Do you enjoy painting your nails for the season, but need ideas to choose the perfect colors or design? Let these ideas for fall nails inspire your next at home nail art project or professional manicure. If you’re looking for something more spooky, check here for Halloween nail designs.
There’s options for short nails, acrylics, gel nails, and a variety of tips including French, coffin, almond, and stiletto! Whether you’re more into cute designs or need something classy this season (a wedding, maybe?) there’s so many great ideas for fall themed nails out there.
What are the Best Colors for Fall Nails?
When you’re painting solid or patterned nails for fall the colors you choose can have a big impact on whether or not your nails look seasonal. To find the best nail colors for fall, look to nature for inspiration.
- The colors of changing leaves: Browns in all shades, deep reds like crimson and scarlet, golden or mustard yellow, and deep purples like mulberry.
- Fall crops and flowers: Draw color inspiration from pumpkins (orange), eggplant and plum (purples), tree or moss (greens), sunflowers (yellow and brown), and other seasonal blooms.
- Muted colors in all hues: If you want to work with non-traditional fall colors like blues and pinks, opt for muted versions of these colors to reflect fall’s warm undertones.
- Neutrals: Like muted colors, neturals also work great as fall colors for nails; especially tan.
- Black and white: Both can be incorporated into fall nails, but avoid using them as a major part of the design. White is traditionally not worn after labor day, and while this fashion trend does apply to nails it’s definitely not a hard and fast rule. Black is great for adding moodiness to your nail art, but it can easily look Halloween-y, especially when paired with orange.
When to Add Bright Colors to Fall Themed Nails
If you’re creating a design that is unmistakably fall themed you don’t have to stick to fall colors to stay seasonal. Who says you can’t paint colorful leaves, multicolor ghosts, or rainbow pumpkins! Get creative and don’t limit yourself to fall colors if you prefer brightly painted nails.
What Fall Colors Look Best With Matte Nail Polish?
Matte nail polish is newer fail nail trend, and colors definitely look different when painted in a matte finish vs glossy. I find muted colors and earth tones look great with matte nail polish, which means most of the popular fall hues look fantastic in a matte finish too.
Popular fall colors that look great in matte nail polish:
- Browns and tans
- Green, especially olive
- Burgundy, crimson, and other deep reds
- Purples, especially eggplant
- Mustard yellow
- Nudes and neutrals, including soft pinks
The Best Nail Art Inspiration and Design Ideas For Fall
From cute nails to pretty fall color options, these unique nail art designs are perfect ideas for your next manicure. Try them out at home or bring these examples to your salon for inspiration!
Leaves are a classic design idea for fall, and one that looks great on almost any nail size and shape. Paint a variety of leaves in coordinating fall colors on each nail like gel nail artist Katie Dutra did here, or add a few solid nails in a complementary shade to emphasise the leaf designs.
Fall Inspired Mix and Match Nails
If you can’t settle on one design, do a variety of different prints and styles in coordinating fall colors instead! Swirls, stripes, flowers, and animal prints all look great, especially when painted on top of a neutral base coat.
Nothing says fall like sunflowers! Instead of doing the flowers on every nail, just paint a couple and then use a darker color on the solid nails to complete the look.
Negative Space Nails
I love the use of negative space in nail art. Basically, it means that the plain part of the nail art is in the middle and the design is focused around the edges or sides of the nails. The combination of pink nail polish and glitter adds a feminine touch, even when paired with the fall themed orange and black pattern.
Classic Fall Hues
This is a great idea for painting fall themed French tips or to use as an easy nail painting technique. I love the way the alternating pattern of fully painted nail and painted tip looks together, especially in spooky fall colors like orange and black.
70s Inspired Nails
The browns, reds, yellows, and oranges of the 70s are perfect for seasonal nails! Use these colors on their own or contrasted with white for a simple design. If you’re feeling really creative you can also add other retro elements, like flowers, on top.
Knit Sweater Inspired Nail Design
Sweater weather = sweater nails. Seriously though, these sweater inspired nails have a super cool knit design making them the perfect cold weather accessory you didn’t know you needed. You can get the textured look by adding nail art stickers or using gel polish to create the design with a nail art brush.
French Tip Nails for Fall
French tips are a great option when you want fall nail art but still need to maintain a polished or professional look. To create a fall themed French nail look, paint tips with your favorite October inspired hues like brown, orange, or red.
Yellow With Flowers
Despite its bright and cheery nature, yellow is a great autumn nail color, especially earlier in the season. To tone down the yellow, paint natural elements like flowers or leaves on top of a neutral base coat.
Matte Nails for Fall
Matte nails are all the rage and will continue to be popular into the fall season. To make the most of matte nail polish, opt for toned down hues and simple nail art designs like mushrooms or leaves.
White and Pink Ombre Stiletto Nails
White nails look stunning, especially when paired with subtle designs on a few accent nails. Instead of painting the whole nail white, start with a neutral nail polish color and blend it with white about halfway up in an ombre style. This works especially well on longer nails like these stiletto tips.
