The 15 Coolest Nail Designs for Autumn 2022

It's that time of year where we slowly start putting away our favourite neon polishes in favour of the darker, moodier tones of autumn. For nail-art aficionados, a change in season presents an opportunity to experiment with an entirely new slew of fun nail designs and colours. Although there are certain standbys we always have waiting once autumn arrives (shoutout to our favourite burgundy nail polishes), we reached out to some of our favourite nail aficionados to give us a heads-up on what we'll be seeing in the coming months.

Four experts gave us the scoop on this year’s autumn nail designs. Even better, most of these are easy enough to DIY with the help of a few tools, new polish shades, and textured topcoats.

Intrigued? Keep reading for 15 new autumn nail designs (plus tips on how to get the look at home) straight from the pros. 

1. Matte All Over

"I think this fall will bring the need for change, and this may be expressed in the switch from a super-shiny manicure to a matte effect," predicts Jin Soon Choi, a New York–based expert nail artist and founder of Jinsoon. 

A matte top coat will transform any nail polish colour to have a velvety matte finish.

Give bright, summer orange polishes more of an autumnal feel with a matte topcoat.

2. Multicolor Matte

Similarly, Nails of LA founder and celebrity nail artist, Brittney Boyce, anticipates seeing a rise in the multicolour matte manicure. "This is a really fun and easy way to DIY nail art at home," says Boyce. "It's especially great for people who can't make up their minds on just one nail color."

Boyce explains that using a matte topcoat on bright colors helps to accentuate that muted feeling.

Give this summery colours an autumnal spin with a unifying matte topcoat.

3. Mismatched Topcoats

For beginner nail artists, Boyce also suggests experimenting with different finishes. "Try playing with matte and glossy topcoats, like a matte base with a glossy tip or vice versa," she instructs.

You can't go wrong with OPI's Infinite Shine line.

4. Modern French

All of our pros agreed that French manicures are back in a big way. "They are simple, but I love that you can really combine any colours to create a clean statement look," says Lisa Logan, consulting manicurist for Nails.Inc and owner of The Nail Suite in Harlem, New York. Boyce agrees, suggesting that people with longer nails go for an almond shape with a darker shade at the tip and that those with shorter nails experiment with the painted curve. 

5. Double-Corner French

Lately, Choi's clients have been requesting a riff on the iconic French manicure. "Clients often ask for different versions of this, modernizing it a bit by using a different colour combo (not just pink and white) or trying colourful tips. They also request things like negative space French manicures, diagonal or two-tone diagonal tips, and ombré French," she says.

A quick-drying topcoat (with retinol) is essential for any DIY application.

6. Ombré French

The above photo is a perfect example of the ombré-French design and can be created using any number of colour combinations.  

We love this warm-yet-moody set for fall.

This seven-piece set celebrates the many hues of autumn. 

7. Kitty Cat Tips

These feline-inspired nails give the appearance of claws with dark, angular tips—just in time for Halloween. This design looks best on longer nails, and it can work on extensions, too. "This is slightly harder to DIY, but if you are getting nail extensions, this is such a fierce look," says Boyce.

Don't discount a double-sided brush and dotter tool for designs and delicate cleanup.

8. Two-Tone Diagonal Tips

"Many people are slowly easing back into fun, bold manicure looks," shares Logan. Like Choi, Logan's clients have requested modern French manicures with two-tone diagonal tips, as pictured above.

Denim for autumn? Groundbreaking.

9. Tips Only

"The nail art for this season will be unlike any other mostly because it will be DIY," predicts Mazz Hanna, celebrity manicurist and founder of Mazz Hanna. Simple designs on just the tips of the fingernails are a great way for at-home nail artists to begin while also playing with this season's colour palette. 

10. Tonal Ombré

Instead of multicolour manicures, Logan is seeing more clients request a tonal ombré with two or more colours on a single nail. Like the transition between seasons, this design can carry you from autumn to winter (or your next manicure appointment).

11. Ombré Colour Family

If the multi-nail ombré look seems a bit more feasible to DIY, we love the idea of playing within a cohesive colour family. Hanna agrees, noting, "It is super easy to do and still makes a bold statement." 

When summer turns into autumn, you know it's time to bust out those berry reds. 

12. Glass Extensions

As a specialist in gel extensions, Boyce is, unsurprisingly, all in on the glass nail trend. "It’s a chic design that goes with everything," she shares. "This is slightly harder to DIY, but if you are getting nail extensions, this is such a clean look." 

This intro kit will have you leveling up in no time.

13. Negative-Space Nail Art

"Nail art has become more and more popular at NYFW," explains Choi. "I expect to see many negative-space manicures with simple and minimalistic nail art, such as the look we created for Proenza Schouler [one season]."

At just £7, this kit gives you so many DIY options.

These line decals are so intricate.

14. Polka Dots

Similarly, Hanna is predicting that polka dots will be back in a big way. "It's super simple to do using a bobby pin, even with limited nail art experience, and you can use any seasonal colour that is trending," she shares. But you can't rush the process. "Polka dots typically take longer to dry, so it’s important that you make sure your dots are completely dry before applying your topcoat," cautions Hanna. "If you apply a topcoat too soon, it will cause the polka dots to drag." And that can make this DIY design prone to re-dos.

If you don't have a couple of bobby pins already laying around then this deal is tough to beat.

15. DIY Designs

Inspired by your favorite nail artist on Instagram? Or ready to try out a freehand design? Choi says to go for it! "Most designs can be done with the edge of your nail polish brush and a bit of practice," she says. She encourages at-home nail artists to begin by using everyday items like a toothpick or a clean makeup sponge. If you're ready to level up, all of our pros recommend buying a set of thin paint brushes and dotting tools. 

These tiny brushes are essential for any aspiring nail artist.

Up Next: Butterfly Nails Might Just Be The Cutest Nail Trend Of The Year

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.