Deck Your Nails With These 10 Festive Holiday Mani Trends

December 13, 2018

Have a very merry mani. 

If it seems like we were just talking about autumnal mani trends, that’s because… well, we kind of were! Time flies when there are so many beautiful manicure trends in play. This festive season, elevate your look and dazzle at your celebrations. Also, don’t forget to follow these wise winter mani tips.

Chelsea King, a manicurist and nail artist based in Southern California, reminds us to moisturize. “Moisturizing your hands and cuticles is especially important during the colder months,” says King. “I like to apply cuticle oil every night before bed to extend the life of my mani and keep my nails looking like I just got them done.” For those who find themselves dealing with breakage despite every effort to moisturize — when even unwrapping Christmas presents causes a split — King suggests keeping nails short and rounded. “Cutting them shorter makes them less likely to have a devastating break, and the rounded edges keeps them from catching on things.”

“It pays to keep a nail file handy at all times,” advises London-based celebrity manicurist Sabrina Gayle. “Fix a chipped or broken nail simply by filing it down.” Gayle warns against using nail clippers (“Nail clippers can actually separate the nail from the polish, so it may be best to avoid them,” she says. “If your break is too deep, try using nail glue to fix it for a day or two”) and suggests keeping some spare polish handy: “Stash a bottle of spare polish in your desk drawer at work or keep a nail polish pen in your handbag for fix ups on the go. It’s not always feasible to have two of every color nail polish in your collection, so maybe just invest in a backup for the color you wear most.”

And now without further ado, check out these gorgeous mani trends for the holiday season. “The nails are all about playing with expectations, whether by playing with bare nails or going all out with designs,” says Gayle, adding “There is something for everybody when it comes to the 2019 nail trends.”

1. Gold Dusted

Image credit: Chelsea King
OMG, OMG, I LOVE THIS LOOK. It’s sparkly but subtle and sooo perfect for someone like me whose nail polish can get chipped at the drop of a hat. King articulates it better than I do: “Interesting textures and finishes are one of my favorite trends for the holidays,” she says. “This office appropriate look is great for transitioning to a fun holiday party!” King also adds that it’s “one of the easiest nail art designs you can do. After applying a base coat and color, wipe off most of a gold polish and lightly swipe across the nail for a cool textured effect.”

2. (Deep) red alert

Image credit: Chelsea King

“Deep red is my favorite shade for winter, it’s festive and a classic,” King says. “I like to add some glitter to the cuticle for a simple look.” And you see what she did there with the pinky nail? Could it get any better?

3. Jelly nails

Image credit: Jenny Longworth- Love Magazine

Another great way to shake up the classic Christmas red? Jelly nails. Gayle calls this trend — “colored nails with a translucent effect” and super-glossy — a “must” for nail fanatics.

4. Encapsulated chic

Image credit: Imarni Nails

The science-y sounding “perspex nails” refers to a full, clear look. “There are new and amazing innovative builder gels and polishes to create this look easily, like Orly Builder Gel,” says Gayle. “You can create encapsulation of fun things like dried flowers, holographic discs and even photographs of your favorite artist/muse.”

5. Holly jolly

Image credit: Chelsea King

Remember those simple, gold-dusted nails? This wood and holly design is reminiscent, but even more merry Christmas. The grain “adds a subtle extra something,” says King. “And I love a festive accent nail like this holly leaf!” So do I!

6. Electric Blue

Image credit: Marianne Newman

Gayle says that this vivid look — seen at the Gareth Pugh show — is one of her fave trend colors. However, unlike the model above, Gayle suggests “keeping your nails to a classic short and rounded shape, making your nails look chic and classy.”

7. Novel graphics

Image credit: @yo_keshh 

“Typographic nail art is super on trend right now. right up my street, having a background in Graphic design and Typography,” Gayle enthuses. “You can be as imaginative and creative as you please, playing with fonts, numbers, colors, 3D, monochrome, negative space, and personalizing messages that you want to convey. The list is endless.”

8. Pretty in plaid

Image credit: Chelsea King

Nothing says warm and cozy during the holiday season like flannel — and these patterned nails definitely elevate the concept. “Patterns are one of my favorite designs to do, and this plaid pattern is super chic and cool!,” King explains. “I used red and green as my base color to make it extra Christmas-y.

9. Stay frosty

Image credit: Michelle Humphrey

While Gayle admits that pastel tones are usually thought of as a spring/summer fave (particularly these Easter egg shades), she adds that you can create metallic or frosted pastels (like Frosted Unicorn, above) “to give an extra va-va-voom” — and create the perfect cool-but-playful festive look.

10. Matte Metallics

“Metallics are another trend to set sail for 2019 but instead of allowing them to shine, they can be painted over with a matte top coat for a dimmed effect,” says Gayle. Also note the option for metallic tips — a favorite for lazy me, because as your nails grow out, they just look tippier.

Comment: What’s your favorite festive manicure?

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