Some nail polish colors seem obvious for fall—deep wine-colored reds, dark greens and moody grays. But, this year, we talked to some of the top nail artists in the industry to find the best nail trends for the season. You can incorporate your go-to colors into some of these designs, from groovy shapes to animal prints, or try a whole new color palette. See below for the top fall 2019 nail color trends and fall nail ideas, according to the experts.
Trend: Modern French manicure
While you've definitely seen a French manicure before, this fall, the trend is made much more modern with thicker or thinner painted tips and bright colors. Miss Pop Nails, a nail artist based in NYC, created the look at New York Fashion Week.
"I sent three different French manicures down the runway this September, so I’d have to say, I’m a little obsessed," she said.
"For Prabal Gurung, it was a negative space French mani—thin white line painted in an exaggerated 'U' shape on a bare nail glossed with a tinted Zoya Naked Manicure Perfector in skin tone-flattering Pink, Buff or Mauve. For Oscar de La Renta, I created an ombré French that faded from Zoya creamsicle Arizona, to coral Sawyer, to pink Laurel. I also used Zoya Sawyer to create a French tip with a matching dot down by the cuticle. So, I have been having fun playing with color and reimagining this classic manicure."
Founder of Vanity Projects in NYC, Rita de Alencar Pinto, said she's a fan of a deep white French manicure with floral designs or butterflies painted on top.
Get the look: Zoya Naked Manicure Kit ($25), Zoya Arizona ($10), Zoya Sawyer ($10), Zoya Laurel ($10), Kiss ImPress Press-On French Manicure with glitter accents ($12.99), KISS imPRESS "Rock It" Short French Press-On Manicure Nails ($11.99)
Trend: Groovy shapes
Fun nail designs featuring groovy shapes and kaleidoscopic colors are all over Instagram. Chief Creative Officer of Paintbox Eleanor Langston said, "We’re all about a curvy, windy shape that’s almost like a modern lava lamp."
At the nail salon, Langston cites two nail designs on the Painbox fall menu: Wild Thing and Joy Ride. "Both have negative space for a sexy, sophisticated effect. Try it with our bolder shades: Like Wild, Like Spice, Like Rain."
Get the look: Paintbox Like Wild ($22), Paintbox Like Spice ($22), Paintbox Like Rain ($22), Online Only Magic Press Treat Yourself Press-On Gel Nails ($8.39), Etsy VIKA NAILJAM Gel Nail Strip ($12), Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens ($19.95)
Trend: Metallic accents and glitter
Metallic and glitter nails are another trend that's been popular through the summer and will surely carry on through the holiday season. Whether it's a dot of shimmer, a stroke of chrome polish or a fully-painted glitter nail, you can never go wrong adding a little shine to your manicure.
"Both our Heaven + Earth and Sun Daze designs have soft sweeps of fine metallics for a subtly iridescent effect. We love Sun Daze atop a sheer base—it turns your fingertips into jewelry. You can easily achieve this same look with Like Magic atop a sheer base or even Like Mystery," Langston said about the Paintbox nail designs.
"I love the new OPI x Hello Kitty collection! Give me all the glitter— especially Let’s Celebrate," Miss Pop said, also referencing Chanel's new line of shimmery nude polishes. "Chanel Le Vernis in RadiantBallerina is making me, a colorful kind of woman, want to wear a nude. It’s that gorgeous! But if you don’t want to splurge, China Glaze also just made an incredible range of sparkling nudes too."
Get the look: OPI Hello Kitty Nail Polish Collection 10-piece Gift Set ($28.95), OPI x Hello Kitty Nail Polish in Let's Celebrate ($10.50), Chanel Le Vernis in Radiant Ballerina ($28), Paintbox Like Magic + Like Mystery duo ($40), imPRESS Press-on Manicure alice + olivia in Always Right ($13.98), Kiss imPress Press-On Manicure Short Length Matte Nails in So So Stellar ($13.99),
Trend: Animal print
Animal print is a big trend in clothing this season, and nail artists are taking note! Specifically, leopard or cheetah prints will be big, but de Alencar Pinto said she believes so will tortoise shell print nails.
This trend is admittedly a little harder to get at home—you need a steady hand, a thin brush and plenty of patience. However, you can also use nail stickers and press on nails to try make the trend easier to try at home.
Get the look: Magic Press Pink Leopard Short Press-On Gel Nail ($8.29), Sally Hansen Salon Effect Strips Wild Child 2-Pack ($7.52), Cirque Colors Tortoise Shell Nail Art Set ($36), Leopard Nail Foil Transfer Stickers ($7.49), Cheetah Heart Vinyl Nail Stencils ($4.75)
Trend: Monochromatic mani
"Another big trend carrying on from the summer into fall tones is the monochromatic manicure—each nail a different, but complementary color," Miss Pop said.
This look is best done with different nude shades ranging from light to dark, but can really be done withy any color: shades of red, shades of blue, shades of gray, shades of green and more.
Another way to achieve a monochromatic look is to pair your polish with matching accessories like rhinestones or pearls.
"Our Have a Ball manicure matches colored studs with a tonal polish–the effect is subtle, but still turns heads," Langston said, referencing a fall Paintbox design.
Get the look: Butter London Delightful Darlings Set ($36), ZOYA All Snuggled Up Quad ($18), ZOYA Happy Holo-days Quad ($18), Orly Neon Earth 4 Piece Mini Kit ($18), Holiday '19 Nail Lacquer Pink's Mini 4 Pack ($14.50)
Trend: Muted pink tones
Light pink may be a neutral, but this season the color is picking up a more muted, dustier and even matte tone. "Think Kim K all nude everything, [but] with nails. Brands like Floss Gloss and Smith and Cult have muted and dusty pinks and nudes," de Alencar Pinto suggested.
Get the look:OPI Infinite Shine Long-Wear Nail Polish Tickle my France-Y ($13), ZOYA Nail Polish Rue ($9), Essie Game Theory Collection Matte Going All In ($9), Floss Gloss Dinge ($9), Smith & Cult Nail Polish Powder Posse ($18), Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Mauve-olous ($9.99)
While earth tones and may first come to mind when you think of shades for fall, OPI is banking on purple this year.
"This season, OPI got playful with purple," OPI’s North American Education Manager & Nail Artist, Sigourney Nunez, said. "We introduced three new shades in that tonal family that range from dark to light. So whether you’re ready to darken up your aesthetic to welcome fall, or you simply can’t let go of summer, there’s a shade for you."
For Nunez, her fall go-to is more of a muted purple. "The second the weather hits below 60, I’m definitely wearing that creamy gray-purple that’s as chilly as the fall nights," she said.
Get the look: OPI Nail Polish Scotland Collection Good Girls Gone Plaid ($10.50), OPI Nail Polish Scotland Collection Boys Be Thistle-ing at Me ($10.50), OPI Nail Polish Scotland Collection You Have Got That Glas-Glow ($10.50), Essie Nail Polish Go Lilacism ($9)