The "Skittles" Manicure Is The It Nail Trend For Fall

And the French tip isn't going anywhere, either.

Originally Published: 
Multi-design nails will be popular in fall 2020.
Anna Efetova/Moment/Getty Images

Temperatures are cooling, and just like the weather, your style may be shifting as well. Whether it's trying new makeup looks or opting for different hair styles, it's time to plan your autumnal fashion and beauty looks — and when it comes to your manicure, these 10 fall nail trends for 2020 will have your mani game on point this season.

Olive shades, earthy neutrals, and deep jewel tones are all slated to be major mani colors for fall 2020, but what about designs? Bustle spoke with nail artist Mimi D, sundays' owner Amy Lin, Pear Nova founder Rachel James, celebrity and editorial manicurist for Orosa Beauty Annie Howley, and Sally Hansen brand ambassador Hannah Lee to hear what the season's biggest trends will look like. While some popular looks are sticking around — here's looking at you, Skittles manicure — you can also expect new, personalized designs to find their way into your mani rotation as well.

From angled French tips to mismatched (on purpose) nail shapes, there are plenty of options for your nails, whether you're a minimalist or a maximalist. So if you've been at a loss for what to do with your nails as the seasons change, these 10 fall 2020 nail designs are a great place to start.


Multicolor French Tips

Amy Lin, founder of wellness-centered nail care brand sundays, says French tips will remain popular this fall, telling Bustle that the style will focus more on muted tones than the neons of summer. "It’s easy to apply at home and is low maintenance," she says of the trend. "With a clear coat underneath, even when your nails grow out, it is still not that visible."

To get the look, Lin says to select the shades you'd like to use and to be sure to include a sheer color for your base coat. Next, prep your nail by cleaning the bed, pushing back the cuticle, applying cuticle oil, and filing and buffing your nails to your desired shape.

Then, apply the first coat of your base shade — you can do two to three layers, waiting three minutes in between each application. Wait an additional 10 minutes before moving on to the tips.

Use a thin nail brush to apply a line to your desired thickness along the top of your nail. Lin recommends doing this in one stroke to avoid overbrushing, and that you can go back for a second coat if the color isn't visible enough. Once your tips are done and dry, seal the manicure with a clear top coat.


Mismatched Designs

Pear Nova founder Rachel James sees a less formal approach to manicures this fall, predicting mismatched nails — from different shapes to unique designs on each hand — gaining popularity as the seasons change. "Each hand needs its own flavor," James says, referring to Spifster Sutton and Kia Stewart — two nail artists who incorporate mismatched designs into their signature styles.

To get the look at home, James recommends choosing two colors — she recommends complementary shades like Pear Nova's Lunar Halo and Coral Reefer — and painting one hand in the first color and the other in the second. James also says you can embody this style by combining it with another 2020 trend: "Paint all of your nails one color, then follow up with a French tip in black on one hand and a French tip in white on the other," she says.


Negative Space Manis

Hannah Lee, brand ambassador for Sally Hansen, tells Bustle that fall will see even more negative space manicures. These designs feature portions of the nail that are intentionally left blank to create a design. "The angled negative space design is amazing for fall but especially for Halloween since it has an edgy vibe to it," she tells Bustle.

To get the look she created in this Instagram post, Lee used nail tape to create an X pattern over the nail and painted the top and bottom of the shape. If your polish spills into the spaces you'd like to leave bare, you can clean it up with a bit of polish remover and a nail brush. Once the polish dries, remove the tape and apply a top coat.


Matte Nails

If you want autumnal nail colors — like the earthy shades and gray tones predicted to be popular this fall — to pop a bit more, ORLY's consulting nail artist Brittney Boyce recommends making them matte. "Matte is always a great go-to for fall," she tells Bustle. "It pairs nicely with rich colors, as you can still feel the depth but give it a muted feeling."

