beauty trends 10 Festive Nail Designs to Wear This Holiday Season

Celebrate the holidays with a fresh new nail design.

December 02, 2022
Christmas Nail Designs


While holiday makeup and hair looks often get all of the spotlight when it comes to the festive season, your nail designs are just as important. Whether you have a schedule full of holiday parties to go to, or you plan on spending the season cozied up at home, your holiday nail design can evoke anything from your favorite holiday snack to traditional Christmas colors. 

Whether you like press-on nails, acrylics, or just want to design your natural nails, there’s a holiday nail design for everyone — here are ten of the best.

1. Traditional Christmas Nails

If you're looking for a nail design that consists of traditional Christmas elements, look no further than a bright red set. The beauty of this design is that while it’s a classic, it still contains modern and trendy elements, including the use of different designs on each nail (indie nails). On one finger, go for glitter and white stripes, on another add white dots to look like little snowflakes.

2. Gingerbread Nails

Your favorite holiday treat can also inspire your next holiday nail set. Brown is a nail color for all seasons, but it’s especially nice for the holidays as it matches a number of holiday treats. Use a nail stencil to create the gingerbread man image or go freehand for a customized look.

3. Red French Tips Nails

If you can’t get enough of the French tip nail trend, you don’t have to give them up when the holidays come around. This design combines the festive holiday color of red with French tips, and you can add embellishments like a snowflake design or nail gem to really take the look up a notch, along with the metallic red color that looks like holiday tinsel.

4. Knitted Nails

The holidays often involve putting on sweaters of all kinds (sometimes ugly ones), and this nail design evokes that cozy feel. The raised texture of the nail design is also a cool feature of the look, and when paired with a glitter design on your other nails, you have a design that can easily take you from Christmas to New Year’s Eve.

5. Pink Holiday Nails

While pink is a color that seems a lot more reminiscent of Valentine’s Day than Christmas, the shade does work for a holiday nail look when paired with snowflakes, candy canes, glitter, and the aforementioned knitted nail trend.

6. Grinch Nails

Whether The Grinch is just your favorite holiday movie or you truly can’t wait for the holidays to be over, this look will have everyone at the holiday party talking. Pair the eye-catching design with some holiday lights to call back to the character stealing holiday decorations.

7. Bow Embellished Nails

A nail gem or charm is always a great accessory to add to a nail design, and these bows are perfect for the holiday season. Keep the embellishment on one nail to make it the star of the show, while your other nails can sport a simpler, timeless design.

8. Festive Swirls

Perfect for a nail minimalist or someone that wants a no-fuss, festive look, this design involves a nude base coat topped with red, green, and white swirls (similar to the movement of holiday ribbons) applied at random. You can also try this for different holidays — think orange and black swirls for Halloween, or white, brown, and burgundy for Thanksgiving.

9. Gold Negative Space French Tip Nails

As we mentioned above, French tip nails are still having a major moment, but if you want something a little different try negative space French tips. This involves creating the French tip shape on your nail but without filling in the space. Instead, outline the shape with your favorite glittery gold polish and leave the center unfilled so your nails will look like holiday lights on a bannister.

10. Red Underpainted Nails

This hidden nail design is unexpectedly festive, as it can’t be seen unless you turn your nails over. The best part? You can put the red bottom nail design under any of the nail looks above.

Next: The Best Winter Nails to Heat Up Your Timeline

Written by: Témi Adebowale, Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Visual Designer: Sarah Duvivier, Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Prop Stylist: Catherine Pearson, Prop Assistant: Lindsay Jones