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Merry Manicures That Pretty Up Your Fingers in 3 Easy Steps — 15 Festive Ideas

Pretty poinsettias, elegant wreaths and candy cane stripes!

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A gorgeous manicure acts like the star on top of a Christmas tree for any ensemble you’re donning this holiday season. So we gathered up holiday nail ideas that are sure to add festive fun to your fashion and your fingertips. From pretty poinsettias and elegant wreaths to twinkling lights and candy cane stripes, there’s a joyful option for everyone. And the best part is that you don’t have to go to the salon — you can re-create these looks with ease from home. Keep scrolling to see the gorgeous designs that only require a few polishes, tools and steps to achieve a wow-worthy manicure.

1. Holiday nail ideas: Chic candy cane stripes

Nails painted with a candy cane stripe design, one of the holiday nail ideas
Robert Milazzo

“The angled lines in this holiday nail look make your nails appear longer,” says celebrity manicurist Miss Pop. “And when it comes to Christmas, no candy is more festive than a candy cane!”

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of a red polish, like OPI in Big Apple Red (Buy from Ulta Beauty, $11.49), to all nails and let dry completely.
  2. Use a white striper polish, like FingerPaints Striping Polish in Hip Hip Hue-Ray (Buy from Sally Beauty, $3.49), to draw a thick diagonal stripe through the center of each nail. Next, draw two thin diagonal lines — one slightly above the thick stripe and another slightly below it. Let dry.
  3. Use a glittery silver striper polish, like China Glaze Stripe Rite in Pixel-ated (Buy from Walmart, $4.50) to paint a thin line down the center of each thick white stripe; let dry. Seal all nails with top coat.

Related: Red Nail Designs: Easy Ways To Add More Flair To This Classic Nail Color At Home

2. Sassy Santa suits

Nails painted with a Santa suit design
Victoria Janashvili

Painting on a Santa suit manicure will guarantee your name makes the nice list this year.

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of a red polish, like OPI in Big Apple Red (Buy from Ulta Beauty, $11.49), to all nails. Let dry.
  2. Use a white striper polish, like FingerPaints Striping Polish in Hip Hip Hue-Ray (Buy from Sally Beauty, $3.49), to draw a scalloped French tip across each nail. Then, use it to draw a line down each nail’s center.
  3. Using a black nail art pen, like Nails INC. Black Mani Marker (Buy from Sally Beauty, $5.19), make the suit’s belt buckle by drawing a small, negative-space rectangle at the center of the nail’s white stripe. Repeat on all nails and let dry. Seal all nails with top coat.

3. Holiday nail ideas: Twinkling trees

Nails painted with red polish and rhinestones in the shape of a Christmas tree, one holiday nail ideas
Robert Milazzo

“The sparkling ruby red polish and rhinestone tree reflect loads of light,” says celebrity manicurist Pattie Yankee, “so your hands look festive and youthful!”

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of a shimmery red polish, like Holo Taco in Red Licrorice (Buy from Holo Taco, $14). Let dry completely.
  2. While the polish is still tacky, use a toothpick to apply green rhinestones, find them in a kit like KADS Rhinestones Nail Decorations (Buy from Amazon, $4.99), in a four-row pyramid at the center of two accent nails per hand.
  3. Apply two gold rhinestones from the above kit at the base of the tree to create a tree stump. Then, place a clear star rhinestone, like The Crafts Outlet Rhinestones Star (Buy from Amazon, $7.25) at the top of the tree. Seal all nails with top coat.

4. Glittering garland and ribbon tiers

Nails painted green and red with sparkly polish and tiered accent nails, one holiday nails idea
Amber Gray

Eye-catching shades of green, red and white and touches of sparkle are sure to make you shine.

Get the look:

  1. On three accent nails per hand, apply two coats of a green polish, like Revlon in Posh (Buy from Rite Aid, $5.99). Then, on the other nails, apply two coats of a red polish, like OPI in Big Apple Red (Buy from Ulta Beauty, $11.49). Let dry completely.
  2. Starting at the cuticle of the green nails, paint the lower third of the nail with one coat of a holiday-esque multi-color glitter polish, like ella + mila in Party in a Bottle (Buy from ella + mila, $10.50). Let dry.
  3. On the red nails, use a dotting tool, like Le Mini Macaron Le Dottie (Buy from Le Mini Macaron, $5), to create diagonal tiers of a white polish, like essie in Blanc (Buy from Ulta, $10). Let dry. Repeat with a glittery green polish, like Zoya in Ivanka (Buy from Zoya, $12). Let dry. Seal all nails with top coat.

5. Holiday nail ideas: Stunning snowflakes and flurries

Nails painted with a snowflake design, one of the holiday nail ideas
Robert Milazzo

“The unexpected combination of snowflakes with a red polish makes your nails stand out,” says Miss Pop. 