Multicolor Fall Nails
These bright nails pull fall colors in for a bold nail art design. If you’re painting at home, recreate the multicolor look by starting with a base coat then spreading out each color with a nail brush one at a time.
Who doesn’t love cute pumpkin nails? Instead of plain orange, brighten up your pumpkin nail art by painting each one in a different color. This is a great fall themed nail art design for beginners to try, too!
Fall Nail Stickers
Nail art stickers are a great way to create elaborate fall nails at home or the salon without having to paint complex patterns. I love the fall leaves on these coffin nails, but you can also get creative with jewels and other embellishments too!
Pretty Floral Fall Nails
Bring some fall blooms into your floral nail art this season! I love the subtle flower design on these nails, especially against the white background. Lifehack: Add a band to the bottom of the design (like they did here in silver) so your nails keep looking cute as they grow out.
Beige or Nude
This is the season for neutral nails to shine! Choose beiges, tans, or nudes for a subtle look that’ll match all your cool weather outfits. These colors would also be great on toe nails, too.
Cute Boho Nails for Fall
These boho nails are so cute! The trendy colors in boho style art (browns, soft oranges, muted blues, and pink) are perfect for this time of year. Try doing simple two color patterns or get creative with bohemian inspired rainbows, happy faces, and marbling.
Terrazzo Inspired Nails
Terrazzo is an Italian style of material made from chipped stone and concrete that has a distinctive flecked pattern. These fun Terrazzo nails drew inspiration from those floor and wall coverings to create a design that would be super easy to DIY with your favorite fall colors.
Olive and Green
These colorful nails use olive and other shades of green to create bold nails. I find them reminiscent of trees that have just started to change color in cooler weather.
Abstract Nail Design
Great fall nails by nail artist Tessa.Lyn.Nails. Combining a base layer of abstract art with fall themed foliage is an easy way to create a unique nail design. To DIY this look, beginners can skip the foliage and just stick to abstract blotches of fall colors, or use nail art stickers to add leaves to your designs.
Simple Plaid Fall Nail Design
When the cold weather comes out so does the plaid! Incorporate fall prints like plaid into your nail art for an easy painting technique. Just make sure you let your nails dry between coats so you don’t smudge your stripes. Tip: Use leaf colors like browns, reds, and oranges to make your plaid nails even more seasonal.
Multicolor Swirls With Nude Base
Swirls are another easy painting technique for nails that can easily be adjusted for every season. Start with a nude base coat then use these colorful swirls as inspiration to create your own unique designs.
Fall Inspired Stripes on Short Nails
Stripes are a great way to add some fall colors, especially when working with short nails. Instead of painting the stripes right next to each other, apply a neutral base coat to your nails and leave a small space between each stripe.
You can have a lot of fun with pastels, even in the autumn season! Choose seasonal pastel colors and tone it down with some abstract art for a bright and cheerful look.
Fall Wedding Gold Glitter Nails
You could use this fall nail design for any occasion, but I think it’d be gorgeous for a fall wedding. Subtle designs were combined with gold glitter to create a glamorous fall look. You could easily incorporate a bride’s wedding colors into this design!
Orange and Black Leopard Print
Leopard print is always in style but this orange and black combo is especially purrfect for fall! If you haven’t already, try painting animal prints with matte nail polish for a trendier look.
Fall Rainbows and Leaves
This is another nail art design that has boho vibes thanks to the muted colors and simple rainbows. By pulling seasonal colors into the nail designs and painting the rest of the nails a complimentary solid tone, you get a fun pattern that’s perfect for short nails.
Geometric Nail Art
Geometric designs are great for beginners or as a simple fall nail design. Start with a solid base coat on half or all of the nail. Then use a nail art brush to add different geometric lines and shapes in a contrasting color.
Blue Almond Shaped Fall Nails
When choosing blue hues for fall the go to is earth tones, but you can also get away with navy and even denim hues for a vibrant look. If you do opt for bright blue nails during fall, consider toning them down by alternating with a softer pattern like this floral nail art.
On its own, orange nail polish can sometimes be too bright or look more Halloween than fall inspired. I love the way they used orange, black, and purple on these coffin tipped nails by painting one nail each color, then pulling the same shades into the floral design of the middle two nails.
Matte Mushroom Nails
These are just way too cute! Use a green matte base coat on these nails for a more earthy look, then paint mushrooms and foliage over top.
These nails have a little bit of everything for a cute autumn design idea. This is such a unique way to add fun seasonal elements, like pumpkins and flowers, to the end of square tips.
Modern Fall Nails
These unique fall nails designs have a modern, or even boho, vibe. I love the way they pulled bold fall colors into the design without it looking too bright. Use this as inspiration to create your own designs!
Patterns are an easy way to add unique designs to nails without spending hours doing your nails. Dots, leopard print, two colored, and striped nails are all great for beginners – try them with some coordinating fall colors for a seasonal look.