Nailed It — How to Liven Up Your Manicure for Fall

Directional colors and designs plucked from the runways.

Photo: Piaget

“I swear by my weekly mani-pedis,” says Olivia, “but during the first few months of the pandemic, I played around with different colors, textures, and patterns myself.” Having jetted all across the globe for years, Olivia has racked up quite the rolodex of nail artists and used her time at home to perfect her polish. “It was fun, but I love being able to go back into the salon and see my favorite artists do their thing.” Prompted by Olivia’s community wanting to know what color she wore for her latest Piaget campaign—“We used a cool dark blue from Chanel,” shares Christina Aviles Aude, the nail artist behind the look—we asked Aude, Stephany Koo of Plaza M Spa, and Anke Spreeberg of Spreeberg Beauty for their top nail tips and trends for the season.

Photo: Getty Images

Gem Palace
While soft shades will always be classic, this autumn is all about richer hues that act as modern day anchors. “Gemstone colors,” says Aude, adding, “it goes with everything [and] makes a statement but isn’t as harsh as black,” suggesting blues and purples. Spreeberg agrees saying that those wanting to infuse their look with a bold, yet more familiar touch should look to, “red always, always stays as a classic color.”

Photo: @amyle.nails

The Micro French
Building off the spring’s modern French mani which bridged pops of color with nudes, the Micro French takes a more refined and subtle take, lining color along the tip of the nail. Koo has added her own twist to the look offsetting shine with solid: “I really love the juxtaposition of metallic against matte.” But those favoring the classic can also put their stamp on it with innovation. “The French manicure is back but in different ways in combination with the trend colors,” advises Spreeberg.

Photo: @plazamspa

The New Neutrals
Those who typically err for safe colors—blush, nude, and pink tones—are advised to bring a hint of autumnal foliage to their nails. “Burnt orange and brown, Essie’s Cargo Cameo, creamy khaki green are rich and vibrant,” shares Koo. Similarly, Spreeberg focuses on fashion shades to keep things sophisticated but youthful. “Sage green, slate grey, denim blue, and terra-cotta,” she says, adding, “terra-cotta is a colorful nude.” So, the question becomes, how to wear them? Keep it simple and “wear them as a solid color to show the full potential,” adds Koo.

Photo: @dajeong_nail

Playful Patterns
This season’s runways saw embellishments dominate at Erdem, Giambattista Valli, and Halpern, therefore, adding a dash of sparkle is one subtle, yet eye-catching way to test the waters without overwhelming. “Ombré can be done on one nail with different colors or with a glitter over a color,” advises Aude. “There’s a lot of room for creativity, which I love.” Another key takeaway from the fall collections was a sense of comfort achieved through argyle and plaid knits and outerwear. Koo recommends, “cute plaid nail art to complement sweater weather for a cozy vibe!”

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