Luxurious Cashmere Nails Will Be Your Go-To Fall Manicure

Just as florals and pastels are symbolic of spring, warm, rich colors serve as markers for autumn. But what if you buck convention and stick with neutrals this season? After all, we've already had myriad manicure trends that elevate neutrals into eye-catching territory with just a simple twist in their application or finish. 

Cashmere nails are the latest way to make neutral polish look luxurious. Perfect for fall, the style's name immediately conjures the soft warmth of a cashmere sweater. Throw in some velvety shine, and you've got yourself a subtle but elegant manicure. Nail artist Mazz Hanna told Byrdie, "Cashmere nails are typically a neutral-colored polish with reflective glitter or magnetic polish to reflect the soft, cozy look of cashmere." Unlike the high gloss of chrome and metallic manicures, this look's shine is more of a shimmer, so as to mimic the reflective yet fuzzy quality of a rich fabric. Thus, from different angles, cashmere nails look as if your polish is subtly changing its tone.

If you're wondering what magnetic polish is, Nail Design Code describes it as a nail polish that contains minuscule metal bits. "The nail polish bottle itself come[s] with a magnet — usually embedded in the nail polish bottle lid, the part of the applicator where you hold [it]," the website added. The metal is used to attract and manipulate the metal bits into forming a pattern that's responsible for the cashmere nails' mesmerizing, holographic quality.

Make basic nail shades go beyond basic

The first color that might pop into your head at the mention of "neutrals" and "cashmere" is beige. If you've never had a solid beige manicure before, finding the right tone can be tricky. Try nail artist San Sung Kim's advice in Byrdie: Determine if your skin's undertone is cool, neutral, warm, or olive to guide you in finding, not just the perfect beige, but also other polish hues that complement your skin. 

Of course, you don't have to limit yourself to beige. The cashmere manicure's allure isn't so much its color but rather its rich sheen. Imagine your nails in a shimmery milk bath, caramel, opal, platinum, or silver. Achieve this look by first applying your base coat color of choice on properly prepped nails and cuticles. Then apply a layer of magnetic polish, placing the magnet about half an inch away from each side of your nails for 15 to 30 seconds. "It is crucial that you do this while your nail polish is still very fresh and just applied," Nail Design Code noted. 

After a pattern forms, let your nail dry completely, then repeat the steps and add another coat of magnetic polish. "Typically, two to three layers will be all you need," nail artist Hannah Lee told Allure. Once you've achieved your desired opacity, seal everything with a top coat. For a truly velvety luster, manicurist Steph Stone's tip (per Allure) is to use a matte top coat.

Turn autumnal hues into a holographic attraction

As we've said, cashmere nails aren't just for beige and other neutrals. Embrace fall 2023 with colorful nail trends, like pumpkin orange, deep red, or earthy green. Jewel tones also look extra luxurious with this look's velvety shine, so embody the full spectrum of fall by layering different magnetic polishes in autumnal colors. To avoid muddying up the shades, use layers of polish that each feature a different pattern of metallic glitter. 

To achieve this, "avoid starting with the magnet under or on top of the nail," nail artist Jeanette Flores advised in an Instagram tutorial. Instead, her trick is to keep the magnetic wand parallel to the sides of the nail and move it in a slow up-and-down motion to bring out the glittery shine of the polish first. Once this step is done, that's when you use the wand on top of or beneath the nail to manipulate the metallic bits into a pattern. 

Be bold in experimenting with different motifs. Create sparkly parallel lines or swirls of various shades. Go for a holographic, multi-tone chevron pattern. Apply the negative-space method by using the second layer of glittery polish to outline your nails, so you showcase the contrasting hue of your magnetic base. It might take some practice to perfect your skills with the wand but once you do, whatever nail design you can create with a solid polish can be achieved with a magnetic one too. The result may be subtler but the overall effect is bound to catch the light and everyone's eye.

Look stellar with intergalactic nails

Ever scrolled through NASA's Instagram posts and found yourself inspired by breathtaking photos of space? Cashmere nails can bring your intergalactic fantasies closer to home. Use a dark and opaque base color, like opal or midnight blue, then layer different shades of magnetic polish over it. With pictures of outer space as inspiration, create multicolored swirls that resemble stellar formations of gas and dust, complete with their luminescence. Even something as simple as a couple of thin yet distinct and sparkly stripes across your nails can remind you of Saturn's rings or the tail of a comet as it hurtles through space. Be as geeky as you want with your astronomy references. 

If you're not yet confident about handling the magnetic wand for complex designs, stick to the classic method we've shared earlier and rely instead on stickers and 3D nail art to realize your intergalactic vision. Add them after you've covered your layers of magnetic polish with a glossy top coat to create a 3D-like effect. Once you've placed your nail art to your liking, apply another layer of high-gloss top coat.

Extend the lifespan of cashmere nails' luxurious sheen with proper manicure aftercare, such as the regular application of cuticle oil. Beauty Bay warns against washing your hands in hot water for 48 hours post-manicure. In fact, follow nail expert and dermatologist Dr. Dana Stern's advice (per The Zoe Report) and avoid soaking your hands in water altogether to avoid nail damage.