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Photography by Phuong Nyugen
It’s officially fall, which means it’s time to let your nails start celebrating the change of season, too. And if you’re traditionally quick to head to the nail salon for your mani, know that only a few tips (and some patience) are the only thing standing in your way for a successful at-home polish session.

Tip 1:

Assure nails are clean by swiping nail polish remover over them. “Cleaning the nail bed of all oil residues is the number one thing,” says Tenoverten co-founder Adair Ilyinsky. “Use a non-acetone remover with a little piece of paper towel, not cotton pads though because the cotton will get little fuzzies on the nail.”

Tip 2:

Lightly buff your nail beds with a file (or even a sanding block) before the base coat. This will make your polish last longer, giving it something to grip onto. Key word is lightly as you don’t want to harm your nails.

Tip 3:

Be diligent about allowing each layer to dry, five to 10 minutes between each one can really assure a long-lasting manicure. (An older polish will take longer to dry, and if the polish is thicker, you can add a drop or two of acetone to thin it out.) And be patient, don’t rush, especially when using your non-dominant hand.

Tip 4:

Keep each layer thin by monitoring the amount of polish on the brush before application, and apply no more than two layers of color. And cap the tips after the last layer of color—meaning you take the brush and tap it along the edge of the nails to assure the entire nail and tip is covered.

Tip 5:

Cuticle oil is your friend. Find one you like and slather it on daily, and as often as you can remember, but especially before bedtime. It helps your nail health—both for this manicure, and for your nails in the long run.

Tip 6:

Very important for successful at-home manis: Reapply the topcoat two days after your manicure to remain chip-free for a few additional days. (Only do this once, as it’ll be too many layers after this point.) “Tenoverten has a high-shine chip-resistant top coat that helps extend your manicure a few days after your polish,” says Ilyinsky.

Tip 7:

Temperature matters. “I really try not to take a hot shower on the day I’ve gotten a manicure and/or pedicure because it doesn’t allow the polish to set,” says Tenoverten’s Ilyinsky. “You can also run your hands under cold water if you’re in a rush after a manicure, that helps set the polish.”

Tip 8:

Quick dry drops are your friends. “Quick dry drops don’t just help the polish dry more quickly, it also helps your polish harden,” says Ilyinsky. “We swear by them. We don’t use nail dryers at Tenoverten because of the pollution, so we really rely on them.”

Now that you’ve got the basics down, let’s find your seasonal color. These are the new, long-lasting, and non-toxic colors we’re falling (pun intended) for this season.

Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA

Jin Soon Fable, $18

Channel your favorite fall veggie: the eggplant, with this aubergine purple shade. It makes your nails shout “sophistication!” (which is probably something someone sophisticated wouldn’t shout, but don’t tell your nails, just let them have fun).

Burberry Beauty Metallic Khaki, $23

The bronzed, multi-dimensional color is special enough in this Burberry polish. But what really makes this polish extraordinary is its patent-pending technology enriched with strengthening Vitamin B5 and Myrrh extract to protect nails and prevent breakages.

Smith and Cult Exit The Void, $18

This opaque periwinkle is bright yet subtle. It’s the perfect mix between poppy summer colors and deeper fall colors.

Lauren B Beauty Vows Over The Pacific, $18

This indie brand makes a non-toxic polish that lasts and lasts, and this subtle grayish light blue is usually a tricky color to apply, but Lauren B has made the brush with double the normal amount of bristles, assuring the color goes on streak-free.

Photography by AARON BENGOCHEA

Deborah Lippmann I’m Too Sexy, $20

If nude is more your speed, good news, this new shade is a full coverage sandy nude color, and this formulation is one of the longest lasting on the market.

Essie Girly Grunge, $9

This fall nail collection is titled “As If” and it’s all ‘90s themed, so, yeah, you need it. This one is a metallic pale purple and it’ll channel all your Cher Horowitz dreams.


Tenoverten Market, $18

This brand new shade is described as “vixen red,” and it’s the perfect fall solution to your usual go-to red.

Côte 109, $18

If silver, glittery tips for fall are wrong, we don’t want to be right. This shade is rather season-less and is perfect for any occasion whether it be a bold look on a Tuesday team meeting, or a updated classic for a fall wedding.

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