Let us start with the subtle nail look. Bare and skin-toned nails were all over the fall 2014 runways. If you want neutral without going au naturel, try a nude shade polish for a polished, natural look. We recommend Maybelline’s Color Show in Better in Buff ($7.99.) It is a medium, neutral shade that works on any skin tone, and the Color Show line is affordable and goes on smooth.
For a longer lasting, shinier look, try Dior Vernis in Grege ($24.) Dior Vernis is a new line that gives a gel effect with plenty of sheen. Two coats and a little topcoat should have you set for two weeks. They have many other fall-friendly colors, too, like the peachy Milly or dark red Massai.
If you are feeling like going a little darker as we move into the colder season, you have rich reds and purples to choose from, ranging from deep but vibrant to almost black. Make sure to use a good basecoat so you do not risk staining your nails. For a dark red, try OPI’s Lost on Lombard ($9), for a deep purple, try Essie’s Carry On ($8.50.) A tip from the pros: One of this season’s big hits is to match nails to lips. This works best with bright or dark colors. To match to a dark purple shade, try Mac’s Mate Smoked Purple lipstick ($16.) To match a dark red, try Sephora’s Color Lip Last in Wanted Red ($13.)
The darker shades can also play into a different fall trend: metallic. Try a gold glitter topcoat over a dark purple polish. We recommend Revlon’s Colorstay Gel Envy in High Roller ($7.99) topped with Butter LONDON’s Stratford Honey Overcoat ($15.) Of course, bright reds are always in style. And who does red better than Christian Louboutin? Inspired by the red-bottomed Ballerina Ultima heel, we present Rouge Louboutin. It may be the only red polish you will ever need and it is a work of art all in itself. It is eight inches tall and includes an exclusive triangular brush that eliminates air bubbles. It’s a pricey $50 for this nail polish, but it’s well worth it when you see the highly pigmented and chip-resistant results. For a good lipstick to match, try OCC’s Lip Tar: Matte in NSFW ($18.)
Of course, DIY nail art isn’t going anywhere. You don’t need much to get one of these looks, but paper tape can help make your lines more even. For the Dual Toned manicure, you will want to pick two colors. After you apply your base coat, start by painting your entire nail with the lighter color. After the polish dries completely, use paper tape to cover either a quarter of each nail or three quarters of each nail, depending on which color you want to be more prominent. Then, carefully paint along the side of the tape. When your nails are dry, remove the tape and use corrector pen to fix any mistakes. We recommend Alessandro’s Nail Spa ($12.) Finish with a clear topcoat.
For the Diamond Reverse French, paint your nails white or a light peach. After they are completely dry, cover the bottom diamond with paper tape. Carefully paint upward strokes with your darker color. After the paint is completely dry, remove the tape and apply topcoat. Another popular take on this manicure is to leave the bottom diamond bare. To do this, just use paper tape on your bare nail and do a single coat on the rest, finishing with topcoat.
If you are not into nail art, but you want something with a little more pop, this season’s metallic trend might be the right thing for you. Silver and gold hues were a huge trend on the runway and they are sure to add a little sparkle to your manicure. If you want shimmer without glitter, try Maybelline’s Color Show in Bold Gold ($7.99.) It goes on easily, dries fast, and gives you a little “pop” without being too flashy.
If, on the other hand, flashy is what you are looking for, there are plenty of glitter-filled metallic tones to put your nails center stage. The 444 Nail Lacquer from butter LONDON is in your face glamorous ($15.) In a super-shimmer champagne shade, the tone has an elegant feel even with the metallic and glitter accents.
Published in the Fall 2014 Issue of Runway