Ready for Christmas Nails? Here Are 39 Festive Ideas to Try Now

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When it comes to holiday decor, there are two types of people: those who go all out decking their halls (like 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 setup (a simple string of white lights, perhaps). The same rings true for holiday nail art. Whether you just want some simple-yet-festive polish shades to consider or a full-on party-ready design, we've got 39 Christmas nails to inspire you.

15 Winter Nail Colors for the Merriest Manicure Ever

1. Magnet Nails

Also known as "cat-eye" nails, this mesmerizing mani is created in salons by adding a sparkly coat over a solid base color that's then lifted using a small magnet tool.

2. Gilded Accents

You can never go wrong with a few artfully placed ribbons of gold polish against nude nails. (Psst! These are press ons, which make them even easier to try.)

3. Wrapping Paper

All you need is a metallic base, a striping brush and a few of your most festive shades to turn your tips into wrapping paper.

4. Glitter Top Coat

Another simple option to consider (especially if you’re in a time crunch) is a glitter top coat. Sweep onto bare nails and be dazzled by the sparkles.

5. Floating Manicure

A sliver of negative space at the base of your nails elevates a basic metallic mani (and allows for the smoothest grow out).

6. Red Gradient Tips

At first glance, it's just red tips, but look a little closer and you'll see a subtle gradient of crimson shades.

7. Full-on Glitz

But hey, if you are in the mood to shine, 'tis the season for it.

8. Gold Foil Manicure

Another option for the shine-inclined? Foil wraps that you place over your nails, cure with your blow dryer and file off the excess. No painting or dry time involved.

9. Red And Gold

So sleek, so festive and so easy to wear. These ready-made polish strips are a Godsend.

10. Split Green Tips

You could say that they're evergreen.

11. Bright Bulbs

For the home nail artists out there, with a solid set of brushes you can hand paint a single ornament on each finger.

12. Poinsettia Petals

Nude or red flowers, we leave that to you. Just make sure to outline the petals with thin black lines to make them stand out. We'd recommend a fine striping brush for this task.

13. Snowman in the Snow

Get your dotting tools ready. It's time to make it snow on your nails. Complete the look with a little snowman (which you can also create with your new dotting tools).

14. Gray And Gold

Here's a color combo you might not have thought of for the holidays: a creamy gray and glittery gold. It's both luxe and low-key at the same time.

15. Dotted Bulbs

Remember that dotting tool kit we recommended above? It really is the gift that keeps on giving. Bring it out for yet another holiday mani: a cluster of shiny ornaments.

16. Abstract Candy Cane Stripes

It's more candy cane inspired than an exact replica, which we appreciate.

17. Foiled Accents

Similar idea, but with little gold (or silver) flecks of foil that you can simply brush onto your nails. Again, seal it in with topcoat and you're good to go.

18. Modern French Tips

We love the thicker French tip on this design and the slender glittery line that runs down the center of the nail (which, by the way, has an elongating effect on shorter nails).

19. Slanted Stripes

It doesn’t get more classic than a set of red and gold stripes. Plus, you can do this design at home with polish and some painter’s tape.

20. Black And Gold Dots

Aka the tiniest (and possibly chicest) nod to the holidays.

21. One Fine French

Cap off a merlot mani with the thinnest gold tip for an unexpected glimmer whenever you move your hands.

22. Abstract Christmas Tree

Oh, Christmas tree, oh, Christmas tree, how lovely are your sequins.

23. Sparkling Red

Could this shimmery red mani be any more festive? It's also worth noting that these are polish strips as well. (Guys, they really are worth trying.)

24. White And Gray

Doesn't this calming white and gray pattern remind you of a cozy throw?

25. Snowflakes

Have some fa fa la la fun and freehand a snowflake (remember: no two are the exactly the same) over a bed of glitter.

26. Plaid Print

Reluctant to go full Christmas tree? Try a sage green and plaid accent nail (or two) to keep it festive but fashion.

27. Red Marbling

We love marbling because it's a classic technique that you can customize to fit any season just by switching up your base color. In this case, you'd paint your nails red, add a few drops of white polish and swirl them together with a brush.

28. Double Marbled

Double the marble, double the (holiday) fun. That's how the saying goes, right?

29. Sharp Angles

Prefer crisp, architectural lines? Here's a design you could try instead (using that painter's tape from before).

30. Candy Cane Swoops

Paint the red and white lines so they taper off to one side to create a little hook (like the actual candy itself).

31. Classic Cherry Red

Red nails are classic for a reason, and are particularly fitting during the holiday season.

32. Nordic Patterns

Here's another holiday nail art challenge for the proficient painters out there: Nordic patterns in white polish.

33. Slivers of Red

Shall we try some skinny red tips this year? Oui oui.

34. Slivers of Green

Same idea, but with green and a squared-off shape.

35. Gold Gift Wrap

This is a good option for people with naturally shorter nail beds thanks to the vertical lines and neutral base color.

36. Tartan Tips

We love the way the gold dashes give the entire look a cozy texture that reminds us of our favorite winter scarf.

37. Rainbow Glitter

It's like the festival of lights on your nails.

38. Matte Finish

Black matte nails wouldn't be the first idea that comes to mind for a Christmas mani, but it oddly works. We particularly like the sharp contrast between the base and the white snowflakes and reindeer.

39. Heart-eyes

Inspired by Comme des Garçons, this merry mani gives us (ahem) heart eyes. Tip: Swap out the black dots for white or gold ones instead to up the festivity factor.

Jenny Jin Headshot Vertical 2023

Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...