Autumnal Nail Painting

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When I was a master’s student, one of my favorite ways to relax was by painting my nails. It forced me to take a break: I’d have to stop typing, reading, or writing, and instead my focus was on every small stroke of the brush and every layer of color. After I’d carefully finished painting, I had to sit still until they were dry. In addition to requiring me to slow down, perfectly painted nails gave the outward impression that I had my life together (I did not) and, especially in the autumn, that my aesthetic was on point (it was).

When it comes to autumnal nail polish shades, I personally have no time for baby pinks or light nudes. This is the season of dark, witchy nails. Crimson reds, plum purples, navy blues, and emerald greens are, in my opinion, the only colors for this time of year. Whether you need a break from university work or you just need a few minutes for yourself, giving yourself a manicure is a fabulous way to slow down, take a deep breath (or several), and add a little something extra to your autumn look.

I tend to stick to two main brands for my nail polishes: Essie and OPI. They’re slightly more expensive than your average drugstore brand, but if you’re doing your nails yourself, it’s worth the extra money to buy a polish that won’t chip as easily and has a strong, deep color. I’ve organized my favorites here by color – happy painting!




  • Beau-Tie by Essie | One word to describe this rich purple shade: witchy.

  • Hazy Daze by Essie | I love this polish because it doesn’t turn too dark with a few layers, as is often the problem with purples.

  • Berry Fairy Fun by OPI | Inspired by the new film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, this is a pinkish-purple that would perfectly compliment a sparkly New Year’s Eve dress!

  • Russian Navy by OPI | This is my all-time favorite purple shade. It has an indigo shimmer and appears black at first sight, but when it catches the light, it is stunning.





  • Wrap Party by Essie | Dark green is by far the most difficult color to find as most tend to look black, but this shade has never done me wrong.

  • Olive for Green by OPI | This is an olive shade that might not fit the deep wintertime, but certainly has its place in October.


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Editorial Note: Lauren’s much-requested sweater can be found at Topshop, here.

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