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Beauty

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

You're sure to find one that makes you shine!

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Want to add some extra pizzazz to your look for the holiday season without spending a fortune on new clothes, accessories or makeup? All it takes is painting on some nail polish in fun, colorful ways. And the below dazzling holiday nail designs do just that! Best of all, it’s easy to create a gorgeous manicure yourself at home using just a few polishes and tools. Keep scrolling to see the festive designs (and simple steps) that are sure to leave you looking and feeling merry and bright.

10 DIY holiday nail designs we love

1. Holiday nail designs: Pretty in plaid

holiday nail designs :red and black plaid holiday nails
@HannahRoxNails

Plaid nails are reminiscent of a cozy flannel shirt, and Tamara Di Lullo, celebrity nail artist and CND Education Ambassador, says the traditional pattern is synonymous with the holidays. And the pop of gold glitter in this design from manicurist and YouTuber @HannahRoxNails adds a touch of sophisticated sparkle.

Get the look:

  1. Paint all nails with two coats of red polish, like CND Vinylux Longwear Nail Polish in Bordeaux Babe (Buy from Amazon, $11.90). Let dry completely.
  2. Use black polish, like Sally Hansen Insta Dri in Back To Black (Buy from Amazon, $5.99), to paint two vertical lines down each nail; let dry. Next, paint three horizontal lines with the black polish; let dry.
  3. Use gold striper polish, like China Glaze Stripe Rite in Brushstroke of Luck (Buy from Walmart, $6.25), to paint one thin line vertically down the side of each nail and one thin  intersecting horizontal line; let dry. Seal all nails with top coat.

2. Cute candy canes

holiday nail designs: candy cane nails
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 red polish, like OPI in Big Apple Red (Buy from Ulta Beauty, $11.49), to all nails and let dry completely.
  2. Use 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 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

3. Holiday nail designs: Eye-catching trees and ‘wrapping paper’ stripes

holiday nail designs:  Christmas trees and peppermint stripes

We love this dotted tree paired with wrapping paper-inspired stripes — and who knew painting on a Christmas tree could be so simple?

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of white polish, like essie in Blanc (Buy from CVS, $10), to all nails. Let dry completely.
  2. Dip a striper brush, like Orly Striper Brush (Buy from Orly, $13.90), in red polish, like OPI in Big Apple Red (Buy from Ulta Beauty, $11.49), and draw diagonal stripes on three accent nails per hand. Clean the brush, and dip in green polish, like Revlon in Posh (Buy from Rite Aid, $5.99), and draw a thin line down the white stripes; let dry.
  3. Dip the clean striper brush into red polish and draw a star near the cuticle of the two remaining white 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, $12), and dot in a triangular shape; let dry. Seal all nails with clear top coat.

4. Beautiful bows and seasonal stripes

holiday nail designs: red and green holiday bow
Kia-Charlotta.com

Topping nails off with a bow like you would a present adds a playful presentation to fingertips. And pairing it with rich green, which Di Lullo says is like “lush evergreens and gemstones,” along with multi-color stripes like this manicure from Kia-Charlotta.com further draws attention to hands. What’s more, the touch of metallic gold is like pretty tinsel for your nails, adds Di Lullo.

Get the look:

  1. Paint three nails per hand with two coats of green polish, like Kiko Milano Smart Nail Lacquer in Lawn Green (Buy from Kiko Cosmetics, $4). Paint one non-green nail with two coats of white polish, like essie in Blanc (Buy from CVS, $10), and the remaining nail with two coats of gold polish, like Wet n Wild Wild Shine Nail Color in Ready to Propose (Buy from Walmart, $9.99). Let dry completely.
  2. Using the green polish and red polish, like CND Vinylux Longwear Nail Polish in Bordeaux Babe (Buy from Amazon, $11.90), paint alternating diagonal stripes on the white nail. Let dry.
  3. On the gold nail, use red polish to paint a cross through the center of the nail, then draw a bow where the lines intersect.; let dry. Seal all nails with top coat.

5. Holiday nail designs: Bejeweled French tips

Charming and chic candy cane tips

A unique twist on the classic candy cane design, these bedazzled French tips won’t compete with a Christmas party outfit if you’re looking for a simpler holiday nail design. Plus, celebrity manicurist Pattie Yankee adds that this look “highlights the shape of your nails with a festive touch of bling.”

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of white polish, like essie in Blanc (Buy from CVS, $10), 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 TecUnite Flat Back Gems in Red (Buy from Amazon, $7.99). Place the stone at the corner of each nail’s tip. Place a second red stone directly under it to create a vertical row.
  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 Daily Charme, $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 help them in place.

Related: 12 French Tip Nail Designs That Are Easy to Do at Home

6. Gorgeous gem-encrusted Hanukkah gift wrap

Gorgeous gem Hanukkah gift wrap

These gorgeous Hanukkah nails add holiday flair for all 8 nights, says Yankee, and they are super easy to achieve. And shiny blue rhinestone accents leave nails looking extra elegant.

