Cover Discover the biggest nail designs and trends for autumn 2021 (Photo: Pexels)

From modern French manicures to unique designs featuring warm hues of the changing leaves, these are the most on-trend fall nail art designs to bring to your next appointment

Pumpkin spice lattes, plaid shirts and glamping trips packed with fun outdoor activities—there’s something quite magical about autumn. With the cooler weather finally on the horizon, it’s the perfect time to switch up your style for the beautiful season ahead with new make-up looks, hairstyles, and of course, nail designs that can make you stand out at all autumn hangouts.

With talented nail artists and A-listers' favourite salons continuously sharing great designs on Instagram every day, there’s no shortage of ideas to add to your manicure to-do list—but the entire experience of finding the trendiest ones to try can be overwhelming, to say the least. That’s why, we’ve reached out to top industry experts—Rachel Apfel Glass, founder of NYC-based salon Glosslab; Kerry Tsang, co-founder of Urban Chillez Nail Bar; as well as Christy Chan, founder of Ooh La La Nails, to find out what designs and colours will be all the rage for the season.

Keep reading for the best nail art designs to wear this fall—including earth tones, multi-coloured nails, modern French tips, and more.  

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Moody blues

Blue is always a glamorous choice for fall and winter, which can go with many different styles and look good on any nail shape, no matter the length.

“Blue, in general, has been huge all year, but for the cooler season, we’ll be seeing bolder navy shades rather than soft, light blues,” Glass said. “Bold blues make for a polished look that can give your signature style an update without being too flashy.”

To elevate the basic single colour mani, add checkered prints as an accent on one or two fingers for instant chicness.  

Warm browns

Say hello to the coolest brown nails you’ll ever see. Here, Glosslab’s founder Rachel Apfel Glass artfully combines warm brown hues with abstract swirls into her design.

“As your summer tan begins to fade, we are going to see brown nails as a major trend this fall,” she said. “Browns are a great alternative to those cool, dark shades if you love a subtle design, which is flattering on any skin tone.” The brown squiggly lines and white swoops against a nude base on each tip make the ultimate accessory to your fall ensembles.

Pink French manicure

This lovely design marries two of the season’s biggest nail trends—French manicure and soft pink hues. French mani is a classic and will still be going strong for the next few months, according to Glass. But if you’re looking for a fresh way to wear it and make your nails feel appropriate for fall, painting your nails in pink will do the trick.

“You don’t have to save pink tones for the warmer season. Using muted pink as the base colour and pairing it with magenta tips will put an elegant twist on the classic French mani, resulting in a design that'll surely brighten up your everyday outfits and the gloomy mood that colder weather brings,” Glass said.  

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Mismatched nails

Why wear one nail art trend when you can rock them all? The arrival of fall is the perfect opportunity to experiment with new designs and unique colour combinations. A beautiful creation, seen here at Urban Chillez Nail Bar, is a perfect way to get creative and stand out amongst all the single colour manicures this season.

Rich shades of burgundy and emerald green are a fall staple, but they can get a little boring. Spice things up with floral patterns and glitter, and play around with different designs on each finger. We can’t decide which nail we like the best, but the way the nail artist mixed all the autumnal aesthetics together is impressive. This unique design is guaranteed to be a conversation starter. 

Earthy colours

If earthy tones and minimalist designs are your jam, you’ll love this nature-inspired mani. “Nothing feels more autumn than a warm, neutral colour palette paired with patterns inspired by Mother Nature’s most beautiful trees,” said Kerry Tsang, founder of Urban Chillez Nail Bar. “This design will meet your needs for every occasion, whether you want a casual or formal style.”

To achieve this look, add leaves patterns as an accent on two fingers against a solid white backdrop, then paint the rest of the nails with your favourite brown and grey nail polishes. A hint of delicate gold foil will add visual interest and elevate the overall look.  

Multi-coloured nails

Can’t choose your favourite fall nail shade? Wear them all for a chic multi-coloured design that’s sure to turn heads. “All of the nail art is fun, but solid one-colour manicure is still very on-trend this season,” said Christy Chan, founder of Ooh La La Nails. “Not only does it make your nails look great wrapped around a pumpkin spice latte, but it’s also super easy to recreate.”

From burnt orange to soft grey to wine red, choose a set of autumnal colours that you love to achieve a simple yet stylish look. Alternatively, you can pick a few different shades from the same colour for a classic look that’s perfect for a party or just a casual date night. 

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Glossy amber nails

It doesn’t get much more fall-inspired than this. A fresh take on brown manicure, Chan’s design is reminiscent of fall foliage and is packed with plenty of sparkles and shine to give you a major confidence boost this season.

“Tasteful and intricate—we can expect to see amber nails continue to dominate our feeds this season,” said Chan. “The combination of glossy amber base and gold foil gives off total autumn vibes, which is especially great for long nails.” Giving off warmth and pretty to look at, this is a must-try design for any woman who doesn’t afraid to play with patterns. 


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