Ideas for Holiday Manicures

Everybody has a different way of celebrating the holidays. Some go full-throttle – wearing different Christmas sweaters every day, decking their halls and homes with more lights, and blasting some holiday tunes that can be heard around the neighborhood. Others prefer a subtler approach – barely decorating a white Christmas tree and hardly dabbling in the traditional red-and-green colors of the season.

The same thing goes with manicures. As people at work or throughout the family gather to celebrate Christmas, you probably want your nails to be chic, on flick, yet in theme with the season. If you’re picturing your nails to be covered in merry motifs, like bearded Santa and his reindeers, antlers, Christmas tree nail arts, and red and green everything – don’t hold back! But if you prefer a simpler, more elegant-looking manicure, your polish options are endless.

Here are some pretty, perfect holiday manicures that are right for your laid-back Christmas spirit:

Where to Buy
Sally Hansen Mega Strength
essie Nail Polish, Glossy Shine Finish, Fishnet Stockings
essie Nail Polish, Glossy Shine Finish, Ballet Slippers
Beetles Gel Nail Polish
OPI Infinite Shine 2 Long-Wear Lacquer
OPI Nail Lacquer, Gray Nail Polish
KINGMAS 1700pcs Clear Nail Crystals Nail Art Rhinestone
7 Sheets Star Nail Art Stickers
Sally Hansen Insta Dri Rapid Red
Essie Nail Polish-deep green
Essie nail polish, summer 2020 collection, gold nail polish
Essie Nail Color Polish-Red
Essie Nail Polish Glossy Shine Finish licorice

Asymmetrical Twinkling Tips

A glittery gold manicure would look ready for the holidays, with or without matching gold accessories. Simply top off your otherwise nude nails with glitzy gold polish at the tips that dip down to one side, making it asymmetrical. It’s modern, glamorous, simple, and best of all – easy to do on a busy holiday season!

Red Wrapping Paper Nails

Give yourself a pretty holiday gift by covering your nails in a pretty red manicure inspired with wrapping paper you’d find covering a Christmas gift. Use plain red on three nails, and create crisscrossing patterns on two nails that resemble a windowpane-plaid. To do that, use a light, ballerina-pink base color and use the red polish to make a crisscross pattern.

Dashing Through the Gems

This festive yet elegant, shimmering manicure will stand out at your holiday party but can also give a formal feel. Use a black base  and add light metallic dashes in gold and silver, accompanied by sporadic, small, glued-on gems to create an easy yet eye-catching holiday manicure.

Shimmering Silver Stars

Stick-on star nail art was on-trend during the summer, but it carries on beautifully into the winter season. Add stick-on stars to your otherwise bare nails, and add an extra touch of glitter alternating between the tips and cuticles. It’s simple yet shimmering.

Diagonal Red

Red nails are always fun and appropriate for the holidays – it reminds you of cherries, tree ornaments, Santa’s suit, and everything merry about Christmas. But you can update the classic look with a negative-space twist by applying a diagonal red polish leaning to one side. Leaving a little visible, natural nail is super on-trend.

Green and Gold

Here’s another negative-space idea for your holiday nails – add a curved, deep green polish halfway through the nails, then add a wavy swipe of glimmering gold. This will make you look sophisticated, like beautifully wrapped precious holiday gifts.

Buffalo Plaid

Channel the flannel without wearing one by applying a red and black buffalo plaid manicure. This manicure is perfect if you’re attending a rustic, lumberjack-themed party but don’t want to go all-out lumberjack on your outfit. The subtle nail detail will do.

Where to Buy
OPI Nail Lacquer White Nail Polish
Sally Hansen Insta Dri Rapid Red
Sally Hansen Insta Dri Go For Gold
Dotting Pen Tool Nail Art Tip Dot Paint Manicure kit
Essie Nail Polish Glossy Shine Finish mint candy
GLITTIES - Brilliant Silver - Cosmetic Grade
Essie Nail Polish Wild Nude-Light Tan
Faux Pearls Flat Back Beads for Nail Art & Crafts
ZOYA Nail Polish Brighton
China Glaze Nail Polish
Crystals AB Nail Art Rhinestones Decorations Nail Stones
Karlash Super White Nail Polish
Revlon Nail Enamel Chip Resistant Nail Polish

Christmas-themed Artsy Abstract Strokes

Your nails are a blank canvas. Take it a little bit literally while showing your holiday spirit by painting your nails in a snowy white polish and add some artsy swipes of red, green, gold, and black.

Shiny Polka Dots

A polka dot manicure will suit the holiday season well until the New Year. Red  and gold  base polish will do. You can go for red on all four fingers and one accent nail in gold and do the same for the other hand. Use a dotting pen to make cute polka dots. Alternate the nail polish by using gold dots for red nails and red dots for gold ones.

Sparkly Mint French Manicure

Get holiday-ready for this sparkly and minty take on the classic French manicure. Apply mint green tips to pick up on the minty vibes for the season, and add sparkly silver flecks on a nude nail polish.

Snowball Pearls

No nail polish is needed for this elegant nail art idea. Glue on faux pearls in two rows down the center of each nail. This nail art is reminiscent of snowballs ready to be thrown at a family snowball fight during the holidays.

Shimmering Champagne

There is plenty of champagne to be enjoyed during the holidays. A great idea is to let that extend to your fingertips by applying frosty, champagne-colored manicure. Its subtle, nude-ish look can blend into anything you want to wear.

Snowy Pine

A shade that looks festive for the holidays, besides red, is green (especially when it’s shimmery). Go for a green, shimmery nail polish shade that is full of shiny flakes that will remind you of snow glistening on evergreen pine trees.

Rhinestones and Crystals

Are you on for a glamorous holiday? Are you invited to back-to-back black-tie parties? Attach nail crystals of different shapes and sizes to your long, uncolored nails. This way, you’ll be adding a touch of glamour to literally everything you’ll do with your hands.

Candy Cane

Looking for a sweet holiday nail inspiration? Why not try a red-and-white striped candy cane? It’s subtle, fun, festive, and sweet! To do this, use white nails as a base and add thin and thick red, diagonal stripes to imitate the candy cane design.

Where to Buy
JIAHAO Gold/Silver Rolls Striping Tape Line Nail Art
Bememo Pieces Nail Crystals
OPI Nail Lacquer Neutral Nail Polish
China Glaze Nail Polish
Essie Nail Polish Limited Edition
Essie Nail Polish Red Nail Color With A Cream Finish
Essie Nail Polish Glossy Shine Finish Flowerista
Duri Nail Polish Green Creamy Pastels Lacquers Opaque Coverage
Duri Nail Polish Off White
Duri Nail Polish In Vogue

Christmas Crisscross

You can also have beautiful nails inspired by Christmas lights! Use a fresh, white base on your nails and add random crisscross gold tape. Then, decorate the intersections with different colors of crystals to resemble Christmas lights!

Pink and Gold

Running late to a holiday soiree? This easy but sparkly nail polish would look fabulous but looks thought-out. Splash some millennial pink nail polish and add gold glitter on the tips.

Skittles Nails

Red, green and something in between – choose purple for an unexpected holiday twist. Candy-colored nails are fun if you prefer to channel the inner excited-for-Christmas kid inside of you.

Holiday French Tips

For a subtle take on your holiday nails, wear French tips with a hint of green. Throw in some white and browns to keep it cool and low-key.