Six Holiday Nail Art Manicures (For the novice and the expert)

Hey everyone! The holiday season is definitely the time of the year when I feel the most inspired to do nail art. Throughout the year I will often just wear regular nail polish with no real design, with times here and there where I go all out. However, that is the exact opposite during December, where I only ever have nail art on my nails.

The designs that I have done this holiday season use a variety of supplies, however a lot of them can be accomplished with objects that you will often have laying around your house, like tooth picks and scotch tape. Even though you may not be able to do all of these without the specific supplies that I used, you can certainly still draw inspiration and composition ideas from them.

You will also notice throughout this post that I have used many nail polishes from my Top 10 Holiday Nail Polishes post. If you haven’t checked that out, you can do so here.

So, whether you are a novice or a total nail art expert, let’s get into it!

Abstract Icicle Nails

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For my birthday, which was on December 1st, I wanted to do my first winter nail art manicure. I wanted something that was classy but still fun for the season. I got the inspiration for this manicure from Cutepolish, a Youtube channel that has hundreds of nail art videos.

  1. Paint your nails with a base coat. I recommend Orly Bonder Rubberized Base Coat.
  2. Paint your nails navy blue. Let dry.
  3. Draw stripes of white from the cuticle to about halfway down your nail. Leave space for stripes of other shades. To draw the stripes you can use a toothpick, or a small detail paintbrush.
  4. Do the same thing with silver and silver glitter polish until the whole cuticle area of the nail is filled in with stripes.
  5. Let your design dry, and finish off with a glossy top coat.

You can watch the Cutepolish video that includes this design here.

Products Used

  1. UNT Ready For Takeoff Peel Off Base Coat
  2. OPI “Glacier Bay Blues”
  3. China Glaze “White on White”
  4. Finger Paints “Easel Come, Easel Go!”
  5. Nina Ultra Pro “Dime Piece”
  6. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Falling Snow Nails

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Where I live, we actually had our first snow at the very beginning of November, but it hasn’t snowed since! Because of this, I wanted to bring a little snow into my life with this mani. This is a very simple and easy to do manicure.

  1. Paint your nails with a base coat.
  2. Paint your nails any blue shade that you want. Lighter blue will give you a snow scene during the daytime, whereas navy blue will represent nighttime. Let dry.
  3. Add a messy french tip with white polish using the polish brush directly. No extra tools necessary. This french tip doesn’t have to be neat, because it is representing snow on the ground, which won’t be a straight line or a smooth curve.
  4. Using a toothpick, add small white polkadots all over the remaining blue portion of your nail. Try to make them unevenly spaced so that it looks more realistic, and not too dense.
  5. You can also add dots of silver polish, or individual glitters from a silver glitter polish like I did, also with a toothpick.
  6. (OPTIONAL) Finally, just to really bang it out of the park, I added a scattered holographic glitter polish, that has a clear base, to give us an even snowier look.
  7. Let your design dry, and finish off with a glossy top coat.

Products Used

  1. Orly Bonder Rubberized Base Coat
  2. OPI “Check Out the Old Geysirs”
  3. China Glaze “White on White”
  4. Finger Paints “Easel Come, Easel Go!”
  5. Nina Ultra Pro “Dime Piece”
  6. Dotting tool for the snow polkadots
  7. Toothpick to place the glitters
  8. China Glaze “Fairy Dust”
  9. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Snowflake + Knitting Nails

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I don’t know about you guys, but winter and knitting are two things that come hand in hand for me. I used to knit a lot. For some reason I have been taking a couple of years’ break, but I have been knitting for at least 14 years. One of my favourite things to knit are Fair Isle patterned blankets. So that’s the inspo for this mani.

This mani is more difficult to do without the right supplies, but is still doable with a toothpick or fine paint brush if you are very patient. For the patterns I used nail vinyls, which are like stencil stickers that you apply to your nail. Once the stencil is applied, you can dab on the polish you want with either a cosmetic sponge or directly from the nail polish brush, and then you remove the stencil to reveal the pattern. If you are using a stencil on regular nail lacquer, make sure your nails are COMPLETELY DRY before using it, as the adhesive on these stencils is VERY STRONG. Obviously if you are using gel, no wait time is necessary.

  1. Paint your nails with a base coat.
  2. Paint all of your nails, except for the middle nail, a cool shade of grey/purple.
  3. Paint your middle nail white.
  4. Using a stencil or a toothpick/paintbrush, add silver snowflakes to your pointer finger nail.
  5. Using a stencil or a toothpick/paintbrush, add many small V’s in vertical rows to your middle nail with the grey/purple shade.
  6. Using a stencil or a toothpick/paintbrush, add white ugly sweater/Fair Isle designs in many rows on your ring finger nail. These designs can be whatever you want.
  7. (OPTIONAL) Add rhinestones to your snowflake finger in the center of the snowflakes, and near the cuticle of both the thumb and the pinky nails to spruce them up.
  8. Let your design dry, and finish off with a glossy top coat.

Products Used

  1. UNT Ready For Takeoff Peel Off Base Coat
  2. Essie “Merino Cool”
  3. China Glaze “White on White”
  4. Finger Paints “Easel Come, Easel Go!”
  5. What’s Up Nails Nail Vinyls: Snowfall, Knitting Stitches, and Knit Your Own Sweater Tape Stencils
  6. CinaRhinestones
  7. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Subtle Snowflake Nails

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I think you might be beginning to sense that I am obsessed with manicures that involve snow. For this manicure, I wanted another subtle and classy look.

