I’m all about making summer last as long as possible, but I’m also a realist who knows that nothing lasts forever and time flies. Leather jackets and sweater weather season is officially here, which means your nail color wardrobe needs an upgrade. It’s never too late to start thinking about what you want your fall vibe to be. And if you don’t subscribe to wearing specific nail shades for specific seasons, even better—there are no rules here.
We love vibrant, neon colors, but if you want to give those a break for cooler, subtler shades that feel a bit more muted and understated, we’ve got you covered too. You might not get your pumpkin spice latte fix right now, but you can wear fall-inspired shades to put you in the mood. Plus, switching up your go-to hue and spending some quality time on those cuticles at home will have you well on your way to being your own manicurist. The more colors you have to choose from, the easier it’ll be to come up with new ideas. Here, from a lush green to a witchy wine to a copper-kissed orange, check out the best nail colors for September and beyond.
Olive & June Hunter Green
This shade is called Geometry, and it reminds me of the composite notebooks I used to scribble my 6th grade notes in. It’s elegant yet attention-grabbing, which makes it the perfect day-to-night polish.
Consider this shade Lumiere in liquid form, singing cutlery not included. It’s romantic without leaning too femme, which makes it perfect for any fall activity.
Raspberry and blackberry get all the inspo red in the makeup world. I like to think of mulberry as the more sophisticated sister of the berry family, and it’ll look just as sweet on your tips as it does on your lips.
Jin Soon French Vanilla
Ice cream? During the winter? We’re for it! The warmth of this shade makes it more wearable than a true white, and will add an unexpected neutral option to your arsenal.
Essie Autumnal Slime
Neon devotees, I present a warmed-up alternative to your precious slime-tastic collection. This shade is bright enough to complement any skin tone but still feels Fall-adjacent.
Smith & Cult Hazy Rose
If you’re a pink devotee but want a shade that’ll complement the cool weather, reach for a smokier version of your usual blush.
Deborah Lippmann Scarlet Witch
Already dying for season 2 of Wandavision? Us too. Tide yourself over with a mani that channels our favorite Avenger.
Floral shades don’t have to be pretty and pastel. This warmed-up alternative to daffodil yellow is bright and attention-grabbing, but still rich enough for autumn.
This elegant shade takes a summer-y purple and softens it for a seasonally-appropriate riff on pastels.
OPI Moody Blue
Blue nails don’t have to be casual. This chilly navy is a cool alternative to another deep neutral.
Sometimes, less is more. Dior’s universally flattering formula will give anyone’s nails a healthy tint.
If you like coordinating your polish to your shoes or new bag, try matching it to your martini garnish instead.
Deborah Lippmann Snow
Ever give yourself a cafeteria mani with Wite-Out in middle school? Same vibe here, but this gel formula will last you a week rather than a school day.
Gucci Vamp Black
Hey, it’s only September, but it can’t hurt to lean in and go full glam goth. And this formula is totally opaque, so you nail a a crisp jet black with only two coats.
OPI Natty Wine
We’re declaring this witchy wine color the official red of the season. Kind of makes you want to howl at the harvest moon, no?
Beige doesn’t equal boring. Take this sherbet shade, for example: A muted neutral with just enough depth to make a statement and softness to go with literally anything.
Mischo Beauty Storm Cloud
Black-owned polish brand Mischo Beauty has a lavender that’s not your grandma’s floral. It’s their interpretation of a “dark and stormy lavender,” which feels moody enough to transition from season to season.
J. Hannah Chartreuse
Besides the gorgeous bottle, which belongs on a vanity, this olive green shade speaks to everyone’s inner cool girl. A little-known fact: This well-known jewelry brand dabbles in polish-making, too, and channels the more subtle colors on the spectrum.
Base Coat Onyx
If all-black-everything is your vibe, try this ultra glossy finish that will dry down in minutes. If you really want to look badass, stack a bunch of your favorite rings on to accompany this classic color.
OPI Nail Lacquer in Good Girls Gone Plaid
OPI’s fall collection is inspired by Scotland, and we’re here for anything that gives us Outlander vibes. No doubt Claire would wear this coming to Jamie’s rescue on horseback, but it’s also perfectly suited for a chilly Saturday night.
Jin Soon Nail Polish in OHKO
This gritty topper is the ideal swap out for summer’s chunky glitter. The formula’s taupe, beige, and white speckles can be worn over a reserved nude for an elevated twist, or all on their own to add elevated texture to a bare nail.
Chanel Le Vernis Nail Color in Radiant Blue
Put your basic black shade you always wear down, and try this sophisticated sapphire that’ll look just as chic.
JINsoon Nail Polish in Idyll
Swap out your bright reds for this brick-toned shade with hints of brown and orange that make this warm hue feel extra special.
Smith & Cult Nail Polish
Jazz up your nails for upcoming festivities with this glitter-filled metallic blue that still errs on the subtle side.
Tom Ford Nail Lacquer In Smoke Red
There’s nothing more sultry than a bloodshot red nail color that’ll make you want to deck out your fingers in diamonds.