30 Christmas Nail Designs That Are Surprisingly Understated

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 30 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.

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Christmas Lights

Get glowing with neutral nails bedazzled in Christmas lights.

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Green and Gold

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

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Festive Gold Accents

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

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Matte & Metallic

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

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Red Accents

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

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Silver Glitter Accents

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

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Metallic Stripes

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

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Glitter Dipped

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

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Geometric Accents

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

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Candy Cane Inspired

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

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Ombré Glitter

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

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Pastel Ornaments

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. 

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Diamonds and Pearls

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. 

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Champagne Snowflake

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). 

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Periwinkle Wonderland

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.

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Gold Glitter Stripe

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. 

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Candy Red

Jelly nails are still very much a thing for the holiday season, and we're very much into this red-hot take on the trend. In fact, it reminds us of the spicy candies with which we loved to decorate our gingerbread men. 

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Accent Marble Nails

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

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Gold Foil

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. 

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Metallic Red and Gold

This burning metallic red is a festive treat for the holidays, while the gold detailing is glam enough to pair with your best party dress come NYE.

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Sparkles Galore

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

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Gold French Manicure

This double French manicure is understated yet holiday-ready with delicate double-gold detailing.

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Half Glitter Green

Sparkly green adds a fun twist to the usual holiday gold or silver sparkles. A delicate dotted line following the negative space mani amplifies the holiday cheer.

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Red Holly

Deck the halls—or your nails—with fun, cheery holly. A few shiny red nails add great composition paired with the delicate design.

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Inverted French Manicure

A deeper red base than the traditional bright cherry gets covered in gold flakes, making this inverted French manicure oh-so holiday appropriate.

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Silver Sparkle and Red Lines

Wrapped up like a present, these half sparkly nails come with festive red ribbons, too.

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Green and Red French Manicure

Talk about a fun twist on a classic design. These red and green alternating French tips have us dreaming of Christmas Day.

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Hand Painted Ornaments

Okay, so these aren't exactly simple, but we can't help but love these individually painted ornaments. Why not turn your fingers into a Christmas tree?

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Gold Dusted Nude Nails

Amp up a nude manicure with golden flakes and star outlines for a winter wonderland look that'll definitely complement your holiday party dress.

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Red French Tips

Yes, red French tips work for any time of the year, but there's something about the bright color that just feels extra festive during the holidays.

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