green and blue. I pick my colors according to my mood, football team, or occasion. Its fun to try New colors and step outside of your comfort zone. When i first received sasha I thought yuck what a awful color I gave it a try though and it is now one of my favorite colors.

  • I change my polish based on my mood or a holiday.

  • Kylie

    I apsloutly love reading beauty blogs and this whould have to be one of the best. I paint my nails all the time and I do a lot of research too , it’s good to know I’m not the only one .

    • Emily

      Big thanks, Kylie! You are definitely not the only one. We’re a big community of beauty lovers over here.

  • Sunnymay

    Seafoam which is a pale green was popular last year and I still see it plenty of places. The pale shades of pink and nude are also on trend for an elegant look.

  • seasonal – reds and pinks for summer
    Pastels for spring
    Reds, browns, earth tones winter and fall

  • I pick my colors accord idling to the occasion
    I am attending. orther than that I were a very pink and white pedi

  • michele McInnis

    I love bright vibrant colours, they match match my personality, I am from Europe and love your products. I have some wonderful ideas too. if your interested. thanks Michele McInnis. My email is

  • Lina

    I am very partial to red nails on my feet.
    I always have been.

    I have tried many colors, and yet, I always seem to go back to red…example: cherry red, watermellon red, etc.

    My feet are a pale color, and red polishes on my toes make them look dainty, for some reason.

    My 2nd most favorite color on my feet are the fushia-pink nail polishes. 🙂

    TXS for asking.

    PS: My hands are a different situation because I am much more daring with my hands’ nail colors….I love many colors for my hands, especially the JULEP colors.


    • Emily

      What a coincidence! We love Julep colors on your hands, too. 😉

  • G

    I am a very ex-centric individual. I have always followed the beat of my own drums, followed my own bliss and never followed the crowd or fashion styles. I am me and do not wish to be like anyone else. I chose my polishes by my moods and lean towards the sparkly happy side of life. As far as back as elementary school I have even made and designed my own clothes with out premade patterns. Even with all I have been through I try to turn the negative into positive and help any one I can in my path. I go by G a lot and have been gifted many nicknames through my life. I love your products and customer service. I will totally SHINE ON and Blessed Be to all!

    • Emily

      SHINE ON, G! 🙂

  • Brooke

    currently I’m wearing Lena on my toes. I’m always going by season, but here in Washington we have RAIN and NOT rain so I go bright with my toe-baring shoes and neutral, black or white while covering the tootsies. This summer I will be changing my toes nearly as often as I change my fingers (an obscene amount) as I don’t want to miss our on ONE SECOND of great toe-showing weather, and of course I have to try out ALL of my ever growing stash of Julep polish! <3

    • Emily

      We know what you mean, Brooke! We call it “toe jail” during the rainy months. When our toes are free, the color is changing often.

  • Gina

    Thank you for posting this blog, not only did it give me great tips on how to mix and match all the polishes I have but it also taught me something new; I have a warm skin tone 🙂

    • Emily

      Haha! Awesome. Glad it was helpful!

  • Wolfie

    If I don’t have to match my nail polish to anything in particular, I reach into the bin and pull out the first bottle I grab. Then I try to find a coordinating colour and think up some sort of design. Gives me good practice for matching colours on-the-fly, something that’s important for an artist. This is my most recent one: I pulled out the pink, and picked the gold to match it.
    Give this colour-roulette game a try, it gets you to use nail polishes you haven’t used in a while. It’s also a fun way to pass a rainy afternoon like this one! 🙂 (Ottawa has had nothing but rain this year, it seems!)

    • Emily

      How cool! So brave and creative. I’m totally inspired to let the universe decide my next nail color….. Although reaching blindly into our Julep bins, I already know whatever I pull out will be gorgeous. 🙂

  • Hi I am Delisa Martin Yes I love all of your products!

  • Stacy

    I have tattoos on my feet, and I always coordinate my polish with my ink: lots of blue, yellow, and red!

    • Emily

      LOVE THIS!

  • September

    Wow! I do a lot of both! So may more favorite way to do my pedi is to keep it safe. I stick with pinks usually. However, I do like to keep up with the season. I pick darker colors in the cool months and brightens colors in the warm months. That’s for my main. But with my pedi I really do usually stick to pinks! I like glitter, but doesn’t have to be. And I try to keep with my pale skin tone. Coral toes look great on me!

  • Anne

    I tend to save my bright polish colors for my toes. They may seem a little to wild for the office…but I know the inside of my shoes are having a neon party! Fun little secret 🙂

  • Petty McCloud

    I think my first name would make a great polish name! I have yet to meet anyone named Petty. I was named for our pastor’s last name. I love polishing my fingernails and change the colors a lot. I am lucky enough to be able to pull of bright blues, bright greens and I love silver polish! This summer I’m keeping white on my toes so no major colors clashing!