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 looks like a piece of modern art. We like the complementary combination of two shades of green. If you want to try to recreate the look yourself, your best bet is to start with a light green base and, once dry, use an ultra-thin striping brush dipped in lime green.
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 gets an upgrade with these impressively detailed 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.
Graphic strokes and gold glitter is the exact equation for the perfect—albeit unexpected—holiday manicure. Best of all, it doesn't require any super strict directions, just take your time swiping on shades of green, black, white, and glitter.
Gold and Green French Tips
All this mani requires is an all-over wash of chartreuse with a gold shade painted across the tip of each nail and down one side. So simple, right?
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.
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 an ombre. Extending the range of mint to pastel, this mani is both simple to do and cooler than ever with a matte finish.
Sure, this isn't a traditionally festive nail design, but do you see this beautiful blend? It shines on its own, regardless. Plus, yellow and turquoise jewels add a cool pop of contrasting color.
Play with varying shades of green by painting a bevy of stripes from the middle of the nail towards the tip. It results in this cool staircase effect that's equal parts runway- and Minecraft-inspired.
What can we say? We love a good negative space manicure. This one combines mint green with bright blue and a single snow white dot in the center.
This design is a modern update on a traditional French tip manicure. Instead of a single white stripe, it incorporates dark and light green, too. And, we don't know about you, but the varying green stripes have us craving spearmint candy canes.
Another day, another minimalist manicure. This one steps it up a notch, though, with a snakeskin texture.
Bedazzled Almond Nails
Re-creating a jewel-encrusted manicure is deceptively simple. All you need is a pack of your favorite faux jewels and some nail glue. Paint your nails with a base color, glue on some jewels in asymmetrical patterns, and you're done.
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.