Seasonal nail trends are pretty predictable: soft watercolors for spring, candy-hued brights for summer, and moodier reds, blues, and grays for fall and winter. But then there's this kind of unique period around the holidays — basically starting now and running straight through New Year's Day — where chic and sophisticated goes out the window in favor of festive glitter and candy cane-inspired stripes.
Thankfully, this year things will be different. In fact, the shade topping the Pinterest holiday search list is a nail trend that we'll still love come 2019. It's fun, it's festive, but it can also go subtle and low-key. It's time to get reacquainted with shimmer.
Nail pro Jessica Washick says she loves shimmer (note: not glitter) on nails right now because it gives a frosted and diffused shine. “Shimmers are so fun for the holiday season and beyond," she explains. "They’re not hard to remove the way glitter can be, and they help create an elevated look." Celebrity nail artist Whitney Gibson agrees that both chromes and iridescent colors are going to be big this season."I think having a futurist, unpredictable finish on your nails can be the wild card element in your look — dressy but also chill," she says.
Ahead, our favorite ways to wear the finish.
If you're loving autumn shades
— those rusty reds and burnt oranges — glam it up with some gold foil overlay.
A little ombré shimmer is universally chic.
Dubbed "Champagne glitter," this is one trend we're drinking up.
Make your shimmer more of an unexpected accent by pairing it with a soft pastel tip.
For a more subtle take on the trend, you can revamp the average nude by popping on a shimmer finish. Washick recommends a coat of Deborah Lippmann's Whatever Lola Wants
on top of your go-to neutral polish to get that frosted finish.
Mirrored nails are edgy, on-trend, and chic.
More of a golden girl? Do your thing.
A shimmery chrome finish makes light pink feel a little less cutesy.
The shimmer is barely detectable here... until the polish hits the light.
Nothing says femme fatale quite like nails dripping in the most high-shine black lacquer. (Just don't forget the vampy lip.)
A slightly shimmery mermaid scale or the paint on a well-maintained classic car — however you see it, this chrome blue-green shade just works.
Work some negative space into a dark, shimmery navy.
We're getting lost in this marbled mani.
And it doesn't need to be a full sparkle finish — a tiny shimmer detail adds dimension to an otherwise basic nail look.
The reverse french manicure
is cool in any color, but when you add a half-moon of shimmery silver close to the cuticles and a lavender accent on the tips — instant upgrade.
And you can vary your shimmer placement like so, doing one chrome nail, one shimmer, and the rest with minimalist accents.
A holographic overlay makes a pale pink shade way more eye-catching.
A subtler take for those who don't want to go full-blown chrome.
Believe it or not, this metallic, windowpane-inspired mani is actually a set of press-ons from the Christian Siriano x imPRESS collection
. We've tested them ourselves and these babies stay pretty durable throughout the whole week.
Even this funky twist on the chrome trend looks great.
Get the Barbie effect without the mess of the dream-house glitter.
Add texture to the trend by asking for a mani that utilizes a swirl of metallic polish. The result? A foil effect that demands a second look.
Add a chrome top coat to any polish and it'll take your pretty manicure to new heights.