21 Best Fall Nail Trends and Ideas of 2020 to Try Before Autumn

fall 2020 nail trends


Okay, yup—fall feels like an eternity away, I know. Which means even thinking about fall nail trends and WTF you’ll be wearing come autumn seems fully LOL-worthy. Except…it’s not. Because by the time you finally put away your warm-weather clothes and break out your jeans and sweatshirts for the umpteenth time, these nail trends will have already been done and re-done on your social feeds over and over again since the end of summer. And you, my friend, will then be v late to the party (hey, I don’t make the rules on trends! I just get stressed about them!)

And because not one of these nail trends involves the words “FALL” or “AUTUMN” painted against a backdrop of leaves and turkeys (I wouldn’t do that to you), there’s literally no reason why you can’t start playing around with them now. So to get you ready, I rounded up the 21 best fall nail trends of 2020, along with the nail polishes you need to recreate them, below. Get ready to screenshot and experiment ASAP.

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French-Tip Nails

YUP, it’s true: French-tip manicures will be a big fall 2020 nail trend, so get over the flashbacks from your ’00s childhood and get on board with these ultra-thin white tips. Pair them with almond nails to make them feel fresh and modern.

✨Try the trend: OPI Nail Polish in Alpine Snow


Multi-Colored French-Tip Nails

If you’re just not ready to go with the classic white tip (FYI, as long as you’re not squaring them off, they’ll feel 2020, not 2002), tiptoe into the trend with multi-colored tips and a matte topcoat.

✨Try the trend: Revlon Transforming Effects Matte Topcoat


Tie-Dye Nail Trend for Fall

YUP! Tie-dye is here to stay throughout 2020—and, TBH, deep into spring 2021, too. I’m not going to pretend these are easy to recreate at home (though you can get a similar effect by using this gradient nail tutorial), so screenshot this one for when you can finally get a salon appointment.

✨Try the trend: Beetles Pastel Gel Nail Polish Set


Single Line Nails for Fall 2020

Polka dots had their shining resurgence this spring and summer, and now they’re fading into the background. This fall, expect to see single, minimalist lines all over nail beds. Luckily, the trend is easy: Freehand them with a skinny nail brush, or tape off your nails to easily paint a straight line.

✨Try the trend: Essie Nail Polish in Spice It Up


Split Nails for Fall 2020

Think of this nail trend as gradient nails turned up to an 11. Split nails look difficult, but I promise they’re not: Tape off half of your nails down the middle, paint each nail a different color, then peel off the tape and repeat on the other half.

✨Try the trend: Nicole Miller Mini Nail Polish 15-Piece Set + Scotch Magic Tape


Retro-Colored Nails Trend


Gradient Nail Trend

Surprise! Gradient nails still aren’t going anywhere for fall 2020, and tbh, it makes sense why: The nail trend is legit season-less, since you can pair any five shades to recreate it.

✨Try the trend: Zoya Nail Polish Quad in Tis the Season


Flashes of Color for Fall 2020

This nail trend is less design-oriented and more color-oriented. Usually, fall nail shades tend to be subdued and understated. But this year? Add a few dots, lines, or shapes to your nails with a bright, summer-y nail polish to contrast fall’s neutral tones.

✨Try the trend: Eternal Pastel Nail Polish Set in Mindfulness


Faux-Nude Nails for Fall 2020

Not quite a crisp French tip, but not exactly a bare, polish-less nail, faux-nude nails will be one of fall’s biggest nail trends, since they look ultra-clean and understated, but also more polished than completely nude nails.

✨Try the trend: Zoya Nail Polish in Loretta


Neutral Nails for Fall 2020

With all of the insanely bright fashion trends coming out this fall, get ready to see neutral manicures as a juxtaposing nail trend. Keep your nails as short or as long as you want them—the trend here is clean and subtle.

✨Try the trend: Zoya All Snuggled Up Nail Polish Quad


Nail Tip Trend for Fall 2020

In case you can’t tell from the zillion French-tip nail designs already on here, nail tips are having A Moment this fall. Paint them white, or rainbow, or squiggle some lines on them (fact: These tips are actually just a skinny line with a bunch of dots—not too difficult!).

✨Try the trend: Teoyall Double Ended Nail Brushes + Revlon Nail Enamel in Urban


Heart Nails for Fall 2020

There’s something definitively less cutesy about heart nail art when it’s only on two fingernails and painted with the deepest of black nail polishes. Highly recommend copying this exact style on yourself this fall.

✨Try the trend: OPI Nail Lacquer in Black Onyx


Shimmery Metallic Nails

Is it just me, or do these nails instantly transport your brain back to the days of Limited Too and Claire’s? Tbt. Sigh. There’s no right or wrong color, here—as long as the polish has some shimmery, metallic vibes, you’ll be on trend for fall 2020.

✨Try the trend: Essie Tiers of Joy Nail Polish


Logo Nails Trend

Mmmmkay, in my dream world, I am ~wealthy~ enough to deck my closet out in designer clothes. But in my real world—and for fall 2020—I am just rich enough to afford to paint some designer logos on my nails.

✨Try the trend: Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat


Pop-Art Nails Trend

Comic book culture is alive and well for 2020 (and, honestly, always), and it’s coming through on your nails this fall. Trace the edges of your painted nails with black polish, add a thin stripe of white around the the sides, and boom—pop-art nails.

✨Try the trend: Zoya Nail Polish in Raven + China Glaze Nail Polish in White On


Snakeskin Nails for Fall

Spring and summer were all about the tiger stripes (TY, Tiger King for that). But for fall 2020, expect to see animal textures of the ~reptilian~ nature, like these snakeskin print nails.

✨Try the trend:


Candy-Apple Red Nails

No, I know—red doesn’t exactly feel new, or trendy, or groundbreaking. But really think about the last time you, yourself, wore plain-ass red nails. Been a minute, yeah? Same. Which is why you’re about to see a major resurgence in bright-red nail polish (specifically of the candy-apple variety) come this fall.

✨Try the trend: Butter London Patent Shine 10x Polish in Smashing


Ink-Blot Nails

Like a more ~sophisticated~ version of your chipped, destroyed nails, this fall 2020 nail trend can easily be freehanded with a nail brush and a black nail polish.

✨Try the trend: Revlon Nail Polish in Knockout


Pure Glitter Nails for Fall

Maybe it’s because we’ve all been cooped up inside for half of 2020, but come fall, glittery, shimmery, glitzy-AF nails—you know, the kind usually reserved for New Year’s Eve—will be a free for all and highly encouraged.

✨Try the trend:

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