Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Princess Kate's wedding manicurist reveals ultimate nail secrets – and the faux pas to avoid

Marina Sandoval revealed you can still go wrong with natural bridal nail colours

Bride having her nails painted
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
May 23, 2023
Share this:

The Princess of Wales' wedding outfit will go down in history as one of the most iconic royal wedding looks of all time, and that includes her manicure.

Kate ensured that she had understated nails in a natural nude hue that didn't detract from her sapphire and diamond engagement ring that once belonged to Princess Diana or her Welsh gold wedding ring. Now, the person responsible for her perfectly polished nails, Marina Sandoval, has teamed up with Hatton Jewellers to share their top tips for your engagement and wedding manicure – and what not to do.

What manicure did Princess Kate have on her wedding day?

Princess Kate holding the programme at her royal wedding© WPA Pool
Princess Kate chose nude nails on her wedding day

Similar to her engagement photos, which saw the Princess with natural clear nails and a blue Issa dress that complimented her ring, Kate chose a subtle pink manicure on her wedding day in April 2011.

Princess Kate walking into Westminster Abbey on her wedding day© Getty
The royal bride's manicure is still popular today

It was made from a unique combination of Bourjois' '28 Rose Lounge,' a nude shade that is opaque after one coat, and Essie's '423 Allure', which further enhanced the natural finish. 

The latter was one of the late Queen Elizabeth's go-to brands, and although Kate's bridal colour has been discontinued, it has a revamped 'Allure' which Essie promises is "fit for royalty."

WATCH: All the best moments from William and Kate's royal wedding

"Catherine wanted something very natural looking and I felt these matched her skin colour beautifully. She wanted something off-white and bridal, so these were absolutely perfect," Marina told the Daily Mail. "She was very pleased with the result and told me that it looked beautiful and elegant. I can’t wait to see the result when Prince William places his ring on her finger."

LOOK: 12 royal brides' wedding beauty secrets you'll wish you knew sooner

READ: Bridal beauty treatments: Everything Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton and more had done

What colour should your nails be for your wedding?

Interestingly, Kate's chosen hue continues to be very popular among brides today as nude colours tie in with every colour scheme and never go out of fashion. "Around 50 per cent of my clients will go for a pale pink natural nail colour and the other 50 per cent will go for a warmer shade like peach or light pink," Marina said.

However, she noted that different shades complement and clash with different skin tones, so it's important to choose the right colour for you: 

  • Fair skin: blush pinks 
  • Medium skin: pinky/beige nude 
  • Olive skin: creamy nude or peachy shades 
  • Dark skin: dusty rose or coffee-coloured tones 

Another timeless choice is the French manicure, which features a pink or nude base with delicate white tips that mimic your real nail. Marina recommends not going too overboard with any nail art or glitter as they "make the hand look artificial and take away from the precious stone."

A bride and groom holding hands showing their wedding rings
French tips are a timeless nail choice

If you're choosing a bolder colour, make sure it's one that ties in with your colour scheme or your engagement ring stone. The celebrity makeup artist explained: "Emerald stones can be paired with red or dark green nail polish, whereas rubies will blend well with a burgundy red and also contrast nicely with an off-white shade."

The overall lesson? Although it's perhaps one of the most overlooked parts of a bride's beauty look, your nails should be picture-perfect for the close-up photos of your wedding ring.

What manicure should I choose for my engagement photos?

The Princess of Wales sported clear nails in her engagement photos© Getty
The Princess of Wales sported clear nails in her engagement photos

Your nails may be on your mind long before you actually walk down the aisle. In fact, the research found that there has been a 122 per cent increase in online searches for "engagement ring nails" over the past year. 

While you can choose any colour you'd like, there is a clever tip to make your engagement ring pop – by matching your nail shape. Hatton Jewellers and Marina suggested the following nail shapes based on your engagement ring if you want that perfect engagement photo:

Princess and cushion-cut engagement rings

A couple exchanging wedding bands
Square nails work well with cushion-cut diamonds

If you've got a popular princess-cut diamond, known for its symmetrical and square shape, or a cushion-cut diamond, which features rounded corners, Marina explained: "Squared-off nails help reiterate the sharper fancier feeling of diamond shapes.”

Round and oval engagement rings 

An obvious choice for round and oval cut diamonds are rounded nails, which Marina said will "embrace the symmetry of your round stone."

Marquise and pear-shaped engagement rings

A marquise-cut diamond is a low-cut diamond with 58 facets while a pear-shaped diamond has a rounded bottom tapering to a point at the top. "Playing off the points of a stiletto or almond-shaped nails will compliment these diamond cuts," she said.

Emerald-cut engagement rings 

A squoval nail shape perfectly mimics an emerald-cut diamond, which has a shallow pavilion and open table to accentuate the clarity of the stone.

READ MORE: Queen Letizia teamed £6m wedding dress with unexpected heirlooms from royal in-laws

Planning your wedding? Sign up to HELLO!’s Bride Guide newsletter for expert advice, budget help, wedding inspiration and real life stories delivered straight to your inbox.

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Weddings

See more