Recreate Bella Hadid's 'café au lait' nails with these deliciously chic polish picks

2024's new neutral has arrived

Editor / May 23 2024

When Bella Hadid hits the red carpet in Cannes, beauty fans around the world take a collective deep breath. Why? Because amazing things are about to happen. She mixes the classic with the cool in a way that breathes entirely new life into looks that were starting to feel stale, and by doing so, catapults certain aesthetics, finishes and colours to 'trending' level. And this year, Hadid took her talents to a look we didn't think needed a new PR strategy (but evidently did): the nude manicure.

Nude nails are obviously nothing particularly avant-garde, but just the way that Hailey Bieber turned plain-old-shimmery-polish into the glazed donut phenomenon of 2022, Hadid's latest look is ushering us into a fresh gourmand neutral era. Coined 'Café au lait' nails by Hadid's nail artist, Emi Kudo, the look steers the nude nail movement away from 'find your skin tone in polish form' territory in favour of a universally-flattering coffee-with-milk colour. And damn, does it look good.

Here's everything you need to know about how Kudo crafted the exact polish mix, as well as the eerily similar dupes you can shop for yourself to recreate the deliciously chic aesthetic...

Getty Images


Getty Images

Bella Hadid's café au lait nails

Don't worry, we'll get to the dupes in a second (as sadly not all of us have the pleasure of having a Hollywood nail artist on speed dial), but first let's just take a moment to appreciate the artistry that went into crafting the season's soon-to-be chicest colour. Kudo actually mixed three different shades from the below polish pigment palette, blending them together until they perfectly matched Hadid's gown. Um, incredible.

The colour sits on the warmer side (a welcome twist for our Aussie winter), with no mauve, grey or pink tones in sight, but plenty of shine. Luckily for us, we get to take Kudo's trend-informing result and run (to the nearest nail polish stockist) to nab something similar...


The best nail polishes for recreating Bella Hadid's café au lait nails

Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in 'Légende'

From $48 at David Jones

Want to get your hands on Chanel but can't justify a Mini Flap Bag just yet? Get Chanel on your hands instead. This creamy caramel polish will kill two birds with one extremely chic stone (allowing you to both nab the prettiest polish bottle on the market and perfectly recreate Hadid's manicure). As for the shade we're recommending, 'Légende' is a warm taupe ideal for a luxe café au lait look, with the formula's high-gloss finish specifically designed to give 'rich'.

Key features:

  • New formula featuring more colour pigment
  • Ultra-shiny, lacquered finish
  • Enriched with nourishing camellia eco-ceramides

Available at:

O.P.I Infinite Shine Nail Lacquer in 'Over-Slay Your Welcome'

From $24.95 at Myer

Hadid's café au lait nails were not lacking in the gloss department, and so a polish with 'Shine' in the name is a no-brainer. O.P.I's Infinite Shine formulas are beloved for their durability, ease of application and gleam-factor, making 'Over-Slay Your Welcome' (10/10 name, by the way) a stellar honey-hued choice if you're wanting to commit to the coffee-inspired manicure for a full fortnight. 

Key features:

  • Gel-like durability and shine
  • Affordable enough to restock frequently
  • Great pigment for the price

Available at:

Dior Vernis Nail Polish in 'Tutu'

From $44 at Sephora

Firstly, ten points to Dior for this polish's ergonomic brush, designed to make DIY manicures a breeze. Secondly, shoutout to the formula's Techno-Polymer, which works to create a seamless bond between the nail and the enamel (helping to do away with the tacky 'thick' look of some polishes). And third, can we take a moment for the toffee-taupe colour? Consider our nails' café au lait craving satisfied.

Key features:

  • Features organic silicon for longer wear
  • Formulated without toluene, formaldehyde, phthalates or camphor
  • Cap made of recycled plastic material

Available at:

Main image credit: Getty Images

Want more nail inspo? Here's how to work 'Peach Fuzz' into your manicure...

Delaney began her career in the Australian beauty media industry in 2015, landing amidst the glossy world of women’s lifestyle magazines (or more literally, in their beauty cupboards). Since then, she has gone on to write across a multitude of beloved Australian media brands, including OK!, NW, InStyle, and Harper’s BAZAAR. She’s covered every side of beauty content, from directing beauty editorial shoots to rounding up the best glossy serums for golden hour skin. Having spent nearly a decade immersed in the beauty realm, Delaney’s knowledge of beauty is as extensive as her collection of tinted lip oils (read: extremely extensive). Delaney is currently the Digital Managing Editor of BEAUTYcrew, and her beauty wisdom also appears across beautyheaven, ELLE and Marie Claire. She enjoys channelling her personal hobby (testing beauty products) into her professional work (talking about testing beauty products), and considers perfecting the art of a cat eye in a moving car her life’s greatest accomplishment.