Get the look:

  1. Paint two coats of a red polish, like OPI in Big Apple Red (Buy from Ulta Beauty, $11.49), onto all nails. Let dry completely.
  2. To create snowflakes, draw an asterisk on two nails on each hand using a white striper polish, like FingerPaints Striping Polish in Hip Hip Hue-Ray (Buy from Sally Beauty, $3.49). Add small white dots to the end of each snowflake line, then place a clear rhinestone, find them in a kit like KADS Rhinestones Nail Decorations (Buy from Amazon, $4.99), into the center of each flake; seal with top coat.
  3. Use the white striper to dot various sized dots on snowflake-free nails; let dry. Seal all nails with top coat. 

6. Gorgeous gift wrap

Nails painted with a red and green present design
Robert Milazzo

Just as pretty as a present, this bow-tied design adds pretty pizzazz to fingertips.

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of a red polish, like OPI in Big Apple Red (Buy from Ulta Beauty, $11.49), onto all nails. Let dry completely.
  2. Using a green striper polish, like FingerPaints Striping Polish in Performance Art (Buy fom Sally Beauty, $3.49), draw a vertical stripe down each nail, then add an intersecting horizontal stripe closer to the free edge of nails.
  3. Dip a toothpick in clear top coat and use to place two green triangle rhinestones, find them in a kit like qiipii Emerald Green Nail Rhinestones (Buy from Amazon, $9.99), with their points touching to form a bow along where the two lines meet. Repeat on each nail. Seal all nails with top coat.

7. Holiday nail ideas: Pretty poinsettia accents

Nails painted with a light pink base color and green French tips with poinsettia flower accents, one holiday nail ideas
Robert Milazzo

“This look gives your nails a subtle, festive touch,” says Yankee. “And because the tips are green, it high­lights your nails’ shape.”

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of a light pink polish, like essie in Ballet Slippers (Buy from Ulta, $10), to all nails. Let dry completely.
  2. Use sparkly green striper polish, like LeChat Striping Nail Art Polish in Green Glitter (Buy from Walmart, $6.99) to create a thin French tip along the free edge of each nail. Let dry completely. 
  3. Use a red striper polish, like Color Club Nail Art Striper in Red on Red (Buy from Color Club, $4), to paint 5 poinsettia petal shapes slightly off-center at the free edge of two accent nails per hand. Then use a dotting tool, like Le Mini Macaron Le Dottie (Buy from Le Mini Macaron, $5), dipped in metallic gold polish, like essie in Good As Gold (Buy from Amazon, $10), to add 3 dots to the center of each flower. Let dry. Seal all nails with top coat.

8. Striking peppermint swirl accent

Nails painted with sparkly red polish and a peppermint swirl accent nail, one of the holiday nail ideas
Victoria Janashvili

This peppermint-inspired swirling accent nail is certainly as sweet as candy!

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of glittery red polish, like KBShimmer in Leaf of Faith (Buy from Beyond Polish, $11), to all nails. Let dry completely.
  2. Use a white striper polish, like FingerPaints Striping Polish in Hip Hip Hue-Ray (Buy from Sally Beauty, $3.49), to draw curved lines from the ring-finger nail’s center to its edges; fill in every other space with white polish.
  3. Dot clear top coat onto the back of a rhinestone, find it in a kit like KADS Rhinestones Nail Decorations (Buy from Amazon, $4.99), with a toothpick, then place the stone at the swirl’s center. Seal all nails with top coat.

9. Holiday nail ideas: Eye-catching holly

Nails painted red and silver with holly accents, one holiday nail ideas
Amber Gray

“I love this look because it reminds me of a holly center­piece,” says celebrity manicurist Candice Idehen. “And the tiny leaves and berries couldn’t be easier to create!”

Get the look:

  1. On three nails per hand, apply two coats of a shimmery red polish, like Holo Taco in Red Licrorice (Buy from Holo Taco, $14). Then, on the other two nails, apply two coats of silver polish, like China Glaze in Platinum Silver (Buy from Amazon, $7.45). Let dry completely.
  2. Add clusters of spiky leaves using a dark green striper polish, like FingerPaints Striping Polish in Performance Art (Buy fom Sally Beauty, $3.49). Let dry.
  3. At the center of each leaf cluster, use a dot of clear polish and a toothpick to add three red rhinestones, find them in a kit like KADS Rhinestones Nail Decorations (Buy from Amazon, $4.99). Seal all nails with top coat.

10. Beautiful bow-accented French tips

Nails painted with a French manicure that has red and green bows near the tips, one holiday nail ideas
Amber Gray

This festive spin on a classic French manicure gives your nails the gift of glamour by “tying” them up in festive ribbon! 

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of a pink polish, like Orly French Manicure in Pink Nude (Buy from Amazon, $9.95) onto all nails. Let dry completely.
  2. Paint tips with a white striper polish, like FingerPaints Striping Polish in Hip Hip Hue-Ray (Buy from Sally Beauty, $3.49). Let dry.
  3. Use a green striper polish, like FingerPaints Striping Polish in Performance Art (Buy from Sally Beauty, $3.49), to make ribbon and streamer lines at the base of the white tip of one nail. Repeat on a second nail using a red striper polish, like Color Club Nail Art Striper in Red on Red (Buy from Color Club, $4). Then, add two green or red teardrop stones, find them in a kit like Allstarco Marquise Assorted Colors Gems (Buy from Amazon, $13.99), and one red or green circle stone, find them in a kit like KADS Rhinestones Nail Decorations (Buy from Amazon, $4.99), to each. Seal all nails with top coat.

