Fall Is Actually the Best Time to Wear Bright, Bold Nail Art

Fall Is Actually the Best Time to Wear Bright, Bold Nail Art

From groovy florals to funky cow print.

Switching to dark, moody nail polishes come fall is one of the many arbitrary beauty rules that are made to be broken. Bright shades and expressive designs shouldn’t be reserved only for the summertime. In fact, the crisp, breezy fall days are the best time of year to wear loud manicures. 

It’s actually been scientifically proven that bright colors like pink, orange, and yellow are mood boosters and associated with the feeling of joy. And who couldn’t use some extra cheer as the daylight hours get progressively shorter? 

Together with Essie celebrity manicurist Steph Stone, we've highlighted six playful fall nail art trends created with a palette of vivid nail polish colors. Perfect to pep up this otherwise sleepy season.

Sharp Lines 

Fall Is Actually the Best Time to Wear Bright, Bold Nail Art

Jess Pettway

Top marks in math aren’t necessary to ace this simple yet striking geometric manicure. With endless possible color combinations, the design can easily be customized. However, bold contrasting shades like lime green, magenta, and lavender make for an eye-catching take on the design. Plus, the color trend for fall 2022 is pretty much all of them.

Shades Used: 

essie Nail Polish in Piece of Work, Pencil me In, and In Pursuit of Craftiness, $10 each; ulta.com 

essie Gel Couture Top Coat, $13; ulta.com 

Ring: Missoma Fused Ridge Signet Ring, $188; missoma.com

Groovy Florals

Fall Is Actually the Best Time to Wear Bright, Bold Nail Art

Jess Pettway

Excuse the cliche but there’s no better way of putting it: flowers for spring aren’t groundbreaking, but flowers for fall? Now, that’s an exciting manicure. Instead of painting daisies in pastel nail polish shades, go with rich pink and brown for a retro feel. Better yet, alternating the base and flower colors on a couple nails is a fun, unexpected detail. 

Shades Used: 

essie Nail Polish in Sew Gifted and Paintbrush It Off, $10 each; ulta.com  

essie Gel Couture Top Coat, $13; ulta.com 

Bracelet: Missoma Dome Cuff Bracelet, $175; missoma.com

Half Moons

Fall Is Actually the Best Time to Wear Bright, Bold Nail Art

Jess Pettway

Sure, the half-moon manicure hasn’t technically gone anywhere, but it’s taken a backseat to other nail art trends in recent years. For fall 2022, the classic design has made its triumphant return. A traditional half-moon manicure will always look chic, but experimenting with the placement of the moons and painting the shapes in different colors like trendy lime green and pumpkin orange looks ridiculously cool.

Shades Used: 

essie Nail Polish in Cut It Out, To DIY For and Piece of Work, $10 each; ulta.com

essie Gel Couture Top Coat; $13; ulta.com

Funky Cow Print

Fall Is Actually the Best Time to Wear Bright, Bold Nail Art

Jess Pettway

Warning: a cow-print manicure may elicit a ton of enthusiastic “yeehaws.” Animal prints tend to go in and out of fashion with each season, and fall 2022 is all about the wild West. Instead of a traditional black-and-white print, get funky with a baby pink and lavender color scheme. 

Shades Used: 

essie Nail Polish in In Pursuit of Craftiness and Sew Gifted, $10 each; ulta.com 

essie Gel Couture Top Coat, $13; ulta.com

Pearl Core

Fall Is Actually the Best Time to Wear Bright, Bold Nail Art

Jess Pettway

Excuse the cliche but there’s no better way of putting it: flowers for spring aren’t groundbreaking, but flowers for fall? Now, that’s an exciting manicure. Instead of painting daisies in pastel nail polish shades, go with rich pink and brown for a retro feel. Better yet, alternating the base and flower colors on a couple nails is a fun, unexpected detail. 

Shades Used: 

essie Nail Polish in Sew Gifted and Paintbrush It Off, $10 each; ulta.com  

essie Gel Couture Top Coat, $13; ulta.com 

Bracelet: Missoma Dome Cuff Bracelet, $175; missoma.com

Heart French Tips

Fall Is Actually the Best Time to Wear Bright, Bold Nail Art

Jess Pettway

Express your love and devotion for this iconic design by opting for heart-shaped tips in lieu of traditional white ones. Instead of doing a French tip on every nail, choose two accent nails and paint the rest of the nails a warm coral-red tone to add a playful touch to the manicure. 

Shades Used: 

essie Gel Couture Nail Polish in Fairy Tailor, $13; ulta.com

essie Nail Polish in Handmade With Love and Pencil Me In, $10 each; ulta.com 

essie Gel Couture Top Coat, $13; ulta.com 

Ring: Missoma Harris Reed Star of the Show Pearl Signet Ring, $136; missoma.com

Credits

Photographs

Jess Pettway

Nails

Steph Stone using essie's Handmade With Love Collection

Models

Parts Models

Art Direction & Set Design

Party of One Studio

Beauty Direction

Erin Lukas

Creative Director

Jenna Brillhart

Senior Visuals Editor

Kelly Chiello

Associate Photo Editor

Amanda Lauro

Production

Charley Stone

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