When we think of holiday nail designs, we think of red and gold nail polish. Those shades are the most traditional, the most classic, and for good reason, too; they're timeless and elegant. This year, though, we're in the mood to switch things up a little bit. More specifically, we're interested in holiday manicures that incorporate the one other most popular color of the season: green. Because whether it's mint, emerald, or olive, a green manicure feels just as festive as traditional red, yet a little fresher and a little more unexpected. Keep scrolling to see our 22 favorite designs from Instagram. These are sure to inspire a salon visit.
This asymmetric nail design from the trendy NYC nail salon Chillhouse looks like a piece of modern art. We like the complementary combination of evergreen and eggshell colors. If you want to try to recreate the look yourself, your best bet is to start with a green base and, once dry, use an ultra-thin striping brush dipped in cream.
We're thoroughly convinced that there's nothing more fitting for the holiday season than dark green plaid print nails. The lines of red, gold, and silver make them extra festive (and somehow cozy-looking, too, no?). Start with a green base and top it off with thin lines in the colors of your plaid-inspired choice.
Two-Tone Almond Nails
This half-moon design is simple and eye-catching, which is all a holiday manicure needs to be, right? It will also make short nails appear longer—especially if they're filed into a pointy almond shape. And, to score the matte finish, simply complete your look with a coat of matte topcoat, like Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat Nail Treatment ($5).
If you prefer a lighter shade of green on your digits, opt for this marble manicure, which is a chic, swirling, bewitching creation. It looks just like a real aventurine gemstone. To learn how to marble your own nails at home, watch this video.
Green Palm Fronds
A green-hued manicure doesn't always have to be an all-over wash of color. It's just as show-stopping when used for impressively detailed accent designs like the palm fronds seen here. Try Lafayette from Cirque Colors ($13) to get these bright dynamic palms.
Evergreen Tie Dye
We didn't think it was possible, but tie-dye nails can indeed be holiday-appropriate—that is, if you use a festive combination of colors. This one uses green, white, and black polish. And, thanks to the negative space below the tie-dye, you won't be able to notice grow-out quite as much.
As the old adage says, simplicity is elegance. Pair a clear base coat with an evergreen hue for a minimalist design like this one. Use Smith & Cult's Darjeeling Darling ($18), for an elegant, glossy green color.
Mint Color Block
Don't just play with color, try playing with texture, too. All it takes is combining a traditional satin nail polish with a sparkling one. We like CAI All That Glitters Nail Polish ($8) since it contains chunky pieces of glitter.
Space and Stripes
We're big fans of this midnight blue and mint manicure courtesy of Paintbox Nail Salon. Try pairing your favorite mint polish with Essie's Booties on Broadway ($12), which is one of our favorite shades of navy blue. And, whatever you do, don't forget the high-shine topcoat.
Shades of Green
If you're having trouble picking just one shade of green, opt for a variety instead. Extending the range of olive to mint, this mani is both simple to do and cooler than ever with a matte finish. Polishes used are from pinky to thumb include Nails Inc Gen Yellow ($15), J.Hannah Eames ($19), Lauren B Beauty Mandeville Maven ($12), China Glaze Show 'Em Who's Blossom ($9), and Oribe's Green Envy ($32). Get a matte finish using Sally Hansen's Matte Top Coat ($5).
Another day, another minimalist manicure. This one uses teal nail polish and tiny gold nail jewels to create an elegant, yet bold, effect. Try using Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri Nail Color in Re-teal Therapy ($8).
Evergreen Negative Space
If you prefer to keep your nails long, try this nail design, which flatters almond-shaped nails. To perfect the crisp lines of the triangle base, use striping tape. We like the PGXT DIY Nail Tape ($5). Best of all, it comes with 30 rolls so you'll have plenty to use for upcoming manicures.
Even though our kale consumption is at an all-time low among the never-ending home-cooked holiday dishes that come our way in December, we'll channel the superfood on our nails with kale-colored polish. Plus, with the fun white arcs on each nail, it automatically takes the earthy vibe to a chic new level. To DIY, use a white striping brush.