Hot Chocolate Nails Are The Cozy Manicure Trend For Fall 2023

The coming of autumn brings with it a tonal shift to match the season's cooler temperatures and longer nights. This is evident not just in fashion but also in fall nail trends. Continuing the summer craze of using food as a theme, this season's trend draws inspiration from edible treats that match our evergreen need for warmth and coziness.

While pumpkin spice latte has become symbolic of autumn, a mug of warm cocoa remains a classic comfort drink on chilly nights — and as a basis for your next manicure color, it's perfect for fall and surprisingly adaptable. In fact, chocolate nails also became trendy during the summer, as reported by Pop Sugar. "Chocolate brown is versatile, classic, and is complementary on all skin tones and nail shapes and lengths," Mazz Hanna, CEO of Nailing Hollywood Agency, told Byrdie.

If you're not convinced yet since you've always found brown boring, thinking of it as a warm neutral might change your perspective — and you know you can never go wrong with neutrals. From the deliciously light and frothy milk chocolate nails of summer, fall's version feels richer and cozier, less sugary and more full-bodied. It complements the other popular colors of the season, guaranteeing that your hot chocolate manicure will fit right in with your seasonal wardrobe.

Stir in some milk into your hot chocolate nails

Remember how milk bath nails were all the rage this summer? If you can't quite let go of the milk bath nails' delicate, ballet-tutu pink yet, here's the good news: They actually make a perfect combo with a hot chocolate manicure. With the soft yet stunning contrast between the two colors, you can come up with myriad patterns that will elevate your manicure. 

A hot chocolate-dipped French manicure looks delicious and ultra-chic. For a more graphic approach, a negative-space mani also works, with a rich brown hue lining your nails' edges and making the soft pink polish look almost the same color as your nail bed. Another simple yet eye-catching pattern is stripes of different widths. Have half of your nails colored in dark chocolate polish then draw a thinner line of brown underneath. Woman and Home recommended using a stencil to color one-half of each nail precisely so you'll have a guide for drawing the second stripe.   

If you're keen on trying out a specific kind of nail art with your hot chocolate manicure, bring a reference picture to your trusted manicurist. Explain how you want your nails to look and be open to the manicurist's ideas on how to achieve it. Listen to their tips as well on how to avoid chipping your polish and making any manicure last longer.

A matte finish makes your nails look like a post-meal treat

With the glazed donut nails also reigning supreme earlier this year, matte nail polishes may have fallen off the radar for you. Well, the hot chocolate manicure is an opportunity to bring them back into circulation. As Mazz Hanna explained to Byrdie, "Chocolate brown is a warm, rich color that gives off the coziest vibes for fall, especially when paired with a matte topcoat."

Get nails that look good enough to eat by painting them matte brown. Make them look like a selection of sweets by using different tones of brown, from white chocolate to milk and dark chocolate. While this monochromatic approach works on any nail shape, having almond-shaped nails creates a convincing illusion of having chocolate treats at the tips of your fingers.

You can elevate this look further by adding glossy French tips. However, instead of painting traditional (and, frankly, dated) square tips in bright white, use the same color polish as your matte base to draw a French smile line that follows the shape of your nails' edges. That way, your hot chocolate nails also have a subtle (and delectable) glazed look to them. With a precise application key in pulling off this dual-finish look, Byrdie's tip is to use a nail art brush to paint your more modern French tips.

Have fun with your hot chocolate interpretations

Even though fall's color palette may feel more somber than summer's, that doesn't mean you can't get adventurous with your hot chocolate manicure. Take things a step further by drawing a literal interpretation of cocoa on your nails. Apply a vivid maroon polish as your chocolate base so its red hue contrasts well with the green, white, and gold "sprinkles" you draw on it.

The water-marbled nail technique also lends itself surprisingly well to hot chocolate manicures. With the soft, multi-colored swirls it creates, you can use it to recreate hot chocolate art on your nails. White nail polish and two different caramel tones can do the trick; take note of how Instagram user and nail artist @haysalto used a deep auburn that stood out well against a creamy latte.

Who knew brown polish could be sweet, sexy, and stylish? With all the artistic possibilities that hot chocolate nails hold, you'll feel creative, chic, and cozy sporting them this fall.