5 Grown Up Ideas for Christmas Nails (That Aren't Tacky Reindeer)
When it comes to holiday décor there are two types of people: Those who go full out on decking their halls (think: your next-door neighbor who has every colored light and animal from the nativity scene on their front lawn) and those who prefer a more understated set up (a simple string of white lights, perhaps). The same rings true for holiday nail art.
For our fellow nail art minimalists: We teamed up with our friends at Olive & June to bring you five nail art ideas that are festive, sleek and totally doable at home.
1. Shiny Ornament Mani
Negative space nail art—that is, intentionally leaving the base of your nails bare—is every minimalist’s dream because it’s visually clean and the grow out is seamless. For a holiday twist that’s reminiscent of shiny ornaments, dip a toothpick in a darker polish (we used a sable brown here) and create a cluster of tiny dots near the tip of your nail, making sure to keep space between them. Follow with a few dots of rose gold, gold, and a finishing touch of silver polish for contrast. Let dry for a few minutes, slick on a top coat and admire your handiwork.
2. Bow Tie Mani
For a sleek, geometric take on a classic red mani, try a triangle cut out at the base of your nails. Using your favorite red polish paint a diagonal stroke across from one side of your nail bed to the opposite side, ending at the tip; repeat on the other side, leaving a triangular window in the center of your cuticle. Apply a second coat of red to really make it pop. Let dry for a few minutes and finish with top coat.
3. Candy Cane Contrast
For a candy cane mani that’s a little less saccharine than the ones of Christmases past, we’d recommend a glimmering gold base topped with a simple dash of red. To recreate the look, paint two coats of gold polish on the entire nail. Then, take a red polish and create a diagonal line from the base of your nail to the tip. Speaking of tips, here’s one: Don’t go crazy trying to paint perfectly straight lines; let the brush do the work for you by sweeping the bristles across in one deliberate motion. (Trust us, it’s better this way.) Follow with a second coat of red and—you guessed it—a top coat to finish.
4. Holiday Ombré
Ah, the wabi sabi nail trend lives on, and, to borrow from one of our favorite Christmas tunes: It doesn’t show signs of stopping. The beauty of this look is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Choose a palette of festive hues like we did here and get to painting. And if you need a bit of guidance, we’d recommend anchoring the pinky and thumb with the darkest shades and keeping the rest merry and bright, as they say.
5. Double Metallic Crescents
OK, now that you’ve graduated to intermediate level nail artistry (congrats, by the way), you’re ready for the next design. Grab a silver polish and paint a half-moon crescent at the base of each nail. (Don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be perfect.) Apply a second coat of silver to enhance the color. Next, use a gold polish to swipe on a gilded French tip. (Again, don't worry about it being perfect, you can clean up any wobbly lines later.) Add a second coat of gold. Now comes the part you’ve been waiting for: Dip a slim, angled brush into polish remover and clean up any shaky lines. Let them dry and finish with a shiny top coat. By golly, you’ve done it.