Year after year, nail polish trends cycle in and out with the season. While spring is a popular time for pastels and summer is associated with brights, autumn is all about rich hues inspired by the changing colors of leaves, the cozy knits of sweater weather, and the nostalgia of falls past. With so many colors to pick from, you might feel inclined to book an appointment to make your nails as fresh as your fall outfits.
While you can never go wrong with a simple all-over shade, we’re here to remind you that French manicures are a great way to switch it up. More specifically, we’re here to show you just how creative you can get with the timeless nail art trend. If you love a solid, matching manicure, try swapping out white tips for a fall-friendly shade on each nail. On the other hand, if you’re more of an unconventional nail art lover, there are so many ways to update the classic look for 2022. To help you uncover the possibilities and pick your favorites, we rounded up over a dozen fall French manicure nail art ideas below.
Tonal Fall French Manicure
Retro fashion and beauty trends are making a big impact in 2022. For fall, a vintage-inspired color palette with teal, terracotta, and brown at the forefront is proving popular. Fortunately, the colors all go together quite well, so instead of picking just one, you can put a different shade on each tip for a multicolored fall French manicure. If painting your own French tips sounds like a chore, though, know that press-ons exist: The photo above is actually none other than the Chillhouse Chill Tips ($16) in Study Hall. The kit includes 24 nails to ensure you can find your best fit, and the glue that comes with it really anchors the manicure—take it from someone who swears by Chill Tips above all else.
Zebra French Manicure
Animal print has popped up throughout the year, making this zebra-inspired French manicure an especially trendy option. While this example is done in black and white, you could easily switch up the stripes to be a more colorful palette.
Retro Colorblock French Tips
We’re head over heels for these perfectly painted color block French tips. While the shades are relatively bright, they encapsulate autumn’s retro vibes beautifully. To create the look, you can use a thin-tipped detailing brush and go freehand, or if you prefer a simpler DIY, employ arched French tip stickers (like the Orly Half Moon Guides, $5) and paint beneath them at the base and above the ones at the tip. Whatever you do, though, don’t remove the strips until your polish is dry—otherwise, it could potentially snag the edges.
Multicolor French Mani
Looking for a more unconventional fall French manicure? This three-toned, angled idea is a colorful color block look we can’t resist. That said, given the detail and layering, it’s likely best to head to a professional for this nail art.
Mixed Metals Glitter French
Whoever said that silver and gold can’t be worn together clearly hadn’t seen how pretty the two metals are when reflecting the same light. In addition to mixing jewelry metals, you can combine metallic glitters into a single fall French manicure. To recreate this exact look, use the Paintbox Power Couple ($40) in Like Future and Like Spark.
Aegean Blue Marble
If you’re feeling drawn to multiple design styles, there’s always the option to combine intricate nail art with a few French tips. Case in point: This aegean blue marble French manicure. For a similar color, try the Londontown Lakur ($16) in Chivvy Along.
Flaming Fall French Tips
How fun (and spicy!) are these metallic flame French tips? The color just screams fall. And, we have to admit, the design calls for an especially steady hand, so let this be your inspiration to book a fall manicure stat.
Shades of Brown
If you love the look of an ombré skittles manicure but want to make it fit for fall, consider five shades of brown, as manicurist Jessica Kelly Silvério did here. To achieve the look without trying to find brown polishes that work well together, do yourself a favor and buy the Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish Set ($36) in Chocolate Cravings.
Checkers are majorly trending in 2022, and these ones just so happen to be in the prettiest palette for your fall French manicure. Given the intricacy of the design, you’ll likely want to book an appointment to bring these to life.
Pearl Adorned French Mani
For a glam fall French manicure, try black French tips topped off with slate gray metallic pearls. The trick is to buy flat-backed craft pearls (like the Half Round Pearls Flatback Imitation Pearls, $9, in gray) to glue onto each nail. If you don’t want to use glue, you can press the pearls into the topcoat, then apply another layer on top.
Chrome French Tips
Ever since Hailey Bieber showcased her chrome “glazed donut” nails, people everywhere have been trying to recreate the look. Now, the shimmery, pearlescent manicure has popped up in French form. While white might not be the most obvious choice for autumn, we think any time is a great time to try this trend.
Tortoiseshell French Manicure
Tortoiseshell is a gorgeous pattern that often pops up in fall. Here, it’s combined with a classic white French manicure for a look we simply can’t stop staring at. We recommend enlisting the help of a pro to perfect the tortoiseshell tips and white outlines.
Chrome Shimmer Tips
Remember: Metallics are having a moment in 2022. As such, this chrome shimmer French manicure is a perfect pick for fall. Best of all, it’s easy to recreate. The nail artist behind the above look used CND Shellac ($15) in the shade Negligée for the base and Powerful Hematite for the tips.
How stylish is this two-toned brown French manicure? The differentiation between the base and tips is so subtle, it almost makes you double-take. To achieve the exact look, use Lights Lacquer ($11) in The Butler as the base and Isabella for the tips.
Dual Finish French Tips
Love how subtle the last fall French manicure was? This one’s even chicer with a monochrome palette on each nail. To create the look, Canishiea J. Sams used matte and gloss polish in the same color on each nail, and she loved the look so much that she turned it into a set of press-ons that you can buy. The That Girl Press-Ons ($70) are custom-made for your nail size and are so popular that they regularly sell out, so you might have to be patient if you want to snag them.
Tortoise, Meet Chartreuse
This take on tortoiseshell nail art brings the look together with French tips in one of fall’s hottest colors: chartreuse (Essie’s Handmade with Love Vegan Nail Polish, $10, in Piece of Work, is very similar). The result is absolutely luxurious.
Matte Plaid Nails
As much as we love a glossy nail look, matte has its moment, too. Here, a matte finish adds a moody layer to a plaid French mani that’s perfect for fall. To mattify any nail look, try Essie’s Gel Couture Matte Top Coat ($13).
It’s Actually Cerulean
Last but not least, take a peek at these beautiful blue French tips. With a shade like this, even something as simple as a solid French manicure can make a major statement. Plus, the shade here reminds us of that iconic cerulean moment between Andy Sachs and Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. In that way, this mani is almost nostalgic, and we’re here for it.