It’s no secret that certain colors can make us feel some type of way. Whether we’re curating a killer wardrobe filled with our favorite seasonal hues or a lipstick collection for the ages, we tend to gravitate toward certain shades without even realizing it.
According to Lynne Marks, the international director of the London Image Institute, color is actually a super key way that we convey information about something (including ourselves) in a nonverbal way. That means the winter nail shades you always have in your rotation may say more about you than you think. “Color psychology has become a popular area of color theory that assigns emotional and psychological connotations between colors and emotions,” Marks states. “Whether you like a color frequently depends on childhood memories and your association between colors and feelings. If your mother made you wear yellow one day and your classmates made fun of you, yellow is not likely to be your favorite color as an adult.”
Using this observation as a guide, it made me think a bit more deeply about my own favorite hues—especially when it comes to my nails. During the colder months, I tend to favor deeper polishes that fit a sweater-weather mood. To take it a step further, I thought it only appropriate to gain a bit of insight from Marks on some of the most common dark winter nail colors and what the emotions evoked by each could say about us.
Obviously, color theory and psychology are subjective subjects, but if you’re curious about why your go-to winter nail shades speak directly to your soul, keep scrolling below for what Marks had to share.
Burgundy is a gorgeous and sultry shade that sometimes gets overlooked when it comes to nail colors, IMO. Marks says that burgundy could be considered a combination of both red and purple. It evokes feelings of luxury, ambition, and even royalty. It’s also very introspective as it can encourage you to sit more deeply with your thoughts, dreams, and emotions. So basically, it’s right on theme for the season. If you’re often attracted to this shade, you’re most likely a dreamer who’s sensitive and compassionate but with a strong sense of opulence. You love the finer things in life and want your nail color to reflect a strong sense of elegance.
For the folks who love a darker, misty gray, you’re most likely the hardest-working of us all. Marks sees those attracted to gray as more conservative, intelligent, and businesslike. It means you always get the job done without fail.
Black may have a long history of being the rebel of nail polish colors, but in terms of color psychology, it drums up more than you think. A strong, black hue suggests sophistication, power, and dominance. Obviously, this is not to say you’re a domineering person, but it can propose that you like to make a bold statement and be in full control of your circumstances.
A deep-brown shade is earthy and woody. Gravitating toward this color, according to Marks, means you inspire confidence in yourself and others. It’s a reassuring shade that can be perceived by others as authoritative, compelling, trustworthy, and dependable. You’re most likely the friend people always turn to for life advice.
Of all the dark winter nail colors, royal blue feels most resonant for the season. Marks considers it a color that conjures feelings of peace, serenity, trust, loyalty, and integrity. Feeling connected to this shade means you’re most likely an honest individual who errs on the side of conservative. Marks even says that politicians often wear this color because it creates a sense of predictability and trustworthiness.
Marks says that there’s a fresh, earthy quality to the color green. It makes others think of nature, balance, growth, and prosperity. Those who vibe with a dark-green shade probably like to feel harmonious, stable, and secure in their surroundings (so basically, Libras). It can also represent rebirth and self-reliance, so you could be going through a stage of major change in your life that causes you to be more in tune with your emotions and surroundings.
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.