While it's technically still autumn, in typical UK style, it feels as though we're done with our two-week-long season of crisp air and crunchy leaves. In fact, it feels like we've fast-forwarded straight to winter. Yep, with darkness looming at 4 p.m. and temperatures dropping into single figures, it's safe to say we're gearing up for winter already.
And if we're quite honest, winter isn't the season for us. Sure, when it comes to fashion, colder months can seem enticing (what is there not to like about cashmere knits and chic coats?), but winter has a wicked way of messing with our beauty routines. From turning that summer-skin glow red and irritated to drying and breaking our sun-kissed strands, winter knows how to turn our beauty joys sour.
That's why we like to turn our attention to our nails at this time of year. A small pick-me-up that sparks huge amounts of joy, treating yourself to a great winter manicure is, if you ask us, the ultimate way to start the season off on the right foot.
From season-appropriate tonal browns to glistening glitters, we've been busy tapping save on all of the winter nail ideas we can't wait to take into the salon. Whether you get your kicks out of pretty nail art or simple, chic polish, there's a nail design for everyone to get behind this winter. Keep scrolling for the 10 best (and most popular) nail ideas to copy this winter.
1. Minimalist Glitter
If you didn't think glitter nails were your bag, we get it. Not only can they be a pain to remove, but glitter polishes also have a bit of a dated rep. However, a minimal design that embraces negative space, much like this one, looks seriously chic and keeps the glitter to a minimum, so it isn't that tricky to remove. The key is to opt for a chunky glitter polish to really make the accents pop.
Givenchy Le Vernis Nail Polish in 04 Noir Interdit (£17)
Jimmy Choo Stardust Nail Colour (£35)
2. Happy Pastels
Just because it's winter doesn't mean you have to rule out brights. In fact, these happiness-inducing pastels could be just what we need to brighten up dull winter days. Plus, retro-swirl nail art is having a serious moment right now, and we think it's a design that will definitely carry on through winter.
Mavala Mini Colour Nail Polish in 987 Vibrant Turquoise (£5)
Chanel Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in 745 Cruise (£24)
Nails Inc. Nailkale Nail Polish in Abbey Road (£14)
3. Fine Lines
Negative-space manicures aren't going anywhere, and we can't get enough of the swirled cut-outs doing the rounds on Instagram at the moment. Throughout summer and autumn, we saw bright, '60s-style designs, but for winter, we're ready to dial things down a bit. Instead, we're keen to opt for one block hue (like this rich brown) and line the area with a fine accent of gold (or any other colour of your choice) using a super-fine liner brush.
MyKitCo. My Tiny Liner 1.11 Brush (£14)
4. Electric Sheen
Forget the muted shimmers of yesterday. This season, it's all about high-gloss, high-octane sheen. It's simple but oh so effective. While sheeny polishes in typically metallic shades risk looking a little dated, opting for an electric bright and layering with a gloss-effect topcoat is the perfect way to jazz up an otherwise simple mani.
Rimmel Super Gel Nail Polish in Rock n Sparkle (£7)
Nailberry Fast Dry Gloss (£18)
5. Mini Accents
If you don't want to commit to an elaborate nail-art look, these minimal accents are likely for you. In fact, even if you're a maximalist, it's hard to resist the understated chicness of this style. Easily achieved with nail stickers, just prep the nail with a milky polish, apply the sticker and finish off with the topcoat. It really couldn't be easier.
Ciaté The Cheat Sheets Vol. 2 (£16)
Shrine Shrine Abstract Nail Stickers (£8)
6. Preened and Polished
We know this isn't a revolutionary nail idea, but simple, natural polish isn't going anywhere for winter. In fact, we think winter is when this trend really comes into its own. It's clean, understated and minimal, but it has a wonderful way of making you feel pulled-together and on top of your game. The trick for a natural-looking finish is to opt for sheer polishes that allow your natural nail shade to show through.
Dior Base Coat Abricot 800 (£19)
CND Vinylux Bouquet (£12)
7. Heart Tips
We challenge you to find a cuter winter nail idea than this. Easy to do yourself at home (just create a curved "ribbon" effect on the tips with the polish brush) or ideal to show your nail technician for some inspo, heart tips spread chic winter joy.
Nailberry Sacred Lotus Oxygenated Nail Lacquer (£15)
Kure Bazaar Java (£15)
8. Terracotta Hues
Winter nails might typically make you think of red polish or black sparkles, but we're really on board with the terracotta nail trend that's reigning supreme this season. It's simple but oozes the sort of laid-back levels of cool we aspire to.
Suqqu Suqqu Nail Color Polish in 136 (£18)
Hermès Orange Les Mains Hermès Nail Enamel (£42)
This is one for the nail pros, and we're totally smitten with the idea of nail calligraphy, inspired by this Betina Goldstein design. Executed with a simple white polish and teamed with gold jewellery, it's the perfect way to embrace novelty nails while keeping things chic.
Nails Inc. White Out Nail Polish (£11)
Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat (£9)
10. Abstract Spots
Olive green seems to be everywhere in beauty routines at the moment, and we're swooning over this abstract spot design with autumnal hues. Top tip: If you want to do this design at home, hole-punch stickers make for great spot staples.
J.Hannah Eames Nail Polish (£20)
Nailberry Grateful Oxygenated Nail Lacquer (£15)
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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