This nail trend is already proving to be huge for autumn—and we’re on board

Whatever your thoughts on food-themed beauty trends, it can’t be denied that we’re seeing a lot of them at the moment. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard the phrase ‘strawberry girl’ in the past month, while TikTok is still obsessed with coffee-themed make-up looks. This phenomenon has extended to manicure trends like popsicle nails and fruit nails—but now, latte and espresso nails are here. The good news? Unlike so many of the fleeting nail trends right now, they’re here to stay for the duration of autumn.

“As we near the end of a bright and colourful summer manicure season, we begin to seek warmth in other ways,” says Julita Fagan, nail tech and expert for 14 Day Mani. “When we think of breezy autumnal days, there are a few things that come to mind—one of which is a warm cup of coffee. This autumn, espresso nails are set to be a hugely sought-after trend.” She adds that this impending change is why we’re leaning towards warm and muted tones such as browns: “Just as our choice in clothing shifts with each passing season, so does our taste in nail colour.”

So, what are espresso nails?

Typically, this term applies to manicures that involve the dark, rich colour of an espresso and/or the creamier hues of its crema. “I think the trend came about off the back of the latte/espresso-inspired make-up looks that are currently trending,” says Iram Shelton, celebrity nail artist and OPI global ambassador. “For me personally, it’s just another buzz name for a typical autumn nail look. You always see people moving from the brighter colours to the warm brown autumnal colours [at this time of year]. The espresso nails, for me, are nails that consist of some kind of deep brown nail colour, whether it be a block nail colour or just some nail art.”

But, classics are classics for a reason. “Three words that describe this trend for me are chic, neutral and expensive,” adds luxury manicurist Julia Diogo. “This tone of polish suits all skin tones—making it easy for all to wear while looking super chic!”

Espresso nails inspiration

The good news is that, as with all palette-based nail trends, anything goes—you could enjoy a simple one-colour manicure, or experiment with a gradient look or nail art. The choice is yours. “I love playing with matte versus gloss when it comes to darker nail colours,” Shelton suggests. “Brown or espresso shades are perfect for this nail art look, as the finished result really pops and can look really chic.” Below are a handful of ideas to inspire your autumn-ready mani. 

The antithesis to the barely-there lipgloss nails trend, this espresso shade of polish is sheer perfection. 

Why go for just one espresso shade when you can have the whole spectrum adorning your nails? This look makes a strong case for the perfect tonal mani. 

Another ultra glossy brown mani that proves short nails can be seriously chic, too.

If you’re a dab-hand at nail art, this is a seriously cool take on the espresso nails trend, ombré and the classic French manicure. Ticking all the boxes. 

And finally, another entry for classic block colour nails in a rich espresso shade, just in case you hadn’t yet decided on it for your next manicure. 

Recreate the look

If you like taking your manicure into your own hands (pardon the pun), below we and our experts have shared some of our favourite polish shades across the espresso spectrum for you to shop now. 

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