Related: Dazzle on a Dime: 12 French Tip Nail Designs That are Easy to Do at Home

11. Holiday nail ideas: Elegant polka dots

Nails painted emerald green with gold polka dots, one holiday nail ideas
Robert Milazzo

Looking for less intricate holiday nail ideas? This design is just that with an emerald base and easy to create gold polka dots.

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of shimmery emerald green polish, like Zoya in Selene (Buy from Zoya, $12), to all nails. Let dry completely.
  2. Dip a dotting tool, like Le Mini Macaron Le Dottie (Buy from Le Mini Macaron, $5), into glittery gold polish, like ILNP in Empire, (Buy from ILNP, $10), and create polka dots on all nails.
  3. Add a second layer of the gold polish on top of dots as needed. Let dry. Seal all nails with top coat.

12. Mix and match accents

Nails painted with a Christmas motif
Victoria Janashvili

This mix-and-match manicure is sure to help you make a stunning statement with your nails.

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of a red polish, like OPI in Big Apple Red (Buy from Ulta Beauty, $11.49), onto three nails per hand and two coats of a white polish, like essie in Blanc (Buy from Ulta, $10), onto the other nails. Let dry completely.
  2. On one white nails, use a dark green striper polish, like FingerPaints Striping Polish in Performance Art (Buy fom Sally Beauty, $3.49), to draw and fill the outline of a small Christmas tree complete with trunk. Next, dip a toothpick into clear top coat and use it to place a silver rhinestone, find it in a kit like KADS Rhinestones Nail Decorations (Buy from Amazon, $4.99), at the top of the tree to make its “star.” Draw three small hearts around the top of the tree with a red nail art pen, like Nails INC. Mani Marker in Lipstick Red (Buy from Amazon, $5).
  3. Using a glittery gold striper polish, like China Glaze Stripe Rite in Brushstroke of Luck (Buy from Walmart, $6.25), draw four thick, horizontal lines across the middle-finger nail. Let dry. Seal all nails with top coat.

13. Holiday nail ideas: Sparkling red and green gem tips

Nails painted while with red and green rhinestone-accented tips
Robert Milazzo

Adorning nails with red and green rhinestones at the tips of nails not only adds a touch of sophisticated sparkle but also creates the illusion of longer nails.

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of a cream polish, like Orly in Barely There (Buy from Orly, $11), to all nails. Let dry completely.
  2. Dip a toothpick in clear top coat and apply red rhinestones, find them in a kit like KADS Rhinestones Nail Decorations (Buy from Amazon, $4.99), along the free edge of the nail, leaving some space between each rhinestone.
  3. Use the toothpick and top coat to place a row of green rhinestones from the same kit underneath the red stones, and also leave space in-between the stones. Seal all nails with top coat.

14. Wow-worthy wreaths

Nails painted gold with wreath accents, one holiday nail ideas
Robert Milazzo

“The metallic gold base and glittery wreath will give your nails a warm ‘home for the holidays’ feeling,” says Miss Pop.

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of a metallic gold polish, like essie in Good As Gold (Buy from Amazon, $10), to all nails. Let dry completely.
  2. Use a glittery green stiper polish, like Color Club Nail Art Striper in Green Glitter (Buy from Color Club, $4) to create a wreath on two accent nails of each hand by drawing a thick “O.” 
  3. While polish is still tacky, use a toothpick dipped in clear top coat (it helps grab the stones) to place five red round stones, find them in a kit like qiipii Red Rhinestones Nail Charms (Buy from Amazon, $8.99) onto each wreath. Then fashion the bow by placing one round red stone between two triangle red stones from the same set above each wreath. Seal all nails with top coat.

15. Holiday nail ideas: Lovely Christmas lights

Nails painted light pink with a Christmas lights design
Robert Milazzo

Light up nails and your look with this colorful Christmas light-inspired manicure.

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of a light pink polish, like essie in Ballet Slippers (Buy from Ulta, $10). Let dry completely. 
  2. Use a green nail striper polish, like Color Club Nail Art Striper in Green (Buy from Color Club, $4), to make a curly line on each nail with three to four tiny socket squares attached to the line. Let dry.
  3. With a toothpick and dots of clear polish, attach multicolored teardrop rhinestones, like Allstarco Marquise Assorted Colors Gems (Buy from Amazon, $13.99), to each socket. Seal all nails with top coat.

For more nail inspiration, click through these stories:

10 DIY Holiday Nail Designs That Add Festive Flair to Your Fingertips — In 3 Steps or Less!

Ask for ‘Shellac Nails’ For the Most Natural Looking Artificial Nails On The Market

Top Manicurists: The Best Nail Designs of 2023 That Put Happiness At Your Fingertips

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