The 15 Most Popular Nail Polish Colors of Fall 2021
In my humble, honest, opinion, fall is the best season.
And before you start debating me, just hear me out: There's no humidity, which means you sweat less, hot coffee is once again seasonally appropriate, and wearing a thick, cozy sweater is honestly the next best thing to being wrapped up in a duvet.
Another reason why I love fall: The onset of sweater weather means changing my nail polish colors, too. Suddenly all of those neons and pastels I've been wearing during the summer don't feel right. Instead, I always find myself reaching for warm or muted colors because they have more of a fall vibe.
To get inspiration for my fall 2021 manicures, I turned to Julie Kandalec, celebrity manicurist, and founder of Julie K Nail Artelier, as well as Lisa Logan, consulting manicurist for Nails.INC and owner of The Nail Suite Harlem, to get the details on what shades are going to be trending this season.
Here, the 15 best nail polish colors to try this fall.
Not-So-Basic Orange: Chanel Le Vernis in Cruise
While bold shades are all the rage for summer manicures, Kandalec doesn't see the trend slowing down just because it's getting cooler out. Instead, she thinks bright colors will still have a moment this fall. "This orange shade will be a gorgeous transition color into pumpkin spice season," she says of Chanel's Le Vernis in Cruise.
To shop: $28; chanel.com
Shapeshifting Purple: Lights Lacquer in Alexandrite
Shifting, gem-inspired shades like Alexandrite by Lights Lacquer will be trending this season. "Alexandrite also brings luck and self-esteem — something we all can use a bit extra of these days!" says Kandalec. We can't argue with that.
To shop: $10; lightslacquer.com
Rich Merlot: Dior Vernis in Nuit
Want a dark, moody alternative to a black manicure? Look no further than a glass of your favorite merlot. No corkscrew necessary.
To shop: $28; saksfifthavenue.com
Perfectly Nude: Pear Nova Lacquer in Dianna Boss
"Warm opaque nudes like Pear Nova's Dianna Boss are my go-to on set because they always look perfect," says Kandalec. While nude polish is a solid manicure option in any season, this 5-free formula has a high-shine finish that stays chip-free for days.
To shop: $10; pearnova.com
Navy Blue: Nails.Inc 45 Second Speedy Gloss in Time For Trafalgar Square
"When it comes to fall, people tend to wear darker tones and navy is dark enough to blend in, but still makes just enough of a statement to pop," says Logan. She suggests Nails.Inc's Time For Trafalgar Square. This long-wear formula is the world's fastest-drying nail polish, clocking in at 45 seconds.
To shop: $9; sallybeauty.com
Pretty Peony: Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure Vegan Nail Polish in Peony Origins
Not quite fuchsia, not quite pastel pink, this flower-inspired shade is the perfect in-between color. As for formula, it's 100% vegan and infused with plant-based ingredients.
To shop: $5; amazon.com
Metallic Red: Côte Nail Polish in No. 33
While red is a classic nail polish that never goes out of style, Kandalic suggests upgrading your go-to shade with a metallic version. May we suggest the glossy Côte polish, No. 33?
To shop: $18; coteshop.co
Toasty Brown: Olive & June Nail Polish in JJ
Brown may have been the unexpected breakout nail polish color of summer, but it's still going strong for fall. Who doesn't love a cozy color that goes with everything?
To shop: $8; oliveandjune.com
Emerald Green: Orosa Pure Cover Nail Paint in Saguaro
Consider ditching your black or navy nail polish for cool emerald green. Logan loves the shade for fall because it helps her feel grounded, and it's the "perfect subdued statement color," she says. This Orosa polish is one option, while Logan is a fan of the green polish in Nails.Inc's Don't Stop Be-Leafing Plant Based Nail Polish Duo, which also comes with a gold shade that can be layered on top for a metallic finish — another fall manicure trend.
To shop: $12; orosabeauty.com
Vampy Glitter: JINsoon Nail Polish in Farrago
At first glance, this sparkly JINsoon nail polish looks like black glitter. But in reality, it's actually a dark purple-red with flecks of gold glitter. Kandalec says the unexpected flash of gold makes the shade an instant favorite.
To shop: $18; jinsoon.com
Marigold Yellow: CND Vinylux Longwear Nail Polish in Candlelight
The sunny days don't have to end once summer's over. This warm marigold is the perfect transitional manicure shade for anyone looking to hang on to the warm weather.
To shop: $7; beyondpolish.com
Sky Blue: OPI Nail Lacquer in Angels Flight to Starry Nights
Inspired by city lights, this shimmer, milky blue milky polish looks cool on its own or as a top coat on whatever shade you choose.
To shop: $11; ulta.com
Rich Berry: ORLY Nail Lacquer in String of Hearts
Like soft scarves and pumpkin spice lattes, this rich berry pink shade goes hand-in-hand with fall.
To shop: $10; orlybeauty.com
Pinkish Gray: Essie Nail Polish in Sound Check You Out
Beige and baby pink aren't the only neutral manicure options. For anyone who's looking to switch up their minimalist manicures this fall, this mauve-gray is the shade to try.
To shop: $9; ulta.com
Almost Black: Morgan Taylor Lacquer in Laying Low
If the onset of spooky season has you ready to break out the black nail polish, you'll dig this deep blue Morgan Taylor polish. While it might first appear to be black, it's actually a navy, which gives a dark neutral manicure a softer touch.
To shop: $9; sallybeauty.com