From timeless festive classics to the latest on-trend shades this year, here’s your guide to the best Christmas nail colours for 2023.
The holiday season is upon us, bringing with it a flurry of joy, celebration, and the perfect opportunity to adorn your nails with the most enchanting Christmas nail colors. As the year comes to a close and the new year approaches, embrace the holiday spirit by choosing nail polish colors that capture the essence of the festive season.
From traditional Christmas colors to latest nail trends, we’ve got winter nail ideas for every mood and occasion. Let’s explore the best Christmas nail colors that will have your nails twinkling like Christmas lights on a cozy evening.
Note: This post contains some affiliate links. This means that we may earn a small commission when you click on such links, at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We only share links to products we would use ourselves and all opinions are our own. You can read the full disclaimer here.
Classic Reds: Timeless Christmas
When it comes to holiday nail colors, there’s no escaping the charm of classic reds. Just like the bright red of Santa Claus’s suit or holly berry red, these shades are a true representation of the Christmas season.
Whether you prefer a deep, velvety red or a bright, cheerful crimson, red polish is the perfect way to add a pop of holiday cheer to your nails.
Our Favourite Red Right Now: OPI I’m Not Really A Waitrose
Tips for Perfect Red Nails:
- Explore nail polish brands’ holiday collections for the perfect shade of red that resonates with your style.
- Experiment with different nail shapes, from almond to square, to find the one that complements your hands and fingers the best.
- Add a red glitter layer to one or all your nails for extra festive sparkle.
Forest Greens: Oh Christmas Tree!
What’s Christmas without the iconic Christmas tree? Capture its beauty on your nails with shades of emerald green and deep forest green.
Whilst a green colour polish isn’t always a go-to during the rest of the year, this lush pine-inspired tone comes into its own at Christmas time.
Our Favourite Green Right Now: OPI Stay Off The Lawn
Tips for Beautiful Green Nails:
- For an accent nail, consider adding golden glitter or a metallic sheen resembling tinsel on the tree.
- Embrace different shades of green to create a multi-dimensional manicure.
- Experiment with nail art designs that mirror the intricate patterns found on pine trees for a truly nature-inspired manicure.
Icy Blues: Winter Wonderland
As the temperature drops, icy blues become a fantastic choice for your winter nail colour. These shades capture the serene beauty of a winter wonderland, making them a popular choice at Christmas time.
Imagine the delicate snowflakes falling gently on a chilly night – that’s the magic icy blues bring to your nails.
Our Favourite Blue Right Now: OPI Aquarius Renegade
Tips for Cool Blue Nails:
- Experiment with different blue tones, from soft pastels to deep midnight blues, to find the shade that resonates with your personal style.
- Incorporate white and silver accents to mimic the sparkle of freshly fallen snow.
- Try a gradient effect from light base to deeper shade, and embrace all those winter blues of the December sky.
Glistening Golds: Regal Elegance
Gold is a colour synonymous with luxury and festivity. A touch of gold glitter or a champagne shade can elevate your holiday manicure to a whole new level.
Just like the shimmering Christmas lights that brighten up the season, gold nail polish adds a touch of magic to your fingertips.
Our Favourite Gold Right Now: I Mica Be Dreaming
Tips for Glittering Gold Nails:
- Apply a metallic gold polish as a base, and then layer on a sparkly top coat for a dazzling effect.
- Experiment with different nail art designs, such as golden stripes or geometric patterns, for a unique and glamorous look.
- If a whole nail in gold feels a bit too far, try dipping the tips in gold glitter polish and let the sparkle fade to nude towards the cuticle.
Candy Cane Stripes: Magical Whimsy
If it’s Christmas Cheer you’re after, then it’s Candy Canes and Grinch greens all the way to the North Pole! Showcase your creativity and have lots of festive fun with these youthful bright holiday colours.
Our Favourite Candy Cane Red Right Now: OPI Big Apple Red
Tips for Festive Nail Art:
- Use tape or nail striping tools to create precise candy cane stripes.
- Experiment with various shades of green to match your preferred deep holiday wreath or Grinch green.
