12 Christmas nails you'll actually want to wear this festive season

We've searched Instagram high and low for the best Christmas nails

Hand with red nails moving through tinsel curtain
(Image credit: Getty Images/Ana Silva /EyeEm)

Sure, many of the best things about Christmas are the themed festivities, perfectly crisp roast potatoes, and endless supply of Baileys. But for us beauty enthusiasts, alongside the fabulous Christmas beauty gift sets, the thing we're most excited by is our Christmas nails.

When it comes to this time of year, our motto is: more is always more. We want multiple shades of green, all the glitter, cute characters and twinkling stars on our festive manicures. If you’re more of a minimalist kind of nail person, fear not, there's plenty out there that will suit you, too. 

We’ve found designs that take inspiration from some of the hottest nail trends of the 2022, including chrome nails, velvet effect designs, and the micro French manicure. As a nail tech in-training, I'm always on the hunt for designs that reinvent old classics, as well as those serving us something totally new. 

We’ve turned to Instagram, AKA the best place possible to find nails inspiration during the festive season. So, put your favourite Christmas movie on, grab your nail supplies and get DIYing. Or, head down to the salon armed with your inspiration photos and a Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte. Check out these Christmas nail art designs that are perfect for 2022, ahead. 

Best Christmas nail art design ideas: 

1. Green twinkling stars 

This festive green hue alone is enough to get us in the Christmas spirit, but the added white stars with copper detailing make this manicure truly special. 

Get the look:

2. Light reflective glitter 

If you're a minimalist who still likes to jazz things up a little bit for the festive season, we present to you: light reflective glitter. This clever product isn't like any regular glitter, instead, when you shine light directly onto it, it catches the reflection in the most dazzling way. This is truly a day-to-night manicure. Since light reflective glitter is something only pros tend to have in their kit, we recommend a salon visit for this, taking inspiration from this design by Paint By Jaz. 

3. Silver micro French 

Another one for the minimalists is this silver micro French design. Start with a light pink base and carefully paint a small French manicure line in a bold silver hue, and top off with an ultra-shiny top coat. This is a beautiful design for those who like their Christmas mani to be special without going over-the-top. 

 Get the look:

4. Sweet Santa 

For those who like to enjoy full-on themed nails, we can't think of a better design to draw inspo from than this joyous red, green and white Santa set. Featuring candy cane swirls, an adorable Santa cartoon, snowflakes and starry embellishments, we can't get enough of this cute nail art. 

5. Velvet nails 

You'll be turning heads at your Christmas party with this velvet nail effect. Using Brillbird's Cat Eye effect nail polish, this silver hue turns into a hypnotic multidimensional that changes colour in different lights. This particular half moon set appeals to both the minimalist and maximalist nail lovers.  

Get the look:

6. 3D snowflake nails 

Ugly sweater nails were huge back in the day, using clever 3D techniques to create that knitted effect. Now, nail artists are using the same technique on other festive designs such as this snowflake manicure. We love the gradient green effect on this making it a festive mani that would work right into the New Year, too. 

7. Golden Christmas trees 

Using a mirrored chrome polish is a perfect way to modernise Christmas classics like this tree design. Use a very light coloured base coat and carefully draw on your Christmas tree design in a metallic polish. Or, if you're heading to the salon, ask for a chrome powder to make the trees really stand out. 

Get the look:

8. Neon embellishments

Nail artist @nailsbyyagal aptly named these "cool-girl Christmas" and we'd have to agree. the design features swooping neon pink shapes adorned with dainty gold stars and multi-coloured embellishments in the centres. This is a manicure that'll work just as well at your New Year's Eve Party as it does Christmas. 

9. Santa hat tips 

Combine two favourites: the French manicure with an adorable Santa hat design and this is the result. For this design, you'll need a glittery or metallic red polish, a white polish, a small nail art brush and dotting tool, which you can buy as 2-in-1 on Amazon.  

Get the look:

10. Tartan gradient 

If you don't celebrate Christmas, or don't fancy a traditional design, try out something a little more autumnal like this tartan design. Pulling in beautiful shades of green, black and gold, this manicure look complex but it's actually fairly simple to recreate at home, depending on your patience levels.  Grab some thin nail art brushes and overlap your chosen colours to create this gradient effect. 

11. Bright blue and beautiful 

Don't fancy any nail art at all? With a shade as stunning as this cobalt blue that @paintedbyjools shows off here, you won't need any to impress at festive parties. 

Get the look:

12. Golden stars 

Anything with gold flakes and stars and we're fully on board. You can buy both from Amazon or a craft store like Hobbycraft and they're the perfect way to elevate a neutral-hued base. Add as little or as much as you like, we love how Melanie from @overglowedit created this galaxy effect. 

Beauty Contributor

Tori is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor for Marie Claire. She has written for various titles, including Allure, Glamour, Elle, Refinery29, Brides, and more. Currently training to be a nail tech, Tori is a total nail enthusiast and always has time to talk all things nail art. When she’s not writing about beauty and testing products, Tori can be found walking her rescue dog Pip, drinking great coffee, and eating as many croissants as humanly possible.