Getting a Christmas manicure is a wonderful way to slow down and practice self-care during the busy holiday season. But if you’re browsing Instagram for ideas, you’ll notice many designs use long fake nails.
If you like short nails, natural or acrylic, but still want cute Christmas designs, don’t worry. In this post, you’ll find twenty holiday colors and designs that look amazing on short nails. As a bonus, many of them are simple enough to do at home.
Christmas Nail Colors
Red is a quintessential Christmas color. Even plain red nails make you instantly look holiday-ready.
A matte green polish gives your manicure an understated yet festive look. Go for a mid-tone or dark green to call Christmas trees and holly to mind.
Gold nails make a great accent to any of the other colors on this list. But they can also stand on their own, matching the glitz and glamor of Christmas.
If gold isn’t your color, but you still want a metallic polish, go with silver. It’s more subtle than gold while being just as festive.
Try a cold blue if you don’t want a traditional Christmas manicure. Your nails will stand out thanks to their unusual color while pairing well with the reds and greens around you.
Take your nude polish up a notch by picking a shimmery version of the same shade. It’ll make your nails look jolly without using a bright color.
White is another classic Christmas and winter color. It looks fantastic on all skin tones and is the perfect base for nail art designs.
Pale pink is another non-traditional nail polish color you can try. It’s a beautiful color for those who want something similar to red without wearing red.
If bright red isn’t your thing, maroon is an excellent alternative. It still counts as red but has a more toned-down, mature look.
Christmas Nail Art Ideas
A simple way to make your manicure festive is by turning a few nails into presents. Put a cross on your nail with a bow in the center, and you’ve got a cute present design.
Snowflakes are another easy way to upgrade your manicure. With a thin nail art brush, create asterisk shapes on your nails, then add more little lines and dots to form snowflakes.
Take your favorite combination of Christmas colors and create stripes reminiscent of a candy stick on a few nails. They look best when done at an angle.
A step up from stripes is plaid nails. Going with red, green, and white creates a fun tartan print perfect for matching a plaid Christmas dress.
Another variation on striped Christmas nails is peppermint swirls. These require more dedication to achieve the perfect shape, but they look adorable, especially in red or pink.
For a subtle Christmas nail, simply turn your regular white French tip into a Christmas color. Or add a French tip to a red or green base.
Embrace the sparkle with glittery ombre nails. They’ll give your nails a holiday feel without using a design.
Put a few circles on your nails, add a line to each, and you have little ornaments! These make a splendid, subtle accent to any Christmas manicure.
Christmas tree nails can be as simple or complex as you like. Some people prefer a minimalist tree zigzag, while others prefer a full-out glittery tree with stars, ornaments, or lights.
Take the swirl design that’s been so popular this year and make it more festive by doing it in red, green, white, and gold. The colors make the design Christmasy while the design makes it trendy.
For another understated design, try scattering a few tiny dots of Christmas colors over a nude base. It’s small but jolly.
Short nails work just as well for Christmas designs as long ones. Now that you’re inspired, it’s time to schedule your next manicure at home or a salon.