Once you’ve nailed down the side dishes and seating arrangements for Thanksgiving, it’s time to move on to bigger and better pursuits: Thanksgiving nail ideas. Thanksgiving is a big night for catching up and breaking bread, so you’ll want the hands that handle the fork to be looking fresh and ready for the official start of the holiday season.

Whether you prefer short and simple or long and shaped, seasonal shades or intricate nail art, there’s a little something for everyone at the Thanksgiving nail design table. The warm, earthy hues associated with autumn are a great jumping-off point for many Thanksgiving manicure ideas, including intricately hand-painted illustrations, subtle ombré, and color-blocked designs. Even if you don’t partake in Thanksgiving celebrations, these palettes and techniques are great for fall — a last hurrah before we shift into the shades and trends of winter.

(Editor’s note: Before we get into specific trends and techniques, it’s important to note that Thanksgiving has seen many changes and iterations in the last four centuries and, simply put, its history is far from the “first Thanksgiving meal” narrative often taught in schools across the US. This complex issue deserves far more nuance and expertise — and, frankly, a nail art gallery isn’t the venue — so we urge you to explore the topic on your own. A good starting point is this 2012 Q&A from Indian Country Today with artist and historical preservationist Ramona Peters of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and journalist Gale Courey Toensing.)

For inspiration on autumnal designs that evoke this particular weekend in November and beyond, we spoke with nail experts as well as our own beauty editors about all the creative designs they anticipate seeing on fingertips this time of year.

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