Simplicity is key when going for the perfect proposal manicure for fall.

Simplicity is key when going for the perfect proposal manicure for fall.

Photo: / Tasha Kamrowski

A beauty expert has revealed the perfect proposal manicure for those who suspect they’ll be popped the question this fall — and it turns out simplicity is key. According to the research compiled by beauty and wellness marketplace Fresha London, the ideal manicure features a nude base and a square nail shape. It should only feature one color — although those who want to be more on-trend should consider adding chrome. 

The findings come after analyzing 500 posts tagged #proposal and #engagement across Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest to determine the most common design elements. Going for an understated and natural base is the norm, the research shows, with a fifth (20%) of fiancés choosing nude, while the second-most popular color came out as white (featured in 11% of posts), and one in ten (10%) opted for a french manicure instead. 

However, there’s good news for those who prefer something less understated, as also among the most popular colors were red (7% of posts), black (6%), and burgundy (6%).  The least popular but still prevalent colors were opulent choices like gold and purple — which appeared in less than 1% of posts — and cold tones like silver, grey, and blue.  

“The main benefit of selecting a nude or light nail color when you suspect you’re getting engaged is that it means there are no brash colors or designs to distract from your ring — which should be the main event. Of course, for those who are completely surprised, other fall colors like burgundy, red, and black will still look great — but they might steal some attention if your ring is silver.”

— Fresha Spokesperson

There was also a huge discrepancy in nail shape across the social media uploads, although this is primarily due to preference, with the majority of posts showing mid-length square nails (26%) and then pointed (15%), while the least popular shape was — surprisingly — coffin (2%).  

Fresha says: “Nail shape is less of a key consideration for many compared to color, as it’s just as likely to be influenced by your day-to-day life — for example, if you use your hands a lot - as it is your personal preferences and how you prefer to convey your style. However, if you want your ring to be the focus in your proposal pics, you may want to swap out a more attention-grabbing style, like stiletto or pointed, for something softer, like a shorter square or rounded shape — which will look even better when paired with a nude polish.” 

So, after you’ve painted your nails nude and filed them to a square, what can you do to add a bit more personality? It turns out that the best move is to make them chrome, as this was the most popular choice for those who opted for more than the base color (25%). Other common design choices were to add glitter (17%) or abstract swirls (9%), although those who’d started with a French manicure decided to spice theirs up with an angular tip.  

This is great news for those who were fans of the ‘cool-girl’ chrome manicure trend that started in spring and was popularized by the likes of Hailey Bieber and Dua Lipa.  

Speaking on the trend that’s still going strong, Fresha said: “The main benefit of making your manicure chrome is that it’s an easy way to add some personality and to bring it up to current fashion without completely changing the neutral and demure vibes you started with. All adding chrome to a nude or white manicure does is add some sheen and reflection without making the base color unrecognizable — meaning you get the best of both worlds!”  

The Top Five Popular Proposal Nail Designs

Rank Polish Color Nail Shape Base Design Extra Elements
1 Nude Square Single Color Chrome
2 White Pointed French Tip Glitter
3 French Manicure Square, Short Gradient Angular Tip
4 Red Oval Nail Art Abstract Swirls
5 Black Rounded Silver Gemstones






With the perfect manicure in mind — a nude base on a square nail with or without chrome — it turns out that some celebs were more on trend when announcing their engagement than others — with Meghan Markle among the celebs with the perfect nails for the occasion. When officially announcing her engagement to Prince Harry in November 2017, the actress-turned-duchess opted for short, square nails in a light nude color, which — according to Fresha London — was the perfect choice to show off her three-carat engagement ring. 

They say: “Although it’s difficult (or near-impossible, depending on your level of involvement) to predict what your engagement ring will look like, if you suspect it’s going to feature white stones and/or a silver band, it’s best to opt for a cool-toned nude to compliment the piece. For those who think their ring will be gold, a warmer nude such as a light brown or rose pink will work best, while those who are expecting colored stones can afford to go a bit bolder.”

Other celebrities who nailed their proposal manicure were Sophie Turner, Kim Kardashian (when announcing her engagement to Kanye), and Sofia Vergara. On the other hand, the celebrities who instead opted for some of the less-popular choices included Kate Middleton, who only applied a clear coat on her rounded nails and Beyoncé, who was spotted with a bright orange-red manicure when she first stepped out with her ring.

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