17 Non-Cheesy Holiday Manicures That Still Spread Good Cheer


There's only one time of year when glitter in excess is the norm, and all things red, green, and silver are basically requisite. But even though holiday season is certainly festive, that doesn't mean it has to be predictable. The best holiday 2019 nail art ideas are anything but that, with nary a wreath or ornament in sight — only texture, unique line designs, astrological symbols, and strategic hints of sparkle. And, even better, many of the looks involve elements of negative space nail art, which gives you one less thing to worry about throughout the season of last-minute gift runs and hosting.

So if you're ready for your holiday mani upgrade, these are the looks nail lovers from New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris, and everywhere else in between are fa-la-la-loving.

Minimalist Dot Nail Art

"I love this simple design because it's fun while still feeling elevated," Sarah Gibson-Tuttle, founder and CEO of Olive & June in California, says. "Polka dots on a barely-there polish are a great way to rock winter nails before you are ready for a full-on dark mani. With the back of the clean up brush, dip the back of the brush into the polish and gently dot. Have fun with it and vary the location of the dots."

Olive & June — Los Angeles, CA

Gloss Up Beauty Bar — Paris, Fr.

Chillhouse — New York, NY

Stained Glass Nail Art

"I think it can resonate as a holiday look because it resembles the trimmings we use for both dressing the tree and wrapping gifts," Rita Pinto, founder of Vanity Projects New York and Miami says.

Simply cut out reflective decals of any shape to bring this look to life. Or if you don't have time, Jin Soon Choi, editorial manicurist and founder of the JINsoon Spas and JINsoon Nail Lacquer, suggests trying her new Bejeweled Nail Art Decals. "They're inspired by handmade custom-designed jewelry. They are easy to apply and instantly create a whimsical and enchanting look." Pro tip: Apply them on top of a pearlescent white shade for them to really pop.

JINsoon Nail Spa — New York, NY

Vanity Projects — New York, NY and Miami, FL

Strike-Through Line Nail Art

The mix of geometric shapes and lines is the the newest minimalist nail trend. "The unhindered method of color usage is what makes each nail design unique. It’s a small upgrade to any nail service that makes a big impact that I truly enjoy!" Charlyne Muhammad, manicurist at Pear Nova Studio Chicago says.

Pear Nova Nail Studio — Chicago, IL

Finger Bang Nail Studio — Portland, Ore.

Bubble-Textured Nails

"Tis the season for gift giving. And what better way to hint your partner you want a crocodile handbag than holding this hand up next to the bag you want!" Le jokes. "Surprisingly, all you need to get this effect is foam hand soap and a gel top coat."

Amy Le Nail Studio — Santa Monica, CA

Pear Nova Nail Studio — Chicago, IL

Hypnosis Nail Art

Artistic swirls are everywhere — just take Iris Van Herpen's latest collection, for example. "With a small striping brush, you create strokes using a gel polish," Lisa Logan, celebrity nail artist and founder of The Nail Suite, says. "I like for the lines to be intentionally not perfect for dimension and texture. This is my own recreation of a look created by a nail artist named Gracie J."

The Nail Suite — New York, NY

Finger Bang Nail Studio — Portland, Oregon

The Line Portrait Nail Art

The unconventional design will surely be a conversation starter at any holiday party. And while many artists are ceasing the opportunity to appreciate the feminine form, others have taken a page out of Picasso's book, using polish to create their own variations of his labyrinthine portraits.

Gloss Up Beauty Bar - Paris, France

Wild Oleander - Brooklyn, NY

Negative Space Polish Segment Nail Art

"I love the creativity of this look. It combines the use of negative space with fun, geometric nail art," Gibson-Tuttle says.

Olive & June — Los Angeles, CA

Astrological Nail Art

If Crystals and Co—Star are your thing, then so is this horoscope-inspired design created adding jewel decals.

Imarni Nails — London, England