8 Manicure Trends That Are Ruling This Autumn, According to Nail Experts

Autumn is in full swing, and we're really embracing it this year. There's a crisp autumn chill in the air that has us reaching for wooly knits, but it's not rainy enough to have to wear a waterproof jacket just yet. And this kind of perfect autumn weather means we can actually embrace all of the trends we're desperate to try—both in fashion and in beauty—without risk of being rain-sodden or too windswept. And while we've already pinpointed the top autumn trends of the season, it's time to dig into the details. First stop: nails. And more specifically, the eight autumn nail trends we're seeing everywhere right now and can't get enough of.

Sure, we can get a pretty good steer on cool nail microtrends by scrolling through Instagram, but nothing beats an expert opinion, which is why we tapped some of our favourite pros for their insight into the nail trends that are dominating the beauty world in autumn 2022. 


(Image credit: @hollyjone_s)

Below, you'll find eight autumn nail trends that will make your next manicure anything but boring.

1. Aura Nails


(Image credit: @buffcs)

Aura nail art is the nail trend that is currently giving us good vibes, says nail technician Audrey at Manikur. "They're one of my current faves, and I've been seeing this design everywhere. I've been experimenting with blooming gel for various designs, including nail art similar to aura nails, but I'm currently looking into getting my hands on an airbrush tool," she says.


(Image credit: @dinaashersmith)

Aura nails on Dina Asher-Smith by Tinu Bello.

Experiment with different colours and placements of auras. 


2. Illusion French Tips


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

Optical-illusion nails are the trend that is making us do a double take on our Instagram feeds right now. "I find these ombré illusion nails so mesmerising," says Audrey. "I'm not surprised these designs are emerging, as they're quite similar to aura nails and involve a lot of blending and fading to create these looks."


(Image credit: @manikur.brighton)

Turn the traditional French manicure on its head by experimenting with the placement of your French tips.


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Try different tones of the same hue on each nail for an eye-catching nail-art effect. We love this matte purple ombré.


3. Velvet Manicure


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

"Cat-eye or velvet nails have been popping up on my feed everywhere," says Audrey. "I find anything from holographic to cat-eye shimmer super popular right now, as it's really simple but very eye-catching." The three-dimensional look is usually created by using a magnet over a reactive polish, which creates the velvet, cat-eye effect.


(Image credit: @hollyfalconenails)

We're also seeing lots of different shades of velvet nails, including this mesmerising electric blue.


4. Glazed Nails


(Image credit: @nailartbyqueenie)

"Also referred to as the Hailey Bieber nails, glazed nails have been the most popular of them all," says Audrey. "Though it took some time to find the right technique and products to ensure this mani lasts (powders are notorious for peeling if not applied correctly), this design has been a winner for my clients, both who love nail art and those who are just branching out," she says, saying this trend is also a great alternative to negative-space nails.


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Glazed nails have been most popular in neutral tones, but why not experiment with unexpected colours for autumn?


5. Celestial Nails


(Image credit: @manikur.brighton)

"I have noticed more and more of my clients are loving anything constellation or cosmos related, especially with a growing interest in astrology," says Audrey. In fact, searches for celestial-inspired sun and moon nails are up 30% on Pinterest, so they're bound to be a huge trend as the nights draw in and the party season approaches.


(Image credit: @buffcs)

We're saving this manicure for our Halloween nails and beyond into party season.


6. '70s Swirls


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"We're taking inspiration from classic Pucci prints and decorating our nails in wavy designs and swirly patterns," says Carla Opoku, founder of Cienna Rose. "Go for autumnal shades in mocha, taupe, spiced pumpkin and maroon."


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Seventies-inspired swirls work brilliantly as negative-space nail art, and any colour combination works.


7. Minimalist Metallics


(Image credit: @imarninails)

"Metallics always make a bit of a return come autumn, but this season, they're very pared-back and minimal," explains Opoku. "Muted bases in pinks and beige tones have a smattering of sparkle or foil, making nails look very chic and wearable—a minimalist mani at its finest!"



8. Expensive Green


(Image credit: @harrietwestmoreland)

Deep green has been cropping up a lot on our Instagram feeds, and the top nail technicians are opting for glossy, moody greens on their clients' fingertips.


(Image credit: @buffcs)

Try deep khaki for an autumnal twist on bright green.


Up Next, Without a Doubt, These 13 Nail Colours Always Look Classy

Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor of Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.

Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards and also contributed to Powder, winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards for her work in beauty journalism.

Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.

When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner.