Ideas for Holiday Manicures


    People typically show their holiday spirit by wearing garb in theme with the season, like red and green sweaters for Christmas, star-spangled banner hats and clothes for the 4th of July, and scary costumes for Halloween.

    The same logic applies to manicure designs. As we prepare for Christmas, you might want your nails to show that you’re excited about the holidays and make a fashion statement that is in theme with the season. 

    Having a holiday-inspired manicure design is an awesome way of showing that you’re in your best holiday spirit while looking chic and on flick at the same time. You can go all in by having your nails painted with Christmas-inspired motifs, like the classic red and green, a bearded Santa and his reindeer, mistletoes, a Christmas tree, or even a nativity scene. Or you can also opt to go with a more subtle design that looks simpler but still in theme with the holidays nonetheless.

    Here are some holiday-themed manicure designs that you might want to try:

    Red Wrapping Paper Nails

    The red wrapping paper inspires this manicure design that you’d usually find covering the gifts underneath the Christmas tree. To achieve this design, simply create crisscrossing patterns on three nails–the design should look like a windowpane plaid. Use red nail polish to make the crisscross pattern, while you can use light, ballerina-pink color nail polish for the base.   

    red christmas ornament and red nail polish

    Diagonal Red

    If you want to cover your nails with a nail polish design that’s bright and popping, you may want to give the diagonal red manicure design a try. The bright red nails that this design promises to achieve are perfect for the holidays. Your bright red nails will surely remind those who see them of fun-filled holiday-themed memories like Santa’s suit, shiny red Christmas tree ornaments, candy canes, and cherries.

    But if the bright red is not enough for you or you want to spruce it up, you can always modify the classic look with a few tweaks. You can add a negative-space twist by applying a diagonal red polish leaning to one side. Leaning to one side leaves a little bit of natural nail visible. 

    Shimmering Silver Stars

    If you’re tired of or don’t want to experience the wait time that accompanies getting your nails done with nail polish, this option is perfect for you. This type of manicure design does not rely on the traditional liquid-based nail polish, so there’s no need for a drying time; nail wraps simply require that you stick it on then you’re good to go. 

    There are plenty of designs you can choose from, but we recommend you consider stick-on stars for the holidays. Adding these shimmering silver stars, with an extra touch of glitter alternately applied on the tips and cuticles to complement the shiny stick-on stars, will surely elevate the appearance of your nails.

    This design can turn otherwise bare nails into something chic and on theme! 

    Dashing Through the Gems

    Now, this design is a bit more complicated than the others, but the result is surely worth the extra work and effort. This particular manicure design requires a combination of nail polish and glued-on nail accessories to achieve.

    To achieve the ‘Dashing through the Gems’ look, you need to use a black base which can be complemented with light metallic dashes in gold and silver, and for a bit of texture, add glued-on gems. The result is guaranteed to look festive while at the same time maintaining an air of elegance.

    Asymmetrical Twinkling Tips

    If you’re thinking of pulling off a holiday outfit with a lot of bling, then this design may be what you’re looking for. To achieve this glittery gold manicure, simply top off otherwise nude nails with glitzy gold polish. Apply the nail polish from the tips, then dip it down to one side to make it asymmetrical. 

    It’s easy to achieve, has a modern look, and can make your holiday look expensive without using real gold bling and jewelry. 

    Buffalo Plaid

    This manicure design is perfect for people that want to achieve that rustic, lumberjack-themed look. With this design, you can channel the flannel even without wearing one. All you need to do is simply apply a red and black buffalo plaid manicure on your nails. 

    It’s a simple design, subtle, and easy to achieve.   

    hand with green and gold nail polish holding gift

    Green and Gold

    The Green and Gold manicure is another design inspired by traditional gift wrappings. A reminder of the good times and great gifts you found under the Christmas tree. You can achieve this design by adding a curved, deep green polish halfway through the nails, then complement the green polish by adding a wavy swipe of glimmering gold. 

    Christmas-themed Artsy Abstract Strokes

    This manicure design is fairly easy to achieve. All you need to do to get this look is apply snowy white polish and then add some artsy swipes of classic Christmas colors like red, green, and gold.

    Shiny Polka Dots

    You can achieve this manicure design by using red or gold nail polish as a base. After the base nail polish dries, use a dotting pen to make the polka dots. This manicure design may well last until the new year!

    Snowball Pearls

    This manicure design attempts to create a pattern reminiscent of snowballs. It’s a great design idea for the holidays if you want to be reminded of nostalgic memories of snowball fights during the holidays.

    This is another manicure design that doesn’t need nail polish. This design relies on glue- on faux pearls. The faux pearls can be arranged in two rows down the center of each nail to create the desired pattern.  

    Candy Cane

    Candy canes are popular design motifs for Christmas, so why not incorporate them in your nail art or manicure designs? It’s a simple, fun, eye-catching, and nostalgic pattern.

    To create the candy cane pattern on your nails, you can use white nail polish as a base and add red diagonal stripes to recreate the candy cane pattern. 

    People have different ways of showcasing their holiday spirit. Some people opt to be more lowkey or inconspicuous in celebrating the holidays, barely putting decorations, if any at all. While some people, on the other hand, prefer to go all in and all out in their celebration, going big on holiday home decor, blasting classic holiday anthems, and showcasing the holiday spirit in their everyday garb.

    The same thing applies to holiday-themed manicure designs; some people might prefer glitzy, vibrant, and festive designs. In contrast, some may prefer more laid-back options. Either way, what manicure design you’ll opt for is still your choice, and we hope this list helps you make the right decision for you and your nails!


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