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60 Holiday Nail Art Designs to Get You in a Festive Mood

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Whether you’re the type of person who rips down Halloween decor and starts setting up for the next holiday the second the calendar hits Nov. 1, or you reluctantly start streaming holiday movies on Dec. 1, there’s a holiday nail art design that will perfectly match your mood. Plus, nothing is more fun than treating yourself to a little mani date, where you can splurge and get the fun design you’ve been dreaming about all year long. If you’re more of a DIY gal (*raises hand*), most of these designs are actually simple enough to tackle at home. 

If you’re here, we’re assuming you’re ready to swap out that sensible nude nail polish in favor of something festive, so we’ve gathered a slew of holiday manicures to try. Plus, we’ve tapped a team of pro nail artists (celeb manicurists Miss Pop and Hannah Lee) to give you step-by-step tutorials on a few of their faves — so you can kick your DIY game up a notch. So whether your vibe is Santa-approved hues, wintery glitter, or cozy plaids, these 60 holiday nail designs are ready to rock straight into the new year.

1. Popping Fireworks 

Image of a model's hand with a black, fireworks themed nail art mani

Midnight black base, shimmery gold flashes, and a sprinkle of glitter confetti—it’s an ideal mani for ringing in a much-needed new year. Not sure where to start? After painting nails, the key is in the striper or liner brush. Dip it in gold paint and start at the base of the firework, extending outwards. Striper brushes “tend to be a little longer which makes for an easier time, but if you can’t find one, it's okay! A smaller brush will work too,” says Lee.

2. Cozy Snowflakes

Image of a model's hand with a red and white snowflakes and sweater themed nail art mani

Sweater weather is the best weather (Don’t @ us). Whether it’s a full-on snow situation outside or a southern 60 degree “winter,” this manicure will complement your cozy couch plans perfectly. “You actually don’t need any special tools for nail art,” says Lee. “You can use household items like an old eyeliner brush, bobby pin for dots, or scotch tape.”

3. Ornamental Stars

Close-up image of a model's hand with red mani embellished with rhinestones and studs against a green background with silver lace ribbons

Something about three dimensional decorations (like rhinestones or studs) makes any mani feel 100x more luxurious, and these glossy red nails with light-catching stars from Miss Pop will make you feel like a million bucks.

4. Candy Cane Party

Close-up image of a model's hand with a peppermint, candy cane, and Christmas tree themed nail art mani holding a shiny rainbow colored ribbon

This mani is over-the-top in the best way ever. Since this one requires quite a bit of line work, Miss Pop gives us a quick 101 on best practices: “So much of nail art is about how much pressure you apply to the brush. Be gentle! Let the brush do the work. To polish your nails, get a good bead of polish on the tip. To create a line, wipe the brush until the polish is smoothed into the shape of the brush.” With those words of advice, it’s time to start painting. Feeling a little overwhelmed? That’s okay! If you are a beginner, Miss Pop recommends simplifying the design with polka dots in a mix of all of the different colors. Festive and easy!

5. Fresh Fallen Snow

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No matter your feelings on frozen precipitation, we can all agree the first blanket of snow is something special. Mimic that winter wonderland magic on your mani with this glittery ombré design.

6. Classic Red French

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Simple, elegant, and surprisingly versatile. Swap out traditional French tips with a fiery red hue for a touch of glam that’ll work with any outfit.

7. Metallic Micro Tips

Teeny tiny tips? We’re obsessed. Opt for multicolored metallics, keep ‘em uniform, or pick any colors your heart desires.

8. Gold Leaf

High shine and so chic—a sprinkling of gold leaf over a sheer base coat makes for one seriously luxurious manicure design. Plus, it’s surprisingly easy if you choose to DIY!

9. Holiday Plaid

With a palette of sage green, creamy white, and deep burgundy, these plaid accent nails offer a gentler take on traditional Christmas colors.

10. Retro Color-Blocking

For those with dinner parties on the horizon, this mani (inspired by mid century wrapping paper motifs) will make you feel like you’re at a ‘60s-era soirée. Perfect for indulging in all the amuse-bouches you can eat!

11. Green & Gold Marble

This color combo is a match made in heaven. The rich green marbling gets an extra kick of dimension with a bit of high-shine yellow gold.

