Go on Pinterest right now and you’ll have no trouble finding inspiration for festive nail art. Unfortunately, a lot of the designs appear to require a degree in fine art and hands steadier than a surgeon’s. (Or, more likely, a trip to a nail bar.)

While it would be lovely to spend hours in a salon getting professional painted, in reality there’s rarely time.

Not that it matters, when it’s possible to create impressive festive fingertips with minimal effort or nail art skills. The following ideas involve nothing more fiddly than painting on a base colour then adding a simple embellishment, whether it’s popping on a sticker or dipping tips with a little glitter.

Now all you need to do is accessorise them with a flute of fizz….

What a gem

These stick-on crystals upgrade a dark blue nail polish to a seriously luxe look.


BASE: Essie Nail Polish in Aruba Blue, £7.99

EMBELLISH: A key nail art trend is to have the middle fingernail as a statement nail. We decorated our model’s with the largest stick-on design from Cina Nail Art Decals in Twilight Twinkle, £2.99. We used smaller crystals from the same set on the other nails, or leave them plain if you like.

TIP: Always place gems onto totally dry nail polish. That way, they’re easy to move if you don’t quite get the placement right first time.

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Christmas party guide 2017

Festive greens

A deep emerald base paired with a glittery ombre tip has evergreen appeal.

Party nails

BASE: Essence Brushed Metals Nail Polish in I’m Cool With It, £2

EMBELLISH: Once your base and top coats are dry, add an extra ‘tip’ of clear top coat. Wait a minute for it to get tacky, then use a little brush to press loose nail glitter onto the ends of the nails. Try Navila Silver Nail Glitter, £5, Sally Beauty. Tap off any excess, then seal with a final slick of top coat – dab gently to avoid smearing the glitter.

TIP: For a softer ombre, you can just press on glitter with your fingertips.

Wrapped in red

Here’s a simple way to turn your fingertips into shiny presents.

Party nails

BASE: Mavala Nail Colour Creme in Bordeaux, £5

EMBELLISH: Search ‘Christmas nails’ on Pinterest and you’ll find dozens of intricate candy stripes and ribbon effects, all painted by hand. Eek. Rather than using a fiddly striping brush to copy these looks, simply press on two overlapping strips of Nina Ultra Pro Nail Deco Circle Lines, £2.99, Sally Beauty, and trim to size.

TIP: If you want to use a top coat, always apply it before adding any stick-on embellishments. If you apply it over the top, it could move or wrinkle your nail stickers.

Precious metal

Copper polish plus gold embellishment equals a glamorous design that looks a lot trickier than it actually is.

Party nails

BASE: M&S Autograph Lasting All In One Nail Colour in Gold, £6

EMBELLISH: The most elaborate pro nail art designs involve placing tiny rhinestones on the nail one by one, which takes a lot of time and patience when you’re doing a whole hand. Claire’s Gold Stud Nail Gems, £4.50, come in pre-glued arrangements that make it easy to create a perfect pattern – just lift one from the sheet and press them on.

TIP: Stickers can be delicate, but if one bit of a design does break off, don’t panic. Just leave it on the sheet and go back for it. Nobody will see the join once it’s on the nail.

All jewellery from Claire’s. Ribbon set, baubles and snowflake fairy lights from Primark Home.

The black and bronze fabrics shown are from party dresses at New Look.

Photography: Ray Burmiston

Nails: Anna Gibson

Model: Stephanie L at MOT



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Lynne Hyland

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