The notion of season-specific nail color rules is, like most beauty “rules,” outdated, best ignored and probably somehow a result of the patriarchy. When it comes to manicures, the only “rule” worth paying attention to is simple: You do you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t also embrace trends or lean into hues that feel particularly festive for certain times of year.

This fall, the color story is of the “anything goes” variety. “We’re seeing a lot of ’70s-inspired Earth tones and neutrals,” says Jin Soon Choi, nail expert and the founder of Jin Soon Hand & Foot Spa in New York City. From muted, dusty pastels to stone grays, Choi considers these “perfect shades that are subtle and effective,” but also “cool, moody and edgy.”

Olive green is also among the “most-wanted” nail polish shades for autumn, per Choi. In fact, “edible” and imbibe-able tones in general are having a moment: We’re also going to see a whole lot of wine-soaked burgundy, punchy green apple and creamy chocolate milk.

As for other nail trends worth taking for a spin, Choi points to French tips as the standout look of the season; for a less expected take on it, try using any combination of the color trends for a nontraditional French.

In the galleries below, we’ve highlighted six nail color trends to try out this fall — plus a whole bunch of different polishes to help you do it.


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