Whether you're a nail wiz taking appointments for family and friends in your living room or still trying to master polka dots, there's no denying the fun of experimenting with nail art. This year, if you're opting to do your own manicure for any social distancing or Zoom events on your upcoming calendar, you'll want to check out some holiday nail art inspiration from top salons around the country. From New York to Miami, these talented nail techs have whipped up looks for both beginners and experts to recreate.
Jane Hong, CEO of Paintbox in New York City, is avoiding traditional red, green, white, and gold colorways this year. "They feel dated and crafty, which, especially in this environment of more DIY, I want to be sure to steer clear of," she says. If you're planning on doing the same, follow the holiday 2020 nail art trends, which Hong says consist of beautifully toned opaques paired with soft glittery shades. "Glitters are a must this season because the world could use a little sparkle right now, and the holidays are the perfect way to do just that," she says. "And glitters for DIY nail art are much more forgiving, so even the nail art novice can create these looks."
Tran Wills, founder of Base Coat Salon, describes this season's popular nail designs to be minimal, chic, and playful. But, she predicts the looks to be a bit more toned down than years past. "No matter how you look at it, over-the-top nails don’t seem to fit the moment," she says. "The glitter, glitz, and jewel tones we’ve all come to associate with the season are still there, just a bit more subdued this year."
Pull out your favorite winter polishes, and get inspired with the eight holiday nail art looks below.
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Holiday Nail Art Inspiration: Pastels
"Pastels are a fresh take on the holiday season, and are trending to lighten the mood versus the typical jewel tones that we usually gravitate towards this time of year," Elle Gerstein, a celebrity nail artist whose clients include Jennifer Lopez and Chrissy Teigen, tells TZR. She says pastel pinks and blues are cool tones to give the effect of winter, and Frozen inspired looks to celebrate the season. To achieve the ombre glitter nail above, Gerstein used Lechat's Twinkle Toes polish stamped with the brand's Lilac Lux, and finished off with its Glacial Dust.
Holiday Nail Art Inspiration: Modern Glitter
"Since glitters are a must this holiday season, pair them with unexpected seasonal palettes like spice, camel, grey, midnight blue, or even alone on negative space with a shiny top coat," Hong says. Try out the design above by using the brand's Nail Lacquer in Like Future and Like Velvet.
Holiday Nail Art Inspiration: Catty Corner
Molly Romah, lead nail technician at Chillhouse, says one of the biggest nail art trend she's see right now is catty corner style. "This design is so fun, especially if you choose the right color combination," she says. Take a page of out Chillhouse's book and pick shades like deep maroon and dark mustard yellow, or alternatively, opt for bright pastels.
Holiday Nail Art Inspiration: Dark Tones With Pops Of Pastels
Wills is seeing lots of deep jewel tones mixed with pops of pastel, which she says really brighten up the traditional dark fall and winter mani. "A little gold foil accent brings a touch of glitz to round it out," she adds.
Holiday Nail Art Inspiration: Texture — 3D Dimension, Glitter, and Matte
"I’m creating texture to embrace the symbols of the season like cable knit patterns and snowflakes," Gerstein says. "We’re moving away from typical Santa, candy cane inspired nail art and going with a more sophisticated look for a more neutral mood." The nail artist says in the professional world there are new techniques that allow for texture and dimension. "When you pair matte with glitter it gives a texture," she explains.
Holiday Nail Art Inspiration: Festive Ombre
"This holiday season we’ve been seeing a lot of renditions of our classics, like the classic ombre and french include a festive additive," Vivian Cardenas, operations manager at Vanity Projects in New York and Miami, tells TZR. She says it's been popular to use fall and winter colors for ombre in irregular lines create depth and allowing for more creativity, as opposed to doing a classic glitter or confetti sequin ombre.
Holiday Nail Art Inspiration: Negative Space
"Nail art that utilizes the negative space has been a huge trend all year that will definitely carry over into the holidays," Wills says. "We’ve been diving into this trend a lot drawing color inspiration from The Queen’s Gambit." She says to imagine forest green, black, and white with touches of red here and there. "All classic holiday colors but applied with the season’s top trends in mind."
Holiday Nail Art Inspiration: Embellishments
Gerstein says embellishments are all about glitter and glam, but if you're more of a country folk, picture Victorian Christmas with pearls. "I think of embellishments as decorations for your nails, just as we decorate our homes for the holidays," the nail artist says. "This is a trend that will never go away, especially around the holidays."