Over the past few years, our beauty routines sure have changed. For better or worse, we've been tasked with taking matters into our own hands when it comes to everything from chemical peels to hair color. While we've gotten pretty good at executing at-home gel manicures, too, we can't help but think of how nice it could be to give our nails some breathing room away from that perfect-looking (but sometimes damaging) cured lacquer.
Fun fact: A number of nail polish brands have upped the ante by improving on their traditional nail polish formulas to look, feel, and perform more like gel, without the need to cure it under a light. And, of course, if you purchase an at-home gel nail kit, then you have even more gel nail polish options available to choose from!
We're taking stock of the best new fall gel nail colors we're most excited to wear. Ahead, check out the seven shades we're swooning over, whether gel or gel-adjacent. Scroll for the mood board and shop the ones that speak to you most.
1. Matcha Green
This neutralized seafoam shade is an absolute dream. It totally functions like a burst of color without being over-the-top bright.
2. Tawny Red
Orly's GelFX Nail Colors are just what we needed to get in a fall manicure mood, and we're especially loving this earthy scarlet hue. It's offered in the professional-grade gel formula for long-lasting gel manicures, but if you're not set up with a GelFx LED Lamp ($170), then you can enjoy the same exact shade in the brand's traditional polish formula.
This gel-effect duo is all you need for a long-lasting gel manicure—no curing light required. Layer on three coats of Birthday Suit for a bold, full-coverage look or just swipe on one coat for a more natural finish. Either way, you'll get a shiny, ivory manicure that looks just like gel.
4. Shades of Gray
From light gray that looks like wet cement to mid-toned gray reminiscent of a cloudy sky, there's something for everyone is this fall-appropriate color family. We've been bopping up and down this spectrum all season.
In case you needed more evidence that this polish color is majorly trending, just check out this collab between nail savant Deborah Lippmann and fashion designer Jason Wu. It's the perfect cloudy day gray and beyond that, it comes in the tried-and-true, dual-patented formula made to perform just like cured gel.
5. Warm Chestnut
If you find yourself reaching for lattes in the fall, then you might notice the similarity between that frothy drink and this nail color. It's slightly warmer than your average beige, but just a shade or two too light to be considered brown.
This perfect shade sits right at the intersection of deep beige and light brown. It's the perfect elevated neutral that looks slightly different, yet totally complimentary on a wide range of skin tones. A quick hit of Chanel's Le Gel Coat on top, and it'll stay shiny and in tact for days.
Who says you have to leave yellow nails behind once falls hits? Combine it with the base and top coats from OPI's Infinite Shine line, and the glass-like glow and lasting power will make you reconsider ever visiting a nail salon again.
7. Metal and Chrome
Revlon's answer to the salon-quality manicure at home is its Gel Envy polish, which binds to your nails with even using a base coat. Create the chrome manicure of your dreams without having to cure it under an LED light. Just seal with the Diamond Top Coat and you're ready to go.