It's September and the new season is officially upon us. Like almost everyone I've spoken to recently, I'm itching to dive face first into all the gloriousness that autumn has to offer – coats, jumpers, the lot. It's fair game now we're out of August. Beautywise, I think the simplest but most pleasing tweak you can make to your outfit is a new shade of nail polish. After all, berry nails are the universal signifier that the new season is upon us, are they not? What's more, there's nothing like sleek, neat nails to feel more together. This season, there's ample opportunity for experimentation, as well as the return of some well-loved classics, so here's how to wear everything, from earthy brown (sounds horrific, looks fabulous) to an update on red.
Khaki is the new black
Khaki – neutral enough to go with everything but much more flattering on fingertips than black or navy. The warm undertone is just the thing to spruce up pasty hands when we've all lost our summer tan, plus the shade looks universally lovely on all skin tones. It may be the reason that, last season, Naeem Khan and Marc Jacobs chose khaki nail polish for their models at their autumn/winter shows. If you fancy giving it a go, Bobbi Brown's new nail polish in the shade Khaki (a pretty green laced with a very subtle gold sparkle) is a very chic way to recreate it.
Metallic looks modern
Metallic may feel all a bit too Christmas bauble for right now, especially if in silver and gold shades. That said, the cool-toned chrome nails featured on the models at Each X Other's AW18 show looked simple, modern and, surprisingly, very wearable for September – especially when paired with a statement red lip. It wouldn't look out of place paired with a white T-shirt and denim jacket, while it's warmer, and a knitted jumper when it gets cooler. Essie's new autumn collection comprises a rather lovely pale silver, Empire Shade of Mind, which would work wonderfully.
natural-LOOKING nails are trending
Truthfully, natural-looking nails work well all year round and, unlike "no-make-up make-up" (when you put a lot of time, effort and products into looking like you've woken up with flawless skin and full, thick eyelashes), it's actually relatively low-maintenance. The main reason being, even once the polish chips, if it's almost the same colour as your nails, it's far less detectable, which gives your paint job a good deal of longevity. Why then, some may ask, would you bother to paint your nails at all? To them I say, if you have naturally beautiful, neat nails, don't. If, however, like me, your nails could do with a bit of a spruce, make like Marian Newman at Stella McCartney's AW18 show and apply a quick layer of Kure Bazaar polish. They have a brilliant selection of "nudes" that suit all skin tones. I love the colour Rose Milk (pictured below), a soft pink that evens out any discolouration.
Berry is always a failsafe
You can't beat a classic and, come autumn, deep berry nails are perhaps about as classic as you can get. It's probably unsurprising that they were the big hit of the AW18 catwalks and featured everywhere, from raspberry shades at Oscar de la Renta, to blackberry at Badgley Mischka, to deep cherry at Temperley London, where, incidentally, nail tech Karen Louise used Orly's nail polish in the shade Ruby – a deep, vampy red-wine number – to jazz up nails.
The new way to wear red
Another classic is red. But, rather than going for the usual gloss finish, you could mix things up by opting for a matte texture. Chanel's new autumn collection includes two shades, a pillarbox red (Ultime) and a deep burgundy (Profondeur), which dry to a velvety finish. Both provide an easy way to do a new twist on an old favourite.
Matte red nails (Photo: Chanel)
Earthy browns are in
Earthy brown, a colour we normally associate with mud, is perhaps not the most instantly appealing of shades, I'll concede. But, surprisingly, it's been hailed as one of "this season's shades" on account of its cameo on the nails of models at Emilio de la Morena. In fact, like its previous iteration, Greige, it looks rather sophisticated – a smoky blend of grey and brown, it's the ultimate neutral.