'Oud nails' are set to be the biggest winter nail trend, and they're already earning our editors heaps of compliments

Deep, dark and smoky

Oud Manicure
(Image credit: Getty Images / Edward Berthelot / Contributor)

There’s no denying that 2023 has been the year that nails have reigned supreme in the beauty world. Whether it’s celebrities stepping out on the red carpet with head-turning manicures or Instagram feeds packed with the chicest nail art, there has been an abundance of nail inspiration wherever you look. We’ve had spring’s milky nails, summer’s vibrant chrome manicures, autumn’s cinnamon-spiced tips, and now? Winter’s biggest nail trend is emerging as one to watch—the oud manicure.

Coined by celebrity manicurist Harriet Westmoreland, oud manicures are a shift towards darkier, sultrier shades as the weather cools. And they’re incredibly sophisticated. In fact, team Marie Claire UK has been trying out some of the best oud manicure looks over the past few weeks. 

Shannon Lawlor wearing oud nails

Executive Beauty Editor, Shannon Lawlor with an oud manicure

(Image credit: Shannon Lawlor)

Even Executive Beauty Editor, Shannon Lawlor, has given the trend a go—and she has only strayed from her usual milky manicure twice in the whole of 2023. Her verdict? She's had so many compliments on her oud mani that she's actually considering one for her wedding nails next year. And Senior Health Editor, Ally Head has also been won over by the trend.

Here’s everything you need to know about oud nails, and how to recreate them at home.

What is an oud manicure?

Unlike the milky pastels and bold neon shades that dominated our social feeds earlier this year, oud nails are all about deep, dark, resinous hues. “Oud is originally derived from the tropical agar tree in India, so any dark, woody and resin-like wintry shades are perfect for the look,” explains celebrity session manicurist, Ami Streets. “Dark browns, greys and blacks are the shades to select. And if you want to add extra dimension and interest, iridescent and metallic textures in the same colour ways also work well.”

If you typically go for more neutral nail colour, then there are ways to incorporate the trend more subtly too. “A super-deep cherry red is a great alternative option for this trend,” suggests international nail artist, Julia Diogo. “Micro French tips would also work amazingly—use a nude base that suits your individual skin tone then pair it with a thin oud tip.”

Oud manicure inspiration

Classic Oud

This deep onyx shade is so slick and glossy that you can almost see your own reflection in it. So chic.

Black Cherry

Julia created this sophisticated dark cherry manicure by layering a deep red over a black base. 

Purple Rain

OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark is a cult classic that works so well for the oud manicure trend—it’s a beautiful, ultra-deep aubergine shade.

Mahogany Sparkle

This deep cinnamon brown shade is elevated with a subtle peek of gold glitter at the cuticles.

Copper Shine

A slightly lighter and brighter take on the oud trend, this chocolate brown hue has a hint of copper shimmer running through it for a luxurious feel.

Slick Swirls

Opting for an oud-inspired shade alongside negative space nail art is a great way to dip your toe into wearing darker colours.

Recreate cinnamon nails at home

There are so many great nail colours to recreate this look at home. For a really luxurious finish, we'd recommend applying two layers for an opaque effect. And to achieve that “super-slick” oud manicure, Ami suggests finishing the look with a high-shine gloss topcoat and oil. “Layering on scented skincare products that emulate oud will also create a more luxurious manicure experience,” Ami explains.

Mica Ricketts

Mica Ricketts is a freelance beauty editor and contributor to Marie Claire. She has written for titles including Refinery29 and Who What Wear UK, and also works with beauty brands on content messaging and marketing copy. She was previously Who What Wear UK's beauty editor. As someone that has tried basically every acne product on the market, she has a particular passion for debunking skincare myths and finding products that work. Plus, with two small children at home she is all about time-saving beauty routines that boost glow and disguise dark circles.