Dirty Martini Nails Are The '70s-Inspired Green Manicure Trend For Fall 2023

Warm yellows, oranges, and browns — these are the hues that signal the advent of fall as well as the beginning of pumpkin spice latte season. However, there's another drink that's making its bid to be the autumn girlies' new seasonal favorite, if not as a form of libation then as a color theme for nails.


"Dirty martini" nails have been making a buzz ever since Selena Gomez's manicurist Tom Bachik posted on Instagram a picture of the pop star's nails freshly coated in olive green. Although green is typically associated with spring and summer, the moody yet still warm tone of olive makes it fit right in as a nail polish for the fall season's shorter daytime and cooler evenings. If you've also noticed, the '70s retro aesthetic has been enjoying a comeback in lifestyle and design, creating a resurgence of interest in its warm and cozy earth tones.  

So why call them "dirty martini" and not just olive nails? Well, for one, it's a more fun name that calls to mind a night out on town for drinks. It's also more exciting to imagine a personalized interpretation of the trend instead of simply swiping on a few coats of olive nail polish. Though there's nothing wrong with this straightforward and classic approach, integrating the different hints of color you can spot in your martini can elevate your manicure into something people would want to try out for themselves.


Go all in with olive green

If green has never been on your nail polish radar, start with the timeless look of having your nails painted in olive. The only prep you'd need to do is to find the perfect tint that would complement your skin tone. Go brighter or darker based on what looks fantastic on your skin. Switch between a matte, shiny, or chrome finish, depending on your mood.


Once you feel ready to be more adventurous, build on this minimalist look by adding 3D details or stickers to glam it up for the evening. Combine different finishes — yes, on each nail — for an effect that'll have people taking a second glance. Do a gradient effect by applying various tints of olive on each nail. If you have a collection of autumnal nail colors, use a unique shade per nail, with olive as one of them. Your manicure would be a great accent to your fall wardrobe.

Provide a nice contrast with gold

As nice as olive green is as an alternative color for fall, setting it off with touches of gold will make it even more appropriate for the season. Artfully placed gold foil and studs will make your martini-hued nails look quietly luxurious. For inspiration, check out chinoiserie-themed wallpapers to find a green-and-gold motif that you or your manicurist can replicate on your nails.


You can also keep it simple by using gold glitter or gold nail polish to draw linear art on a deep green base. Go for an updated French tip with a gold stripe or do a reverse uno by sporting olive tips on a shimmery base. Paint golden half-moons at the bottom of your nails or draw gilded graphic patterns like chevron stripes. For something funkier and truly '70s, create a marbled effect with both colors. Whatever pattern or design you go with, the balance of warmth and coolness between olive and gold will elevate your choice of nail art.

For variety, switch gold with amber brown. Both set off green nicely but with different qualities to their respective luster.

Get inspired by the drink

Going literal with the "dirty martini" reference is also a fun way of interpreting this trend. An olive base with a magenta dot as a stand-in for the olive pit makes for an easy yet eye-catching graphic manicure. You can also go with drawing more intricate details, such as olive dots with metallic studs for pits on a base of milk bath nails. This is a look that combines two trends and transitions you smoothly from summer to fall. For DIY dots, nail artist Miss Pop's tip (per Allure) is to use the rounded head of a tailor's pin as a substitute for the nail polish brush. Let the dots dry completely first before adding studs or applying a top coat to avoid smudging them.   


Cocktail motifs for linear nail art are also a nice touch. Remember to use a fine-tipped brush when drawing details so they look clean and sharp. 

Whatever approach you choose for your own set of dirty martini nails, remember that applying a base coat and a top coat will help keep your manicure looking fresh while also protecting your nails. A few drops of cuticle oil after a manicure also prolongs it, thanks to the extra layer of protection it offers (per Byrdie). In fact, keep your nails hydrated and strong by regularly massaging cuticle oil on and around them. That way, they can be great canvasses for all of your nail art ideas.