- Add a touch of sparkle or a tiny gem at the intersection of the stripes to make your Candy Cane nail art pop.
Winter Whites: Snow-Kissed Tips
Who doesn’t love a White Christmas?! A striking festive manicure choice, white nail polish makes for an eye-catching Christmas display.
This colour provides the perfect canvas for various nail art designs and complements any outfit or colour scheme you choose for your festive look.
Our Favourite White Right Now: Essie Blanc
Tips for Stunning White Nails:
- Apply a clear base coat before your white polish to prevent staining and achieve an even finish.
- Experiment with sheer pinks and metallic finishes to add dimension and flair to your white nails.
- Incorporate silver or gold accents or shiny nail jewellery for a touch of holiday sparkle.
Pastel Tones: Sweet Gingerbread Charm
It’s a marshmallow world for the winter with these gorgeous soft Pastel Christmas nail tones. Why not cast aside that classic Christmas colour and try a delicate modern twist on yule shades.
Our Favourite Pastel Right Now: OPI Mod About You
Tips for Pretty Pastel Nails:
- Try a French manicure with a twist using pretty pastel colours for the tips.
- Enhance your pastel Christmas nails with delicate accents such as silver or gold studs, rhinestones, or minimalist nail art.
- Pick nude milky white colours for a soft natural look that will go with everything. Add an ultra-glossy top coat for an elegant sheer finish.
Metallic Nails: Holiday Glamour
Elevate your holiday look with metallic nails, from shimmering gold to radiant silver. Capture the festive joy and twinkling lights with undeniable glamour.
Our Favourite Metallic Right Now: OPI Intentions Are Rose Gold
Tips for Striking Metallic Nails:
- Mix metallic nail polish shades for a chic, multidimensional effect that mirrors the richness of the holiday season.
- Opt for a sparkling on-trend chrome manicure to complement your Christmas party wardrobe.
- Finish with a high-gloss top coat to intensify the shine and extend the life of your manicure.
Get In The Pink: Playful Pinkmas
Embrace the Pinkmas spirit and infuse a playful vibrant twist into your holiday manicure. Keep that summer Barbiecore vibe going for the most wonderful time of the year with cute pink Christmas nails.
Our Favourite Pink Right Now: OPI Feel The Magic!
Tips for Stylish Pink Nails:
- Explore an array of pink tones, from soft milky pastels to vibrant neon, to capture the true Pinkmas spirit.
- Infuse holiday joy with silver or gold accents, adding a sprinkle of seasonal glamour to your pink manicure.
- Experiment with nail art designs, like delicate lines or dots, to elevate your pink polish with a touch of creativity.
Natural Nudes: All Is Calm
These subtle tones offer a refreshing departure from the usual bold or dark colours at this time of year. Just like the soft glow of winter’s first light, nude nails are comforting, gentle and effortlessly chic.
Our Favourite Nude Right Now: OPI Dulce De Leche
Tips for Chic Nude Shades:
- Try a matt polish for a modern elegant finish.
- Pair with white and pale greys to create a warm winter palette.
- Use thin lines to create minimalist designs that play well with the natural hue.
Festive Brights: Colour Explosion
Unashamedly bright, vibrant nail colours are the life of the party during the holiday season. Optimistic and oh so joyful, unleash your creativity with this daring explosion of colour and let your nails shine as bright as holiday lights.
Our Favourite Bright Right Now: OPI Pink, Bling & Be Merry
Tips for Radiant Colourful Nails:
- Try mixing colours for an eye-catching fun festive kaleidoscope.
- Play with contrasting nail art designs – think colour-blocking, animal prints and reverse French.
- Go all out with colour picks, from neon pops to dazzling rainbows.
Latte Warm Browns: Earthy Elegance
Not traditionally associated with this time of year, these rich coffee tones are set to transcend the seasons and make quite the appearance for the Christmas manicure this year. Natural, warm and full of festive spice, infuse your holiday look with an earthy sophistication.
Our Favourite Brown Right Now: OPI You Don’t Know Jacques!
Tips for Cosy Brown Nails:
- Play with different latte shades to find your perfect tone. Think dark chocolate, creamy hot cocoa, rich caramel, … okay now we’re hungry!
