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How to Get the Best Fall Nail Trends at Home for Pennies

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Paying attention to fall nail trends is part of what makes the season fun, right? While getting a pricey manicure at a salon is an occasional well-deserved splurge — especially before a special occasion — you don't have to spend a lot or even leave your house to get the best fall nail designs right at home. Looking sophisticated and on trend for less, right down to the tips of your fingers? Now that's a bit of luxe fall fun we can get behind.

This season’s chic trend: Pairing rich gemstone hues with dazzling metallics. These flattering manicure motifs are an easy, inexpensive way to embrace the jewel-inspired style, guaranteed to make you sparkle. Forget pumpkin spice lattes — the best fall trends can happen right on your hands.

Fall nail trend #1: Slim fingers with a braided accent

Step one: A linear pattern on an accent nail breaks up the wide horizontal row of continuous color to “stretch” fingers. To do: Paint a burgundy hue (like Essie in Bahama Mama, $8.99, Amazon.com) on all nails except the accent nail; brush a clear coat on the accent nail. Once dry, sketch the braid’s outline onto the accent nail with a ballpoint pen.

Step two: Fill in the sections of the braid’s grid, alternating polish colors, starting with a dark purple (like OPI Nail Lacquer in Do You Have This Color in Stock-Holm?, $5, Amazon.com), then a metallic copper (like Essie in Penny Talk, $8.99, Amazon.com), then the burgundy until every space is painted. Seal all nails with a topcoat.

Fall nail trend #2: Lengthen nails with argyle

Step one: The bold, geometric design in varying shades of purple (light at the tip, medium on the sides and dark at the cuticle) pulls the eye up and down so nails appear longer. To do: For the pattern’s base, paint two coats of a light purple polish (like Milani Color Statement Nail Laquer in 17 Lovely Amethyst) on all nails; let dry.

Step two: Using two strips of thin foil tape, create an X on each nail. Then swipe a medium purple polish (like OPI Nail Lacquer in Lost My Bikini in Molokini, $10, Amazon.com) in the two side triangles and a dark purple (like the one in the braided accent nail above) in the bottom triangle. Carefully remove tape with tweezers before nails dry. Seal with a topcoat.

The best fall nail trends in 2017 are pretty striking — and they don't have to cost a lot to look sophisticated and sleek. As for your fall checklist: Cozy scarf, boots, hot coffee, cute nails — are you ready to check off your list and enjoy the season?

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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