We love Thanksgiving, and not just because it's an excuse to fly home and visit family members that we miss so much. It's not even because we enjoy eating as many mashed potatoes as we can possibly fit in our stomachs (although, we will be honest; that's up there). We love it because it's an opportunity to pause the hustle and bustle of daily life, reflect on our current situations, and express real gratitude. By the way, regularly expressing gratitude is scientifically proven to make you a happier person, but we digress.
As with any holiday, our favorite way to get in the festive spirit is by channeling it onto our nails. Seriously, there's something about a fresh manicure that makes us feel a visceral sense of anticipation and excitement, especially if there's some sort of nail art involved. To clarify, we're not talking about painting turkeys and cornucopias on our nails. No, we're talking about sleek and subtle nail designs that channel the colors and the warmth of the season. Keep scrolling to see our 39 favorite nail designs for Thanksgiving or any fall occasion.
Sweet Potato Fade
One way to grab your family's attention at the Thanksgiving table is to match what's on it with your manicure. And let's be real, this pumpkin-inspired fade by celebrity and editorial manicurist Mimi D is nothing short of sweet.
Cocoa Negative Space
If you're looking for a subtle switch-up, try sticking to one color (like this chocolate brown) and alternating between allover polish and a negative space design. The accents here, the thinnest of slivers at the tip and base, feel like a modern French manicure.
Thanksgiving is a time to eat, drink, and be cozy as can be. To project those good vibes, try painting your tips with this festive red plaid pattern.
Fall colors are all about the coffee hues. From milky latte to deep espresso to rich caramel, these nails are meant to accompany your plate full of pecan pie. Play with negative space by leaving exaggerated half-moons bare just above the cuticle.
Dark florals are a hallmark of fall and winter, which is why we've been ogling over this black rose design from nail artist Naomi Yasuda as of late.
Skip the floral centerpiece and paint a bouquet on each nail instead.
Can't decide what you want to wear on your nails? Why not rock a few patterns layered together in the name of abstract art? This colorful masterpiece is sure to turn heads.
The holiday season is right around the corner, which means all things glitter. Why not bring it into your beauty routine early by opting for this subtle gold glitter mani from buzzy L.A. nail salon Olive & June?
These tortoiseshell nails play into the always-in-style pattern while offsetting it with bold pops of black. We're obsessed, and chances are your family and friends will be, too.
You don't need to go all out to make an impact. We love how these mostly bare nails get a major upgrade from the latte-colored corner accents and the subtle gilded brushstrokes.
Metallic Gold Half Moons
To keep your nails simple yet eye-catching, try a gold shimmer tip with a negative-space half-moon. For added allure, paint on a solid drop of slightly brighter gold at the arc of each moon.
Sometimes it's as simple as pairing two complementary colors with a diagonal slant. Just look at these beauties.
If you lean towards pastel shades, even in fall and winter, then take inspiration from this colorful nail design that's fit for a harvest festival.
This manicure, which was also created at Olive & June, starts with a base of mocha-colored polish. The dainty daisy detail is thanks to the salon's namesake Loveliest Day Nail Art Stickers ($8), which, FYI, are super popular and often sold out.
These tiny, champagne shimmer-lined, pumpkin-colored accents bring one thing to mind: Thanksgiving's most popular pie topped off with a hefty heap of whipped cream.
Graphic Fall Florals
These graphic fall floral nails have a unifying theme of black pistils, while each nail features a unique petal shade (or a combination of a few).
Negative space nails are a great way to make a bold statement without using tons of polish—take these dotted cuties, for example.
For many people, a large part of the Thanksgiving holiday is spent traveling home to see family and friends. If that sounds like your plan this year, paint your city on your nails as a little reminder of home. It's a very sweet sentiment, no?
This mani comes courtesy of the buzzy New York City nail salon Chillhouse. It encapsulates the colors of the autumn season by combining various shades of orange.
Deeper shades of green always make their way back into our style as the weather cools off, and this emerald shade is stunning enough to stand out on its own. A statement mani that's easy to DIY in no time? We're obsessed.
Match your solid sweater with a minimalist nail design like this one from Paintbox Nails. Simply start with a base of white polish before adding a matching cube at the base of each nail. It's simple yet chic.
Not ready to commit to a full bold nail? Try going halfsies with this negative space tortoiseshell print.
We have two things to say about this. The first is that this foiled manicure reminds us of fall foliage. The second is that it pairs extremely well with a denim jacket.
From PSLs to pumpkin pie, treats using fall's signature squash are one of our favorite parts of the season. You'll look cozy and festive all at once with this solid-and-sparkly burnt orange manicure.
All Shaped Up
Neutral lovers, rejoice! This three-toned nail look is bold in print and minimalist in shade, making it a great option for your Thanksgiving mani.
Ever since Base Coat Nail Salon posted this image to its Instagram page, we've been completely and thoroughly obsessed. Black and gold are, after all, one of our all-time favorite color combinations.
Apple Cider Gradient
Whether you're going apple picking, enjoying some hot cider from your favorite café, or sipping on an apple cider mimosa as you watch the parade on Thanksgiving morning, these cozy-chic gradient nails are the perfect finishing touch to your fall look.
Shimmery champagne is one of your most festive options when it comes to neutrals. This mani is sure to shine whether you're all dressed up for a gathering or having a cozy evening in.
Is there anything more beautiful than a bold autumnal berry color? We don't think so, especially when applied in a graphic diagonal shape.
This nail art looks like the pattern of a 1970s painting, and it's especially fall-friendly thanks to the warm palette.
If you can't decide whether you want solid colors, patterns, or a fun design, why not find a way to feature all three? We love how white abstract faces bring a new energy to these half-tortoiseshell nails, which sit amidst a sleek manicure in varying tones of brown.
This moody fall yellow is the perfect color for the season. We love a super-saturated, minimalist nail like this one.
Burnt Orange Beauties
Feast your eyes on yet another foil-infused manicure from Paintbox Nails. It combines shiny gold with burnt orange for a nail design that's unmistakably autumnal.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
If you don't want to stop at Thanksgiving color palettes, you can also go literal with tiny pumpkins. These seasonal nails might be very themed, but given the light backdrop and on-trend shimmer, they don't look over-the-top. Plus, the combination of glitter, milky swirls on the ring finger, and pumpkin sketches makes it impossible not to crave a pumpkin spice latte stat.
Rich and Warm Chocolate
Bring the hygge vibes to your mani with a warm shade of chocolate brown, sure to pair well with your favorite sweater.
Autumn feasts are simultaneously cozy and festive, and you can reflect the same in your nails. If you're always bringing the wine to the dinner party, this sparkly set will make you feel that much more put together.
You can't help but think of Thanksgiving when seeing these colors all together. Along with your classic fall hues like pumpkin pie and falling leaves, you've also got the green of harvest stems and green bean casserole. To mimic this holiday palette, finish each nail with a matte top coat.
Gold Glitter Reverse French Manicure
Flip your favorite French mani on its head (literally) and give it a bit of sparkle by swiping a gold shade around the base after painting on your favorite muted neutral shade. This versatile look is sure to work no matter your Thanksgiving plans.