The 15 Coolest Nail Designs for Autumn 2022

It's that time of year where we slowly start putting away our favourite neon polishes in favour of the darker, moodier tones of autumn. For nail-art aficionados, a change in season presents an opportunity to experiment with an entirely new slew of fun nail designs and colours. Although there are certain standbys we always have waiting once autumn arrives (shoutout to our favourite burgundy nail polishes), we reached out to some of our favourite nail aficionados to give us a heads-up on what we'll be seeing in the coming months.

Four experts gave us the scoop on this year’s autumn nail designs. Even better, most of these are easy enough to DIY with the help of a few tools, new polish shades, and textured topcoats.

Intrigued? Keep reading for 15 new autumn nail designs (plus tips on how to get the look at home) straight from the pros. 

1. Matte All Over


(Image credit: @imarninails)

"I think this fall will bring the need for change, and this may be expressed in the switch from a super-shiny manicure to a matte effect," predicts Jin Soon Choi, a New York–based expert nail artist and founder of Jinsoon. 

2. Multicolor Matte


(Image credit: @imarninails)

Similarly, Nails of LA founder and celebrity nail artist, Brittney Boyce, anticipates seeing a rise in the multicolour matte manicure. "This is a really fun and easy way to DIY nail art at home," says Boyce. "It's especially great for people who can't make up their minds on just one nail color."

3. Mismatched Topcoats


(Image credit: @thehangedit)

For beginner nail artists, Boyce also suggests experimenting with different finishes. "Try playing with matte and glossy topcoats, like a matte base with a glossy tip or vice versa," she instructs.

4. Modern French


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

All of our pros agreed that French manicures are back in a big way. "They are simple, but I love that you can really combine any colours to create a clean statement look," says Lisa Logan, consulting manicurist for Nails.Inc and owner of The Nail Suite in Harlem, New York. Boyce agrees, suggesting that people with longer nails go for an almond shape with a darker shade at the tip and that those with shorter nails experiment with the painted curve. 

5. Double-Corner French


(Image credit: @imarninails)

Lately, Choi's clients have been requesting a riff on the iconic French manicure. "Clients often ask for different versions of this, modernizing it a bit by using a different colour combo (not just pink and white) or trying colourful tips. They also request things like negative space French manicures, diagonal or two-tone diagonal tips, and ombré French," she says.

6. Ombré French


(Image credit: @imarninails)

The above photo is a perfect example of the ombré-French design and can be created using any number of colour combinations.

7. Kitty Cat Tips


(Image credit: @imarninails)

These feline-inspired nails give the appearance of claws with dark, angular tips—just in time for Halloween. This design looks best on longer nails, and it can work on extensions, too. "This is slightly harder to DIY, but if you are getting nail extensions, this is such a fierce look," says Boyce.

8. Two-Tone Diagonal Tips


(Image credit: @imarninails)

"Many people are slowly easing back into fun, bold manicure looks," shares Logan. Like Choi, Logan's clients have requested modern French manicures with two-tone diagonal tips, as pictured above.

9. Tips Only


(Image credit: @thehangedit)

"The nail art for this season will be unlike any other mostly because it will be DIY," predicts Mazz Hanna, celebrity manicurist and founder of Mazz Hanna. Simple designs on just the tips of the fingernails are a great way for at-home nail artists to begin while also playing with this season's colour palette. 

10. Tonal Ombré


(Image credit: @imarninails)

Instead of multicolour manicures, Logan is seeing more clients request a tonal ombré with two or more colours on a single nail. Like the transition between seasons, this design can carry you from autumn to winter (or your next manicure appointment).

11. Ombré Colour Family


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

If the multi-nail ombré look seems a bit more feasible to DIY, we love the idea of playing within a cohesive colour family. Hanna agrees, noting, "It is super easy to do and still makes a bold statement." 

12. Glass Extensions


(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

As a specialist in gel extensions, Boyce is, unsurprisingly, all in on the glass nail trend. "It’s a chic design that goes with everything," she shares. "This is slightly harder to DIY, but if you are getting nail extensions, this is such a clean look." 

13. Negative-Space Nail Art


(Image credit: @imarninails)

"Nail art has become more and more popular at NYFW," explains Choi. "I expect to see many negative-space manicures with simple and minimalistic nail art, such as the look we created for Proenza Schouler [one season]."

14. Polka Dots


(Image credit: @thehangedit)

Similarly, Hanna is predicting that polka dots will be back in a big way. "It's super simple to do using a bobby pin, even with limited nail art experience, and you can use any seasonal colour that is trending," she shares. But you can't rush the process. "Polka dots typically take longer to dry, so it’s important that you make sure your dots are completely dry before applying your topcoat," cautions Hanna. "If you apply a topcoat too soon, it will cause the polka dots to drag." And that can make this DIY design prone to re-dos.

15. DIY Designs


(Image credit: @thehangedit)

Inspired by your favorite nail artist on Instagram? Or ready to try out a freehand design? Choi says to go for it! "Most designs can be done with the edge of your nail polish brush and a bit of practice," she says. She encourages at-home nail artists to begin by using everyday items like a toothpick or a clean makeup sponge. If you're ready to level up, all of our pros recommend buying a set of thin paint brushes and dotting tools. 

Up Next: Butterfly Nails Might Just Be The Cutest Nail Trend Of The Year

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Drew Elovitz
Director of Content Strategy

Drew Elovitz is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has spent the last decade living and working in New York City. She earned a master's degree in media and popular culture from New York University, then began her career on the internet as the Twitter voice of Barbie. She worked previously at Who What Wear as the director of content strategy and also spent several years leading the social media teams at Teen Vogue and Entertainment Weekly. You'll find her byline on the site around topics such as celebrity fashion, must-have basics, beauty favorites (particularly nail polish), and wellness tips and tricks. Her personal style tends to favor the classics: She loves crisp white button-downs, sneakers, and skinny jeans—and no look is complete without a great pair of oversize sunglasses and a trusty leather jacket. After she finishes reading the entire internet every day, she can be found dining out at her favorite restaurants, trying new beauty treatments, or indulging her historical-fiction habit.