16 Christmas Nail Designs I Simply Can't Stop Staring At

Whether you're a regular at your nail salon or have your at-home manicure setup on lock, doing your nails has become synonymous with a little self-care. There's something about having a fresh mani that just makes us feel so put-together—which is why we're making a point to polish up our paws ahead of the holiday season. Figuring out what to do with your nails, though, isn't always the easiest, and when you're standing in front of a wall of hundreds of different polishes (or getting inspired by a slew of nail ideas on Instagram), it's easy to get overwhelmed.

Here's what we'd do: With the holidays just around the corner (we can't believe it either!), why not stay on theme by trying out a Christmas nail art idea that's equal parts festive and cute? We found 16 different manis—from a candy cane–inspired set to a speckled snowflake design—that are sure to step up your holiday look this year. Pick your favorite, take a screenshot of it, and then practice your DIY skills (or if you're like me, simply stare in awe at how pretty they are).

1. Tartan Print


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

Tartan is an essential Christmas print.

2. Gold & Emerald


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

This gold-and-emerald combination captures the holiday color scheme in a non-cliché way.

3. Glitter Ombré


(Image credit: @imarninails)

Ombré nails are so much more festive when glitter is involved.

4. Mistletoe Print


(Image credit: @buffcs)

Now, this is a perfect Christmas mani.

5. Abstract Holiday Designs


(Image credit: @buffcs)

This out-of-the-box creation is a pure work of art.

6. Snowflakes


(Image credit: @varnishlane)

Frosty flakes are the nail art design for Christmas Eve. 

7. Plaid Red


(Image credit: @hollyfalconenails)

Plaid is just perfect for this time of year.

8. Statement-Making Jewels


(Image credit: @hollyfalconenails)

Go bold with some brightly colored gems.

9. Pearl Embellishments


(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

Try a few pearly white embellishments (also a fashion-girl favorite) for the holidays.

10. Festive French Tips


(Image credit: @varnishlane)

This one's simple but still feels holiday-centric.

11. Holly Designs


(Image credit: @buffcs)

This one hits on a total Christmas classic.

12. Burgundy With Gold Tips


(Image credit: @betina_goldstein)

For a simple but chic nail look, go for burgundy and add a touch of gold.

13. Holiday Tuxedo Designs


(Image credit: @themaniclub)

If subtlety is your strong suit, try this opaque white tuxedo design.

14. Candy Cane Designs


(Image credit: @buffcs)

Here's one way to rock candy-cane nails this holiday season.

15. Spatial Green Designs


(Image credit: @buffcs)

This design works all year round, but the deep green feels especially right for the holidays.

16. Green & Red Flecks


(Image credit: @buffscs)

Sprinkle a few red and green flecks into the mix or throw a few red dots on top of a pine-colored polish. Either way, it's stunning for Christmas.

Up Next: We Highly Support Still Painting Your Toes in the Winter—Try These Colors First

This article was published at an earlier date and has been updated.


Anna is an editor on the fashion team at Who What Wear and has been at the company for over five years, having begun her career in the Los Angeles office before relocating to New York, where she's currently based. Having always been passionate about pursuing a career in fashion, she built up her experience interning at the likes of Michael Kors, A.L.C., and College Fashionista before joining the team as a post-graduate assistant editor. Anna has penned a number of interviews with Who What Wear's cover stars over the years, including A-listers Megan Fox, Issa Rae, and Emma Chamberlain. She's earned a reputation for scouting new and emerging brands from across the globe and championing them to our audience of millions. While fashion is her main wheelhouse, Anna led the launch of WWW Travels last year, a new lifestyle vertical that highlights all things travel through a fashion-person lens. She is passionate about shopping vintage, whether it be at a favorite local outpost or an on-the-road discovery, and has amassed a wardrobe full of unique finds. When she's not writing, you can find her shooting street imagery on her film camera, attempting to learn a fourth or fifth language, or planning her next trip across the globe.