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The experts fill us in.

Published on 08/16/23 12:28PM


Though the first day of fall doesn’t technically come until September 23 this year, Labor Day weekend is known as the end of summer—and that’s when many of us start whipping out our autumnal nail polish colors. Our summery bright orange hues turn darker, our reds go vamp and we’re all about moody forest shades. 

However, those are the fall classics and there are plenty of new nail art trends to look forward to. From looks that never go out of style to of-the-moment manicures, the fall 2023 nail trends cover it all. Think classic reds that are always chic to matte metallics to hot chocolate nails to bring out your inner cozy fall girl. 

To help navigate the biggest fall 2023 nail trends, Byrdie tapped major nail experts to showcase the best of the best. Whether you’re all about a single color or all-out nail art, there’s something for everyone this season.

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Frosted Metallics


Consider this a fresh new finish for a metallic mani. “Choose your favorite metal (silver, gold, or rose gold) and top it with a mattifying top coat,” says Olivia Van Iderstine, VP of Content & Creative and Mani Trend Expert at Olive & June. “The matte metallic look has a high impact payoff but it’s super easy to DIY. Apply two coats of a metallic polish and let dry. Apply an even layer of Olive & June The Matte Top Coat ($9), and watch the matte magic happen. You’ll still get a subtle shimmer from the metallic color, but the matte effect gives it a brushed metal effect that’s so cool for fall.”

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Hot Chocolate Nails


“Chocolate brown is a warm, rich color that gives off the coziest vibes for fall, especially when paired with a matte topcoat,” says Mazz Hanna, CEO of Nailing Hollywood. “Earthy tones are always popular in cooler months but I suspect we will see hot chocolate nails everywhere this year. Chocolate brown is versatile, classic, and is complementary on all skin tones and nail shapes and lengths. Since this trend is just a shade, it’s very easy to recreate at home. I highly recommend Dazzle Dry for all of your at-home mani needs. It’s an incredibly innovative hybrid polish that dries completely solid in less than five minutes—no lamp necessary. Even better, their new Desert Flame Collection has a beautiful chocolate brown shade called Sequoia ($22).”

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Duo Finish French


“Take French tips into fall with a duo finish,” says Galdina Jimenez, OPI North America Education Manager. “Using both a shiny top coat and matte top coat to create a French over a solid color is an easy go-to. This especially looks great over darker shades like OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark, Got the Blues for Red, That’s What Friends Are Thor, and Scorpio Seduction ($12 each).” To get the look, apply two coats of your favorite dark shade, allow them to dry, then apply a top coat and let it dry. Next, create a French smile line at the tip of the nail using a matte top coat. You can use a nail art brush to apply the smile line for a more precise application.

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Classic French Manicure


“There is nothing fresher than a French,” says Van Iderstine. “It’s timeliness, looks amazing on everyone, and can be customized to your personal style. Choose a ’90s vibe with a thicker tip or a more modern look with a narrow tip. Not feeling particularly skilled in nail art? Pop on a press-on for a salon set in seconds.”

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Gunmetal Gray


Going gray for fall is always a good idea. This time around it’s all about gunmetal gray, a dark gray shade that’s versatile yet edgy. “It’s flattering on various skin tones and goes well with any outfit,” Hanna says. “This fall we will see the exact opposite of the overtly girly manicure trends we’ve been seeing for almost all of 2023. Moody grays and metallic gunmetals will add a moody twist this autumn. If you want to jazz things up a bit with your at-home mani, opt for a polish with a bit of shimmer or a chrome finish to give your gunmetal gray mani a true metallic look.” Her go-to’s are OPI Clean Slate ($12) for the perfect metallic gray and Skyline Reflect by Lakur ($16) for a multichromatic effect to the gray chrome finish.

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Lots of Layers


“Fall is the time for layers and I am not referring to just clothes,” Jimenez says. “Layering a sheer shade over a solid color is all the vibe. Switch up your solid shades with a special effect.” For a celestial effect try a shimmer over a black base (like OPI’s Black Onyx followed by Feelin’ Libra-ted, $12 each) or a holographic glitter over a pale white for angel vibes.

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Chrome Sweet Chrome


Ever since Hailey Bieber’s glazed donut nails entered the scene, this trend is still going strong. “I see this continuing into the fall again this year,” Hanna says. “It’s such a fun way to add some flair to a classic manicure. Chrome powder in particular looks incredible over almost every single color you can think of. Mirror chrome nail art is also a super fun way to add some edginess to your manicure. For chrome at home, all you need is either a mirror chrome gel polish or a chrome powder to apply over the top of your manicure.”

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Emerald Green


Going green is easy this fall. “Dark brown, dark red, and classic black are always beloved shades for fall, but we’re calling emerald green as the must-paint moody shade of the season,” Van Iderstine says. “It has all the sophistication of a dark mani, but the green feels different and more daring. This shade looks good on everyone, but we particularly love it on a short round shape—it makes a big statement without needing a lot of length. The key to this look is to ensure you use a really good glossy top coat. The goal is to make it have almost a glass-like shine. Shiny and chic!” Get the look with Olive & June It’s Actually Dark Green ($9).

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Velvet Nails


“The salon-favorite mani gets the autumn treatment in rich and cozy new hues,” Van Iderstine says. “This look that usually takes hours (and comes with a price tag to match) is yours in minutes with a press-on. No magnet required and no dry time! Choose a shade that celebrates the season with a classic oxblood or a warm neutral.” She suggests the Olive &June Velvet Swirls Fig Ranch Press-Ons ($10).

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Classic Reds


“Reds make a comeback in the fall every year because it’s a great transition shade from summer into fall,” Hanna says. “The best thing about reds is that there are so many options out there since it’s such a classic manicure color which makes it easy to find a shade that best suits your preferences.”

To nail that summer to fall transition, Hanna recommends bright red shades like Ember from Dazzle Dry’s new Desert Flame Collection. “They’re also great for the transition of fall into winter during holiday season which makes it an excellent choice for an at-home mani since it’s so versatile,” she says. “It’s always a great idea to have a classic red polish at home.”

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Nearly Naked Nails


“When the weather gets chilly and we’re ready to bring out our darker fashion pieces, sometimes a sheer neutral mani is just the thing,” Van Iderstine says. “Apply your favorite peachy sheer (we love EC) and apply a wash of soft shimmer (Fairy) over top. It looks like a glossy, effortless look from far away, and the subtle shimmer feels like a special surprise.”