Autumn nail trends: bookmark these manicures for your next salon appointment

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Chloe Burcham
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From neon hues to tonal nudes, autumn’s hottest nail trends include something for everyone…

Whilst 2020 has had us DIY-ing our nails like it’s 2002 again, lockdown manicures have meant that we’re all feeling a tad more creative now that the salons are back open. 

For years, autumn nail trends have been awash with ‘deep berry reds’ and the occasional ‘navy shellac’ (if you’re feeling really fancy.) But now, nail art is back and the autumn nail trends for 2020 are as much about design as they are about colour. 

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Because whilst we all love a cinnamon-hued shade to compliment that pumpkin-spiced latte, we’re thinking we can do better this year. Our nails have finally been let loose from the lockdown shackles and it’s time to show them some love. 

From abstract art to smiley decals, neon borders to tonal rainbows — the rulebook is wide open and whatever you’re into this season, it’s time to have some fun and really get creative with your nails. 

Matte top coat 

Hello? Yes, welcome back to 2012. Matte topcoats are back and more sophisticated than ever. Whatever shade you pair it with, we’re feeling the soft focus finish. 

Get the look with Barry M’s Matte Top Coat, £2.99

Tonal rainbow

The rainbow manicure was everywhere in lockdown but now that we’re back at the salon, it’s had a chic new season update. Opt for cool-toned rustic colourways to add an autumnal edge. 

Discover Stylist’s explanation of how to do the rainbow nail trend. 

Smiley faces

Let’s face it: we could all do with something to smile about this year and what better way to keep that positive energy flowing than a load of beaming faces looking up at you from your nails? Don’t fancy your hand at nail art? Us neither. Thankfully, Ciaté London have made the trend easier than ever with their new SmileyWorld nail decals. 

Shop: Ciaté x SmileyWorld Stick On Nail Stickers, £16

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Tonal nudes

One nude definitely does not fit all. So why not play around and wear a spectrum of different shades on your nails instead? 

Try Nails Inc’s Keep It Tonal Quad, £22 for four toffee-toned shades.      

Abstract art

When we told you the autumn nail trends for 2020 were more about design than colour, we weren’t kidding. This abstract art mani combines six different shades to showcase a gorgeously unique design. 

Shop: Mavala Solaris Mini Colour Set, £5.20

Line art faces

If smiley faces aren’t your bag, why not try abstract line art faces instead? Luckily for us, you don’t need to whip out your fine art paintbrush for this one, as Ciaté have saved us once again with some easy-to-use stickers.

Get the look: Ciaté London Cheat Sheets, £16

Neon borders 

The neon rainbow might be out of style, but there are still ways to get your acid mani fix. We love this neon border – using six different shades to sculpt the nail bed with an injection of colour. For a salon-worthy finish, keep the rest of your nail neutral and ultra shiny. 

Shop: Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, £9

Colour wave

Want something sophisticated but fun? This blush pink base combined with an olive wave is chic, yet casual. Play around with different shades and you’ll have a mani that’s unique to you. 

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Main image: courtesy of @houseofladymuck