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Nail Polish For A Trendy Fall Semester

Nail polish—a great way to spend time on yourself, a low-maintenance addition to your ~lewk~, and a beauty routine step that’s often strictly adhered to in the summer but kind of neglected in winter (like sunscreen and leg-shaving, although only one of those is mandatory and it has nothing to do with a razor). If you can’t stop biting your bare nails, need a break from mid-semester stress, or just love that pop of color, here are some fall/winter-appropriate nail colors for you.


  • Berry—

Perhaps the most classic shade for this time of year, berry is pink’s cold-weather cousin. My go-to is Holy Fuchsia by Be A Bombshell Cosmetics, although Madam President by OPI might be more appropriate for election day!

  • White—

White nail polish is pretty much always in (although it’s more winter than fall and more spring than summer). I don’t own any white nail polish, nor have I ever used any, so I can’t make any recommendations, but it’s white, the only color as unambiguous as black. It’s gotta be pretty hard to screw up.

  • Dark Purple—

This is one of my favorites. It’s subtler and more interesting/grown-up than black (best left in our high-school emo/goth/scene/etc phases), although if you prefer pastels it might be a bit vampy for your vibe. It’s best for Halloween (which is, unfortunately, over, but, you know, next year) and winter, so wait until after Thanksgiving to break this one out. I like Vampsterdam by OPI—it’s a little pearlescent to give the darkness a little dimension.

  • Dark Teal—

Jewel tones are very fall, but a color on the cooler side is more unexpected than, say, mulberry or pumpkin spice. I don’t own one like this, but Harper’s Bazaar recommends Wild Thing by Deborah Lipmann.

  • Steel/Iron Gray—

This color is definitely more on the wintry side. It’s a versatile classic—you can pick out pretty much any shade, but I’d recommend against anything too light. A good range is anywhere between graphite and the carpet in Sawyer (Fifty Shades of Slay by OPI is right about in the middle). Anything lighter than medium is a no-go in my opinion, unless it’s very bluish or purplish, and even in that case I’d save it for January – March.

  • Indigo—

Another favorite of mine. Very sophisticated, but less severe than gray. I like Eurso Euro by OPI, but anything between a purplish navy and a nice bright royal blue will do. It’s also very versatile—dress it up or down, and wear it anytime except summer.

  • Red—

Honestly, when do you not need red? (Spring/Summer, that’s when, and even then there are exceptions.) Red is THE MOST classic shade of nail polish, and while brighter shades can be very Christmassy, any shade will do. It’s really hard to go wrong with red. I like Frankly Scarlet by Revlon, but literally Any. Shade. Will. Do.

Lipstick enthusiast from Dallas, Texas. Hobbies include knitting, procrastination, and not getting enough sleep. Interests include feminism, politics, and oversized sweaters. Possible majors include Russian, art history, and international relations. Williams College class of 2019.
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