Get your glitter on, plus five nail influencers to follow for inspiration.

Much like the historic uplift in lipstick sales in times of economic depression, nail polish has become our go-to pick-me-up to lift the spirits in 2020 – especially since masks have rendered lipsticks all but redundant. Nails however are another story; they can add a splash of colour to our keyboards while #wfhing and, of all the ‘at-home’ beauty maintenance tasks we have trialled in lockdown, it’s probably the easiest to master (DIY waxing was not our friend).

Here are some ideas and inspiration accounts to follow if you’d like to give your digits a festive makeover – from the overtly glittery glam to subtle seasonal nods. Take your pick…

Main image: Dry Bar London

Ombre Reds

Oxblood, merlot, rouge noir… whatever you want to call it, deep red nails are a perennially perfect winter hue. This year, why not try a modern twist by going for an ombre effect? Simply choose five complimentary shades in the red spectrum and start with the lightest on your thumb working round to the deepest on your pinkie?

Tip Out

Using stick-on guides for French nails to mask off just your tips, add a festive twist by ditching classic white in favour of a metallic – or try a pop of colour and leave the rest of your nail nude. A subtle flash of fun for colour-phobes that’s easy to switch up if you get bored.

Celestial Skies

Channelling the three wise men (although we’re not sure they were in to nail art), why not create a ‘celestial sky’ on your fingertips? Using a deep navy as your base, get creative and add twinkly stars and moons with a cocktail stick and gold polish. Magical with a hint of ‘Christmas’.

Arctic Blue

You don’t need to stick to green or red to be Christmassy. Why not go for a winter wonderland spin, with a sparkly, Arctic blue? You could add nail art snowflakes, or a subtle hint of shimmer to create a frosted finish.


One of our favourite looks for a subtle, chic shade for Christmas is a pine green. Consider it a seasonal neutral – it looks beautiful with camels, winter whites, navys and caramels. A classic tone that will last longer than the mince pies.

Glitter Ombre Effect

This is a great way to create the illusion of longer, sleeker nails. An ombre glitter effect, start either at the nail bed or at the tip to achieve a beautiful look to add subtle sparkle to your nails for a hint of festive glam. Keep the nail base and glitter to one tone for a chic take.

Molten Metallics

If glitter isn’t your thing, why not go for a molten metal instead? A high gloss all-over copper, silver or gold will add festive drama in a grown-up twist. Keep nails short and the finish immaculate for a bold yet luxury look.

Embellished Nails

Festive nails are all about having fun. Why not pick a solid colour for four nails, and then go wild on your ring finger with all-over glitter. Or you could try this winter’s latest nail trend: embellishment. Rings, studs and encrusted nail art are all fun, OTT looks for the Christmas season.

Negative Space

A really modern, minimalist take on a coloured nail is to simply leave ‘negative space’ on your half-moon. Simple yet unexpected, it may take some practice and a steady hand, but it’s worth a go.

Sidebar Glitter

Another unusual take on negative space is with a swipe of glitter up the side of your nail, or simply across the nail bed. A brief flash of glitz on otherwise bare nails feels modern and uncluttered. A great option if you wear a lot of rings and feel a full-on glitter nail is too much, but want in on the sparkle.

5 Nail Influencers To Follow For More Inspo

Imarni Nails

Celebrity nail artist Imarni Nails’ clients include Hailey Bieber, Karlie Kloss, Paloma Faith and Alexa Chung. Her bold nail art and pops of colour are not for the faint hearted (and probably not to be tried at home by us mere mortals) but definitely an aspirational follow if you are looking to up your nail game.

DryBar London

If they’re good enough for Ms Markle’s wedding day nails, they’ll do for us too. DryBar London’s feed is full of modern classic looks that feel elegant yet do-able. Not just for Christmas…

Emma Jackson

Yorkshire-based, professional nail technician, Emma Jackson is another great follow if you love a high-gloss nail. Nothing gimmicky, just a really good, perfectly executed polish – plus inspo for easy-to-try twists on classic looks.

Iram Shelton

Iram Shelton is the ‘Queen of Tips’. If you’re looking to master a modern French polish, or need ideas to ‘shake up’ your usual ‘all over colour’ polish regime, Iram is your gal.

Rita Remark

Rita Remark is a freelance editorial manicurist, so expect on-trend colours each season and beautifully polished looks to aspire to.

By Lydia Mansi
December 2020

Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.