10 Christmas-inspired nail art that you can jingle all the way to New Year’s Eve

By Malavika Pradeep

Updated Nov 25, 2022 at 11:24 AM

Reading time: 3 minutes

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It’s almost Christmas, baby! Ugly sweater parties, cookie swaps, and dreaded Secret Santa exchanges are pretty much in full swing. Your cats have already knocked down the makeshift tree in your living room twice and you’ve finally settled into the couch with your breakfast for a mini marathon of Hallmark Christmas movies. The holiday season has honestly never felt better.

But as you grab the TV remote with one hand, a steaming mug of coffee held in the other, you notice something’s off about the vibe. Yikes! With a jam-packed schedule, you’ve totally forgotten to get a festive manicure before Christmas.

Gone is the chance to post a cringey photo of your nails slithering around a Starbucks holiday cup and caption it along the lines of: “Here to sleigh!” Heck, your nail tech is probably on a well-deserved leave themselves and your seasonal brain cells haven’t reported for duty yet.

Well, don’t worry. Santa has his cookies and you shall have your nail art. Keeping us last-minute enthusiasts in mind, I’ve curated a list of inspirations that can get the creative gears in our heads churning in no time. The best part? Santa hats, gingerbread men, candy cans, snowflakes, holly accents, nutcrackers, mistletoe, and ‘Ho Ho Ho’ motifs are sitting this list out. Instead, the ideas jotted below can jingle all the way till New Year’s Eve and still stay relevant.

So, be it the cost of living crisis or situational laziness triggered as a byproduct of your priorities this holiday season, I recommend you to nestle into a cosy chair, scroll through this list, screenshot your favourite design, and deploy your DIY skills—fingers crossed. You should be good as long as you put a restraining order on that bottle of grinch green polish gnawing its way out of the drawer as we speak.

1. Diamond dust cuffs

Have you ever laid your eyes on something so subtle yet majestic?

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A post shared by Betina R. Goldstein (@betina_goldstein)

2. Festive dots

There’s nothing colourful 3D crystals can’t fix. Just throw on a base coat and assemble your embellishments to floor guests both during Christmas and New Year’s house parties. Brownie points if you match the set with your vajazzle (wink wink).

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A post shared by Michelle Humphrey 💅🏽 (@nailsbymh)

3. Arch french

It’s safe to say that there are no rules this festive season.

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A post shared by Miss Pop (@misspopnails)

4. Blizzard nails

That’s one way to ensure a white Christmas:

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A post shared by OPI (@opi)

5. Skittles nails

Championed by Harry Styles, the Skittles manicure involves different shades of varnish being applied to each nail. Given the fact that this trend is pretty much evergreen, it can be tweaked to fit both Christmas and New Year’s if you opt for pastel or jewel-toned shades. The possibilities are endless, if you ask me.

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A post shared by Nails.INC (@nailsinc)

6. Twinkling tips

If you’re only halfway feeling the holidays this year or want a very subtle look that mesmerises people under the disco light, give your nails some much-needed tip action. After applying a base coat, dip a disposable makeup sponge in some chunky glitter and gently press it on only your nail tips.

You can then either finish it off with a topcoat or use the tiniest crystals you can get your hands on for more razzle-dazzle.

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A post shared by ᴀɴᴅʀᴇᴀ (@nenapleasenails)

7. Glitter stripes

If you’re not a fan of blizzarding your nails with glitter, a single vertical stripe could get the job done in under five minutes. You can either use glitter powder and a detail brush or opt for strips of metallic tape to make your life easier.

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A post shared by Alicia Torello (@aliciatnails)

8. Pearlcore

According to Pinterest, pearlcore is one of the biggest age-inclusive trends of 2022. In an interview with SCREENSHOT about the iridescent aesthetic, nail artist Tuguldur “TJ” Erdenejargal said: “It’s always fun to try new things. So I recommend experimenting with pearlcore nail art, but of course, my advice is to be careful with your nails.”

As per TJ, one can choose to be very creative with pearlcore—in fact, that’s where the fun begins—without feeling the need to follow the trend blindly. So go ahead, fuse your pearlcore look with some festive dots or give it the Skittles treatment this Christmas to honour one of the most timeless aesthetics in existence.

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A post shared by TJ (Your Next Nail Guy) (@nailboii)

Here’s another inspo in case you lack a stable hand but still want to nail the pearly aesthetic:

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A post shared by ❤ Hang Nguyen ❤ (@thehangedit)

9. Cosmic Christmas

There’s snow way I’m doing any work with these gorgeous nails:

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A post shared by Imarni (@imarninails)

10. Half-moon manicures

We’ve previously recorded some cuticle and tip action. Now, it’s time for half-moon manicures to make their negative space debut. Leaving most of the nail naked, the manicure in question adds just the right amount of sparkle to make a statement. Ah, Christmas is in the air… and so is the smell of last-minute nail varnish.

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A post shared by Aprés Nail Official (@apresnailofficial)

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A post shared by Betina R. Goldstein (@betina_goldstein)

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