The 15 Best Fall Nail Colors to Mix It Up This Season

Time to lean into some darker hues.

By Lourdes Avila Uribe

It can be difficult to step out of one’s nail polish comfort zone. Personally, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t have Essie Licorice on my hands or toes. But lately, I’ve been craving a little variety! And there’s no better time to lean into all things chic than the fall. So regardless of whether you’re stuck in a rut or simply know what you like, it’s time to mix it up a bit with some of the best fall nail colors.

Autumn is the perfect time to embrace those sexy, darker, muted hues. There’s no better excuse to embrace your goth side, albeit on a very small scale! But that’s what’s so fun about nail polish. It’s an incredibly low-stakes way to experiment with new colors and trends. So, get out your manicure kit because Jennifer Howard-Brown from The Ten Spot is sharing the best fall nail colors along with some of the biggest trends you’ll be seeing this season. It’s time to carve a little space for yourself.

Jennifer Howard-Brown

Howard-Brown is the owner of THE TEN SPOT salon in Austin, Texas.

Keep scrolling for more fall nail trends:

1. Gradient nails

This fall is going to be all about gradient nails in neutral colors like gray or brown, with each successive nail in a different shade of the same color family. It gives the hand a cool paint swatch card effect.

2. Wine + sparkle

The combination of deep rich colors with a sparkle topcoat is going to be everywhere this season. Think wine, navy, or even dark green with a pop of sparkle on all or just a single nail.

3. Fancy French

Inverted and colored tips take the french mani to a new level. An inverted French is essentially trading out the traditional white tip for modern half-triangles that give a more angular tip. Colored tips are a fresh and easy way to reinvent the French mani. Who says it has to be pink with white tips? Howard-Brown invites you to try a neutral pink like OPI Bubble Bath for the base with navy inverted tips!

4. Modern neutrals

Simple dots or subtle Xs elevate a basic manicure to something creative and chic. For example, Howard-Brown explains, a nude base with three rose gold dots down the nail adds a subtle wow factor.

5. Round and Almond-shaped nails

Howard-Brown was quick to note that even nail shape trends have shifted. Short, round nails are in, as opposed to a more squoval shape. Almond-shaped nails are also really popular, especially if you have a little length to work with, or with the help of a buildable gel.

Read on for Howard-Brown’s picks for the best fall nail colors:

OPI Black Onyx

Dark, saturated colors are really popular this fall, and if black is your shade of choice then this dark shade is as good as it gets.

OPI Black Onyx, $9.59

The Ten Spot Beauty You Up?

This sexy shade is the darkest blue velvet with a hint of purple. 

The Ten Spot Beauty You Up?, $11

OPI Stay Off The Lawn

How gorgeous is this deep, lush green nail lacquer?

OPI Stay Off My Lawn, $10.50

OPI Mimosas for Mr. & Mrs.

This is a lovely, subtle, sophisticated shade. It’s absolutely timeless.

OPI Mimosas for Mr. & Mrs., $10.50

The Ten Spot Beauty Thirsty

This hydrating nail treatment doubles as the perfect sheer shade, so your nails look as good as they feel.

The Ten Spot Beauty Thirsty, $11

Essie Wicked

I’m a longtime fan of this deep, dark, sinister red shade.

Essie Wicked, $9

OPI Berlin There Done That

Prepare yourself for an explosion of gray and greige polish this season.

OPI Berlin There Done That, $9.59

Essie Courture Tailored by Twilight

This romantic, deep burgundy shade is a great alternative for those who want to go darker than a red but don’t want to leap into black.

Essie Courture Tailored by Twilight, $11.50

OPI Less Is Norse

This polish shapeshifts as both a rich navy and an ultra-dark purple depending on how the light catches it.

OPI Less Is Norse, $9.59

OPI Alpine Snow

A chic white shade stands out beautifully against a muted, darker palette.

OPI Alpine Snow, $9.59

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark

This almost-black shade of purple is especially elegant.

OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, $9.59

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour Vamp

Want to wear a dark, broody shade but need a little sparkle? Look no further than Vamp!

Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour Vamp, $28