9 Manicure Trends That Are Ruling This Autumn, According to Nail Experts

Autumn is in full swing, and we're really embracing it this year. There's a crisp autumn chill in the air that has us reaching for wooly knits, but it's not rainy enough to have to don a waterproof jacket just yet. And this kind of perfect autumn weather means we can actually embrace all of the trends we're desperate to try—both in fashion and in beauty—without risk of being rain-sodden or too windswept. And while we've already pinpointed the top autumn trends of the season, it's time to dig into the details. First stop: nails. And more specifically, the nine autumn nail trends we're seeing everywhere right now and can't get enough of.

Sure, we can get a pretty good steer on cool nail microtrends by scrolling through Instagram, but nothing beats an expert opinion, which is why we tapped some of our favourite pros for their insight into the nail trends that are dominating the beauty world in autumn 2021. 

Below, you'll find nine autumn nail trends that will make your next manicure anything but boring.

1. Leopard Print

"Who doesn’t love a little leopard print? The colours work so well for autumn, and it’s a relatively simple look to re-create at home," says Carla Opoku, founder of Cienna Rose. "I think having just a vertical stripe of print gives it a cool vibe rather than just having the entire nail in leopard print."

Photo:

@imarninails

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Cienna Rose Nail Lacquer in Latte Break

"To get the look, try a pale-pinky base coat then a latte-coloured vertical stripe of Latte Break down the middle," suggests Opoku.

Essie Nail Colour 88 Licorice Nail Polish

Finish by applying a few dots of black nail polish.

2. '70s Swirls

Autumn Nail Trends: '70s Swirls

Photo:

@thehangedit

"We’re taking inspiration from classic Pucci prints and decorating our nails in wavy designs and swirly patterns," says Opoku. "Go for autumnal shades in mocha, taupe, spiced pumpkin and maroon."

Autumn Nail Trends: '70s Swirls

Photo:

@celmatique

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Nails Inc. Hustle in Hackney Quick Drying Nail Polish

A rich, autumnal taupe acts as the perfect base shade or complementary hue to brighter colours.

NailKind Lava Love

This flaming-orange shade leans into the '70s vibes and is surprisingly wearable.

3. Minimalist Metallics

Autumn Nail Trends: Minimalist Metallics

Photo:

@imarninails

"Metallics always make a bit of a return come autumn, but this season, they’re very pared-back and minimal," explains  Opoku. "Muted bases in pinks and beige tones have a smattering of sparkle or foil, making nails look very chic and wearable—a minimalist mani at its finest!"

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Manucurist Nail Polish in Gold Sand

Layer up this iridescent yellow-gold for a full-on metallic shine, or apply just one coat for a sheer hint of colour.

Barry M Molten Metal Trio in Celestial Queen

This trio of chrome-effect nail polishes has serious shine appeal.

4. Matte Textures

Autumn nail trends: Matte Textures

Photo:

@varnishlane

"Matte nails are having a moment, but for those who aren't ready to brave the full nail art look, you can wear a hint of the texture as a French tip or a detail," explains Dani Bailey, award-winning nail artist and OPI nail boss. "It will elevate a basic mani in a really cool way." 

Autumn nail trends: Matte Textures

Photo:

@imarninails

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OPI Matte Top Coat

Transform any glossy nail polish into a shine-free autumnal shade with this mattifying top coat from OPI.

OPI My Studio's on Spring Nail Lacquer

Bailey thinks this shade is "matte heaven" when paired with the topcoat.

5. Neutral Tones

"Nudes never go out of fashion, and natural skin tones are amazing for autumn," explains Bailey. "Shape-wise, most people came out of lockdown wanting a more low-key approach to shape and length. Obviously, there are still the more adventurous clients out there, but as a tendency, the long stilettos did give way to the shorter squovals. I do think there will be a big return of the almonds soon, though!"

Autumn Nail Trends: Natural nudes

Photo:

@buffcs

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Max Factor Masterpiece Xpress Nail Polish Nude'itude

A timeless, pared-back peach that looks great on everyone.

Peacci Nu Nudes Nail Polish in Brunette

6. Khaki Green

Autumn Nail Trends: Khaki Green

Photo:

@buffcs

According to the mani experts at Nailberry, there's one unexpected colour on everyone's nails this autumn: khaki green. "Cool, contemporary and surprisingly neutral, khaki is the new black," they reveal. 

Autumn Nail Trends: Khaki Green

Photo:

@thatsaleaf

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Nailberry Love You Very Matcha

"We are confident this is going to be one of Nailberry’s most sought-after shades this autumn," a representative for the brand predicts.

Makeup Revolution Express Nail Polish Camo Green

7. Deep Opulence

Autumn nail trends: Deep-dark colours

Photo:

@nails_of_la

One of Hully's favourite colours is Nailberry's Noirberry—a deep, blackish-red that has really taken off this season. Look for ultra-opaque and totally opulent reds, greens and navies at the darkest end of the colour spectrum for a sophisticated autumn manicure. 

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Jimmy Choo Seduction Collection Nail Colour in Burgundy Night

You can't get more classic than this deep, dark red from Jimmy Choo.

Nailberry Nail Lacquer in Noirberry

This high-shine polish just screams autumn. 

8. Mix-and-Match Hues

Soho salon Snail & Hare says that this autumn's manicures are inspired by the same colour palettes as the autumn 2021 runway collections. Manicurists are "layering in shades of green, blue and brown as well as neutrals and contrast colours." But it isn't just about the nail polish shades used, it's about the design too. "Abstract nail designs, like the ones created here, are the most popular at the moment."

Autumn Nail Trends: Mix-and-match hues

Photo:

@paragonnails

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Nails Inc. Keep It Tonal

A spectrum of autumn-ready shades that work together tonally but look just as great when worn alone.

Barry M Velvet Nail Paint Gift Set in Soft Velvet

This array of autumnal hues comes in a velvety-matte finish so you can embrace two seasonal nail trends at once.

9. Negative Space

Autumn nail trends: Negative space

Photo:

@celmatique

"The autumn/winter nail colours are amazing, and people are contrasting colours with negative space this season," explains Loretta Walker, OPI nail boss. "Geometric lines are also super popular right now."

Photo:

@thehangedit

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OPI 7th & Flower Nail Lacquer

A negative-space mani allows space to play with more vibrant shades, like this bright magenta from OPI's Downtown L.A. collection.

Dior Vernis Couture Colour Nail Lacquer in Rouge Cinema

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