Now that fall is just about here, it’s time to pick up a
PSL, pull on a sweater, and update your manicure. After a summer of glossy, glazed nails, it feels right to go for the exact opposite vibe with something a little less shiny as the temperatures cool, which is why matte nail art always finds its way back to your FYP come fall.
“The matte effect is extra appealing this time of year because it gives a cool-weather texture to your nails, kind of like leather,” says manicurist
Holly Falcone. “I also love how it can make colors really pop, which is nice to see in the gloomier months.” A matte red against a jean jacket on a cold October day? Yes, please.
Mariz "Reece" Gutierrez, the founder of nail salon Holy Chic + Co, matte manis also feel like the nail version of a cozy sweater. “We're taking off the shine of the summer and getting into something a little moodier, more sensual, more romantic,” she tells Bustle. Matte looks amazing with the most popular fall nail colors, too, like black, wine red, browns, and neutrals.
To get the effect, it’s as simple as applying a
matte top coat to your usual polish. “This makes it a lot easier to get creative and play around with your nail art,” Gutierrez says. Keep scrolling for 24 swoon-worthy matte nail art ideas for fall 2023. 1 Autumnal Tones
When it comes to fall, you can never go wrong with autumnal polish colors like dark green and cornflower yellow. To personalize your matte mani, Yongxi Tan, a nail expert and co-founder
Bessie, recommends adding textures and geometric designs on top, like these interesting stripes, black details, and pops of gold. 2 Negative Space
Minimalists listen up: Matte polish makes for the perfect background when you’re going for a simple and sleek
negative space manicure, like this set that incorporates matte black micro French tips that swirl onto the cuticle. It’ll show off the fact you’ve been growing your nails all summer long. 3 Cow Print
Once you’ve pulled on your trusty jean jacket and cowboy boots this fall, you pretty much
have to finish the cowgirl aesthetic with a set of matte cow print nails. Adding a touch of ombré polish underneath — seen here fading from white to pink — will help elevate the design from farm to fashion. 4 Matte Red Fall 2023 is all about red. We’re talking coats, ballet slippers, dresses, hair — you name it. To get in on the trend, Falcone suggests wearing a red/blue polish similar to MAC’s Ruby Woo lipstick as your base with a mattifying top coat to get rid of the glare. It’ll look so chic. 5 Muted Marble
Imagine looking down at this set of marbled white, matte black, and muted teal whilst holding your favorite hot beverage. This simple color palette feels right on-trend for fall, and the marbled accent really pops.
6 Black On Black
If you’re feeling dark and moody ahead of Scorpio season, Gutierrez suggests going dark. “You can't go wrong with a matte black nail,” she tells Bustle. “It's classic, and the matte effect gives an all-black look a softer edge.” Make it extra artsy — and help the matte stand out — by adding a glossy black French tip.
7 Glass Of Wine
When in doubt, a deep burgundy wine color is always a classic choice this time of year. And you’re in luck: As Tan says, matte polish works particularly well on top of dark hues, like wine red. This swirled design pairs the shade with abstract art on two accent nails and looks so fabulous.
8 Spooky Season
If you can’t stop thinking about Halloween, get into the holiday season with a cute little set of ghosts. You can also experiment by adding other
spooky designs like spider webs, bats, and skulls on a matte black background. 9 Pretty Plaid
Bring the coziness of your favorite plaid shirt to your fingertips with mix-and-match patterns in shades of blue, gray, and tan. While this would look pretty with a glossy top coat, matte adds an elevated touch. “People love a cozy and warm feeling as the weather gets colder, and the matte nails give that vibe in a way that other finishes can't,” Tan says.
10 Gold Vermeil
Even if you’re typically a silver girly, you have to admit that fall always feels like the right time to add more gold to your look. This set stuns with a white base and metallic vermeil along the nail beds. As a bonus, the sparkle and shine really pops against a matte background.
11 Abstract Art
When you use a matte polish to do abstract designs, your nails end up looking like an actual work of art. Just pick a trio of your favorite autumnal nail polish colors and paint some curved lines and dots for a masterpiece of a mani.
12 Feeling Feline
If you’re eyeballing your
leopard print skirt but aren’t quite ready to add it back to your rotation, try wearing a pop of animal print on your nails instead. Even just one or two nails are enough to add fun details to your overall look. 13 Chocolate French Tips
Of course, you can’t ever go wrong with a French mani. “French tips are still very trendy, classic, and they look really good on everyone,” Tan tells Bustle. She recommends trying a matte French tip — try colors like chocolate brown or deep blue — and opting for a square or coffin-style tip.
14 Rhinestone Accents
If you’re a glossy nail girly at heart, here’s an idea: Decorate your matte mani with stick-on jewels, like these shiny flowers, to add just a hint of sparkle into your life. You get the best of both worlds.
15 Neon Swirls
One of the easiest nail art designs you can DIY? Add some swirls to your mani. These hot pink curved lines against a teal background seem to pop even without the gloss.
16 So ’90s
According to Tan, light matte hues — like pretty pastels — really stand out when worn against darker fall and winter clothes. And they look so good (and so ’90s) in a maximalist-style set with a different print on each nail. Choose from designs like checker print, clouds, and flowers.
17 Fall Florals
With neutral tones and the tiniest botanical details, this subtle mani will look good whether you’re at the coffee shop or the pumpkin patch. Gutierrez suggests opting for neutrals, browns, oranges, and mustards for your matte fall manicure. “In matte, all of these colors take on a deep feel that mirrors the richness of the season,” she says.
18 Mix & Match
If you can’t choose which design is right for you, try a different one on each finger. Add your choice of fall-themed colors followed by a cow print, plaid, chevron, and a mini autumnal scene — then mattify the entire thing. Prepare for plenty of compliments.
19 Groovy Baby
Imagine how adorable this design would look poking out from the sleeves of your favorite sweater. This ’70s-style flower motif will let you hold onto summer just a
little bit longer, while the matte effect helps it feel suitable for fall. 20 Au Naturale
As Gutierrez says, “A nude shade with a matte top coat is so clean and elevated looking, like putting on your most luxurious cashmere sweater.” Add simple white designs down each nail for a little more interest, and your set will still match everything you wear.
21 Porcelain Tips
Here’s the tea: Have your nail art replicate your favorite fancy dish set. This manicure looks just like a Delft-style teapot and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
22 Green Hearts
Who said hearts are just for Valentine’s Day? When you swap out a pink or red background and opt for a cozy fall color like this muted green you can get away with wearing cutesie hearts all year long. Plus, forest green is in right now, so you’ll be right on trend.
23 Glossy Accents
As Falcone says, adding a gloss detail on a matte nail can be really cool — like a shiny French tip or a half-moon base. The polish color is up to you. For some inspo, check out this minimalist set that features a shiny white accent atop each cuticle.
24 Coquette Set
If you can’t get enough of the coquette aesthetic, bring the trend to your fingertips with a cutesy set that shows off pink bows. With a matte brown base, it looks perfect for fall — and will match the ribbons in your hair.
Sources: Holly Falcone, manicurist Mariz "Reece" Gutierrez, founder of nail salon Holy Chic + Co Yongxi Tan, nail expert, co-founder Bessie
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