The 15 Most Calming Nail Colors for Fall
It may feel silly to debate what color to paint your nails in a season (ok, entire year) where uncertainty abounds. However, we’d also argue that uncertain times call for a little frivolity and escapism. In keeping with this idea, the trending nail colors for fall are earthy and grounding. Think rich, saturated reds and browns, muted greens and calming, neutral blues that you’d see out in nature.
Shades that Brittney Boyce, the consulting nail artist for Orly, describes as “comforting to look at” and “give you a sense of stillness when you wear them.” The sort of colors that remind you to breathe whenever you look down at your fingertips. Ahh.
And with that, how about we take this time to clear off our coffee tables, put on some relaxing music, and get to painting together?
1. Cool Sage
“It's a green-gray shade that fits all skin tones,” says Boyce. It’s also a surprisingly versatile neutral that won’t clash with...any of the athleisure we’re wearing for the foreseeable future. Extra points for the flat brush that fans out to lay down smooth, even color with nary a streak.
2. Rich Orange
OPI’s latest fall collection is inspired by the food, fashion and arts of Milan. Of the 12 wanderlust-inducing shades, we were immediately drawn to “Have Your Panettone & Eat It Too,” which is a burnt orange hue that makes us feel warm and cozy just looking at it.
3. Peachy Nude
For an update to your go-to nude polish, we’d recommend “JO,” a sandy apricot that offers the perfect bridge between the end of summer and early fall. The creamy formula has a satisfying color payoff and shine. Available on August 21.
4. Slate Grey
Just as cool as black, but not as severe, a slate grey polish is a solid alternative if you’re looking for a neutral that isn’t beige. This opaque crème from Orosa covers your nails like a dream.
5. Denim Blue
Blue-grey polish is such a mood. Inspired by “the mysteriously pretty tones of a fall thunderstorm,” this stormy shade is also deeply calming. Plus, the paddle-shaped brush and short handle make precise polish placement a breeze.
6. Deep Burgundy
What’s fall without a good red? Aptly named “Complimentary Wine” is another standout from the aforementioned OPI Milan collection. The rich burgundy is warm and soothing (not unlike the feeling we get after a good glass of Cabernet).
7. Deep Blue
A streak of navy on our fingertips reminds us of brisk, fall nights. This one reads more blue than black when painted on and is richly pigmented. The 10-free formula is gentle on nails and dries down quickly.
8. Camel Cream
For a warm wash of color that looks impossibly good on everyone (particularly as your summer tan begins to fade), look no further than a camel cream. This one, from Essie’s gel couture collection, is a must-try because the longevity of the formula is unmatched.
9. Dusty Rose
This rosy hue encapsulates that magical golden hour, when the skies turn pink and the world goes quiet. It has a similarly reassuring effect when you wear it on your fingertips.
10. Shimmery Violet
Or for something a touch more whimsical, but just as romantic, we’d suggest a pale lavender. This one is flecked with iridescent shimmer for extra magic.
11. Rich Terracotta
Apple spice, pumpkin spice, bring on all of the spice! This tawny terracotta is peak fall with its caramel and red undertones. The gel-like shine adds to its richness.
12. Golden Green
At first glance, you might not know how you feel about sporting a garish green on your fingertips. It’s unusual and takes some getting used to, but that’s sort of its charm. It’s like a leaf that’s starting to turn at the edges. It’s the fall color that only you (and a few other trendsetters) will be wearing.
13. Muted Mauve
Finally, we found a purple polish that’s not too purple or pale and pastel-toned. Plus, the opacity of this formula is so rich that a single coat is all you need if you’re pressed for time (or patience).
14. Deep Plum
But if you love a purple, this deep, dark plum is so rich it borders on black in certain lighting. Think: An eggplant in its prime. We like wearing this shade in the late autumn months and into the winter.
15. Earthy Ombre
Instagram’s favorite tonal manicure is still going strong. Update your color palette for fall with this earthy quartet that’s pre-selected to deliver a complementary gradient without any of the guesswork of choosing which hues to pair together.