26 Christmas Nail-Art Designs That Are Festive Without Being Cheesy

For most people, one of the best things about the festive season is dressing up in a fancy outfit. However, for beauty enthusiasts, the star of the show is either the glitzy-themed makeup or the accompanying nail art. But just because you're partial to festive manicures doesn't necessarily mean you prefer tinsel designs, an ugly-jumper-inspired manicure, or Christmas tree nails. In fact, we're here to prove that holiday nail art doesn't have to be cheesy to be cute. (Although, for the record, we'd call Christmas tree nails anything but cheesy.) We're in a new age of creativity led by stellar nail technicians. Festive nails can range anywhere from chic candy-cane swirls to ombré polish with mistletoe and even subtle snowflake nails. No matter where you decide to take it, there's an option for you.

If you want to keep it classy, graphic lines and glitter finishes are the way to go. If you're looking to step it up a notch, cashmere and crystal nails are as stylish as they are cool. Winter nail art is beyond any specific holiday, so don't be afraid to experiment with the entire cosy aesthetic of the season.

Ahead, we've rounded up the chicest holiday nail art designs that will have you celebrating tastefully.

Grey Jumper Nails

Nothing is cosier than jumper nails, which feature 3D details on an accent finger that match the texture of a knitted jumper. Read more about the trend here.

Pink Snowflake Nails

Just because it's the festive season doesn't mean you need to stick to the same traditional colours you see everywhere. Case in point? This snowflake nail art painted on top of a bright-pink polish.

Black and Gold Abstract Nails

Switch up your standard festive nail art by implementing varying designs within a singular theme, like this look that incorporates a different gold glitter look on each finger.

Silver Snowflake Nails

Give your nails the winter-wonderland touch with a silver-glitter-meets-white-snowflake design. This one requires a steady hand, but makes the perfect festive nail art.

Red and White Jumper Nails

Or add the white jumper detail to a singular accent nail and paint the rest of your fingers a bright cherry red.

Red and Gold Star Nails

We love a classic burgundy manicure in winter, and these gold-star additions (created with a metallic polish and thin nail brush) take the holiday nail art up a notch.

Blue and Gold Abstract Nails

V-cut french manicures are simple, understated, and chic as hell, but you can give them a festive twist by incorporating classic colours like deep blue and metallic gold.

Mistletoe Ombré

Mistletoe nail art doesn't have to be obvious or in your face; instead, try adding the design to the tips of every other nail and paint on a cool ombré design leading up to them for dramatic effect.

Negative-Space Gold Snowflake Nails

Negative-space nails — which feature a design on bare or clear nails — are the ultimate minimalist manicure idea. We especially like this seasonal addition of gold snowflake decals.

Winter Berry Nails

Adding subtle festive details — like the winter berries design here — to a solid nail-polish colour like dark blue or green gives your holiday nail art a touch of whimsy without being too over the top.

Burgundy Stencil Nails

Matte burgundy nails look especially chic with a singular stencilled detail in a classic wrapping-paper design.

Reverse Sparkle Ombré Nails

The most festive twist on the inverted french manicure is this sparkly nail design, which features flecks of silver glitter along the cuticle. The perfect example of chic festive nail art.

Rose Gold and Burgundy Nails

The easiest holiday nail art design idea: change up your polish finishes. Take this burgundy and rose-gold manicure, for example, which plays with matte and glitter.

Abstract Red Nails

The colour red will be everywhere this festive season, but painting on the colour in an abstract shape — like just the tip of each nail as shown here — makes this holiday nail art feel fresh.

Glitter French Manicure Nails

French manicures look a lot more festive when you incorporate a glitter polish. Bonus points if you add other elements, like a snowflake here and there, to each nail.

Olive Green and Gold Sparkle Nails

An olive-green polish that matches your Christmas tree or wreath is a perfect choice on its own, but adding in a few flecks of scattered gold glitter to a nail or two makes it an extra festive holiday nail art look.

Beige Jumper Nails

If you want to try the cashmere-sweater nails trend but still want to keep it cosy and simple, we suggest a neutral base colour like the beige worn here.

Pink and Gold Glitter Nails

Subtle gold details on a clean, neutral-coloured polish will pair well with any holiday outfit and make great festive nail art.

Icy Blue With Gold Flake Nails

Metallic foil finishes are the perfect topper to any opaque holiday polish. We suggest adding it to one or two accent nails for fun but subtle holiday nail art.

Red and Green Sparkle Nails

Try mixing things up by featuring a different colour on each fingernail — but give it a festive upgrade with greens, reds, and glitter varnishes.

Red, White, and Gold Swirl Nails

Swirl nails are already trending this year, but you can level it up by drawing inspiration for your next design from classic wrapping-paper colours, like red, white, and gold to make it a festive nail art design.

Rudolph and Red Plaid Nails

Give Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer a subtle nod by adding the cartoon to an accent finger. Paint the rest of your nails either a single polish or an equally simple look.

Icy Blue and Silver Tip Nails

Jack Frost provides the ultimate icy nail inspiration — just take this blue, silver, and white design.

Candy-Cane Swirl Nails

The classic holiday candy gets a nail-art upgrade with this swirl design.

White Cashmere French Manicure

Give your french manicure the 3D touch with this embossed cashmere-sweater detail on the tips.