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How to nail the right look for gorgeous hands this season

From dark berry tones to barely-there nudes, the AW16 catwalks brought us heaps of nail-spiration. Here's how to polish your autumn look. By Katie Wright

It was a tale of two nail trends backstage at the autumn/winter shows. "Some designers treated nails as an accessory to the look, others as a subtle finishing touch," says MAC senior make-up artist, Keri Blair.

At one end of the spectrum, the blackest blacks and deepest reds packed a punch, while at the other, nude ruled the day.

There's no grey area this season, so choose a side and pick a polish ...

The prevailing fashion mood right now is gloomy glamour, so goth-tastic pitch-black nails are bang on trend - YSL has just released its first ever black polish, in fact, called Noir Over Noir, alongside blackened fuchsia and rouge shades.

"It's the noirs," says nail expert Marian Newman. "Prune noir, Bordeaux noir, maroon noir ... These rich colours that read as off-black feel really interesting for now."

Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture Noir Over Noir, £19 (

Mavala Mini Nail Colour Polish in Black Cherry, £4.50 (

"'Young and clean' was a request we heard a lot from designers this season," notes Newman.

Variations on the nude nail were seen at Stella McCartney, Jason Wu, David Koma and Christopher Kane, and according to Newman, the chicest way to recreate the look also happens to be the easiest.

"No base coat, no top coat - they can feel too manicured - just one coat of MAC Delicate Nail Lacquer to look groomed," she suggests.

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer in Delicate, £10 (

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Au Nature-al, currently reduced to £4.99 from £6.99 (

Subtler than black, but just as chic, navy nails were seen at DKNY and Daks, two brands known for their polished, pulled-together clothes.

"Using two colours, Salon Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Nightwatch, a deep navy, and Commander in Chic, a muddy grey-purple, we created four different nail looks which were randomly applied to the girls backstage," explains Sally Hansen global colour ambassador Madeline Poole, of the DKNY look.

For a simpler option, apply a gloss navy to short, neat nails, a la the Daks catwalk.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Nightwatch, £6.99 (

Nailed London Gel Wear in Fashionista, £7 (

Scarlet talons never go out of style, and sure enough they cropped up on a couple of influential catwalks for AW16.

At Erdem, Nailberry's rich rouge Le Temp des Cerises matched the bold matte red lip, while at Sibling, long rounded talons were painted with a bright pillar box red.

Nailberry Le Temps des Cerises, £14.50 (

Morgan Taylor Nail Lacquer in Put A Wing On It, £10.99 (

For an elegant twist on the rouge trend, take your cue from the Teatum Jones show, where Orly polish in Ruby was topped and tailed with nude crescents, resulting in an edgy take on the classic French manicure.

Orly Nail Polish in Ruby, £10.50 (

Mavala Mini Colour Creme Nail Polish in Izmir, £4.50 (

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