Looking to add an extra flair to your outfit for an upcoming gathering? Try decorating your nails in a fun and colorful way to match the occasion. These dazzling nail designs are guaranteed to add playful pizzazz to your holiday look. Plus, just a quick glance at the bold colors and sparkly accents will instantly boost your festive spirit. Bonus? The DIY manicures also offer finger-flattering benefits, from French tips that visually lengthen shorter nail beds to eye-catching patterns that draw the eye inward to slim wider hands. Find the nail design that leaves you merry and bright.
Christmas Trees and Peppermint Stripes
Step 1: Apply two coats of white polish like essie in Blanc (Buy from CVS, $10) to all nails. Dip a striper brush like Orly Striper Brush (Buy from OrlyBeauty.com, $13.90) in red polish like OPI in Big Apple Red (Buy from Ulta Beauty, $11.49) and draw diagonal stripes on the thumb-, indexand pinkie-finger nails. Clean the brush, dip in green polish like Revlon in Posh (Buy from Rite Aid, $5.29) and use to draw a thin line down the white stripes.
Step 2: Dip the clean striper brush into red polish and draw a star near the cuticle of the middle- and ring-finger nails. Dip various-sized dotting tools like Cina Nail Art Dotting (Buy from Sally Beauty, $11.99) into both green polish and glittery green polish like Zoya in Ivanka (Buy from Zoya.com, $12) and dot in a triangular shape; let dry. Seal with a clear top coat.
Funky Ornament-Accented French Tips
Step 1: Apply two coats of white polish (see above) to all nails; let dry completely. Dip a clean striper brush in red polish (see above for both) and swipe a small curved line across the tips of all but the ring-finger nail. Tip: To create a mess-free French tip “stencil,” place a Band-Aid lengthwise down the nail with the curved edge exposing the nail’s tip. Let dry.
Step 2: Use the striper brush dipped in red polish to draw a circle at the center of the ring-finger nail. Once dry, clean the brush, dip it in gold polish like Sally Hansen in Go for Gold (Buy from Target, $4.49) and draw two stripes going diagonally across the circle. Next, draw a gold loop and base (the ornament’s hook). Let dry, then seal with clear top coat.
Charming and Chic Candy Cane Tips
Step 1: Apply two coats of white polish to all nails. While the white polish is still tacky, use a toothpick dipped into clear top coat to pick up a small round red rhinestone like Daily Charme Swarovski Round Flatback Rhinestone in Indian Siam SS3/1.5mm (Buy from DailyCharme.com, $6); place at the corner of each nail’s tip. Place a second red stone directly under it to create a vertical row.
Step 2: Use the toothpick dipped in clear top coat to apply a tier of two small round silver rhinestones like Daily Charme Swarovski Round Flatback Rhinestone in Clear SS3/1.5mm (Buy from DailyCharme.com, $6) next to the red stones. Continue alternating the red and silver rhinestone tiers until all nail tips are completely covered. Seal all nails with a layer of clear top coat, then add a second layer on stones only to seal in place.
Gorgeous Gem Hanukkah Gift Wrap
Step 1: Apply two coats of white polish to all nails; let dry completely. Next, dip a clean striper brush in cobalt blue polish like SinfulColors in Endless Blue (Buy from Walmart, $10.12) and draw two intersecting lines, one vertical and one horizontal, along the side of each nail. Tip: To cover up any mishaps, simply clean the brush, dip it in the white polish, then sweep onto mistakes to make them disappear.
Step 2: Use a toothpick dipped in clear top coat to pick up two blue triangular rhinestones find them in a set like Ailipu Blue Rhinestones for Nails (Buy from Amazon, $9.99) and place them with the pointy tips touching each other to form a pretty bow-like shape at the intersection of the two lines. Seal all nails with a layer of clear top coat, then add a second layer on stones only to seal in place.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.
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