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Believe it or not, fall is officially on its way. We couldn't be more thrilled about cooler weather, hotter coffee, heavier layers—and, of course—some much-needed updates to our beauty bags. Along with swapping our lightweight serums for heavier creams and our tinted moisturizers for full-coverage foundations, we also plan on giving our nail polish collection a big makeover.
With that in mind, we embarked on a mission to determine the Top 10 fall 2021 nail trends, plus a best-selling color for rocking each one. From almost-black hues to unexpected brights, there's a nail polish on this list for every mani mood.
How We Found The Best Fall 2021 Nail Colors
To round up this list, we turned to the help of our data-driven algorithm. This unique tool scrolls through countless user reviews, editor recommendations, and best-seller lists to find and rank and best products out there. Below, we're giving you the details on the color trends that made the cut, plus the shades you should buy for each. From cult classics you know and love to a few brand new beauties worth trying out, keep scrolling to shop the best nail trends and colors for fall 2021.
Next up, check out the 10 Best OPI Nail Colors. Opening image: oliveandjune.com
September 16, 2021
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Essie Nail Polish In Let It Slide
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Bold shades were all the rage this summer, and autumny orange is a perfect way to transition things for fall. Slightly muted with a gorgeous cream finish, this Essie polish practically screams pumpkin spice season.
BEAUTY TIP: If you're not one for bold shades, take a minimal approach and use it for a French manicure.
Paintbox Nail Lacquer In Like Gilded
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Make no mistake—glittery nail polish is no longer reserved for your childhood years. Inspired by Versace and made with 24k gold, this sparkly lacquer is basically synonymous with your everyday jewelry.
BEAUTY TIP: Paintbox recommends offsetting the glam vibe with a muted grey. Alternate the shades between fingers or use the gold as an accent.
Essie Nail Polish In You Know The Espadrille
WHO IT'S FOR: If you really want to hang on to your warm-weather manicures, you'll be happy to find that yellow is one of fall 2021's major nail trends. Because it's a little more muted than your average sunshine-like shade, this marigold hue will work just as well now as it will into November.
AS SEEN ON: See how celebrity manicurist Betina Goldstein uses this shade for her "floating ink" manicure.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish In Tidal Wave
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Introducing another excuse to keep your summer shades in rotation. Bold blues will be big this fall, and reviewers love this lacquer in particular for its incredible formula. It requires no UV lamp but provides the same cushiony shine and lasting power as a professional gel mani.
USER REVIEW: "Let me tell you, this color is simply stunning! I applied two coats. It runs smoothly and I like the brush."
Olive & June Nail Polish In AW
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Low-key neutrals will always be a staple, but the focus will be on greys this season. Named after Alli Webb, the founder of Drybar, this one is bold enough to make a statement but still feels subtle.
USER REVIEW: "AW is my favorite color by far. It goes on smooth like glass and dries quickly. I have no talent when it comes to painting my nails—they are usually bumpy and smudged. I will never buy another drugstore nail product again!"
Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Color in 505 Particulière
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Few neutrals feel more appropriate for fall than warm, latte-like browns. Reviewers say this one goes on smooth and thick, and even without a second coat or even a top coat, the staying power is top-notch.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: This iconic nail polish has been reformulated and is now enriched with bioceramics and ceramides. Users will see nails strengthen and improve over time as well as enjoy a lacquered look.
Essie Nail Polish In Off The Record
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Berry, burgundy, oxblood—whatever you want to call it, this classic fall hue will be bigger than ever this year. This one will pair perfectly with one too many glasses of red wine on Thanksgiving.
WHO IT'S FOR: If you're not into all-black manis, this deep red is an excellent alternative.
Smith & Cult Nail Polish In Darjeeling Darling
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: This cult-favorite shade has been trending for seasons now, and given that green will be a huge nail trend this fall, there's no better time to add it to your collection. It may skew a bit Christmassy, but we're not complaining.
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Even without a top coat, reviewers say this polish is as chip-resistant as they come. Good thing, because you're not going to want to remove it.
OPI Nail Lacquer In Big Apple Red
WHO IT'S FOR: If you've been searching for that classic, ultimate red, look no further. Not too orange and not too pink, Big Apple Red is that unicorn color that lands in the middle and looks incredible on everyone. It's been a fall staple for years, and if you ask us, always will be.
USER REVIEW: "I was eating in a restaurant in Brooklyn when this well-put-together woman sauntered in and sat down next to me with her perfectly manicured nails. I could not stop staring at the perfect shade of red on her fingers and had to stop her mid-bite to inquire about the polish. She said it was OPI Big Apple Red. I ran home. Ordered it. It arrived. I slathered it on my nails. I have now become the well-put-together woman with amazing nails that strangers admire."
OPI Nail Lacquer In Russian Navy
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: You've probably heard of OPI's Russian Navy, and there's a good reason for it. It has that sophisticated, almost-black look, but it has gorgeous hints of purple under the light.
USERS SAID: “I have been buying this color for about four years, and I use it to the very last drop. The coverage is great, and the color is simply stunning. If you like dark colors but want to lighten it up a smidge, grab this color and enjoy.”
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