Fall's Minimalist Nail Art Trend Got A Dramatic Update — And We're Obsessed

Time to book an appointment.

by Natasha Marsh
Originally Published: 
fall black nails

Few colors can make a statement that is equal parts class, sophistication, and power the way that black can. Just ask any New Yorker! Black nail designs are especially ideal for fall. “With the weather getting cooler, we’re all in the mood for richer, darker shades,” says Christina Kao, Co-Founder of Le Mini Macaron. “It goes with everything but is much edgier and super eye-catching on your nails in the fall.”

This autumn, black works as both an accent and a base for your manicures. “It outlines, defines, and adds richness, depth, and mystery — making it both classic and rebellious,” says Emily Rudman, founder of nail laquer brand Emilie Heathe. Although burgundy and brown hues tend to be popular during the cooler months, “black is a color you can lean into to give your nails an edgy look,” says Samara Walker, founder and CEO of nail polish brand Auda. B.

The top nail design trends this season help to upgrade the classic, tried-and-true nail color. Rudman predicts seeing the color as an accent with nudes and browns, or on its own with an emphasis on negative space designs. And that doesn’t mean that a simple black mani is out of the picture either — it will just have a minimalist update this season, like black tips with different base colors or the endless iterations of a marbled finish or line art to add dimension.

Worn short, long, almond, oval, “squoval” and more, ahead, discover the 15 black nail designs set to complement all of your favorite fall outfits.

The More, The Merrier

Who says you can’t mix in a bold colored French tip manicure with accent nail art? To jazz things up even more, you could add in pops of color to the daisies. Just don’t forget to finish with a top coat to make it long-lasting.

Spooky Season

Halloween is approaching and as much fun as seasonal-makeup is, why not go full out with a holiday-inspired manicure as well? The black will serve as a moody base with spider web lines as accent nails.

Love Me

Heart shaped designs don’t have to appear around Valentines Day only. Play up the joyful manicure this fall with a glossy black polish and utilize nail stickers or fine brush to add in the hearts.

Squiggle Party

Playful squiggles and line art are both classy and a joy-sparking manicures for the upcoming cold temperatures this autumn. Plus, whether squoval, almond, or round shape, this trend looks great on all nail shapes.

Geometric Rule

The amount of variations that come out of geometric nail art is astounding. This black and white pairing is classic and will work well with your fall wardrobe.

Modern French

French manicures have come a long way from their traditional white tips. Now you can explore your creativity with this take on the tradition where white tips fill the bottom of the nail and cross over with black counterparts.

Opposites Attract

It’s always fun to lean into a contrasting color or design that doesn't typically fit into the season. Case in point: this daisy happy-go-lucky manicure that would typically be seen in the summer, is meant to bring joy any time of year.

Split Screen Black Manicure

If you’re not ready to go totally black this fall, why not paint half your nail the trendy color? You can opt for white or any other color to split this up for a 50/50 look. Rudman encourages using a thin piece of nail tape for line accuracy when creating this one.

Double French Black Tips

An ode to the timeless French manicure, a double French design with black tips is a great way to play with the color on your nails without being too dominating. “The double French tip is where the edge of the tip is thicker than the second line,” says Mar y Sol Inzerillo, celebrity manicurist to Kelly Clarkson. To create the look at home, Inzerillo suggests using the application brush that comes with the nail polish bottle for the thicker line and a liner brush for the thinner line.

Black Tips With Nude Base

Another modern approach on the French manicure: nude nails with black tips. Here, you have the option to create thin or thick lines for a more dramatic appearance. This is a great every-day manicure but can give your outfit a pop on date night too. Just ask Kourtney Kardashian, who was recently spotted with an edgy black mani from her favorite nail artist Kim Truong.

Gold Marble Power Suit

Glam up your all-black mani with a gold marble touch. Kao loves how the gold shimmer stands out against opaque black. The combination is minimalist and chic and very easy to replicate at home. To start, polish your nails with a black of your choice. Using the contrasting color — ideally gold specks or sparkle — and then blend out with a small brush.

Cow Print

It was only a matter of time before the cow print tops, pants, and shoes, flooding your Instagram feeds made their way to this season’s cutest manicure. The look is edgy, unexpected, and can be worn with multiple colors — not only black and white.

Wave After Wave

The wavy nail trend that was everywhere this past spring and summer receives an update this season with the striking black version for fall. Opt for a nail brush tool to achieve this bold look at home. The abstract shape is also very forgiving if you’re new to DIY nail art.

Dot It Out

This graphic trend is where the drama of black polish meets the minimalism of a simple white dot. With the help of a dotting tool, it screams classy, elevated, and sophisticated all in one.

Embrace The Space

The trending negative space design proves that sometimes, less is more. With this design, you have the freedom to choose what space you want to show off. You might need a relatively steady hand on this for precision to recreate this elegant and show-stopping look, but with a little practice, the payoff is totally worth it.

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