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'Tis the season for parties galore. Actually, scratch that. We never need an excuse to get a manicure. But sometimes we do need a little guidance on which colors, shapes and extras (studs, anyone?) make for an on-trend polish. So before you pick up your tried-and-true red--again--here’s some nail inspiration straight from the pros.

Darknail

Experiment with Dark Shades

Ballet pink is a classic, but put down the pastels for a minute. Staffers at the Spa at Dana are reaching for dark jewel tones and shades of gray this season. At The Spa at Virgin Hotels Chicago, it’s all about burgundy and wine hues (like Essie’s Bahama Mama) for holiday parties.

Sparkle1

Add Some Sparkle

Though your nails may be decked in a moody hue, a dusting of glitter is right on trend. Phew, right? Technicians at the Virgin spa advocate one glimmering “party nail” (usually the ring finger). And at Cowshed spa, rose-gold and copper shades are having a moment.

Studs

Go 3-D

Not one for dainty glitter? Let your punk flag fly with spiked studs. At The Spa at the Wit, technicians are dressing up nails with spikes set into custom patterns.

Coffin

Try a New Shape

Some people call it "squoval." Others, like a tech at The Wit, call it "coffin nails." Either way this shape--think stiletto nails but with a squared-off tip--is one to ask for this season.

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