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of white polish, like essie in Blanc (Buy from CVS, $10,) to all nails; let dry completely.
  2. Dip a striper brush, like Orly Striper Brush (Buy from Orly, $13.90), in cobalt blue polish, like SinfulColors in Endless Blue (Buy from Walmart, $6.70), 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.
  3. Use a toothpick dipped in clear top coat to pick up two blue, triangular rhinestones, like Allstarco 13mm Flat Back Triangle Acrylic Rhinestones in Blue Sapphire .PH (Buy from Amazon, $5.95), 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 keep in place.

7. Holiday nail designs: Adorable gingerbread cookies

gingerbread nails
PolishedPolyglot.com

This holiday nail design by PolishedPolyglot.com will make you want to go bake a batch of delicious gingerbread cookies. Plus, the brown base color makes it a great neutral look that pairs well with any outfit.

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of brown polish, like essie Expressie Nail Polish in Cold Brew Crew (Buy from Ulta, $10), to all nails; let dry.
  2. On each ring-finger nail, use a dotting tool dipped in green polish, like essie Expressie Nail Polish in Street Weat n’ Tear (Buy from Ulta, $10), to create holly leaf dots around the edges of the nail; let dry. Clean the dotting tool, dip it into red polish, like Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Polish in ASAP Apple (Buy from Sally Beauty, $7.99), and add one small red “holly berry” dot between the green leaf dots; let dry completely. 
  3. Apply a gingerbread decal, like Moon Sugar Gingerbread Man Nail Art Decals (Buy from Moon Sugar Decals, $4.99), to center of each ring finger. On the remaining nails, use a white striper polish, like FingerPaints Striping Polish in Hip Hip Hue-Ray (Buy from Sally Beauty, $3.49), to create various wavy lines and dots; let dry. Seal all nails with top coat.

8. Fabulously festive glitter gradient

Green and red glitter ombre nails
GlitterAndNails.blogspot.com/Getty

When in doubt, go for glitter! This gorgeous sparkly ombre manicure from glitterandnails.blogspot.com visually elongates nails and will have you looking like you just left the nail salon.

Get the look:

  1. Paint all nails with two coats of cream polish, like Wet n Wild Wild Shine Nail Color in French White Crème (Buy from Walmart, $9.37). Let dry completely.
  2. Lightly paint each nail with one coat of green glitter polish, like Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Nail Polish in Fanta-seas (Buy from Walmart, $10.55), and red glitter polish, like LECHAT Dare to Wear Nail Polish in On The Red Carpet (Buy from Amazon, $9.99), starting from the tip and moving down to the cuticle; let dry.
  3. Paint a second coat of both the green and red glitter polishes, starting mid-nail and moving down to the cuticle; let dry. Seal all nails with top coat.

9. Holiday nail designs: Gorgeous ornament accents + bold French tips

Funky ornament-accented French tips
Global Digital Heritage

Festive ornaments aren’t just the perfect addition to your tree, they’re also one of our favorite holiday nail designs to dress up fingertips.

Get the look:

  1. Apply two coats of white polish, like essie in Blanc (Buy from CVS, $10), to all nails; let dry completely.
  2. Dip a striper brush, like Orly Striper Brush (Buy from Orly, $13.90), in red polish, like OPI in Big Apple Red (Buy from Ulta Beauty, $11.49), and swipe a small curved line across the tips of all but the ring fingernail. 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.
  3. Use the striper brush dipped in red polish to draw a circle at the center of the ring fingernail. Once dry, clean the brush, dip it in gold polish, like Sally Hansen in Go for Gold (Buy from Walmart, $8.99), and draw two stripes going diagonally across the circle. Next, draw a gold loop and base (the ornament’s hook); let dry. Seal all nails with clear top coat.

10. Fancy bow-accented French tips

For another French tip design that’s perfect for the holiday season, look no further than this bow-adorned design from @cassprostudios on Instagram.

Get the look:

  1. Paint nails with two coats of a sheer nude polish, like Revlon Nail Enamel in Sheer Petal (Buy from Walmart, $11). Let dry completely.
  2. Using white striper polish, like FingerPaints Striping Polish in Hip Hip Hue-Ray (Buy from Sally Beauty, $3.49), to create the French tips. Start by outlining the bottom of the tip, then filling in to the top of the nail with the white polish.
  3. Use a gold striping polish, like China Glaze Stripe Rite in Brushstroke of Luck (Buy from Walmart, $6.25), to create two small “loops” for the bow at the bottom of the French tips. Dot the middle where the loops meet, then paint two thin, curved lines coming from the dot in the middle; let dry. Seal all nails with top coat.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.


For more nail inspiration, tips and tricks, click through these stories:

At-Home Gel Nails: How To Reap the Benefits of the Pricey Salon Treatment for $100s Less

Polygel Nails: The Trending Manicure Technique That Makes Nails Look Longer and Stronger

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

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