Festive Holiday Nail Designs for the Season’s Merriest Manicure

Published on: 12/15/2020 5:43 pm

Hanging stockings with care this December? Imagine how good a holiday manicure would look decorating that merry mantle.

That’s right. Tis the season of all things festive and that should include your nails. We’re not talking a simple slick of red or green polish either. A quick Instagram search for holiday Christmas nails will inspire you with eye-popping xmas nail art that’s definitely on the nice list.  

However, you don’t have to look any further than this post for winter nail designs so cute you won’t even want to wear gloves. The only difficult part will be settling on just one. Fortunately, with New Year’s Eve soon to follow, you have several weeks worth of celebrations to plan your polish around. Who knows, you may decide to switch out your holiday nails each week!

Ready to try your hand at nail art designs for the holidays? These seasonal nail designs are perfect for those of us who need a little more holly jolly in our lives.

Festive Nails

Looking for a mani that can take you from Christmas to Kwanza to New Years? Stick with a shimmer polish. There are endless ways to display your sparkle.

You might try a green with gold glitter flecks, a red with silver specs, or a champagne shine.

Stars are another way to add some twinkle, literally. Star nail art was #trending this summer, but transitions beautifully this time of year, too. Whether you have your nail pro add one oversized star at the center of your nail bed or go for a subtler starry motif on the tips, shimmery celestial nails are superstars.

Of course, it’s not just about the color polish you pick, but how it’s applied. Giving your nails some negative space will help the polished parts appear even more luminous.

Image courtesy of @basecoatstories Instagram

Feel like blending the two? Try coating the base of your nail with something glittery and defining the tips of your nails in a soft red or green. It’s a sophisticated take on a French manicure that will have you shining like the city of lights.

Image courtesy of @lijana_varna Instagram

Christmas Nails

There are as many ways to paint your nails for Christmas as there are ways to celebrate, but these are a few of our favorites.

A classic combo like green and gold will certainly help you have yourself a merry little Christmas. Whether you apply them abstractly, geometrically, or as an accent nail, some color combos are a gift all on their own.

Image courtesy of @Perfectly_Polished_Jessica Instagram

Absolutely everyone is trying plaid nails this year. From flannel to buffalo, this classic crisscross pattern is part edgy and totally trendy.

Image courtesy of @me_crystal_b Instagram

Red nail designs from candy cane stripes to sugar plum berries will definitely help you spread some serious Christmas cheer.

Image courtesy of @Tracys.Top.Claws Instagram

Holiday polka dots are another crowd favorite. Red and green are the obvious choice, but they’re not the only ones. You can alternate primary colors and polka dot shades to keep it interesting or go with secondary Christmas colors like blue hues.

Image courtesy of @Perfectly_Polished_Jessica Instagram

Christmas acrylic nails can accommodate entire holiday scenes from trees and ornaments to poinsettias and reindeer.

Image courtesy of @aimieball__nailsandbeauty Instagram

Simple Nail Designs

Your nails don’t have to be ornate to be ornamental. If simple, easy Christmas nails are more your speed, try out a more subdued shellac.

An ombre snow effect that gently fades from opaque white to clear glossy “icicle” will have you looking and feeling cool as a cucumber. If you want to dress them up, center a small metallic bead at the base of your cuticle.

Image courtesy of @bozena_kaszuba_indigo Instagram

A chic silver manicure is always right on time, too. To give it a little holiday flair, ask your nail artist to add a carefully curated scattering of red or orbs of white.

Image courtesy of @natj_nails Instagram

Sometimes a little dimension is in order. A few tasteful tiny pearl “snowballs” are a conversation piece so pretty you won’t even need jewelry. A few simple strands of tinsel or wispy white snowflakes on an otherwise glossy base layer will create a no frills winter wonderland. It’s the perfect mix of neutral nail meets holiday nail design

Image courtesy of @misslizheart Instagram.

Not Christmasy enough? A nude or baby pink polish and an ultra-thin crimson tip will make the season bright.

Image courtesy of @rachelsuenails Instagram

Designing your nails for the holidays is tradition as timeless as the yuletide. Though just like Santa, it’s important to make sure you have the right little helpers to complete the job. If you can dream it, the right nail professional can paint it! 



Click on the Nail Care tab on ginasplatform.com to find the best nail salons in NYC and LA or use the Gina’s Platform app to find a Manicurist near you.

Gina Rivera

Gina Rivera

Beauty Icon and Expert

Gina Rivera skyrocketed to success when the company she founded in 2007, Phenix Salon Suites, became the fastest-growing salon suite company in the beauty industry. With more than 300 locations nationally and international expansion occurring in the UK, Entrepreneur Magazine named Phenix Salon Suites a Top 500 Franchise list seven years running.