Last updated on September 15, 2023
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The best fall nail polish colors to wear this fall season.
Fall brings colorful leaves, a change of temperature, a shift in your schedule, heartier meals, more time spent indoors, and a new color palette to wear for fashion and beauty.
The best fall nail colors pull inspiration from the best sights and activities of the season. In our list below, we give the fall inspiration behind each color choice to explain what makes these the best fall nail polish colors.
If you like doing your own manicure at home, you’ll love this selection of the best fall nail polish colors. We’ve also included tips for prepping and painting your own nails. If you get your nails done at the salon, you can look for these colors at your local nail salon, or bring them with you for a professional application.
This list of nail polish colors for fall is for anyone who is looking to refresh their nail colors for the season. If you need guidance for the best fall nail colors for your fall nail designs, the most popular fall nail colors, fall nail inspiration, new fall nail trends, and the trending nail colors for fall, the list below is for you.
This article is about the 15 best nail polish colors to wear for the fall season. We’ve also included a guide to frequently asked nail polish questions, below.
Table of Contents:
- Best Red Fall Nail Polish Colors
- Best Purple Fall Nail Polish Colors
- Best Gold and Rose Gold Fall Nail Polish Colors
- Best Brown and Neutral Fall Nail Polish Colors
- Best Yellow Fall Nail Polish Color
- Best Orange Fall Nail Polish Colors
- Best Green Fall Nail Polish Color
- Best Blue Fall Nail Polish Color
- Best Gray Fall Nail Polish Color
- At-Home Manicure Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions About Painting Your Nails
Best Red Fall Nail Polish Colors
Red is one of the best nail colors for fall, and even into the holiday season and winter. Fall reds bring to mind apples and apple picking, red maple leaves on trees and on the ground, going back to school, cranberry season, flowering red mums, farm trucks, and fresh pomegranates.
1. Essie – Bed Rock and Roll
2. Ella + Mila – Time for a Bond Fire
3. OPI – Big Apple Red
Best Purple Fall Nail Polish Colors
Purple is a beautiful fall nail color, and will work through the winter as well. Fall purples bring to mind numerous shades of chrysanthemum flowers, eggplants, dark night skies, grapes, autumn leaves on the ground, and figs. September is also World Alzheimer’s Month, with purple being the official color of the Alzheimer’s movement.
4. Essie – Bahama Mama
5. OPI – Less is Norse
Best Gold and Rose Gold Fall Nail Polish Colors
Gold and rose gold are great fall nail colors and are extremely versatile because they pass as neutral. Gold and rose gold nail polish shades also work throughout the year. Fall golds bring to mind colorful leaves sparkling in the sun, sparks rising up from a backyard bonfire, homecoming crowns, golden sunsets, and holiday decorations.
6. Gold Nail Polish: Sally Hansen – Go for Gold
7. Rose Gold Nail Polish: OPI – Intentions Are Rose Gold
Best Fall Brown Nail Polish Colors
Browns and neutrals are some of the best fall nail polish colors. Fall browns bring to mind crunchy leaves on the ground, cinnamon, pumpkin stems, apple pie, acorns, making s’mores, trees without leaves, apple cider donuts, crossing wooden bridges on a hike, hot chocolate, stacking wood for the fireplace, and pumpkin spice lattes.
8. Chanel – Particuliere
9. Sally Hansen – Powder Room
Best Yellow Fall Nail Polish Color
Yellow is a fun fall nail polish color. Fall yellows bring to mind yellow leaves, golden apples, the sun shining through tree branches, delicata squash, candy corn, yellow mums, school buses, and lighting fall candles.
10. China Glaze – Mustard the Courage
Best Orange Fall Nail Polish Colors
Orange is a classic fall color, which is why it’s great for fall nails. Fall oranges bring to mind pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns, fall leaves, tangerine season, earlier fall sunsets, pumpkin pie, sweet and spicy candles, fresh persimmons, and a cozy fire in the fireplace.
11. Essie – Let It Slide
12. Sally Hansen Miracle Gel – Sundown Socialite
Best Green Fall Nail Polish Color
The right shade of green can work well for a fall nail polish color. The key is to stick to darker greens, unlike brighter spring greens. Fall greens bring to mind acorn squash, cozy flannel shirts, kale, Brussels sprouts, picking green apples at the apple orchard, and Frankenstein.
13. Essie – Force of Nature
Best Blue Fall Nail Polish Color
Blue works as a fall nail polish color, as long as you keep it dark. Fall blues bring to mind clear night skies, cold ocean water, cozy pajamas, swapping out summer dresses for blue jeans, and evenings spent outside by the fire pit.
14. Zoya – Elliot
Best Gray Fall Nail Polish Color
Gray is a popular fall nail polish color, and can also be worn into winter. Fall grays bring to mind overcast days, snuggling under blankets, warm socks, squirrels collecting nuts in the yard, and favorite cozy sweatshirts.