To get the look, it's as simple as applying a matte top coat over your manicure. Whether you're doing a minimalist design or just a single color look, just paint the matte top coat once your manicure is dry.


Multi Designs

"Moving into fall I'm seeing a trend toward looks that incorporate a lot of color, with a different design on every nail," says celebrity and Orosa Beauty manicurist Annie Howley. "These can range from easy, abstract shapes to more advanced, painted designs — the trick is to treat every nail as its own individual canvas."

Howley recommends choosing five or six colors that look good together — like Orosa's Earthy Set — and plan a design for each finger. She says you can try anything from a French tip to a simple dot to a squiggle, as long as each nail has a unique design. To keep things cohesive, Howley recommends starting with the same base shade on each nail: Apply two coats and let your nails dry completely before moving on to your designs, then let those dry and apply a top coat.


Metallic French Tips

Lee predicts metallics being big this fall, citing a metallic French tip as a particularly cool look to try. "The metallic French tip is a trendy take on the traditional French and is the perfect nail look to add to your fall outfit since it goes with everything," she tells Bustle.

To try it yourself, Lee says to start with a base coat — like the Sally Hansen Double Duty Base and Topcoat — and let your nails dry. Then, using a pencil brush or the brush from the polish, create the colored tip of the nail. Use a polish remover and a brush to remove any smudged or uneven edges, then let your nails dry and apply a top coat.


Angled French Manicures

Although multicolor and mismatched French tips will be popular this fall, Boyce adds that angled styles will also find their way onto fingertips this season. The look simply takes the classic, straight tip and makes it diagonal.

"The modernized French mani is definitely here to stay," she says. "It’s simple but fun, and I absolutely love it. I think an angled version is very fresh and easy to do. Plus, it looks great with this season's shades."

To get the look, start with your nails bare and pick a shade (or shades) to use as the tip. Then, using the polish's brush, sweep a diagonal line from the side of the nail up to the tip. Next, using a nail brush with a bit of polish remover, thin out the line to your desired width. Once that dries, apply a top coat.


Skittles Manicures

Another ongoing trend for fall 2020 is the skittles manicure, according to manicurist and nail artist Mimi D. And it couldn't be easier to do: Just choose 3-5 shades and paint each nail a different color.

"It's the easiest way to add a lot of interest to your mani if you don't have the time or patience to create nail art," adds Howley. "Once we're into the cooler temps, I love to shift to deeper jewel tones and neutrals with unexpected undertones."

Getting the look is as simple as painting each nail a different shade, but Howley says you can add a twist by making the look all matte with a matte top coat or by arranging the colors in a rainbow.


Minimalist Nail Art

Boyce also predicts simple designs for the cooler weather. "Minimalist nail art is also easy for everyone to do and looks very clean," she says. "Even though nail salons are opening up around the country, a lot of people still don't feel that comfortable going into a nail salon. These are easy to DIY and don't require a lot of tools."

Boyce recommends a multicolor squiggle design, and the look takes only a few steps. First, paint the nails in a neutral shade — she likes ORLY's Roam With Me — and let the coat dry completely. Then, chose five colors to create the design: Use the polish's brush to create a squiggle where ever you'd like on each nail, and repeat until the shade is as opaque as you'd like. Apply a matte top coat once all the designs have dried.


Rhinestone Accents

"You can never go wrong with rocking some rhinestones or studs," says Lee. "This design is amazing if you want your nails to be more eye-catching and a staple piece." The look is super versatile, whether you apply a single rhinestone at the base of the nail or use them to create a French tip — and for fall, Lee suggests pairing the rhinestones with darker colors, like Sally Hansen's Ghouls Night Out.

To get the look, paint your nail using the color of your choice. Once dry, apply two layers of top coat and let dry. Then, apply a thicker layer of your top coat and use it as your adhesive. Place the rhinestones in a line down the center of the nail, and paint over the nail and rhinestone with another coat.

This article was originally published on