20 Christmas Nail Designs That Are Surprisingly Understated

Updated 04/04/19

The holidays are finally here, and festive decorations abound. Everything is aglow with colorful lights, wintry accents, and jovial décor that exemplifies the seasonal spirit. As we ready our beauty looks to get on board with the holly-jolly sentiment, it's the perfect opportunity to experiment with some festive nail art. After all, what better time than the doldrums of winter to liven up your tips with some unexpected Christmas-inspired pops of color, texture, and design?

To make sure you're perfectly outfitted for the season, we've rounded up 20 Christmas nail designs that are surprisingly understated. So whether you're topping off a glitzy holiday party look or keeping things more laid-back while cozying up fireside, your nails will look wonderful and in step with the most wonderful time of the year. Keep scrolling! Visions of the following Christmas nail designs are currently dancing in our heads.

Christmas lights nail design
@jinsoon

Get glowing with neutral nails bedazzled in Christmas lights.

Christmas nail art
@oliveandjune

A dark green–and-gold combo is an alluring way to channel a Christmas nail design without feeling too "Christmasy."

Christmas nail design
@oliveandjune

Top off a classic red manicure with gold accents for festive flair.

holiday manicure
@mpnails

Or finish off a matte look with gold metallic tips for a playful twist on the classic French manicure.

holiday nail design
@mpnails

Pops of red make for a pretty accent color during the holidays—or any time of year.

winter nail art
@oliveandjune

Capture the winter wonderland around you with a white nail design featuring flecks of metallic silver.

holiday nail art
@oliveandjune

Metallic stripes in any color combination are instantly merry—and party-ready.

NYE nail art
@oliveandjune

Add a touch of glitter to the tips of your nails for a modern look that's perfect for ringing in the New Year.

Red holiday nail design
@nailsbymei

Set against a pop of festive crimson, these dainty geometric accents feel reminiscent of falling snowflakes.

Red-and-white nails
@nailsbymei

What's better for a Christmas mani than candy cane–esque stripes of white and red? 

Red glitter nails
@nailsbymei

If you're a fan of glitter and a pretty ombré-inspired application, we recommend this showstopping take in warming ruby red. 

@nailsbymei

Adorned in pretty pastels, an elegant display of ornaments feels right on point for the season and still feels fresh and understated thanks to the comparably tame color scheme. 

@mspattycake

A sporadic sprinkle of pearls and diamonds set against a crystal-clear background feels one part snow globe, one part snowfall, and one part ornamental in nature. 

@mspattycake

For a truly minimalist holiday nail design, we suggest going for something simple that will handily catch the light ever so slightly, like this stripe of glittering gold against a neutral nail. 

@mspattycake

This wouldn't be a true Christmas-inspired nail roundup if we didn't include at least one actual snowflake, right? So here's our pick! Intricate and accented by a sparkly hue of champagne, this snowflake design stays classy—not cheesy. 

@thehangedit

To emulate a classic holiday nail look with a twist, opt for a sharper almond shape outlined in a still-wintry hue of periwinkle with fresh, winter-wonderland vibes. 

@imarninails

Jelly nails are still very much a thing for the 2018 holiday season, and we're very much into this red-hot hue of the trend. In fact, it reminds us of the zingy candies we loved studding our gingerbread men with. 

@imarninails

White marble feels classic and understated for Christmastime, but we especially love this slightly less expected version with sparser accent nails. 

@imarninails

Foiled ribbons of silver and gold not only reminds us of one of the most classic Christmas songs of all time (rewatch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer circa 1964 if you need a reminder) but glittering wrapping paper as well. 

NYE nail design
@jinsoon

This super-sparkly look will have you set from now through New Year's Eve.

Speaking of, here are seven New Year's Eve makeup ideas that take less than five minutes.

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated. 

Related Stories