With autumn comes colorful leaves, layered looks, and, of course, fall nail colors. It’s the perfect time of year to exchange your light lilacs, sunny yellows, and baby blues for deep ambers, cranberry reds, and maybe even a little shimmer. Or perhaps you want to switch up the status quo by ignoring seasonal trends altogether (in which case we still have recommendations for you).
No matter the occasion—to carry you through socially distanced fall festivities or to simply chill at home—eight celebrity nail artists are here to help you narrow down the best seasonal nail colors to up your D.I.Y. manicure game.
Pear Nova Pineapple Skies $14
Rachel James, founder of Pear Nova polishes and salon, says she’s most obsessed with her shade Pineapple Skies for fall. She notes that it goes perfectly with fall fashion while offering “a little extra-something added.”
Deborah Lippmann Gone Green $20
Known for her iconic nail polishes and working with celebrities like Lupita Nyong’o and Reese Witherspoon, Deborah Lippmann’s favorite fall nail shade is Gone Green. “We are seeing a lot of gorgeous green in fashion,” she says, “and this dark olive with silver shimmer is very complementary.”
OPI Malaga Wine $10
Cardi B’s nail artist Jenny Bui says you can’t go wrong with a burgundy or red nail polish shade for fall. “I love these nail shades because they’re so versatile,” she notes. “It can give you the feeling of being warm and cozy but also give you sexy, seductive vibes.” No bad thing while we’re all spending more time at home.
Essie Cargo Cameo $9
Aja Walton, who did the manicures for the Marc Jacobs FW20 and Prabal Gurung’s SS20 shows, loves the Essie shade Cargo Cameo for fall. “It’s a silky warm brown that has a golden pearlescence, which reminds me of super-enchanting cheetah eyes,” she explains. Transfixing, indeed.
OPI Have Your Panettone and Eat It Too $11
“Burnt orange is by far one of my favorite shades for fall,” celebrity manicurist and nail artist Mimi D enthuses. “This one reminds me of the leaves that change colors. Pairs perfectly with a pumpkin-spiced latte. It’s also available in lacquer and gel.”
Pear Nova Moss Def $19
Dawn Sterling—whose work has been featured on stars like Lizzo, Normani, and Bella Hadid—loves Pear Nova’s Moss Def shade for fall, “because Mos Def is one of my favorite artists,” she says of the forest green hue. “And secondly, the toxic-free brand has some of the best colors. This green makes me happy.”
Télle Moi Bequia Blue $6
Cool-girl nail artist Sylvia Macmillan has worked with artists like Cosima and Kelsey Lu, and her pick is for those looking to side-step a traditional seasonal shade. “I love wearing bright colors on my nails in autumn as I find my wardrobe gets a bit darker,” she says. Lately, Macmillan has been obsessed with London-based nail polish brand Télle Moi. “Her shade Bequia Blue is such a nice contrast to an all-black outfit. She also makes custom shades, so if there’s a color you’ve been dreaming of, then Télle Moi is the place to go!”
Tom Ford Bitter Bitch $37
Mei Kawajiri, whose mesmerizing nail art can be seen on Teyana Taylor and Emily Ratajkowski, among many others, says Tom Ford’s Bitter Bitch polish is her favorite due to its “reddish, light-brown fall vibe. It’s brown but still looks glamorous.”
Auda B Queen B. $18
Mimi D turns to this shade for the days between summer and fall. “This is a great option for a full-coverage nude that looks amazing on various skin tones,” she says. “It’s a perfect transitional shade.”