As a new season arrives, and we’re getting pretty excited about trending autumn nail art right now. Sure, we have our dependable autumn nail colours that we return to time and again, and we’re well acquainted with the biggest nail trends of 2022. However, as we move into autumn, we were curious about which new nail art trends are going to dominate the new season, because we love to be one step ahead.
Traditionally, autumn calls for muted and moodier shades. You can never knock a classic Bordeaux nail colour, while black and brown feature year after year on the fashion set. And while these classics will reappear each year, we’re starting to see some very cool nail art ideas trickle in to disrupt the status quo among the UK’s top nail technicians.
To find out which autumn nail art trends we should take note of, I immediately made my way over to speak with Iram Shelton, a celebrity manicurist and Max Factor nail ambassador (who, FYI, works with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), and Tinu Bello, a celebrity manicurist and Mylee ambassador (who has worked with Sandra Oh). Between them, they shared the top eight autumn nail art trends that are going to be big news this season whether you’re making a beeline to the salon or putting your hand at DIY nails at home. And—spoiler alert—you’re going to want to try them all.
The colourful French tips we saw in summer are taking an autumnal turn, says Shelton. “We can expect to see monochromatic nails and dark French tips—think emerald greens, deep reds and browns,” she says. To get the precise French tips, she recommends using a fine brush or the very edge of your nail polish brush. “Take the bottle brush from your chosen nail polish and work your way across the tip of the nail, working from one side to the other to meet the line in the centre of the nail,” she says.
Darker shades can sometimes stain nails, so a good base coat will prevent this from happening. “Applying a base coat can help to prevent stains from the polish especially when wearing darker shades, and some base coats also contain ingredients that help to promote healthy, strong nails,” says Shelton. “After this, apply your colour and a topcoat, remembering to cap your free edge of the nail after each coat. My favourite is the Max Factor Masterpiece Xpress Quick Dry No Dramas top coat.”
Secure your design in place with a topcoat—this one dries quickly and keeps nail chip-free for days.
The trend for Y2K continues to trickle into nail art. “The Y2K aesthetic is everywhere at the moment, and rhinestone nail accessories are making a comeback,” says Shelton. You can go minimal or go OTT, and Shelton has some tips to ensure your rhinestones stay put. “First, apply your base coat. Then add your base design. If you’re using regular polish, take some nail glue, and apply it onto your nail,” she says. “Then, place your rhinestone on top using a wax pencil or applicator and seal with a topcoat. If you’re using gel, repeat the process, but cure your rhinestones with the topcoat to secure them.”
A couple of rhinestones on each nail is another way to experiment with rhinestones if you’re a minimalist.
This set has varying sizes of rhinestones to experiment with.
Ombré is back in a big way for autumn, says Bello. “Airbrush nails can be muted or full rainbow, and the hazy finish gives an airy, dreamy feel to the manicure,” she says. “The good news is you don’t need to go to a salon with an airbrush machine to re-create the look. The key is to swirl the colours into each other to create a blended finish. To do this, you can use a dotting tool to place blobs of colour and swirl them together or for a darker airbrushed look,” she says.
Experiment with unexpected colours, like this neutral mani with a flash of pink that Bello created on Dina Asher-Smith.
Apply polish with a dotting tool before bending shades together with a small brush.
“‘Glazed donut’ nails aren’t going anywhere for A/W 22 thanks to the commotion Hailey Bieber has created,” says Bello. This look is created by buffing a chrome powder into the nails after applying gel polish. However, you can also re-create the effect with a pearlescent polish or gel colour. “After applying a base coat, follow with two layers of Mylee’s Gel Polish in the shade Ghosting, which is the perfect sheer, milky white shade. Top with Mylee’s Gel Polish in Sea Shell to really achieve that gorgeous glazed look before sealing with a topcoat.”
Bello predicts we’ll see more colourful interpretations of this trend with an oyster-like finish.
This shade has the perfect pearlescent finish to tap into this trend.
“Bright green was hot for summer, and while green remains a huge colour trend, it will move to rich, cosy olives, deep hunter green, and khaki,” says Bello. “This goes perfectly with the autumnal palette of browns, nudes, rust and burgundy. Go for a high-gloss, block colour, and it’ll go with everything. It is already fast becoming a must-have celebrity trend, with the likes of Selena Gomez showcasing her statement A/W 22 mani,” she says.
Dip a nail into the trend with a fine placement of colour on the inner and outer edges of the nails.
We’ve just found the perfect olive hue.
“This will forever be a trend because there are a multitude of nude shades,” says Shelton. “To switch things up from time to time, I like to add these colours into my negative-space manicures. If you find painting darker colours on your nails difficult, try some simple designs on a bare nail like an angled tip,” she suggests.
“We’ve all become obsessed with coffee, and this season, it’s transitioning to our nails,” says Bello. “You can replicate your favourite hot drink with colour— think oat milk nudes, caramels, and warm, roasted browns,” she says. “To replicate that signature milk-and-coffee swirl, choose three colours that complement each other. For this look, you’ll want a neutral base to make your top colours pop more. Then pick a caramel and a rich brown,” she says. Try Mylee Gel Polish in shades Cream on Top, Caramel, and Not in the Mud.”
The perfect coffee-roasted hue.
“Abstract nails are always a good idea. Whether this is something you want to keep minimal or something you’d like to make a bold statement with, it’ll be a hit,” assures Shelton. “Swirl nail designs or even mix-and-match manis are simple yet fun to create. I like to use a natural base colour when creating these designs. Use a detailing brush draw out your design. I find that fine lines always look better, so I use the Brillbird 0 long liner brush for this.”
Here, Hannah wears TENX Katté Latté press on nails by The Editorial Nail.
Press-ons make it easy to tap into trends if you can’t make the salon.
Create precise shapes and lines with a nail brush to make nail art a breeze.
“Outline nails consist of tracing the nail with a contrasting nail polish colour along the outer edges,” says Bello. “You can outline the whole nail or just the tips or the cuticle, and you can make them as narrow or as thick as you like. To create the look, paint your favourite nail hue all over the nail. Next, take a nail art brush, and dip into the contrast colour for your outline.”
We’re obsessed with this chrome nail art outline around the cuticles.
For a minimal look, apply a sheer wash of colour all over the nails as your starting point before going in with bold colours for your outline.
Up next, The 4 Best Nail Colours of 2022, According to Experts