Each year, we love sharing our favorite nail trends for the season. In 2023, it’s all about shades of brown, goth-core matte nails, holograph meets glitter, and a fun tone-on-tone take on the French manicure.
As for the best nail brands, I will say I swear by Londontown Lakeur, which lasts nearly as long as a gel manicure without weakening my nails like a gel manicure; it’s nearly all I wear these days. But I’ve added a few recos from other brands I also like, to help you achieve each of these cool nail trends for fall.
Oh, and great news for those of us who do more than walk red carpets for a living–e.g. we type, garden, bake, wash dishes, pry open cans, feed pets, and chase kids around–natural nails in natural lengths are back!
I’m so here for the low-maintenance mani of 2023.
Above: Paradox by Cirque Colors
Gorgeous Fall Nail Trends for 2023
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1. Duo-Tone French Manicures
I’ve recently discovered the joy of matte nails, which can easily be achieved just by adding a good magnifying top coat over any glossy color you own. It’s kind of wild. But I love how @disseynails on Instagram takes it to the next level by adding a glossy black tip for a duo-tone version of a French manicure..
Our nail color recos: Londontown Lakeur in Chim-Cher-ee plus the Essie Gel Couture Mattifying Top Coat. It would be amazing with a really deep blue as well! For that, I loooove Londontown’s Under the Stars.
2. Pumpkin Spice Latte Nails
There’s pumpkin spice everything each fall, so why not nails, right? Try each nail in a different brown shade from a dark cocoa to a paler neutral, with a hint of peachy-tan in the middle. Easy, and you’ll get so many compliments.
Our nail color recos: Olive & June’s Pumpkin Spice Latte Nail Set (above) includes a cinnamon brown, terracotta orange, dusty apricot, and a creamy neutral. For the fifth nail, just repeat the lightest shade — or add in a super dark brown like OPI’s Brown to Earth and go for five.
3. Hot Chocolate Nails
There’s another favorite fall beverage that’s offering nail color inspiration right now. How does hot chocolate sound? Every manicurist I’ve talked to has said they’re seeing a huge increase in requests for simple dark brown nails, as a seasonal alternative to black or deep blue (my usual go-tos).
Our nail color recos: OPI Squeaker of the House (above) is a gorgeous nearly-black brown. If you want to warm things up even further, OPI Brown to Earth from their Fall Wonders collection is so pretty all on its own.
4. Galaxy Nails
I have always loved a witchy nail so I’m glad the galaxy nail trend is back for fall 2023.You can do it the hard way with multi-layers and fancy top coats, but I opt for the easy way. That means the right swipe of the right shade–look for a polish using terms like magnetic, iridescent, multichrome, and holographic.
Our nail color reco: Paradox from Cirque Colors (above) which they define as a Dark Purple to Indigo Magnetic Multichrome all in one bottle. (lternately, check out the Cirque Colors Etsy shop — they ship right from Brooklyn!
5. Studded Leather Nails
I’m flipping out over the nail art that Elle Gerstein created for Blake Lively for NYFW this month, and shared on her Instagram @Enamelle. She used Howl You Doing from PLA Nails for an orange-brown “leather” base, then outlined them with tons of teeny tiny gold nail studs from Nail Labo USA. I might leave this one to a salon expert–I am not known for my patience, or my steady manicure hand, but I bet you could adapt this by just studding a single nail on each hand as a standout accent.
Our color recos: Orange-browns aren’t fabulous on my skin tone; I prefer more of a cordovan leather, and found it in Londontown Lakeur’s Elderberry (above) which is more of a blackened purple and would look awesome with the old accents. Alternately, try it with any of the dark browns that are in season for fall 2023. .
6. Silver Holographic Nails
I love the chrome mirror nail trend but there’s no way I am going to do all that work by myself. Alternately, try silver holographic nails. This is one of those trends that feels light, but it’s perfect for fall right into winter. Gorgeous for holiday season too. And if I may say, it’s bringing back 80s nail vibes in all the right ways, which, despite popular belief, were not just about neon.
Our color recos: ILNP Mega Holographic Nail Polish gives that intense holographic sparkle you want to achieve this fall nail trend. If you prefer a darker look, the ILNP Dark Matter polish strikes a balance between the holographic and galaxy nail trends.
7. Gold Glitter French Nails
Finally, I am so glad that this fun, glittery take on the classic French manicure is back again for 2023. Simply paint glitter on the tips, over a nude or clear nail base; it doesn’t have to be as perfectly shaped and crisply rounded as a classic French nail tip. Get a little loose and have fun with it! Not that I could do it as well as manicurist-to-the-stars Betina Goldstein did here on her Instagram feed, but I’m willing to try,
And hey, if you mess it up, just paint over your entire nail and it will look like these. Not bad at all.
Our color recos: Londontown Lakeur in Brittania is a gold glitter polish with a transparent base. That way you get that lovely nude look beneath–but let the polish do double duty by glamming up a bright red or blue when it gets closer to the holidays.