9 Trending Dark Nail Colors to Inspire Your Cold-Weather Manicures

Embrace the rich tones.

Have you ever stood in front of a wall of nail polish colors at your local salon waiting for inspiration to cut through the indecisiveness? Or maybe you’ve scrolled endlessly through social media hoping the perfect nail color or design will ignite a confident “That’s the one!” 


Jelena Ivkovic/Getty Images 

Well, we went ahead and did the hard work for you by reaching out to manicurists who are very tapped into the nail scene. They filled us in on the top trending dark nail colors for fall and winter, which means you spend more time admiring your new mani/pedi and less time hemming and hawing over which hue to pick.

Best Dark Nail Colors

01 of 09

Hunter Green

dark-color-nails-Essie Force of Nature

An earthy, richly saturated green is one of our favorite dark nail color trends of the season. Celebrity nail artist Holly Falcone agrees. “There’s something so majestic about a deep dark green, especially in the fall,” she says. “It’s also a more interesting alternative to a classic navy and is flattering on everyone.” 

Our pick: Essie Force of Nature (10; target.com).

02 of 09

Creamy Brown

dark-color-nails-Dazzle Dry in Ivy League

A creamy, velvety brown nail polish color falls squarely between vampy and bright, making it the perfect transitional shade for fall. “If you’re someone who usually only does a nude nail but wants to experiment with something darker, this is the color for you,” says celebrity nail stylist Mazz Hanna, CEO of Nailing Hollywood Agency

Our pick: Dazzle Dry in Ivy League ($22; dazzledry.com).

03 of 09


dark-color-nails-Olive & June Nail Polish in Obsessed

While a bright, true red makes us think of the holidays, a more brooding variation stands the test of time. “Dark red has been a fall and winter favorite for decades, but this darker version is trending for 2022,” says Olivia Van Iderstine, trend expert for Olive & June. “It looks incredible on super-short or longer nails.” 

Our pick: Olive & June Nail Polish in Obsessed ($9; oliveandjune.com).

04 of 09

Espresso & Caramel

dark-color-nails-Lauren B Beauty, Espresso on 3rd

Digging brown but craving a mani with a bit more pizzazz? Go even deeper with an espresso nail polish that features shimmering flecks of caramel or gold. This dark nail color might just become one you keep reaching for all season long. “What I love about this [trend] is that it checks the boxes on two of the hottest fall trends—brown polish and chrome,” says Hanna. 

Our pick: Lauren B Beauty, Espresso on 3rd ($16; laurenbbeauty.com).

05 of 09

Deep Cobalt

dark-color-nails-ORLY You’re on Sapphire

We often think of blue as a ripe pick for spring or summer, but the color can certainly transition us into the chilly season. The key to making it feel right this time of year is opting for an extra-saturated version versus a brighter or milkier take. “Blue is always trending, and deep cobalt blue is an update on that,” says Falcone. 

Our pick: ORLY You’re on Sapphire ($10.99; ulta.com).

06 of 09

Midnight Purple

dark-color-nails-OPI Lincoln park After Dark

Purple is the brooding next-door neighbor to cobalt blue, and we invite you to take this hue even deeper for fall and winter. “This almost black purple gives off such a sleek look to any manicure,” says Galdina Jimenez, education manager for OPI. “It allows a vampy vibe, yet can offer a professional look for your work day.” 

Our pick: OPI Lincoln park After Dark ($13; ulta.com). 

07 of 09


dark-color-nails-Zoya Genevieve

A soot-y ash gray is another way to dabble in the “almost black” dark nail color trend. It’s not as severe as a true black, but still lends itself to that brooding, ultra-saturated color scheme we crave once the seasons change. 

Our pick: Zoya Genevieve ($10.95; walmart.com). 

08 of 09

Shimmering Emerald

dark-color-nails-ILNP Fir Coat

Those who prefer a green mani that’s a bit less flashy should opt for a shimmering emerald hue instead. “We all love the glazed donut trend. Now it's time to meet its deep emerald winter match,” says Van Iderstine. “Shimmery dark green is dark enough for the coldest days but still has that bit of magic.” 

Our pick: ILNP Fir Coat ($10; ilnp.com). 

09 of 09

Oil Slick

dark-color-nails-ORLY Freudian Flip

Another way to take your cool blue shades into winter is to lean into the oil slick or aura nail trend. Think a blue-purple-green multichrome that shifts as you move about your day. “This color serves as a dark metallic polish, but turns magical in the light,” says Falcone. “The different shades in these polishes catch light at different angles, so it's never the same from one moment to the next.”

Our pick: ORLY Freudian Flip ($6.98; walmart.com).

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