There are two things that, as a grown woman, I still love playing with: color and my nail polish. I’ve never been a neutral girl, though like Elsie de Wolfe, I do believe in a good coat of white paint. I find color fascinating, and I love reflecting on the fact that every color we can conceive of can be found in nature. As a journalism major in college, we were challenged to name each color we described using something recognizable. It’s never just red, green, or blue. There’s a whole world of color out there to feast your eyes on!
I always try to match my nails to the season, and this year I’m looking to Pantone as my guide. Their fall palette features the staples with a few unexpected shades mixed in. Side note: I’m not a big enough deal for anyone to pay me to promote their product, so these are all honestly the colors and brands that I use. Here are some of my favorite colors to coordinate with my pumpkin spice latte:
This gorgeous deep purple doesn’t necessarily fall in with the Pantone palette, but it is so appropriate for fall. To illustrate, I just had to include one of Rachael Houser’s stunning photos of my childhood friend Kelsey’s wedding. The dresses she chose for us were this color and all day long guests and vendors remarked on how beautiful it is. On the right is an example of this color in home decor. Would you believe that used to be an IKEA dresser?
Yes, I use the occasional Wet ‘n Wild product. You can judge me if you need to, but for the beauty lover on a budget, you can’t beat a few dollars for these babies. This color is a variation of Pantone’s Aurora Red that is more flattering to my skin tone. It’s somewhere between merlot and burgundy. This color is in the starting lineup for my fall and winter wardrobe so this polish gets serious mileage. I have a few colors from this line and I love how easy the brush curves to the edge of the nail. This dreamy flower arrangement can be found here.
I didn’t choose this polish based on the name, but a shout-out to my current stomping grounds is always welcome. This color is a more muted version of Bodacious, a fun purple hue in this year’s Pantone palette. This color works well for fall, but also serves as a good transition color when spring approaches, as it always does here in Kentucky, slowly but surely.
Unfortunately, the exact dusty blue nail color I use is no longer manufactured. I have a knack for falling in love with beauty products that are on the verge of being discontinued. However, there is a similar option here in the lower price range and here for those loyal to the bigger brands. This color appears as Airy Blue in Pantone’s collection and is a nice refresher among the usually darker shades of fall.
These are two variations of the 2016 Color of the Year: Rose Quartz. Undercover is a true dusty rose, whereas Romantique is closer to a blush nude. Pantone has reddened the color to Dusty Cedar for fall, but I’m holding out with the pink hues. Some version of this color has been my favorite for years, but it doesn’t look the best on me, so I have to choose how to incorporate it into my wardrobe carefully. In the words of Stacy and Clinton, the right shade of this color can function as a pseudo-neutral and compliment many skintones and outfits.
I normally go for more matte nail colors, but when you want to throw a metallic into the mix, bronze is great for fall. I use a cheap generic brand that’s no longer made since it’s not a color I wear super often, but for lovers of metallic nail colors, Essie and Butter London have great options. Photo source: here.
Those are the colors I’m rocking on my nails for fall. I tried to link all photo sources, but in case I missed any, all of these photos can be found on Pinterest. Visit my color palette board for more fun color inspo. What colors are rocking your world these days? Are their nail polish brands you swear by? Let me know!