Some hues say you’re looking for love, while others say the opposite.
There are so many details to consider about your appearance before a date. You want to make sure your outfit, fragrance, and hair all combine to tell the most authentic story about you and your personality. Your nails also contribute to that image—and whoever is sitting across the table from you will likely notice if you choose something quirky and unique or classic and subtle. To help you choose, we asked relationship experts for the best nail polish colors to wear on a date. From bright and bold to soft and feminine, you’re bound to find your perfect match.
1. Bubblegum Pink
Pink nail polish never goes out of style. Nicole Moore, relationship expert and coach at Love Works, considers it a go-to choice for dates.
“It’s the perfect mix of classic, cute, and sexy—and it’s a safe choice without being too boring,” she says. “A medium pink color is romantic without being overtly sexual and is great for those that want to convey: I care about my appearance, and I’m cute and fun, but I’m also looking for something more serious.”
Over time, the color has come to represent femininity, softness, romance, and warmth. By lacquering it onto your nails, you’ll convey that those qualities are important to you. For the perfect shade, Moore suggests the color SE from Olive and June.
When you think of fiery romance, you likely see the color red. Well, use those associations to your advantage by sporting the hue on your nails for a date.
“Numerous research studies have found that when women wear the color red, it subconsciously enhances a man’s attraction to her,” says Sarah Melancon, PhD, a certified sexologist and lead researcher for the Women’s Health Interactive. “One study even found that women’s personal ads received more contacts when wearing the color red in their photo: Almost 21 percent of men expressed interest in contacting a woman who wore red, compared to almost 15 percent for black and 16 percent for blue.”
In a viral video, TikTok user @GirlBossTown explained her theory for why red nails are attractive. “In the ’90s, when we were growing up, women had red nails a lot, especially like our moms,” she says. “And I weirdly think guys are attracted to red nails because it reminds them of their moms when they were growing up taking care of them.”
Commenters on the video noted that they often receive more date offers when wearing red nails.
A close second to red is burgundy. “This plays on the red energy that’s fun and sexy, but it also denotes depth,” says Moore. “Wearing burgundy on your nails is a great way to let people know that there’s more to you than meets the eye. It’s a color that denotes intrigue and mystery and is great for introverts or those that take time to open up to people.”
It’s also a gorgeous choice for fall and winter when a poppy red might seem too bright. Moore suggests the shade Obsessed from Olive and June.
It doesn’t get any more classic than n#de. “A natural blush, n#de, or mauve color, which makes the nails look well-manicured without being ostentatious, works well for women who have more of a minimalist beauty approach or like to appear more girly than sexy,” says Melancon.
These nails are fairly easy to upkeep. You could slide a layer of clear polish over a nicely filed and clean nail or visit the salon for fresh color every two weeks. This manicure shows that presenting a polished, understated look is important to you.
Want something neutral that still stands out? Choose a crisp white for your next date.
“This color is perfect if you want to come off as unique and not afraid of capturing attention,” says Moore. “White pops on everyone’s skin color and will make you stand out, but it’s still classic and natural enough that you’ll look cool, not crazy.”
If you’re in a relationship, though, take note. TikTok has decided white is a color for singletons (which means if you’re looking for a first-date nail color, it’s perfect!).
“The white nail theory on TikTok states that white nails communicate your relationship status to the men around you,” writes The List. “According to the theory, the wearer of white nails is not committed to anyone—they are single and ready to be approached by potential partners.”
Of course, it’s important to note that you should take every nail color’s “symbolism” with a grain of salt. Before your next date, paint your nails with the color that makes you feel most confident. By doing that, you’ll have the best date possible.