12. Dainty Mistletoe

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Thinly painted branches, berry-colored dots, and a touch of (our fave) gold leaf. With this wintery botanical design, you’ll always have a little mistletoe on hand.

13. Peppermint Half Moons

Want a subtle holiday-themed manicure? Look no further. Get a lowkey (but still statement-worthy) take on the iconic candy cane design with peppermint half moons peeking out from the base of your nail.

14. Gingerbread Mani

Whether you’re known for architecting epic houses or just there to snack on the decorations, get in on the sweet-and-spicy fun with gingerbread nails. A bronze base like CONTEXT SKIN Nail Lacquer in Shake Me will kick it up an extra notch.

15. Winter Blues

Monochromatic blue swoops as cute as these are guaranteed to chase away any cold weather melancholy.

16. Sweater Texture

Since we’re all living in chunky knits 24/7 these days, these warm and cozy sweater nails will complement every soft layer you’re wrapped in.

17. Coffee Swirl

Still drinking iced coffee in winter? Recreate that mesmerizing moment you pour cream into your coffee (and watch the colors swirl together) with a café au lait-inspired mani.

18. Christmas Tree Confetti

This glittery green base with multi-colored confetti is like an ornament-filled tree—with a shining star on top, obviously.

19. Gemstone Bands

Feel like the royalty you are this holiday season with gemstones and rich gold tones. Pair with chunky acrylic rings and gold stacking bands for an over-the-top, glitzy aesthetic.

20. Eclectic Christmas

Can’t decide on a holiday theme? This holiday nail art look features bows, holly, mistletoe, candy canes, and bands of ornaments—proof you really can have it all.

21. Sugarcoated 

Finally, a manicure that truly represents our neverending cravings for candy. The glitter-as-a-top coat creates a sugar-like effect that is both sweet and chic.

22. Negative Space Crimson

Not only is this negative space spin on a holiday red mani insanely good looking, but the swoopy half-nail design is so easy to achieve—no fancy tools required!

23. Glitter Tips 

Burgundy base and gold glitter french tips? You can’t name a better holiday duo. Get the look with LAW BEAUTY ESSENTIALS Nail Polish in 2PM Wine.

24. Multicolored Neutrals

This one’s for the minimalists at heart. Each nail gets a fave shade and is topped with a little dot of gold polish for extra flair.

25. Starry Night

Yes, the sun now sets at 4 p.m., but that just leaves more time for stargazing! Show off your love of the celestial with these shimmery stars against a night-like dark polish.

26. Grinch-Approved

With this mani, you’ll have the snazziest nails in Whoville and your heart may or may not grow three times its size.

27. Northern Lights

It’s mood-ring-meets-aurora-borealis. Thermal polish creates an out-of-this-world effect that will shift colors every time you grab a warm cup of coffee...or forget your gloves on a cold day.

28. Midnight Gradient

Winter is the perfect time to bring out your moodiest polish shades. We can’t get enough of this deep blue ombré manicure.

29. NYE Bling

Need an eye-catching look for watching the ball drop? Crystal-like shards of holographic glitter make for majorly light reflecting nails that’ll definitely turn heads.

30. Tortoiseshell 

We love a tortie mani any time of year, but it feels like a no-brainer in winter. Stick with the classic palette of brown hues or switch it up and go for a mix of blue or green tones.

31. Icy Holographic

Glitter has become a welcome addition to the neutral crew, but now we’d like to offer up the holographic-as-a-neutral trend. This French “fade” design is on the top of our must-have list.

32. Gold Glitter Accent Nails

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Give your go-to manicure a festive twist with a swipe of gold glitter on each nail.

33. Quirky Santa

Rudolph and Santa get a cartoon twist with this quirky mani.

34. Subtle French Manicure

While the French manicure is chic all year round, there’s something even more fancy-looking about the smallest amount of white polish on otherwise bare nails. Add a swipe of glitter to really turn it up a notch.

35. Organic Shapes

Even if Christmas isn’t your holiday, there’s something about green nail polish that screams the winter holiday season. Just as the talented folks at Paintbox Nails.

36. Girl with the Pearly French

Manicurist Hang Nguyen, who goes by @thehangedit on Instagram, creates next-level nail art designs that turn heads. This pearl-accented one she so accurately named Girl with the Pearly French feels especially festive for a holiday party. Follow her!

