Amidst all the primping and planning for your plethora of holiday engagements, it can be easy to overlook your nails, but a dressed-up set of digits is crucial to topping off your look. Plus, according to celeb manicurist Skyy Hadley, most people talk with their hands and if you’re planning on drinking and eating on the party circuit, then attention will constantly be drawn to your hands. So it’s critical to make sure your hands and nails look their best.
That’s why we put together our guide to the seven hottest nail-polish trends for the holidays, plus tips from Hadley on the coolest ways to wear ‘em all. Scroll through, take notes, and prepare to feel that holiday spirit, in your fingers and your toes.
Nothing ups the glitz-and-glam factor quite like digits decked out in loads of sparkle. Look for polishes that feature chunky pieces of glitter alongside more finely milled shimmer. To up the impact, layer a metallic underneath to make your pizzazz really pop. “Never wear a nail polish shade that is the same color as your dress,” cautions Hadley. “If you want to go all out with super-bling on your nails, then be sure to wear a fairly plain dress with minimal design.”
Priti NYC Nail Polish in Mulberry Jam, $13.50, available at Priti NYC; NCLA Nail Polish in Hollywood Hills Hot Number, $39 for 3-piece set, available at R29 Shops; Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold, $18, available at Sephora.
This ain’t your momma’s red. Shimmer, pearlescence, and a moodier palette elevate holiday reds into the stylish stratosphere, boldly going where classic creme crimsons have never gone before. Look for super-metallic finishes, dark-red hues, and, yes, even oxblood, to help sexify your tips. Hadley suggests using one of these polishes as an accent by painting it on your tips to create a super-glam French mani.
Make metallics feel fresh by straying away from the usual gold and silver shimmer in favor of something a bit more unexpected. Duo-chrome and foiled finishes help jazz up this classic trend, as do surprising shades like mauve or jade.
Ciaté Paint Pots Nail Polish in Spending Spree, $15, available at Sephora; RGB Cosmetics Nail Polish in Factory, $16, available at Anthem Wares; MAC Nail Lacquer in Girl Trouble, $16, available at MAC.
The most surprising color trend this season has to be blue, which is showing up in every conceivable hue, from cornflower to Yves Klein and frosted navy. Hadley says to make sure your nails are short if you opt for this bold trend — too long and it can veer into tacky territory.
Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Cameo, $14, available at Sephora; Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture in Bleu Majorelle, $25, available at Yves Saint Laurent; Julep Nail Vernis in Marisa, $14, available at Amazon.
Pitch-black nails can be a bit too brooding for the party season, so opt for super-dark grays and inks shot through with silver shimmer. This will lighten up the shades and add some icy dimension, which keeps things fun and interesting. “Since these shades are slightly frosty, try applying two or three coats to achieve a perfectly smooth, party-ready finish,” says Hadley. Or, keep it sheer by layering one coat over a brighter shade, like red or blue, to create a fun two-toned effect.
Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Creator, $14, available at Sephora; Butter London Nail Lacquer in Gobsmacked, $14, available at Butter London; Bobbi Brown Shimmer Nail Polish in Black Pearl, $18, available at Bobbi Brown.
Everyone expects you to wear glitter, gold, or red, so shake things up with an out-of-left-field color like bright orange, emerald green, or deep purple. Pick an out-there hue that will create contrast (but not clash!) with the rest of your look. A cool, magnetic snakeskin effect never hurt anybody, either. Hadley suggests pairing one of these shades with a glossy black to create a tuxedo nail à la Zooey Deschanel.
Essie Snakeskin Magnetics in Crocadilly, $10.99, available at Target; NARS Andy Warhol Nail Polish in TV Party, $18, available at Nordstrom; Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in The First Noel, $42 for 3-piece set, available at Neiman Marcus.
Create a conversation piece around your nails by sporting digits with textural accents. Studded leather, Jackson-Pollack splatter sparkles, and a pebbled sand effect are all great icebreakers to get people talking at the hors d’oeuvres table. “Since these polishes have so much going on, there’s no need to over-accesorize with jewelry — have fun limiting the accessorizing to your nails,” says Hadley.
Nails Inc. Bling It On Rebel Set, $25, available December 26 at Sephora; Sephora X The Toppers in Chaotic, $11.50, available at Sephora; OPI Mariah Carey Liquid Sand Nail Lacquer in Get Your Number, $9, available in January at OPI for salons.
Illustrated by Naomi Abel
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