As the weather cools and summer waves goodbye, we start to crave cozy sweaters, pumpkin flavors, and stylish scarves. What else changes as the leaves shift from green to red, gold, and brown? Our nails! While there are no rules when it comes to nail art, I find myself gravitating toward richer colors that reflect what’s going on in nature. And, of course, fun designs that remind me of the autumn holidays. Here are 10 gorgeous fall nail ideas to try this sweater weather season.
1. Fall Fire
Inspired by a crackling fire and the burnt orange color of leaves getting ready to fall, this shade is hot! I created this nail look using a deep red base topped with a gorgeous orangey bronze glittery polish. The result? Nails that are on fire with sparkly metallic that perfectly evokes fall. And the best part is this took me under 10 minutes.
2. Animal Print Accent
Want to add a little bit of fun to your fall nail look? Why not add an accent nail or two? I love this nail art idea, and it’s simpler than it looks. All you need is a deep burgundy polish, a mustard color (matte if you’re feeling fancy), and a neutral beige. If you like, you can get a nail brush from somewhere like Sally Beauty Supply and paint a leopard print design with black and dark brown polishes. But let’s be real, we often don’t have the time. So what to do instead? Nail stickers! You can choose a clear leopard print sticker to top a neutral nail or a fully filled in one. (Scroll through to the end for some great nail decal options.)
3. Forest Green
A less obvious fall color that still fits the season to a T? Forest green. I’m all about a good accent nail, and, again, I love to make things easy. If you want to skip the fancy brushwork, you can simply paint your ring fingernail a classic beige and apply the leaf decal of your choice over it.
4. Chic Black
Halloween, anyone? A classic black polish is the simplest option for the spooky holiday, and it works for the entire season. You can’t go wrong with this simple shade. And if it starts chipping, paint over it with some gold or silver glitter for a fun abstract feel without the fuss.
5. Pumpkin Spice
Okay, I have to say it. Autumn has become synonymous with pumpkin spice. So what better way to display it than on your nails? Nail polish is an easy way to add orange to your wardrobe and immediately evoke fall feelings.
This look reminds me of classy spiderwebs (that’s a thing, right?). And I think it’s a perfect mix of classy and edgy that would be especially appropriate for the Halloween season. (Because let’s be real: Nail polish can have a very short life when you’re a mom!) Once again, the secret to making this look simple is decals. And you can choose to go glossy or matte for your base black and white polishes. Zoya makes a textured nail polish you can use for the pinky nail.
7. Playing with Patterns
Who says you need to pick just one or two designs? This adorable look combines a variety of adorable fall nail ideas using a few seasonal colors. You can use the same deep burgundy polish for your thumbnail, middle fingernail, and pinky nail. Just apply extra coats on the nails that require a darker shade, and use a sheer layer on your pinky nail. Save time and use decals for the polka dots and flowers, and top your pinky nail in your favorite glitter. Add some spice with an orange accent, and voilà! A cute and coordinated combo of patterns.
8. Classic Cherry Red
You literally can’t go wrong with a classic glossy cherry polish. Need I say more? I didn’t think so.
9. Bold Berry
The great thing about a color like this is it’s in between true purple and berry, so it really does work for all seasons. It’s deeper than lavender, brighter than burgundy, and has a slightly mauve tone to it. And the most exciting thing about it is this fall nail look took me about five minutes.
10. Shades of Gray
Want to evoke the feeling of a comfy sweater in your manicure? Try out shades of gray (and a fun decal as—you guessed it—an accent nail) for a fun twist on neutrals. From slate to light gray to metallic silver, play with different hues to get the look you like.
Bonus: Nail Favorites
Changing your nails for the season is a total mood lifter, and it can be super easy and quick. Some of my favorite nail polish brands are Essie (their Expressie line is just as quick-drying as advertised, so my nails are done in five minutes), OPI, and Londontown (which is vegan and cruelty-free). And Etsy has a wealth of nail decals, from leopard print to leaves and everything in between, and most are very inexpensive. Sally Beauty has plenty of nail brushes and affordable polish options as well.
Feeling inspired? Let us know which of these fall nail ideas you decide try in the comments below!
And if you’re looking for more fall inspiration, check out our popular article on 10 stylish ways to wear a scarf!
Written by Esther Reisberg