15. Olive & June – AW
At-Home Manicure Tips
A quick guide for how to get the most out of your at-home manicure.
Steps for an At-Home Manicure
1. Prep your nails.
How to prep your nails for an at-home manicure: remove any previously applied nail polish, clean your nails, trim and/or file your nails, push back your cuticles if needed, buff your nails, and dry your nails prior to painting your nails with any nail polish. Prepping your nails in this way will help to make your manicure last longer.
2. Apply a base coat.
A base coat goes on before you apply your nail polish color. You’ll want to wait two minutes after applying your base coat before moving to the next step. See more details about nail polish base coats, including our favorite base coats, in the section below.
3. Paint your nails with your selected color.
Apply your first coat of nail polish. Try to use thin coats because they’re less likely to chip. Wait two minutes, then apply a second coat of nail polish.
4. Apply a top coat.
Wait two minutes after applying your nail polish (or as directed on the bottle), and apply one coat of a top coat. See our favorite top coats listed in the section below, and why you should be using a top coat over your nail polish.
5. Reapply top coat every few days.
Reapply a thin layer of top coat to your nails every few days to extend the life of your manicure.
The Best Base Coat Nail Polish
If you’ve ever wondered why your nail polish chips so fast, it can be caused by a variety of factors, but one of them can be from not applying a base coat.
Using a base coat helps to adhere the nail polish to your nails. It also makes your nail polish more flexible, so when your nail bends the nail polish is more likely to bend with it instead of chipping off. You’ll also want to use a base coat to protect your natural nails from being stained from the nail polish, especially if you use a darker color.
Some of our favorite base coats: OPI Nail Treatment Natural Nail Base Coat, Essie Strong Start Nail Treatment, and Ella+Mila Nail Care Nail Enamel Primer (All About the Base).
The Best Top Coat Nail Polish
A top coat seals in your nail polish and protects it from indents and other damage, like from water and UV rays. It also adds an extra layer of shine to your nails. If you skip using a top coat, your manicure will likely chip much sooner.
Frequently Asked Questions About Painting Your Nails
How long do manicures and pedicures last?
On average, manicures with regular nail polish will last 1-2 weeks, and pedicures with regular nail polish will last 2-4 weeks. Using a base coat and a top coat will help extend the life of your manicures and pedicures, as explained above.
What are the best fall nail colors and the most popular fall nail colors?
The best fall nail colors are ones that are inspired by the colors of the fall season. Therefore, the most popular nail polish for fall is reds, browns, purples, oranges, golds, and yellows. Darker colors like dark green, navy blue, gray, and black are also popular fall colors for nails.
Which nail polish brands are the best?
To determine the best nail polish brands, we’ve considered which brands of nail polish tend to last the longest for an at-home manicure, and which nail polish is consistently the highest rated.
These are our selections for the best nail polish brands, in no particular order: Essie, OPI, Chanel, Sally Hansen, Ella + Mila, Dior, and Olive & June. There are other popular nail polish brands, and new nail polish brands we haven’t had a chance to try yet, so just because it isn’t on this list doesn’t mean it isn’t a great option.
Does your fingernail and toenail polish need to match?
Simple answer: no, your fingernail and toenail polish does not need to match.
The idea of having to match the nail polish on your fingers and toes is an outdated fashion trend. It’s currently considered acceptable to both match the nail polish color on your fingernails and toenails, and to have different nail polish colors on your fingernails and toenails. However, when wearing a different color on your fingernails and toenails, it’s recommended to stick within the same color family, for example, two different shades of pink, or two different shades of blue; or to stick within the same color grouping, for example, two pastel colors, or two jewel tones.
You can also start out giving yourself (or getting at a nail salon) a matching manicure and pedicure, and since pedicures tend to last longer than manicures (2-4 weeks for pedicures vs. 1-2 weeks for manicures), you can then switch out your manicure to a different color while keeping your pedicure color a little longer.
Save These Fall Nail Polish Ideas
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This article was about the 15 best polish colors for fall nails.
We rounded up the best red nail polish, purple nail polish, gold nail polish, rose gold nail polish, brown nail polish, yellow nail polish, orange nail polish, green nail polish, blue nail polish, and gray nail polish for you to wear this fall season.
If you’re looking for nail polish colors for fall nail designs, fall nail inspo, OPI fall colors, Essie fall colors, fall gel nail colors, autumn nail colors, the best fall nail colors, autumn nails aesthetic, or fall colors for nails, the colors on this list are great options for you.
We hope you’ve found some fabulous inspiration and color options for your fall nails, Halloween nails, and Thanksgiving nails!
Which of these fall nail polish colors is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.