  1. Paint your nails with a base coat.
  2. Paint your nails with any pretty deeper blue or purple colour of polish that you have that isn’t just a flat crème. If the polish has different colours in it, even better.  For example, I used OPI “Glacier Bay Blues” which flashes from Navy Blue to Green and is a bit shimmery. Let dry.
  3. Using a stencil or a toothpick/paintbrush, add a few scattered snowflakes on top of a few nails of your choosing. As you can see, I only put snowflakes on my thumb, middle and ring finger nails. You can do this with many different shades of polish, such as silver, or polishes that aren’t opaque and have a slight shimmer to them. As you can see, my snowflakes are not opaque, they have more of an iridescent look to them. I used a special nail powder for my snowflakes but you could accomplish this with many nail polishes.
  4. Let your design dry, and finish off with a glossy top coat.

Products Used

  1. UNT Ready For Takeoff Peel Off Base Coat
  2. OPI “Glacier Bay Blues”
  3. What’s Up Nails Nail Vinyls: Snowfall and Merry Snowflakes Stencils
  4. What’s Up NailsAurora Pigment 
  5. Onedor No Wipe Top Coat

Candy Cane and Reindeer Nails

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As we got further on in December, I decided it was finally time to break out some classic Christmas designs. I decided to go for a striped candy cane, sparkly gold, and reindeer look.

  1. Paint your nails with a base coat.
  2. Paint your thumb and pinky nails red. Paint your pointer finger nail white, your middle finger nail gold, and your ring finger nail a tan/light brown/neutral shade. White works too.
  3. Using a stencil or a toothpick/paintbrush/scotch tape/striping tape, add red candy cane stripes diagonally across your pointer finger nail. Add stripes of different widths to add interest.
  4. Add a gold glitter polish to your middle finger nail.
  5. Using a stencil or a toothpick/paintbrush, draw the silhouette of a reindeer using a dark brown or black polish on your ring finger nail. This would certainly be easier if you used a stencil for this, which is what I did!
  6. (OPTIONAL) Add gold studs near the cuticle of both the thumb and the pinky nails to spruce them up.
  7. Let your design dry, and finish off with a glossy top coat.

Products Used

  1. UNT Ready For Takeoff Peel Off Base Coat
  2. CND Creative Play “Crimson Like It Hot”
  3. China Glaze “White on White”
  4. Nina Ultra Pro “Big Spender”
  5. China Glaze “Counting Carats”
  6. Orly “Country Club Khaki”
  7. China Glaze “Unplugged”
  8. What’s Up Nails Nail Vinyls: Wrapping Paper and Deer Stencils
  9. La Paloma Boutique Gold Triangle Nail Studs
  10. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

Peppermint Swirl, Christmas Tree and Candy Cane Nails

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This last one is another Christmassy mani, with the typical combination of red, white and green, and many classic Christmas symbols.

  1. Paint your nails with a base coat.
  2. Paint your thumb and pinky nails red (shimmery/glittery red if you have it).
  3. Paint your pointer, middle and ring finger nails white (a shimmery white if you have it). Let dry.
  4. Using a stencil or a toothpick/paintbrush, add red curved lines on your pointer finger nail from the center of the nail out, to make it look like a classic round peppermint candy.
  5. Using a stencil or a toothpick/paintbrush, add small dark green Christmas trees to your middle finger nail. These trees can be in rows, or scattered like I have above.
  6. Using a stencil or a toothpick/paintbrush, add many scattered red candy canes all over your ring finger nail.
  7. (OPTIONAL) Add green and red rhinestones to your thumb and pinky to represent holly leaves and berries in the arrangement that you can see above. I added two bunches of holly to my thumb, and only one to my pinky, since my pinky nail is very small.
  8. Let your design dry, and finish off with a glossy top coat.

Products Used

  1. UNT Ready For Takeoff Peel Off Base Coat
  2. China Glaze “Ruby Pumps”
  3. China Glaze “White on White”
  4. CND Creative Play “Crimson Like It Hot”
  5. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure “On Pines and Needles”
  6. What’s Up NailsAurora Pigment 
  7. What’s Up Nails Nail Vinyls: Peppermint Candy, Forest, and Candy Cane Stencils
  8. CinaRhinestones
  9. Onedor No Wipe Top Coat

And just for interests sake, this is what I have on my nails right now! That’s right, I’m back to snowflakes, hehe. I won’t give you information on how to do this one since it’s very similar in technique to the first few mani’s, and it uses all the same polishes.

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Products Used

  1. UNT Ready For Takeoff Peel Off Base Coat
  2. OPI “Check Out the Old Geysirs”
  3. China Glaze “White on White”
  4. Finger Paints “Easel Come, Easel Go!”
  5. Orly “Tiara”
  6. What’s Up NailsAurora Pigment 
  7. What’s Up Nails Nail Vinyls: Snowfall and Merry Snowflakes Stencils
  8. Onedor No Wipe Top Coat

Well that’s it for the Holiday manicures I have been doing so far.Which are your favourites? If you recreate any, please tag me in your pictures on instagram!

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Posted by

Originator of SUPERNOVABEAUTY. In order to escape the 9-5 life of a graduate student slave, I have devoted myself deeply to beauty products. I am very passionate about trying the latest and the greatest and can definitely say that I am an addict. At all hours of the day you can find me watching beauty tutorials and reviews by some of youtube's most influential, such as Tati, Kathleenlights, Roxette Arisa, jeffreestar and JAMbeauty89.

4 thoughts on “Six Holiday Nail Art Manicures (For the novice and the expert)

    1. Thank you so much! Hehe it all takes practice. I’ve been doing nail art for probably seven years. However, you need very few skills if you get those nail stencils!! I don’t like to rely on freehand, so I love them!

      Liked by 1 person

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