37. Christmas Light Nails

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There are an infinite number of Christmas nail designs to choose from but Christmas lights are up there among our favorites. You can mix up the colors to your liking, even trying neons and pastel hues.

38. Snowflake Nails

We love how this nail artist switched up simple snowflake nails and added glitter nails and glitter accents. All of a sudden, winter nails are perfect for New Year’s Eve, too.

39. Mixed Metals

Chanel nail artist Betina Goldstein doesn’t just follow nail trends, she creates them. We love how she used two nail colors instead of just one metallic for this eye-catching mani.

40. Bright Red Nails

Apple-red nails will always feel festive for the holiday season, even if you use just one color like this OPI one. Festive nails can actually be really simple.

41. Winter White

Upgrade basic white gel nails, like this one with ESSIE polish, by adding a textured top coat. Et Voilà! Festive.

42. Shades of Brown

Shades of cinnamon, almond, and chocolate feel so fresh for the cooler months.

43. Chanukah Nails

These Star of David nails are perfect for a holiday dinner—especially with the two different glitter shades.

44. Glazed Donut Nails

The pearly nail trend blew up this year, thanks in part to Hailey Bieber. It looks holiday-ready in both pearly white and brown shades.

45. Green French Mani

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Simple French manicure too simple for you? Add trendy and winter-ready green to the mix.

46. Cheetah Nails

Update your winter-y brown hues with Cheetah-print accents on the tips. How cool is that?!

47. Winter Scene

The intricate detail of these winter scene nails might take a professional—or some DIY nail decals or stickers. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

48. Gift Wrap Nails

Each holiday nail art design is basically its own present. What’s more festive than that?

49. Happy Chanukah Nails

The gold, silver, and blue nail polish shades ensure this manicure is holiday-ready.

50. Gingerbread Nails

What’s cuter than a gingerbread cookie?! Paint the little design on a few accent nails for a festive twist on the classics.

51. Starry Night Nails

These blue nails with silver stars can represent Chanukah or chilly winter nights, but either way, this drip is classic, cute, and subtle at the same time.

52. Christmas Berries

We love the fact that these holiday nails have a nude base, so your mani will appear clean and festive at the same time.

53. Santa Hat

If you want to celebrate the holidays, but you’re not really a nail-art person, this festive take on French tips incorporates a nod to in one gorgeous, minimalist mani look.

54. Plaid Mix Up

When the holidays roll around, I’m mad for plaid, and this subtle winter nail nod gives you a bit of whimsy and festive plaid lines to balance out the look. 

55. Blue Candy Canes

Because traditional candy canes are boring! Just kidding, but if you want a fun twist on holiday nails, think outside the color palette of traditional reds and greens.

56. Christmas Brush Strokes

No artistic skills? No problem! Uneven lines are key to nailing this Christmas look.

57. Subtle Sparkle

The holidays are what you make of them, and this mani is proof. It’s a fun take on fall colors, while also adding just a bit of sparkle on a stand-out nail.

58. Marshmallow Tips

Is the best part of the holidays busting out the hot chocolate? Channel your love of cocoa and marshmallows with this marshmallow-tip inspired mani that anyone can do from home. 

59. Sharp Objects

The combo of extra sharp, extra long nails with this slanted French twist makes for a luxe-looking mani that’s ready to slay at any holiday party.

60. Smiling Santa

Can you draw a circle? Then you can more than likely nail this nail art idea. Just one finger pays a nod to the holidays by incorporating a cute (and smiling!) santa. 

Want in on more nail and beauty inspo? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own IPSY beauty subscription. Already an IPSY member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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About the author
Hannah Cassidy
Hannah is a beauty editor at IPSY and has been creating content for fashion, beauty, and wellness in Los Angeles for over five years. Outside of the beauty world, she’s an avid vintage collector and dog mom to Pumpkin and Turtle.
About the author
Brittany Leitner
Brittany is an award winning beauty, health, and lifestyle writer and author of the poetry book "23 Emotions." She has eight years of experience writing for brands like Elite Daily, The. Dr. Oz Show, Shape, Stylecaster, Bustle, and more.
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Article Last Updated November 27, 2023 12:00 AM