Combing through the catwalks reveals that you’ll need to stock up on black lacquer, loose glitter and nail piercings galore to be on top of your nail game this season.

1. Swing Sets

It may be the most impractical of the bunch, but the dangling nail art trend came out swinging at several shows, signaling that you may want to step up your nail-piercing skills. At Baja East, Voesh nail lead Naomi Yasuda punched lengthy strings of pearlescent seed beads into sky-blue tips—the perfect fringe detail for the show’s party-hearty theme. As an on-point complement to designer Phillip Plein’s over-the-top sportswear, nail lead Mei Kawajiri strung chains from black-lacquered nail tip to black-lacquered nail tip, adding punk-approved safety pins and hoops to push the piercing envelope. For clients, stringing delicate links from the free edge, like one of the many CND nail art creations seen at the Libertine show, gives you a more practical dangling design that you can offer to adventurous clients.

2. Etching Stones

Rough-cut stones and the beautiful swirling colors of picturesque rock formations became a source of inspiration for runway nail artists. “The wave [in this nail art] is like the patterns seen in rocks and sand in Death Valley,” says Essie nail lead Rita Remark of the sparkling manicure she created at Christian Siriano. The key to her polished reimagining of the Earth’s minerals: Use “organic” dabbing brushstrokes. “They don’t have to be perfect,” she says. Taking a more literal approach, CND creative lead Roxanne Valinoti collaborated with her team on sculpted nails for The Blonds show that looked exactly like precious stones (think: split geodes and veined lapis lazuli).

3. Hearty Half Moons

The question backstage: Do these nail designs feature uber-thick French tips or extremely large half moons? Whichever side you come down on, the overall look had a distinctively dramatic appeal for such a simple design. “I like the juxtaposition between a more square shape and this very deep smile line,” says Essie nail lead Julie Kandalec of the opposing details she chose for Tanya Taylor. “The deep smile line serves to elongate the fingers.” For Jin Soon Choi, who crafted the half-and-half nail look at Prabal Gurung, the effect of painting a thick tip while keeping the half moon hearty creates the illusion that the wearer has dipped her nails into a vat of paint.

4. Twinkle x Infinity

Whether meshing many metallics into one design or haphazardly gilding tips in one precious metal-like polish, backstage nail artists forged stunning new takes on sparkling nails. Determining that a multitude of glitter hues would be better than one at the Tadashi Shoji show, LVX nail co-leads Teresa King and Lisa Lee showered random sections along the edges of each nail (lacquered in LVX Eiffel, a glistening champagne) with an assortment of micro-glitters, from pink to bronze to pewter. Tapping into a similar idea at the Naeem Khan show, KISS Products nail lead Gina Edwards used a more exacting approach: She pressed several different glitter types—feather, hexagons, micro and more—into a tacky black polish base, concentrating each glitter in a specific area that remained consistent from nail to nail. The resulting manicure, a stunning mosaic of twinkling beauty that covered each bed, “perfectly complements the collection’s rocker vibe,” Edwards says. Other catwalk designs that skipped loose glitter in favor of metallic polish proved that a hint of sparkle is really all you need.

5. Not-So-Basic Black

A black base served as the LBD of nail art this season. Backstage at Alice + Olivia, Essie nail lead Remark posited that black nails with metallic accents would be the fall trend to beat: “I’ve been asked to do this at three out of five shows!” she says. For Zoya nail lead Holly Falcone, the black base (a coat of Zoya Willa) not only anchored the white symbols she painted on various tips at the Nicole Miller show, but also gave a “gypsy grunge” vibe. Your best bet? Invest in a pigment-packed black lacquer and have it at the ready to bolster fall nail art.

6. Dupe-Friendly

Bands, circles, stars and … vintage flowers? Whatever the chosen detail, nail artists courted manicure mimicry with simple designs that focused on easy-to-reproduce shapes. Inspired by the designer’s heavy usage of her boyfriend’s grandparents’ vintage floral couch in her collection, Christian Louboutin Beauté nail lead Alicia Torello went with graphic, exaggerated floral nail art at the Novis show. Of the bold gold stars she painted for the Jeremy Scott show, CND nail lead Miss Pop says, “It’s an element that takes that aspirational glamour of L.A. and makes it DIY.”

Micro Trend: Single Digits

Was polish conservation on the minds of backstage nail artists who chose to paint only one nail a brilliant color? Choi’s minimalist approach to nails certainly informed her decision to paint only the index fingers in one of five bright JINsoon polish hues at Tibi, while nail lead Tracylee Percival gave one finger an extra bit of mani love with a “cuticle band” of basic black polish at Zadig & Voltaire. Though you likely won’t serve many of your clients this stripped-down trend, it’s certainly an interesting idea for those who want to add a kick of color to their naked manicure.

-Karie L. Frost 

Which one of these Fall 2017 nail fashion trends will you offer to your clients first? Let us know in the comments below! 

[Images: Courtesy of CND; Imaxtree; Courtesy of Maybelline New York; Courtesy of JINsoon, (CND tips) Karie frost;
(Essie) Courtesy of Essie; (CND)  (Zoya) Courtesy of Zoya; Luzena Adams; Courtesy of Essie; Imaxtree; Diane Bondareff;  Carissa Lancaster; Courtesy of Christian Louboutin Beauté, Imaxtree;

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