Already Planning Your Holiday Nails? Here Are 25 Ideas to Save for December

Not to put the sleigh before the reindeer, but we’re of the mind that it’s never too early to start thinking about the holidays—especially when it comes to planning a festive manicure.

Whether you’re looking for some simple DIY options, prefer an intricate design and impressive nail art or love any excuse to wear glitter on your nails, we’ve got you covered.

Behold 25 holiday nails for anyone, no matter your level of skill or spirit.

The 15 Most Calming Nail Colors for Fall

Sleek Stripes

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

Evergreen Marbling

Use a blend of deep emerald tones to create the illusion of a forest of firs on your tips.

Red Marbling

Same idea, but with a cherry red instead.

Pearl Party

Can’t steady your hands enough to paint? You can always try some pearl stick ons.

Abstract Christmas Tree

We love a tiny hand-painted tree for those who prefer subtlety.

Tin Foil

One can never go wrong with some gold and glitter.

Sweater Pattern

Take a cue from Mari and try a calming white and pale grey palette.

Candy Cane Strips

When French tips meet a red candy cane stripe.

Painterly Strokes

We love the way the festive colors and gold foil pop against the white base.

Crystal Outline

Like the pearl accents above, these crystals can be glued on for an instant design.

Tartan Tips

Don’t forget the holly (jolly) berries.

Dainty Details

Can’t decide on the exact design? We love this mish mosh of festive lights, stars, snowflakes and Santa Clause.


Deck your nails with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la la.

Gold Foils

Green and gold: an underrated holiday duo.

Glitter Specks

Sometimes simple is best—especially when you’re in a time crunch. This sparkly mani is as easy as it gets; just apply a glittery polish to bare nails.

Jewel Tones

Here’s a chic transitional manicure to fall into winter.

Red Hearts

Wear it now, wear it later, wear it whenever. Red hearts are festive, no matter the time of year.

Blurred Lines

Like the right house wine, we love a red blend.

Boughs Of Holly

Chef’s kiss for this mistletoe design.

Gift Wrapped

A good option for shorter nails thanks to the vertical lines and neutral base color.

Festive Bulbs

We adore the simplicity of having just a single ornament per fingernail.

Crystal Half Moons

File this under intermediate nail art: Bejewel the base of your half-moon manicure with gold studs.

Poinsettia Tips

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.

Red Waves

For when an all red mani feels too predictable add some wavy lines to the mix.

Holiday Baubles

Use a dotting tool (or the tip of a ballpoint pen) to create these shiny little ornaments.

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...