Fall Nail Polish Trends

I need to know. Do you do gel manicures? Or shellac? Or plain polish?
I used to hate wearing nail polish. I couldn’t stand it when it chipped and I always struggled with painting my nails properly anyway. I was either too shaky or too sloppy or too lazy. But then I randomly decided to paint my nails with this cute new nail polish my sister had bought. (Actually, I painted my nails for this #flashback post and that’s when I started liking it!)
Once I came up with a great method for painting nails that worked for me, I found painting nails to be relaxing. I liked picking out new colors every other day and spending the 15 minutes holding still while they dried. Easy.
But then I was going to Nantucket and really didn’t want to have to deal with my nails at all. I decided to try shellac. I was nervous because I had heard that it ruins nails. I thought it was worth a try and I really ended up loving it. It was strange how quickly it dried and it was amazing how I literally didn’t have to think about chips at all. It lasted a solid two weeks. It was so nice not worrying about my nails that I got another one. Loved it.
But then I got a third that didn’t last more than a week.
And I wasn’t exactly thrilled about the state of my nails when the polish came off. They were as gross without as they were amazing with. Plus, I enjoy picking new colors and I was stuck with the same color for a little bit too long. And picking out gel/shellac colors isn’t as fun as picking out pretty named Essie polishes!
I switched back to painting my own nails and while they definitely only last a couple days, it’s 100% better. So what’s a girl to do now other than to plan some fun fall polishes?
Do you paint your own nails or get gel manicures? What color are you loving for fall?


PS I love this case for nail polish.

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I love the DL dark side of the moon color you picked!

I had the same experience with gel nails as you… I tried if a couple times, but it's annoying to get off and lasts a bit to long for me too :/

AJ | TheAJMinute

Anna Selby

I got the Gelous Nail Gel from Sally Beauty and it has CHANGED the way I view at home manis! It's a great, thick "gel" based clear polish which dries relatively quickly and absolutely gives the feel of shellac when layered between coats of your choice of polish. I've had my manis last a solid week before a chip. It comes off very easily with polish remover, unlike what you might think. It's really not expensive, just about $6, which is less than a bottle of Essie! You've GOT to try it. It's just like getting a great shellac mani because of the durability, but you have the option to change whenever! 🙂

Anna Kate Selby — Blog


I tried the shellac/gel once before I had a long weekend quickly followed by 10 days at home, so I figured it was worth the investment to make the polish last. I loved it for the same reasons as you, but my nails definitely took a beating. I decided that the splurge is worth it for special occasions, but I wouldn't do it more than 1-2 times a year.

Otherwise, I do my own nails 90% of the time (it's easier to justify an $8 new color than a $12 manicure) and get polish changes/manicures as a treat here and there. The Julep drying drops are definitely a game changer!

Elise Sabak

I usually paint my own nails, but I recently started getting gel manicures. I was wary of them at first, but my nails looked so nice! My nails do grow out quite quickly, though, so after about a week I needed to remove them and get them re-done (and they did leave my nails in terrible shape).

I'm absolutely going to go back to doing my own nails, and I'm so glad you included Essie's "After School Boy Blazer" because that's my next polish pick!

Playground Prepster

Love these picks, I've been debating After School Boy Blazer… it just seems so dark, but I think it might look amazing with the Essie matte finish on top! I've done gel and shellac but I won't do either again, just plain polish and top coat for me!

Alexandra Steinmetz

I love treating myself to a manicure every other week. I can't commit to shellac because I like to change colors too often. I also love to bring my own polish to the salon so I can do touch ups at home if need be!


For the most part, I paint my nails at home. I love nail polish, and change the color every 3-5 days, so it just makes sense to do it myself. Gel/shellac is good, though, for certain things. I love a good gel manicure if I'm going on vacation, have an important few days at work, wedding weekends, etc. The after-grossness of gel is annoying.

Ashley B

I am completely addicted to gel manicures. I think if you find a great nail tech who carefully soaks off you polish (and does not scrape or file them) your nails hold up well. I was forced to go without my gels this summer in Italy. I have oily nail beds so they weren't worth painting. I missed my pretty nails so much! But I will have to try your technique on my toes! Thanks!


Mostly Style

I am also a DIY girl when it comes to nails… I do my own gels at home with a black light and although I LOATHE the time it takes to remove the polish, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the lasting 2 weeks results!
(I love the money it saves me too! Win win!)