Color Theory & Skintone – Part 1

August 11th, 2017

Custom blending allows the technician to offer the ultimate manicure and pedicure service.  Not only to customizes pinks and whites using formulas to complement or match your client’s skin tones, but also creating a look that is just for them and no one else.  Customizing for your client can create the illusion of longer, sleeker nail beds that may not be achieved in the conventional methods.  Customizing a color for that client that no other salon has is a great way to boost your service ticket and style.

In order to mix colors successfully (there is a science behind this), it is important to truly understand color. In part 1 of this series we will discuss color theory, and how it can relate to skintone.


Color Wheel



Color theories create a logical structure for color. Sir Isaac Newton used a glass prism to divide white rays of sunlight into the fanned colored wavelengths, which he named the spectrum. He diagrammed the seven spectral hues into a closed ring that followed the ordering of the colors as the appeared in the spectrum, and in the rainbow, thus creating the first color wheel.

A color circle, based on red, yellow and blue, is traditional in the field of art. The great advantage of Newton’s color circle over preceding linear ordering was that it revealed color relationships. Artists could see that the adjacent hues are related by color, not just by lightness or darkness, and that colors of highest contrast are located directly opposite each other on the wheel. There are also definitions (or categories) of colors based on the color wheel. We begin with a 3-part color wheel.

Primary: Red, yellow and blue. In traditional color theory (used in paint and pigments), primary colors are the 3 pigment colors that cannot be mixed or formed by any combination of other colors. All other colors are derived from these 3 hues.

Secondary: Green, orange and purple. These are the colors formed by mixing two primary colors together.

Tertiary: Yellow-orange, red- orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green & yellow-green. These are the colors formed by mixing a primary and a secondary color. That’s why the hue is a two word name, such as blue-green, red-violet, and yellow-orange.

Value: value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. Black, white and gray are used to create dimension, mood, rhythm and emphasis. When referring to pigments, dark values with black added are called “shades” of the given hue name. Light values with white pigment added are called “tints” of the hue name.  What color is a highlight on a nail?  What color is a shadow?

Warm vs. Cool Colors

Colors, especially skin tones, lie in a spectrum of cold or warm colors. Cooler colors tend to appear more blue or have a blueish undertone. Warmer colors tend to have more of a yellow undertone. Aside from Blue and Yellow, warm or cool colors are not always obvious. They can just have a slight warmth or coolness that can only be seen when held up to a similar color. This is why you have variations of purple colors, they may have the same VALUE but one purple may be warmer and have more red, than another that may be cooler and more blue.

Understanding how to identify a warm color or cool color and knowing how to warm up or cool down a color can help you create the perfect mix for your client.  Both the Attraction Acrylic System and Balance LED/UV Gel System have a range of Warm to Cool hues that can be used when customizing your colors.

Warm colors are traditionally red, yellow, and orange.

To make a color warmer, you can add a small amount of a true yellow or red and create a whole new custom warm color. A yellow-green is a warm green, an example of a yellow-green is a fresh avocado. It is still green but it has a yellow undertone.

Cool colors are traditionally blue, green, and purple.

To make a color cooler, you can add a small amount of a true blue and create a whole new custom cool color. A blue-red is a cool red, an example of a blue-red is the color of red wine. It’s still red but it has a blue undertone.


Color and Skin Tones

The genes that determine your skin tone, hair, and eye color also determine what colors look best on you.  When you study your own coloring, you will find that your skin, hair, and eyes have either blue (cool) or golden (warm) tones. Your inherited skin tone does not change; it simply deepens with a tan and fades with age.

The tone of your skin comes from three pigments, melanin (brown), carotene (yellow), and hemoglobin (red).  It is the particular combination of these three pigments that gives you your unique skin tone.

Because your skin acts as a thin filter, it is the tone just under its surface that determines whether your skin is warm or cool.  Cool skin tones have blue undertones, while warm skin tones have a golden undertone.


Determining Skin Tone

Some people’s skin tone is quite obvious, but for others it is subtle.  Compare wrists and palms by placing a piece of white paper under your hand and wrist.  Does it look pinkish/blue or golden/orange?

Don’t be fooled by hair color since some clients may dye and color their hair, it isn’t an accurate way to determine how warm or cool a color is. To determine your client’s skin tone it is best to do it on an area of skin without makeup and compare it to a white surface or white towel.


Complementing colors

If you are unfamiliar with customizing a color for your client, instead of matching, try complimenting.  Even take a look to see what your client’s favorite lipstick color, blush, or eye shadow happens to be.  Chances are, they are already wearing the “right” colors.

To pick a complementing color for your client choose your desired system, and select a color that is either more blue or more golden. It’s a good practice to have some sample tips made up of your blushes and pinks to compare to your clients skin tone before starting the service.

TIP: It’s easy to make some samples to reference, just press out several beads of product onto a Clear nail tip and allow to cure so that you can hold it over the client’s finger to compare.


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NEW! Polish Pro Island Resort Collection!

June 2nd, 2017

We are excited to announce our brand-new Summer 2017 “Island Resort” Collection for our Polish Pro UV/LED Gel Polish line! Adorn your clients in an abundance of gorgeously bold and fun shades to rock out this summer! Whether they are going to music festivals, digging their toes in the sand, or just hanging out by the pool, you can give your clients a wide array of tropical colors to choose from to make their manis and pedis look alive!

The Island Resort colors!

View our Pinterest!

There are already some excited Nail Techs using our product as well! Check out our Pinterest Board below to see what they have done with our new colors so far!

Are you interested in purchasing this collection and are in the USA? Be sure to make an account on our website so you can place your orders! If you would like to find a local distributor in your area, click here!

