The Totally Free Way To Rock Fall's Coolest Nail Art This Weekend

Photo: Arun Nevader/Getty Images.
It's Saturday morning and you're looking down at your chipped nails trying to decide whether you should run to the salon down the street and drop $30 on a fresh gel manicure or head straight into your fun weekend. The decision is up to you, but we're going to strongly suggest you forget your fingers and book it to brunch to meet your friends instead.
It's not because we're salon shaming — we love a good manicure — but we also know that this fall's trendiest nails are pretty easy to do on your own. How do we know? Because we talked to a few nail pros who walked us through the chicest nail art trends of the season, plus exactly how to get the look with the polishes you already have in your bathroom cabinet. Find all your fall nail inspiration, ahead — and enjoy that bloody mary.
1 of 12
Half Moons

Celebrity manicurist Elle Gerstein (she's the woman behind Blake Lively's nails) tells us that these half moon designs are a modern approach to a technique from the 1920s — making them both trendy and retro. What you need to get the look at home is a simple striper brush and a steady hand. "For a crisp line, make sure to start from sides of the nail and work the moon into the middle — this insures a perfect curve," Gerstein explains.
2 of 12

A post shared by OPI (@opi) on

You can get creative by adding some teeny stars (maybe use stickers) and a few flicks of glitter. The best part about this look is that because your cuticles are left bare, the grow out is pretty seamless, especially if you keep your accent colors in the nude family.
3 of 12

A post shared by Madeline Poole (@mpnails) on

Red & Pink Tips

You're ahead of the game if you already have a perfect red polish sitting on your bathroom shelf. Now, all you have to do is swipe it across the tip of your nails. To do so, you can use strip guides, or wing it freehand. "Again, to get that crisp curve, start your line on the sides of your nail and brush to the middle where the line goes a bit thicker," says Gerstein. "Also, make sure to pick a bright red polish, and always start with a layer of nude polish as a base, or this manicure can look like dirt under your nails."
4 of 12

A post shared by Imarninails (@imarninails) on

Pair a whisper-thin half crescent of vibrant pink under the red for a smooth color transition from base to tip.
5 of 12
Prefer all pink? Swap your regular polish for for hot pink glitter for major impact that won't show tiny imperfections.
6 of 12
Gilded Cuticles

Glitter and nude is always chic. Concentrate the sparkly accent shade at your cuticle to make the style easy to DIY — all you have to do is trace a line at the base of your nail.
7 of 12
Paint a stripe of silver along the side of your nail if you want to do something a little more unexpected.
8 of 12
A little ombré glitter around the cuticle gives the illusion that your nails are longer than they actually are — and it's an easy DIY, too.
9 of 12

A post shared by Miss Pop (@misspopnails) on

Orbit Nails

Admittedly, orbit nails are not the easiest to pull off from your living room, but with a little patience, the result is very en vogue. "If you're a DIY girl and you love doing your nails, this look will take you an hour," says Miss Pop, the manicurist that recently brought the style to the runway.
10 of 12

A post shared by sundays (@sundays_studio) on

If you're up for the challenge (or you have a friend with a steady hand), Pop has tips for you. First, paint your entire nail the accent color you want as the outline (white, in this case). Then, take your fill-in shade and recreate that inner shape of the nail by doing two rounded strokes in the middle of the nail. Pop says that's much easier than slowly outlining your entire nail (albeit, still not child's play).
11 of 12

A post shared by Imarninails (@imarninails) on

Marble Brights

We've already been schooled on the fact that bright polish know no season. Now, to give your look a trendy edge, just add texture. Marbled nails are surprising simple — Gerstein tells us that you can use a thin striper brush to get the chic, veiny effect.
12 of 12

A post shared by Imarninails (@imarninails) on

For a perfectly textured finish, when you don't have a steady hand or a ton of time to tinker with three coats of polish, you could always try press ons.

More from Nails


R29 Original Series