Winter Wonderland: Festive & Fun Nail Art Designs For The Holidays

Winter nail art has become increasingly popular during the holiday season. Many people enjoy decorating their nails with festive designs to get into the spirit of the season. The most popular trends for winter nail art include snowflakes, trees, reindeer, candy canes, ornaments, and gingerbread themes. These fun and festive designs allow people to showcase their creativity and holiday cheer on their fingertips. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular winter nail art trends and provide tips, tricks, and tutorials for achieving stunning holiday nails. Get ready to be inspired to deck your nails for the winter holidays!


Snowflake nail art is a fun and festive way to get into the winter spirit. There are many techniques and designs to create a frosty snowflake look on your nails. Using snowflake nail decals is an easy option – simply stick them on your nails and add a clear top coat. Snowflake nail decals come in various sizes and designs. They provide crisp, clean lines on your nails for a graphic look. You can also create hand-painted snowflakes using white nail polish. Paint freehand snowflakes in different sizes and shapes, or use the tip of a toothpick to create precise snowflake lines. Ombre snowflake nails have a faded white to silver look. Start with a white base, sponging on silver at the tips for a frosty gradient.

Negative space snowflake nails focus on the gaps and shapes between snowflakes rather than coloring in full designs. Try painting your nails white and accent with small silver snowflakes using a nail art brush, leaving plenty of negative space around them. Snow globe nails encapsulate the fun of shaking up a snow globe. Paint your nails blue to mimic the water, and use a white polish or glitter tipped tool to add ‘snowflakes’ floating around. Let your creativity run wild with different snowflake nail ideas. Sparkling snowflakes, chunky glitter flakes, snowflakes on a French tip – get inspired by the endless frosty nail art options for winter.


Christmas tree nail art is a festive and fun way to get your nails holiday ready. Designs can range from simple green pine trees to fully decorated firs complete with ornaments, tinsel, stars, and more. According to POPSUGAR, Christmas tree nails are a popular choice for the holidays.

Start with a base green or dark color to represent the pine tree branches. Use a small brush or dotting tool to paint on clusters of triangles in a pine tree shape. For decorated Christmas trees, add dots of color with reds, golds, silvers, and greens to resemble ornaments and tinsel. Tiny stars or snowflakes can be painted at the top for tree toppers. Glitter polish or loose glitter can add an extra festive touch.

Christmas tree nails allow for creativity in shape, color, and decoration. They can be simple and subtle or bold and bright. The designs work great on accent nails or full sets. Refer to Pinterest for inspiration on different Christmas tree nail art ideas.

Reindeer & Deer

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer is an iconic symbol of Christmas. Capture his adorable look on your nails with red, brown, and gold nail polish. Paint your nails brown for the reindeer’s fur. Add gold polish to make antlers and hooves. Top it off with a bright red nose!

For a more subtle look, create simple reindeer silhouettes on a nude or glittery base. Use brown polish to paint the reindeer’s head and antlers. You can also make fawn nail art with shades of brown and white.

Recreate antlers on your nails with nail strips or rhinestone decorations. Brown and gold foil is another easy way to get the antler effect. Finish with a top coat to seal in the design.

Check out these reindeer nail ideas for inspiration:

This simple reindeer nail art is super cute:

Candy Canes

What’s more iconic for the holidays than candy canes? These red and white striped confections are a Christmas classic. Candy cane nail designs allow you to capture the festive spirit of the season right on your nails.

Some popular candy cane nail ideas include:

  • Straight or swirled red and white stripes – Mimic the signature candy cane pattern with simple vertical stripes or get creative with swirls and waves.
  • Polka dots – Try mixing small red and white polka dots for a twist on the classic stripe.
  • Glitter tips – Add some shimmer by coating just the tips of the nails in glitter.
  • Metallic accents – Candy cane nails pop even more with the addition of gold, rose gold, or silver.

You can keep candy cane nails clean and simple or get more elaborate by adding snowflakes, reindeer, Christmas trees, bows, or other holiday elements. The versatility of the red and white color scheme makes it perfect for everything from French manicures to full nail art designs.

To get those straight stripes looking sharp, use striping tape. For freehand swirls, a steady hand and high precision nail art brushes are key. Top coats like Seche Vite help lock in your candy cane creation.

Candy cane nails are a sweet way to spread holiday cheer. The nostalgic colors and patterns are sure to delight.


