13 Festive (& Seriously Chic) Holiday Manicures To Copy This Season

Photo: Christian Vierig/Getty Images.
Imagine, for a second, that you've just stepped through the door of a swanky holiday party. You're wearing a variation of your dream outfit — a velvet jumpsuit, heels, earrings that look like Hermès but are actually H&M — when someone hands you a skinny crystal champagne flute, like a scene out of a movie. You smile, eagerly stretch your fingers towards the stem, and, at that precise moment, remember the one detail you forgot: to schedule a manicure.
Instead of getting stuck kicking yourself at the eleventh hour — digging your fingers deep in the pockets of your jumpsuit (thank god for pockets, right?) — give yourself a fun, festive, easy-to-DIY manicure ahead of the party this time around. Ahead, 13 chic, elevated, subtly seasonal manicures (as in, no red-nosed reindeer or melted snowmen) that you'll be happy to spy on your nails any time you reach for a cocktail, from now through New Year's Eve.
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Starry accents are the minimalist nail-art trend taking over this season. If you've got a steady hand, you can paint on your teeny-tiny stars DIY style, but we also endorse the stick-on variety for a much simpler shortcut.
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Some sparkly nail polish — like the shades in Essie's Concrete Glitters collection — and a skinny striping brush, and you've got the makings of the most perfectly understated seasonal polka-dot mani.
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When 10 bright-green pine trees feels like overkill, try elevating your nails with a two-tone stitching detail (you can use this plum-purple polish next to this deep-red shade). It gives the subtle illusion of a fresh-cut fir, without looking cheesy.
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Florals aren't exclusive to your spring and summer manicures: When you keep your base coat a cool neutral shade by using a polish like CND's Romantique, rich red-and-green blossom accents will give a wintry, poinsettia-esque effect.
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A shiny nude base coat sprinkled with a fine layer of gold glitter flecks around the cuticle, and you've got fingernails that beg to be wrapped around the stem of a Baccarat crystal wine glass.
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If you have a steady hand with a striping brush, a little typography — scripted in cursive with gold glitter polish — makes the most ornate holiday accessory.
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This gilded manicure is the equivalent of unwrapping a sinfully sweet Werther's caramel hard candy from its gold-foil coating.
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The string of rainbow twinkle lights hanging on your tree seems lackluster compared to your neon-flashbulb manicure.
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Do you see a candy cane or the Nike swoosh? Whichever way you play it, the red-and-white accent looks cool with high-tops and a party dress.
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Your soft lavender nail polish gets an upgrade with sparkly sugarplum gemstones — both on your fingers and around them.
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Use this luxe emerald polish as your glossy green base and this fine-grained silver chrome shade as your starry accent, then find yourself a pine-tree backdrop.
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If your head hurts just imagining the concentration it would take to paint a plaid pattern on your fingernails, get the look but bypass the heavy lifting by using chic nail-wrap stickers.
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With festive nail art, sophistication is found in simplicity. Let these teensy, twinkling star droplets be your guide.
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