December is upon us, and so is Christmas, Hanukkah and holy cannoli, New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. While this year’s celebrations may look a little different, you can still deck your nails with holly, glitter and more fun designs to celebrate the season.
Whether your nails are short or long, we’ve got ideas for everyone, from the skilled home manicurist to the first-timer, to give you easy, festive design inspo for the holiday season.
Two things we love are Starbucks holiday cups and festive manicures, and UK-based nail artist Frenchie Fabulous from Neverland Nails created this major nail moment. You can try your hand at this at home, she says, explaining, “To nail stripes at home, striping tape is a great idea! To freehand, you can mask using tape, and peel away for a straight line, and keep a clean brush at hand to neaten up your lines.”
She adds, “To create the perfect twinkly star, use a dotting tool, toothpick or the end of a brush to create a spot on the nail, and with a thin brush, drag away from the dot to create the star shapes.
OPI Infinite Shine Gel Lacquer in Malaga Wine ($12.95; target.com)
This rich red wine color is close to the red on Starbucks cups and will help you create many festive looks.
Essie Nail Polish in Off Tropic ($8.99; target.com)
This deep green works well for Christmas nails and is on-trend for dark nails all winter long.
Sundays No. 44 Nail Polish ($18; dearsundays.com)
This pale mint color from one of our favorite long-lasting polish brands works as a great accent behind a snowflake for your Starbucks cup nails.
Essie Nail Polish in Blanc ($8.99; target.com)
This simple white polish is perfect for snowflakes and accents. Make sure you don’t pick up a sheer white, it won’t have the impact you’re looking for.
Scotch Flamingo Sights Washi Tape, 3-Pack ($4.99; target.com)
You’ll be colorblocking into January with this fun washi tape that won’t stick and pull off your polish.
Try these cute glittery looks at home with tips from creator, UK-based nail artist Emma Leeds.
To get started, Leeds says, “Rest your arm on a flat surface to keep a steady hand. Always use a base coat polish to avoid staining your nails. Apply coats of polish thinly and wait several minutes between each coat.”
“To perfect a glitter nail, evenly dust the glitter over a wet top coat, once fully dry re-apply the topcoat. If you want a bright color to really pop, use a coat of white underneath,” says Leeds. “If you’re skilled enough to hand-paint nail art, I would recommend investing in a professional nail art brush.”
Sephora Collection Color Hit Mini Nail Polish in Gold Fever ($5; sephora.com)
Get a glittery gold sparkle with this mini polish that feels so festive.
Sundays S.01 Rose Gold Nail Polish ($18; dearsundays.com)
If you’re looking for a bit of shimmer without the chunky sparkle, this rose gold polish is such a stunner.
Warmfits Holographic Nail Glitter ($9.99; amazon.com)
If you want to dust on your glitter, this set offers 12 colors that will keep you sparkling through the holidays and beyond.
Dior Vernis Gel Shine & Long Wear Nail Lacquer in Rouge 999 ($28; macys.com)
Bright red and ready to party — even if it’s virtually — you’ll be ready for anything with this 5-star rated Dior polish.
Winstonia Nail Art Brushes Set, 5-Pieces ($9.95; amazon.com)
Create festive designs like reindeer, santas or stripes and snowflakes, with this highly rated professional nail kit.
Olive & June The Poppy Manicure Tool ($16; target.com)
Keep your hand steady and your lines tight with this super handy tool that makes it so much easier to control your polish brush.
China Glaze Nail Lacquer in Counting Carats ($6.38 with code FRIEND; macys.com)
Sparkle and shine with this 5-star rated, large-fleck gold glitter polish. Create an accent nail look, or use to top another color for a multi-dimensional look.
Kiss ImPress Press-on Manicure Kit Holiday Designs ($8.99; walmart.com)
Want to get the look with half the effort during the busy holiday season? Try these easy press-on nails from Kiss with candy cane stripes and sparkles galore.
Kiss Gel Fantasy False Nails in Rush Hour ($8.99; target.com)
Looking for something a little more subtle? Try this mix of red, sparkly and pink nails to create a look that’s unique to you.
Beetles Gel Nail Polish Set ($13.99, originally $14.99; amazon.com)
SunUV Gel Nail Light ($26.99; amazon.com)
Set your at-home gel looks in place with this highly-rated, well-priced UV nail lamp.
Dior Abricot Top Coat ($28; macys.com)
You’ll want to set your nail art with a strong top coat, and this one from Dior will keep your mani looking shiny and fresh.
L’Occitane Shea Nail And Cuticle Oil ($19.50; amazon.com and sephora.com)
Keep your nails and cuticles looking and feeling soft and pretty with this nourishing treatment.
Tweezerman Mini Nail Rescue Kit ($19.80; amazon.com)
Keep your nails and cuticles on point with this highly-rated kit from manicurist fave Tweezerman.
Nécessaire The Hand Cream ($20; nordstrom.com)
Your hands and cuticles will feel soft and supple when you use this lovely unscented hand cream before your glam up your nails.