We’re already mid-way through autumn and, if you’re a nail enthusiast, you’ve most likely already cracked into your deeper spectrum of nail shades. Rich merlots, midnight blues and moss greens are bona fide staples (so obvs, we’ve picked out some of our favourite interpretations).
But, we couldn’t round up our pick of this seasons top hits without also recommending some curve balls: anti-autumn pastels (if you want to opt out of the usual moody colour palette) and golden hour orange (which is equal parts bright and cosy). Then, there’s the new hue no-one saw coming, chartreuse, the grass green shade that’s been popping up all over our Insta feeds.
Here our editors round-up their top autumn/winter nail picks…
I love dark denim, navy grye shades on nails in the colder months. It feels like the more modern version of black nails – a little grungy, but very chic.
Lottie Winter, Beauty Editor
When it gets to autumn, the evenings are dark, the leaves are brown and my wardrobe is black. So, I love to inject a pop of colour into my manicure to remind me of sunnier days and this gorgeous minty pastel green is perfect for brightening up (and giving a shiny, streak-free middle finger to) 2020.
Luca Wetherby-Matthews, Social Media Assistant
“I exclusively only wear nude nail varnish and my favourite, OPI Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around, comes in a glossy finish (to fake a shellac), is super low-maintenance and suits every outfit. Plus, with nowhere to go this season, it’s the perfect low-key hue.
Bianca London, Website Director
Forest green is my go-to when autumn comes round, but bright green is the underdog shade no-one saw coming. Even so, Gucci reserved a spot for Melinda Green in its tightly edited new line-up of nail polishes, CND released Crisp Green a shiny Granny Smith colour in its Autumn Addict Collection and chartreuse has been making a regular appearance across the nails of some of our favourite influencers (looking at you, Betina Goldstein and OverGlow Edit). It’s different, but it’s definitely not boring.
Camilla Kay, Beauty Director
Autumn is my absolute favourite time of year, especially when it’s crisp and the sun is out. I love Essie Shearling Darling at this time of year, it’s almost a blood red – a great transitional shade from Autumn into Winter. This shade is my go-to mani and pedi from around Halloween right through to Easter the following year, who knew a nail polish could carry you through three of our favourite holidays in the UK.
Chelsea Hughes, Picture Editor
Teal nails will never not be chic, especially when paired with a camel-coloured blazer or honey-coloured chunky knit. Dior’s nail polish in the shade Now is exactly the right combination of forest green and inky blue.
Elle Turner, Deputy Beauty Editor
Forget what you thought you already knew: pastels aren’t just for spring. I like to steer clear of my well-loved berry hues when the colder weather hits and opt for something like Nailberry’s Minty Fresh nail polish. It has crisp and cool undertones which make it perfect for this time of year! The formula goes ages without chipping and is super pigmented.
Sophie Cockett, Commerce Writer
Not technically a shade, but definitely a game-changer. You can basically take any polish you already own and love and give it a velvety matte finish with a matte top coat. Barry M does a good one for £2.99. Et Voila, instant autumn feels.
Golden Hour Orange
Summer can’t claim orange – it has that warm, nuzzly autumn thing going for it. But, rather than going for a neon tangerine, or a spiced pumpkin, Chanel’s new shade, Cruise, occupies a pretty middle ground. It’s bright enough for cold days, but it has a hazy golden-hour warmth. See? Compromise.
Throughout Spring/Summer, I’m always wearing a barely-there nude, but as soon as Autumn arrives, I default to a dark red nail shade. This Peacci polish is just right – not too dark, and not to bright. Plus, it’s really longwearing.
I love painting my nails black. My nail technician first suggested it to me a couple of years back, advising black polishes work really well on short, square nails. Which I have. This affordable polish from Rimmel lasts for a surprisingly long time considering the price tag, and you only need one coat.
Equal parts moody and cosy, a strong shot of coffee across nails is a total autumn vibe. Or, to mix it up, make it tonal. Nails Inc’s new I Like You A Choco Lot nail quad has a spectrum of four coffee shades for a ready-made gradient mani. My fave stand-alone shade is Don’t Be Bitter, a deep roasted cocoa.