Trends » Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends

Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends

This post may contain affiliate links.

As we truly reemerge in the new season, dedication must be placed to create the perfect, ultra-stylish look we’ve all been daydreaming about. Trends are crucial for this, and we must pay attention to the manicures on our hands just as much as the outfits we wear. Thankfully for you, we’ve combed through all the major fall/ winter 2021-2022 nail trends and combined them in this article to save you both time and effort, all while making you look fabulous!

Short to almond-shaped nails may have been the most popular, but that never stopped stiletto shapes from wedging their way into the limelight as they did at Roberto Cavalli. For nail art, abstract designs took on a new level of personality. Jeremy Scott at Moschino, for instance, played with fun abstract designs. Unique lines in different colors also entered the 2021 nail art trends in a way to play up negative space.

As for the colors? The OPI North American Education Manager, Sigourney Nunes, stated: “We’re going to see a ton of juxtaposition of color à la very skillful mix and matching. Everything from neutrals with bolds to darks and bolds and everything in between.” So, this is the season to dive deep into nail art, fun colors, and exciting shapes!

#1. Oval

Oval nail shapes are inherently feminine and thus look great when paired with bold colors, such as reds or metallics (both of which are popular nail polish shades this fall 2021). The smooth curve of the oval will make both the nails and fingers look longer, as you can see on models from Marine Serre to Balenciaga.

Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends: Oval Nails

#2. Bring on the Stiletto

Cardi B’s preferred nail shape, this claw-like style may be hitting a resurgence currently, as it is worn on the runways of Roberto Cavalli and Schiaparelli, but this eclectic style has actually been around since the early-20th century. Originating in Africa, actress Theda Bara wore them during her career in the 1920s. Thankfully, now they are slightly less pointy and infinitely chicer. This nail shape is perfect for those with daring styles because it’s almost an accessory in and of itself. To have even more fun with it, do as Schiaparelli did and add extra sparkling details!

Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends: Stiletto Nails

#3. Shortened Ovals

While it might be shocking to hear that short nails can create the illusion of elongated fingers, it’s true. The illusion is most certainly there, with the nail contoured into a perfect half circle at the top for easy comfort. From Simone Rocha to Anna Sui to Chanel, short nails took precedence in various colors, proving that any shade will look stunning on this popular nail shape and length. 

Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends: Short Oval Nails

#4. Square

At Laura Biagiotti, with flawless 90-degree angled sides and a straight top, the square nail shape was the popular choice. From singers such as Dolly Parton to Gwen Stefani, this is their go-to shape that is infinitely popular on the west coast of America. The modern edginess of this style also speaks to younger audiences since it can be paired easily with dark colors or geometric designs, like nail influencer Christine Doan has been showing us on Instagram.

Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends: Square Nails

#5. Bedazzling Details

Nail art and sparkles are no strangers to each other, being popular since the discovery that you could, in fact, glue sequins onto your nail polish in the ‘80s. For this runway nail art trend, many designers chose not to make the sparkles particularly obvious. For instance, at Mark Fast, the manicurist Michaela Johnson added iridescent shards to create a shine, and at 16Arlington, a single rhinestone was applied to the center of each nail. Still, the need for a particularly fun bedazzled nail art look took charge at Dsquared2, where the models’ see-through nails were decorated with pearls, stars, and bugs colored gold.

Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends: Bedazzling Details

#6. Floral Designs

Once again, we reach a plateau that comes from the curiosity at why floral motifs are popular in the fall/ winter season. Yet, no matter how confusing that might seem, they were. Most notably, Simone took our curiosity into account and winterized the motifs. So, if you adore flowers, you can do as Ama Quashie did for Simone Rocha and draw black and red winter roses onto the models’ nails. Dua Lipa and Vogue’s June/July cover star, Kaia Gerber, have already teased their manicure plans from autumn. How do retro florals and daisies sound to you? To flip the Devil Wears Prada quote on its heels, Florals? For autumn? Groundbreaking!

Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends: Floral Nail Art

#7. Metallic Supremacy

Oh yes, it’s the power to the metal once again because metallic details are most certainly a fall 2021 nail trend. For Rebecca Minkoff, the barely-there tip has a bit of metallic shine to it, and both Badgley Mischka and Christian Cowan added tinted metallic nail polishes to their models’ nails.

As Nunez told Harper’s Bazaar: “In Milan, we saw an introduction to minimal metallics through gilded skirts and gowns. That trend will translate to our tips through subtle metallic and modern shades”. So, it’s time to bring out all the shiny nail polishes that you might have shoved to the back of your bathroom drawer a couple of years ago because metallic nails are back and better than ever!

Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends: Metallic Nail Polish

#8. Abstract Chic

This fall/ winter 2021 nail trend seems to be Pucci-inspired with the swirling, abstract and negative space designs that are showing up from the tips of nails to the entire canvas of our nail beds. At Moschino, Jeremy Scott couldn’t help himself but advise the manicurists to do an abstract sky-like design that reminds me eerily of Prince’s blue cloud boots.

On Rebecca Minkoff’s Instagram, the take is entirely different. The brand tied in a bit of the yin-yang symbolism with black and white swirling French tips from the previously mentioned metallic tips. Talk about abstract and meaningful!

Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends: Abstract Nail Art

#9. Natural

If Elle Woods is correct in her theory that a girl just needs a French manicure and a Harvard law degree to rule the world, then really, are we that far behind? This season, we can get to 50% of that ‘who run the world’ checklist by following designers’ leads for nails au naturel. This practical and minimalistic nail trend has been particularly loved for fall 2021! From Coach to Longchamp to Tanya Taylor and Proenza Schouler, the neutral nail or French manicures took charge of the runways and proved that despite the continuing adoration for nail art and stiletto shapes, less is sometimes much more.

Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends: Neutral Nail Polish

#10. Reds

Are you red-y for this color trend? I hope so because the classic nail color of every leading lady in classic Hollywood films is one of the popular 2021 nail color trends. Yes, and it is my all-time favorite nail color as well – thank you for asking! From deep reds at Marine Serre and Vivienne Westwood to tomato reds at Versace and oxblood at Etro, the always-stylish manicure had new life breathed into it for the upcoming winter season. So, hop into this trend to channel whatever vintage Hollywood starlet you adore.

Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends: Red Nail Polish

#11. Blacks and Browns Galore

Blacks and browns were the dark and mysterious shades that captured the heart of many nail artists for fashion shows this fall. As Lisa Logan of Nails.INC explained to Oprah Daily, brown tones were the “new nudes.”

Thankfully, there are so many ways to play up the dark tones! Nail art like at Rebecca Minkoff and Simone Rocha is always an option. Or you can hide the shade subtly by pairing opera-length sheer gloves over the nails like Bibhu Mohapatra. Of course, plain is acceptable too. At least, that’s how Schiaparelli and Anna Sui both felt. So why not dive in nail first to this scrumptious nail color trend? 

Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends: Black and Brown Nail Polish

#12. Gold

All that glitters may not be gold, but that isn’t stopping designers and people everywhere from falling in love with gold as the primary metallic muse for the fall/ winter 2021-2022 nail trends. While Roberto Cavalli focused on stiletto nails in gold, Rebecca Minkoff proved the consulting nail artist of Orly and founder of Nails of LA right, Brittney Boyce, when she said: “I think the new twist is to add gold accents to play up nail art.” Go ahead creating a modern-day spin on French manicures by using gold as the tip! 

Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends: Gold Nail Polish

#13. Jewel Tones

It seems like this season is a time to dis diamonds and reach for the jewels because jewel colors were particularly popular for the nail trends this season, perhaps not surprisingly. Anna Sui adorned the models’ nails with deep teals, and since Christian Cowan chose to match each model’s nail to her outfit, you can be certain that jewel tones were also strikingly used for his collection. If you’re still in need of a bit of persuasion, Meghan Markle recently proved her adoration for deep sapphire tones on nails. So, join the club, it’s certainly filled with people to love.

Fall/ Winter 2021-2022 Nail Trends: Jewel-Toned Nail Polish

Photos via Vogue, Livingly