Ornament shapes and designs are a classic for holiday nail art. Painting round ball ornaments on accent nails is a festive way to get in the Christmas spirit. According to Pinterest, round acrylic nails or ballerina/coffin shapes work best for creating the ornament look. Use white, gold, red, or green polish as a base. Then paint on round bulb shapes, dots, stripes, snowflakes, bows, or other ornament decorations with contrasting colors. Add dimension by accenting with glitter, rhinestones, or nail art brushes. For a more minimalist look, decorate with just a few clean stripes or polka dots. Or go full glam with layered shapes, bows, and other intricate details. The possibilities are endless when it comes to ornament nail art!


Gingerbread is a classic holiday tradition, and it makes for a fun, festive nail art theme. Some popular gingerbread nail designs include:

  • Gingerbread men – With their cute little faces, buttons, and piping details, gingerbread men are adorable on nails. Use different color combinations to decorate the gingerbread men. Add candy details like gumdrop buttons.
  • Gingerbread houses – Paint a little gingerbread house on one or more nails. Add details like snowy roofs, windows with lights inside, candy decorations. Make it 3D by adding some “icing” with gel or acrylic.
  • Piped icing – Mimic real gingerbread by piping on swirly royal icing designs and patterns. White works well as an icing color. Or use shades like pink, teal, yellow, etc.
  • Sprinkles – What’s gingerbread without sprinkles? Add some multicolored sprinkles to your design for fun texture.

Check out this article for beautiful gingerbread nail art inspiration. With a steady hand and some creativity, you can whip up gorgeous gingerbread nails this holiday season.

Preparing Nails

Properly preparing the nails is crucial before starting any nail art design. This prep work creates a clean canvas and helps the polish and art adhere better. According to the IGEL Beauty Academy, there are four key steps:

  1. Remove any existing nail polish or art with nail polish remover.
  2. Trim and shape nails to your desired length and shape using clippers and a nail file.
  3. Gently buff the surface of the nails to smooth roughness and remove shine.
  4. Soak nails in warm water mixed with a small amount of soap to hydrate the nails.

It’s also important to care for the cuticles. Manucurist recommends applying cuticle softener, gently massaging it in, then pushing back the cuticles with a tool. Avoid cutting the cuticles, as this can damage the nail bed.

Base coats are a key prep step as well. Apply a base coat suited to the polish you’ll be using – regular for regular polish or sticky for gel. This will help the polish adhere to the nail.

Taking the time to properly shape, buff, and hydrate the nails helps create the perfect blank canvas for showcasing your artistic winter nail designs.

Tools & Techniques

To create stunning nail art designs for the winter and holidays, it’s important to have the right tools. Here are some of the most essential tools and techniques for festive nail art:

Brushes – Detail brushes allow you to paint on fine lines and small designs like snowflakes, trees, reindeer faces, etc. Different shaped bristle tips can create different effects.

Dotting Tools – These metal or wooden sticks with different sized balls on the end are perfect for making polka dots and other circular designs like ornaments.

Striping Tape – Tape can be used to create straight lines and geometric patterns. Apply it to the nail before or after polish.

Decals – Premade nail stickers and decals of holiday motifs can be quickly applied on top of a base color.

Sponges – Sponges, makeup wedges and blotting paper can create ombre or gradient effects by dabbing on multiple colors.

Ombre – This blended color effect is achieved by fading a dark color on the tip into a lighter color towards the cuticle.

Gradients – Gradients have a smooth transition between two or more colors fading from one edge of the nail to the other.

Stamping – Stamping kits allow you to transfer intricate designs from metal plates to your nails using a scraper and stamper tool. Great for snowflakes!

With the right supplies and techniques, you can create beautiful winter nail art designs with ease. Let your creativity run wild this holiday season!


Winter nails are a fun way to showcase your creative flair and get into the holiday spirit. As we’ve explored, some of the most popular winter nail art trends include delicate snowflakes, evergreen trees, sweet candy canes, cozy knits, and festive gingerbread. Glitter, metallics, frosty pastels, and rich jewel tones help to capture the magic of the season.

Whether you’re a nail art novice or seasoned pro, you can find endless inspiration for easy yet elegant holiday manicures. Simple decals, frost effects, and delicate accents make even the shortest nails shine. So get ready to spread some seasonal cheer with your fingertips! Whip up a hot cocoa, turn up the Christmas tunes, and unwind as you paint on some winter wonderland nail art.

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