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 festive 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 18 favorite green nail 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 an angular dark green design. The gold stripes make these half green, half white nails extra festive (and somehow cozy-looking, too). Start with the shapes for your base and top it off with thin lines, which will create further geometric intrigue.
Two-Tone Short Nails
This design is simple and eye-catching, which is all a green nail design needs to be, right? Given the ease of the smiley faces and checkerboard, this is a great option for those with shorter nails.
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.
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.
Stars are always trendy for festive season, and this green mani is no exception. We love how fresh the look feels thanks to the gradient of different shades across the nails, and the celestial touches couldn't be easier—just get your hands on some nail stickers and you'll be shining in no time.
Or, in the same vein as the manicure before it, pair a dark evergreen shade with a creamy nude base. It's just as bold and just as fresh. We like Essie's Sand Tropez ($9), which happens to be Kim Kardashian West's favorite nude nail polish, too.
Graphic silver brushstrokes against a deep forest background 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 the accents, and feel free to get creative with your color options.
Tortoiseshell and Tips
All this mani requires is a green French mani with a strip of tortoiseshell down the side. We love how these choices shake up a simple design.
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.
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.
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.
Light Green Halves
What can we say? We love a good negative space manicure. This one features a cheery shade of green in an abstract curve shape that you won't be able to stop admiring.
This design is a modern update on a traditional French tip manicure. Instead of a single white stripe, it uses mint at the base and tips. And, we don't know about you, but the curving gold stripe down the middle has us so excited for tinsel and treats.
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 highlights 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, the fun white arcs on each nail automatically take the earthy vibe to a chic new level. To DIY, use a white striping brush.
Warm and Cozy
Don't underestimate green when it comes to creating warm, inviting vibes. This evergreen shade is a cozy twist on the classic color, and it works for any season.