How is it the end of October already?!
Not that I’m complaining; it means we’re in the peak of autumn and autumn is by far my favourite season.
I’m excited to don the thick tights, cute boots and cosy coats the season calls for. Plus, it’s a great excuse to throw out my absolute favourite word in the English language as much as possible: autumnal. Autumnal. Autumnal.
I also can’t wait to delve into the darker shades in my nail polish collection. Although I had a lot of fun with the bright shades from my summer nails list, darker, richer shades are what truly excite me.
For me, autumn shades are all about the colours of nature; earthy browns, maple reds, and mossy greens.
I found so many great polishes on my search but I’ve narrowed the list down to my top eight warm and eight cool shades; all cruelty-free, of course.
Zoya – Noah
Starting with the lightest of the bunch, this pale taupe from Zoya is perfect for those who prefer a subtle autumnal shade. Not quite the soft yellows or pinks of spring or the deeper greys of winter, this neutral shade feels perfect for the in-between.
It has a slight shimmer, which brightens it up but isn’t too much.
Zoya polish is ” 10 free” so it doesn’t contain common harmful chemicals and the range is cruelty-free.
Pacifica – Dark Desert Highway
Another great versatile nude is this sandy shade by Pacifica. A creamy tan with hints of pink, it’s another lovely autumnal neutral.
The polish goes on smoothly with the wide brush, it has great coverage with just one or two coats and remains chip-free for several days.
Pacifica polishes are completely vegan (including the brush!), cruelty-free and made without parabens and other harmful chemicals.
Beauty Without Cruelty Attitude Nail Colour – Praline
For an evening autumnal shade, Praline is just the thing. It’s an oh-so-pretty shimmery peach-orange.
BWC polishes go on really smoothly and dry quickly, which always wins points with me as I am terrible with touching wet nails! This gives a good colour with just one or two coats (depending on your polish skills!) and lasts at least 2-3 days chip-free without a top coat.
As the name suggests, all BWC polishes are cruelty-free and vegan.
Butter LONDON Patent Shine – Keep Calm*
This burnt orange shade just screams autumn. It’s almost opaque with just one coat but I prefer two for more vibrancy.
Butter LONDON polishes are free from common harmful chemicals and their Patent Shine range is all vegan-friendly.
This polish dries quickly, lasts for days on end without a top coat and most importantly, looks gorgeous.
Jessica – Tangled in Secrets
From Jessica’s “Into the Wild” range, Tangled in Secrets is a bold russet red shade with a creme finish. It’s perfect if you’re a fan of red polish but want something a little more autumnal as it has a nice orange tone to it.
Jessica polish is said to last a whole 3-4 weeks without chipping but to be honest, I get bored and change my nails long before then so can’t confirm nor refute that!
Jessica polishes are “7-free”, cruelty-free and vegan.
Cuccio – It’s No Istanbul
Another brand that’s only recently made it onto my radar, Cuccio have a massive range of shades but I decided that this gold-bronze shade with hints of red is pretty much an autumn leaf in a bottle.
It has a great shimmer and needed just two coats to be fully opaque. One applied, I would describe as kind of in-between bronze and rose gold. This polish lasted for days without chipping so it’s amazingly well-priced!
NB: The bottled colour is much more similar to the image here than the one in the link. Actual colour is kind of in-between the two.
Zoya – Cinnamon
I know cinnamon is the perfect scent for autumn but turns out it also makes for a great nail shade.
This chocolately-bronze shade from Zoya has an amazing shimmer to it, which means this shade is far from a dull brown and it would be a great polish for evening wear.
This polish is again vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free.
Cuccio – Beijing Night Glow
For a really bold nail, I love this red wine shade from Cuccio.
It has a dark red-brown tone with a metallic finish but it’s not overly shiny. I’d add a top coat if you’re looking for a high-shine creme finish. Either way, it’s a lovely autumnal evening shade.
The polish is opaque with just two coats and lasts for several days without chipping.
FABY – Mother Nature
I’ve only just discovered Faby but as their range is 100% vegan and cruelty-free and as they’ve just released a Nature range, they couldn’t be more up my alley!
Not usually one for bright greens, I was drawn to this grassy shade. I love it on and it’s perfect for a brighter autumn look.
The Nature range is “10 free” and made from 87% natural ingredients including wood pulp, cotton and maize. The polish dries really quickly, which is great for a serial nail-bumper like myself. However, I would recommend a top coat as sadly, it did start to chip after only a day or two.
Ciaté London – Racing Queen
Racing Queen from Ciaté London’s Gelology range is a beautiful sea green. It is highly pigmented and looks opaque and shiny with one or two coats. The polish has a gel finish and doesn’t chip easily so it lasts really well.
Ciaté polishes are all vegan, cruelty-free and paraben free. There’s also mini versions (5ml) available for most of their polishes for just £6.00, which are great if you want to test out the shades or purchase a mix.
Priti NYC – Dark Warrior Orchid*
This seaweed green shade from Priti NYC has one of my favourite names of the bunch; Dark Warrior Orchid just sounds cool. (Just me?)
I love this shade for something a little more earthy than other greens but it has a lovely, high-shine finish so it’s anything but dull. The UV inhibitor means it has great staying power.
Priti NYC polishes are Leaping Bunny certified and they’re all vegan. They’re also free from harsh chemicals and non-toxic, so safe for kids and mums-to-be.
butter LONDON – British Khaki
I am obsessed with khaki and think it’s the perfect autumnal colour. I have khaki coats, hats, scarves, shirts… and now nails!
This shade from butter LONDON is just gorgeous and one of my favourites on the list, by far.
It’s a bit pricey but currently on sale to £8.95 with the link above (not affiliate – just helpful!). It goes on smoothly and has great staying power; I got a good 4-5 days out of this with no chipping (and no top coat).
Zoya – Charli
I know I’ve put a lot of Zoya in but I really think they have one of the best colour ranges out there.
Charli is described as taupe but I’d say it has a pretty generous hint of olive-green in it. It’s a lovely, earthy grey-green colour but still soft enough that you could get away with it as a neutral.
The polish took just two coats for opaque coverage and again, lasts really well.
Pacifica – Drift
This grey shade from Pacifica is perfect if you’re looking for something a little more subtle than the above polishes. However, the grey has a pretty hint of lilac to it, so it’s far from dull.
It goes on smoothly and evenly and lasts well.
Again, the Pacifica range is vegan, cruelty-free and made without parabens and other harmful chemicals.
Ciaté London – Reign Supreme
Aubergine is another of my favourite dark shades and this shiny, rich purple by Ciaté is just gorgeous. Another polish from their Gelology range, it’s got a beautiful shiny and opaque finish.
Again, it’s vegan, cruelty-free and paraben free. It is also available in the 5ml pot in a more purse-friendly £6.00.
FABY – Black Pepper
I am slightly obsessed with this colour. As a former ’00s emo kid, I still love a good ultra-dark polish.
This shade is really unique – it’s not quite black, it’s more of a dark charcoal with a deep, forest green tint that shows in certain light. Love.
Again, part of Faby’s 2017 Nature range, the polish is made from loads of natural ingredients so it’s not harsh on your nails. I’d recommend both a base coat to avoid staining and a top coat for more wear with this one.
What are your favourite autumnal shades? Have you tried any on this list?