December is such a special time because there are so many holidays to enjoy. The energy in the air is bright and celebratory—and you can express that energy through holiday nail looks. "A good nail color or design for the holidays can boost your mood and get you in the holiday spirit," says manicurist Lia Smith. "Expressing yourself through color is like decorating your home for the holidays." Lean into chunky glitters, fine shimmers, rich jewel tones, and festive motifs to keep a little piece of the holiday spirit right at your fingertips.
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To inspire your look, take a peek at the following 50 holiday nail ideas.
“Cold Spell is the perfect holiday nail look with a neutral base and silver French tip, complementing every holiday outfit and just the right amount of sparkle,” says Paintbox creative director Mabelyn Alva. “We love how understated yet eye-catching this nail design is for the holiday season.”
Dive deep into holiday jewel tones with this manicure that features ornament stickers from Deco Miami ($10).
Manicurist Julie Kandalec created this molten lava nail look for Zoe Saldana's winter 2022 cover of InStyle using polishes from OPI.
A rich blue is the star of this Hanukkah nail look. Some nails get a solid coat of blue while others feature a marbled stream of white, blue, and silver running down the middle.
Featuring gel-X tips, this design takes advantage of the underside of the nails, with little surprise peppermints.
With a super clean base, these Deco Miami Nail Stickers ($10) really shine. They feature cardinals, gingerbread people, candy canes, and more.
Glitter, Of Course
This blue look features a dusty blue in a few different ways—solid, topped with glitter, and glittery nail tip.
NYE Color Blocking
Red tips get a festive update with a jeweled cross and small crystals. Because the design is on a long nail, you really get to appreciate the color of the nail and the intricacy of the cross.
This deep navy design features silver and gold accents that mimic the shape of the nail. It's sleek and gorgeous.
Simple and Classic
This stunning shade of navy screams winter. A silver gradient glitter gives it a festive upgrade.
A few coats of Serendipity ($11) Orly is all you need for this iridescent, holiday-ready nail look. It provides streak-free coverage while remaining a bit translucent.
Embody the Grinch with these angular green tip nails. The tip design is a triangle instead of round and the nail shape is square, creating a ton of sharp lines.
Gold Foil Foliage
Super pretty sprigs of evergreen and red berries are accented with gold foil to give this nail look a regal finish.
This navy nail design features a watercolor effect on a few nails. Paired with gold leaf, it looks like a blue agate crystal.
If you love a pink nail no matter the season, do a Christmas look atop an opaque baby-pink base. This one features holly berries and white shimmer.
Featuring a white base, this nail design details holly berries and robins with black outlines for a hand-sketched effect.
Bow Tie Reindeer
This cute design features a very formal reindeer sporting a polka dot bowtie along with holly berries and sprigs of green.
Cranberry, lilac, and deep purple swirls serve as the base of this matte look. It features gold chrome Christmas trees and stars.
Go for a galactic look with this design. It has a shimmery shade of blue that trickles down a nude sheer base. Then, it features white moons and stars to seal in the intergalactic vibes.
This design, featuring ornaments, Christmas trees, Santa, and more, looks like a scene straight off a roll of wrapping paper.
Chrome accents pop against this super deep shade of navy. It's so dark it nearly looks black.
Glitter acts as snow in this winter wonderland design. The glitter collects at the tip of this design and is the base of little floating designs of snowmen, reindeer, and more.
This nail look also embodies wrapping paper vibes, with a black and white grid design and a navy base with snowy trees.
Red and white anchor this Christmas design that features Santa hats, reindeer, stars, and Christmas trees. Plus, it has lots of shimmer.
Santa and Rudolph
This silly little design showcases Santa and Rudolph along with snow on a red background.
Mix 'n Match
Red and white candy stripes, gold glitter, deep green, and multi-colored lights make up this festive design.
Glossy and matte top coats take this plain blue design up a notch. It's extremely simple yet impactful.
Each nail in this design gets transformed into a glittery present in shades of purple, blue, green gold, and pink.
Bask in glitter with this silver-and-black nail tip design. It's on a milky white base to make the look super wintery.
This nutcracker nail design is seriously impressive. Each nail features a different part of the nutcracker so each detail is large enough to really be seen and appreciated.
All Glitter Everything
Purple and red glitter polishes were used to create this design. It features stars, stripes, and Christmas trees on a white base.
Candy Cane Micro French
This micro-tip clear nail design features a really dainty candy cane stripe and holly berries. It's incredibly simple but super fun.
This Black French tip design is accented with a thin silver outline that makes it perfect for New Year's Eve. It's sleek yet celebratory.
Polka Dot Rudolph
This sweet design features a beige base with white and gold polka dots. Rudolph makes a surprise appearance on one nail.
Dark as the night sky, this deep navy blue is the perfect complement to a single-starry design. It has a nude, sheer base with a shimmery blue gradient and white stars.
Polkadots are a great option when you want a little interest with minimal effort. This design features blue and white mini dots on a nude, sheer base flanked by blue solid nails.
With a glittery green base, this adorable design showcases little Christmas designs on each nail, like Santa, candy canes, and more.
Plaid & Sparkle
Red, black, white, and sparkles are the elements that make up this design. It features plaid, bows, snowflakes, and crystals.
Nothing says glamour like gold, so use it to breathe some life into a simple black-and-white design to ring in the new year.
Perfect for a simple Hanukkah mani, this look features a milky nude base and a thin blue French tip.
With colors like gold and white, you can go for an intricate look that isn't super loud, like this abstract design.
Blue & Silver
Elevate a simple blue manicure with chunky glitter to get your nails holiday-ready. The shade of blue used for this look is super vibrant, keeping the vibe super festive.
Although we typically lean into silver and gold for holiday metallics, rose gold can give a similar celebratory effect. This design features a rose gold chrome alongside a soft pale pink.
Stripes are a super easy way to achieve a fun and festive holiday manicure. This look features deep blue, light blue, and gold glitter.
Teeny tiny Christmas trees are the focus of this nail look. To keep things uncomplicated, the trees are only on one nail per hand and the other nails have a glittery coat of deep green.
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