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5 Chic New Nail Art Designs for Fall

  • Nathan Martin

    Mint Condition

    You typically save pastels for spring, but mint looks unexpected and fresh during the colder months. When paired with a touch of black, the vibe goes from sugary sweet to so sophisticated.

    Step 1: Brush on two coats of mint polish. We like China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Re-Fresh Mint ($8, ulta.com). Let nails dry. Do this step a day in advance.

    Step 2: Apply black striping tape horizontally across your nail, one-third of the way down from the tip. Trim it with cuticle scissors like Sally Hansen Cuticle Tamer Scissors Ultra Fine Tip ($10, drugstores). Cut the tape just short of your nail edge so that the topcoat seals it down and it won't lift over time.

    Step 3: Complete this look with a layer of your favorite clear topcoat to add shine and lock the stripe in place.

    See How to DIY a Mint Polish and Black Stripe Manicure

  • Nathan Martin

    Good as Gold

    Not a nail-art junkie? This glitzy mani is easy to do—the more haphazard, the better! When choosing a white polish, opt for a sheer version. It'll look softer and more flattering with your skin tone than a stark, opaque white.

    Step 1: Apply three coats of sheer white polish, such as Essie Nail Lacquer in Like Linen ($9, essie.com).

    Step 2: Once dry, use a clear polish with large flecks of gold glitter, like the one in the Laqa & Co. Lacey Gold Fleck Manicure Duo ($16, laqaandco.com), to paint gold accents on each nail in a random pattern. The more varied the design, the cooler it will look.

    Step 3: Finish with a layer of clear polish to ward off chips.

    See How to DIY a Gold Fleck Manicure

  • Nathan Martin

    Maroon Five

    The vampy oxblood trend is going strong. But if wearing the deep wine hue on your lips feels too intense, swipe it on your nails instead.

    Step 1: Paint on two coats of wine polish and let nails dry. We like Topshop Nails in Bomber ($10, nordstrom.com).

    Step 2: Using the Ciaté Very Colourfoil Manicure Kit in Wonderland ($13, sephora.com), apply Foil Fix glue around the edge, along the side or in the corner of one nail.

    Step 3: Let the glue set for a few seconds until tacky, then lightly press a silver Colourfoil sheet on top of the glue to transfer the metallic effect onto the nail.

    Step 4: Repeat on each nail and apply a clear topcoat to lock the foil in place.

    See How to DIY a Wine and Metallic Effect Manicure

  • Nathan Martin

    Modern Art Mani

    This cool color-block design uses negative space to create an art deco feel. For an ultra-chic version, choose two shades in the same color family, like red and pink.

    Step 1: Measure and cut a piece of striping tape to fit the width of your nail. Allow extra length to hang off the edge for easy removal later on. Place the tape horizontally across the nail, one-third of the way up from your cuticle. Position a second piece of tape along the length of your nail, starting at the first stripe (this will form an upside-down T). Press down and trim off the excess. Try It's So Easy Stripe 'Em Decorating Striping Tape ($10, sallybeauty.com).

    Step 2: Working on one finger at a time, dot red polish like Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in All Fired Up ($8, drugstores) to fill in just the bottom section of the nail. Then swipe bright pink, such as OPI Nail Lacquer in Girls Love Ponies ($10, opi.com for salons), on the top section.

    Step 3: Let the polish set for 30 seconds before gently peeling off the striping tape; this will give you the sharpest line without gluing the tape to the nail.

    Step 4: Once both colors are dry, top each nail with clear polish.

    See How to DIY a Modern Art Color-Block Manicure

  • Nathan Martin

    Heavy Metal

    Even your friends will be posting Instagram pics of this edgy, 3-D mani. Applying tiny gold studs to your tips and wearing metallic, jewel-inspired temporary tattoos is the hottest new way to accessorize.

    Step 1: Apply two coats of navy polish. Our fave: Nails Inc. Gel Effect Polish in Old Bond Street ($14, sephora.com). Working on one nail at a time, apply a topcoat, like Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat ($10, ulta.com), to the entire nail. This formula is thicker, so it will hold the stud in place.

    Step 2: Sprinkle some gold studs, such as the ones in Ciaté Mini Paint Pot in Stylish Studs ($8, sephora.com), on your work surface. Then, using needle-nose tweezers, such as the Tweezerman Stainless Steel Point Tweezer ($23, sephora.com), pick up one stud and add a drop of topcoat, which will act like glue, to the underside of it.

    Step 3: Place the stud at the base of each nail.

    Step 4: Finish with another layer of clear polish. To complement the metallic accent, add a few ring-inspired gold or silver tattoos to your fingers. Try Flash Tattoos in Dakota ($22, flashtat.com).

    See How to DIY a 3-D Manicure