Looking to become a better Nail Tech? Put your skills to the test and ramp up your NSI Product and nail tech knowledge by joining our 3 day intensive program! HURRY before seats fill!

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Pisces – Zodiac Inspired Nails

February 24th, 2017

We’re here welcoming the ever beautiful, ever emotional Pisces! The sign of the artist. Pisces are very friendly, so they often find themselves in a company of very different people. Pisces is a Water sign and as such, this zodiac sign is characterized by empathy and expressed emotional capacity. Their ruling planet is Neptune, so Pisces are more intuitive than others and have an artistic talent.

Check out our Pisces inspired Pinterest Board!:

Pisces does not take well to a position of leadership or high business person, they are too sensitive and lacking in self-discipline and lacking self-confidence for a positions such as that. What they are good at is is writing, acting, poetry, or being musicians. Pisces are excellent at anything that tugs at the heart strings and mystical/spiritual. They are extremely creative and can use their skills of creativity and their understanding of people to inspire others. Unfortunately, most Pisces take the easy way out in life and never attain the degree of fame that they possibly could, they have to stop self-doubting themselves because they are capable of being good role models and leaders to others, people do look up to them.

Zodiac Pairings:

Polish Pro : Blue Martini, Spring Showers, Blanca, Sedona’s Got a Big Ol’ Butte, Shimmering Sand, Tangerine Dream

Secrets Removable Gels : Open Minded, Bite Your Tongue, Brush on White, It’s a Mystery

Secrets Shades Acrylic Powder: Bohemian Babe, Bite your Tongue, Very Vintage

Secrets Sparkle Glitters: Vintage Gold, Sheen, GListening Coral

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Valentine’s Day Glam!

February 10th, 2017

Hello nail lovers! Here at NSI, we LOVE Valentine’s Day! Not only does it commemorate lovers around the country, it’s an incredible time to get your nails done in celebration in the name of love! We hope you enjoy our Glam Blog of ideas, art and shade pairings to help inspire your new set for that one client who always wants to be on-trend! Feel free to share this blog with your fellow nail techs who could use a pick-me-up and creative boost for this upcoming holiday!

Check out our Pinterest blog for inspiration!

V-Day Product Pairing!

Polish Pro UV/LED Gel Polish – Free Spirit, Midnight Kiss, Coral Dahlia, Flower Blossom, Pink Lotus and Mermaid Kisses!

Secrets Sparkle Glitter – Radiant Love, On the List and Twinkle!

Secrets Removable Gels LED/UV Curable – Sailor’s Delight, Love and Laughter, Speechless and Romantic Rose!

Secrets Acrylic Shade Powders – Don’t Kiss and Tell, Cloak and Dagger and Fairy Tails!

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Zodiac Inspired Nails – Aquarius

January 20th, 2017

Aquarius-born are shy and quiet, but on the other hand, they can be eccentric, quirky and energetic people. However, in both cases, they are deep thinkers and highly intellectual people who love helping others. They are able to see without prejudice on both sides, which makes them people who can easily solve problems. Aquarius colors range from soft teals, electric blues, pale greys and the occasional deep sea color! Enjoy our board inspired by this quirky Air sign!

Aquarius Inspired Products

Secrets Effects

Secrets Removable

Secrets Shades

Secrets Sparkles

Polish Pro

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Happy Friday the 13th!

January 13th, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th from NSI ! We will take any reason to celebrate the color black, and today happens to be the very first Black Friday of 2017! Come join us in celebration and take a look at some beautiful Black Friday inspiration we’ve collected in our Pinterest board below!

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Winter Glam Nails!

December 9th, 2016


We’re welcoming in the Winter season at NSI Headquarters and want to share our beautiful collection of wintery, seasonal inspirations with our Nail Tech community! We’ve featured a mix of new and classic shades to match your perfect Winter style, whatever it may be! Here’s to a prosperous season, a new year and new beginnings! Enjoy our Pinterest inspiration board below, and follow us to stay on-trend!


Winter Glam Shades


Secrets Design Gels



Secrets Acrylic Effects Powder



Polish Pro Gel Polish



Secrets Shades Acrylic Powder



Secrets Removable Gels



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Zodiac Inspired Nails – Sagittarius

November 21st, 2016


Sagittarius is a fun and exciting sign. The explorer and philosopher of the zodiac, they are typically interested in new experiences, new knowledge and new places. Very spontaneous people they tend to dislike anything which restricts their freedom to learn and grow and often are the most courageous sign when it comes to relying on luck in any endeavor.

We’ve curated some beautiful shades from our Secrets collection in this blog, and also have put together a coordinated Pinterest board too! Enjoy our Sagittarius inspired nails and beauty in this board and share with your Sag friends!

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Halloween Nail Art Inspiration

October 7th, 2016

With all the pumpkin spice and witchy winds we are just bubbling with inspiration! It’s the most Spook-tacular time of year! Since Halloween is all about dressing up and having fun, we fully encourage dressing your nails up too! We conjured up some of our favorite Halloween nail art for some spellbinding ideas!

Bat Nail art  blood
pumpkin_2016 witch_2016


Are you inspired by halloween? Be sure to enter out halloween nail art contest!!

halloween nail art contest

Last Year’s Winner: Aaliyah Fonseca


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Zodiac Inspired Nails – Libra

September 22nd, 2016

libra nails

Always fashionable, elegant and well groomed, Libra is tasteful and sophisticated. Libras see beauty and harmony in all things. Light, airy yet dark and lustrous blue colors call to this Air sign. Here you can find a collection of Libra inspired color palettes throughout our product line, as well as gorgeous nail art and images through our Pinterest board.

Check out our Libra inspired Board Here!

Our Product Pairings for Libra


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