- Add subtle accents inspired by nature, such as intricate leaf patterns or understated matt textures.
- Give a nod to the holiday season with delicate gold accents or nail foils.
Jewel Tones: Velvet Opulence
Set a regal tone with these opulent jewel tones. From an enchanting emerald hue to the allure of dark blue colours, these rich gemstone colours are just perfect for your winter nails.
Mirroring the wintry palette outside, these are the perfect holiday colour to take into the New Year.
Our Favourite Jewel Shade Right Now: OPI Abstract After Dark
Tips for Luxurious Jewel Tone Nails:
- Give your nails a metallic finish to show those gem colours off to best effect.
- Pair with the latest velvet nail trend for an other-worldly celestial vibe.
- Mix jewel tones together, from amethyst purple and sapphire blue to emerald green and deep ruby red.
Creating the Perfect Holiday Manicure: Tips and Tricks
Getting your nails ready for the holiday season is all about the perfect manicure. Whether you’re going for classic Christmas colours or unique designs, these five tips and tricks will ensure your nails stay stunning throughout the festivities.
1. Base Coat: The Foundation of Stunning Nails:
Before diving into your festive nail colours, always start with a base coat. This not only protects your natural nails from potential staining but also helps your chosen polish adhere better and last longer.
2. Experiment with Nail Shape
Christmas is the perfect time to have fun experimenting with different nail shapes. Whether you prefer a classic square shape or on-trend almond shape, your nails are the perfect canvas to showcase your style.
One word of caution … do keep in mind any Christmas jobs (such as wrapping) when deciding nail length! Not that we’re talking from personal experience or anything …
3. Accent Nails for a Playful Touch
If you can’t decide on just one Christmas nail colour, opt for accent nails. These are a fun way to incorporate multiple shades into your manicure and create a playful and eye-catching look.
4. Gel Nail Polishes for Long-Lasting Glam
If you want your holiday manicure to last through the festive season and into the new year, consider using gel nail polishes. These polishes are known for their longevity and high-gloss finish.
If you’d prefer to stick with a regular mani, try applying a fresh top coat layer every 2-3 days to maximise lifespan.
5. DIY or Nail Artist
Depending on your nail art skills and the complexity of the design you’re envisioning, you might choose to create your holiday manicure at home, organise a night in with friends and do each other’s nails, or visit a professional nail artist for intricate designs.
Not all salons offer the same services so be sure to ask on booking what polish they use and if they can provide the nail art and designs you have in mind. And do get your Christmas nail appointments booked early as the salons get seriously busy at this time of year!
Looking for Fun Festive Nail Art Inspiration?
The sky’s the limit on fun Christmas nail art designs. Whether you’re looking for elegance, show-stopping, or just some good old fashioned Christmas cheer, there will be a way to up your fingertip ante for the holiday party season!
Santa Hat Frenchie – replace those French manicure white tips with little Santa hats for a super cute nod to the Man in Red?!
Oh Christmas Tree – Christmas tree silhouettes look so pretty on an accent nail and can be added to any base colour you want. Add a few rhinestone gems as baubles for a little bling.
Christmas Lights – Trail a string of Christmas fairy lights across your nails for a co-ordinated design that’s sure to have people doing a double take when they catch sight of your fingertips!
Looking for more festive inspiration?
- Our Pick Of The Best Christmas Jumpers For 2023
- Check Out This Year’s Hottest Christmas Decor Trends
- Play ‘Christmas Never Have I Ever!’ With Your Friends
Know a nail polish fanatic?! Why not make their December extra merry with a nail polish advent calendar! Click here for more details of this and a host of other advent calendar ideas.
More Festive Inspiration
We’ve gone mushroom mad and share heaps of ideas for how to add mushroom décor into your designs this Christmas.
Embrace the magic of Mushroom Christmas Decorations for 2023! From disco ‘shrooms to rustic toadstools, it’ll be a fun(gi)-tastic season!
Make your own fabulously fun mushroom wrapping paper for a unique gift wrap idea with this easy cookie cutter kraft paper design.