Break out the ugly sweaters and nutcrackers, the holiday season is officially upon us! And why stop at decking the halls when you can deck out your nails in fun, festive fashion, too? Whether you want to go minimalist with subtle sparkle or show off your holiday cheer with candy cane-themed tips, there’s a whole world of nail patterns and designs for you to try — no matter your age. So we tapped a few celebrity nail artists to get their takes on the season’s top nail art trends, plus how to create the looks at home. Below, manifest your holly-est, jolliest spirit with these holiday nail art designs.
While gingham can be reminiscent of summer picnics, celebrity nail artist Chelsea King recommends experimenting with the checkered pattern for winter. “I’ve been seeing this print everywhere this season, and it feels festive without being over the top — especially if you just stick to an accent nail,” she says. “I start by painting my base color, usually red, and then paint evenly-spaced black squares on the nail using a nail art brush. Next, connect the squares with diagonal lines.” If you make any mistakes, King recommends going back in with the red polish to clean it up. And if you’re not quite ready to do this freehand, she suggests using striping tape for straight lines.
Looking for a holiday nail art idea that’s a little easier to create? An allover icy blue hue is the quickest route to party-pretty nails. And if you want to spruce them up a bit, use a nail art brush to to create different designs with white polish.
Celebrity nail artist Fleury Rose is a big fan of this Frozen-inspired trend. “My favorite holiday nail art look is snowflakes — they’re so pretty and delicate,” she says. And they’re actually easier to create that you might expect: All you need is a white polish and a stencil to paint the perfect snowflake. Draw them over the base color of your choice, or over your natural nail for a more minimalist take on the trend. Still intimidated? Pick up snowflake nail stickers for a seriously foolproof way to create the look.
“I like to add a subtle sparkle or a pop of gold to my manicures during the holiday season,” says celebrity nail artist Betina Goldstein. “I always go for a sheer nude base like Chanel Ballerina, and for darker skin tones, I recommend one coat of Essie Sheer Silhouette. Then, place crystal accents on the nails in the design of your choice.” She suggests using a gel top coat, such as Seche Vive, or a gel stone adhesive like Apres Diamond Gel to secure them in place
Put a sweet twist on your usual mani with some candy cane stripes. You can create classic red-and-white stripes for a fully festive look, or give it a modern spin with a trend-forward negative space design. But if you’d rather experiment with the look just for a night, the pattern is available in plenty of press-on forms, too!
The ombré nail art trend was a big hit this year, so it only seems fitting to end 2019 with a fun sparkle spin on the design. To create the look, celebrity nail artist Naomi Yasuda recommends filing your nails, applying a base coat, and then starting with a festive base color like red or green. (If you prefer a nude nail, skip the base color.) Next, apply glitter nail polish from the middle of the nail bed to the edge; apply a second coat of the glitter polish closer to the edge (cover about one-third of the nail bed, she says) and another just at the tip. Finish by sealing it all in with a topcoat. Et voila: a sparkly masterpiece that’s ready for any of your holiday festivities.
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