A whole bunch of chic, holiday manicures for people who are weary of glitter


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Photo: Courtesy of Jin Soon

Search #christmasnails on Instagram, and you’ll be met with 1.1 million examples of gold glitter, rhinestone snowflakes, and itty- bitty iterations of Rudolph’s and Santa’s faces. Now, don’t get me wrong: I am all for an over the top holiday manicure, but I also own six pairs of sequin slippers, which should (more or less) give you an idea of how I feel about glitz, in general. If you, on the other hand, happen to spend the other 11 months of the year rocking some version of Essie Nude Beach ($9), a mani covered in three coats of multi-colored glitter may not feel like them most appealing way to spend the most wonderful time of the year. And even I, sequin queen of the East Coast, am willing to admit that more than a few of the holiday nails on the ‘gram are a little, well, much. 

Fear not, though: There are still plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit without looking like you dipped your fingers into a pot of gold. To find out how, I chatted with the godmother of minimalist, chic nails, Jin Soon Choi, whose eponymous nail studio doles out chic, refined takes on the holiday classics. “I’d suggest going with a solid color such as hot red to acknowledge the holiday season, or even a less literal holiday vibe like variations of white—such as JINsoon Prim—and black nail polish,” she says. “If you wish to get a more traditional look, go with a classic moon shape manicure that isn’t too garish.”

For chic, minimal nail art, try pairing your favorite bright, bold red, green, or deep blue with an understated white or nude. For a subtle bit of shimmer that won’t blind you or your loved one over holiday dinner, choose a gilded gold polish on a single accent nail, or glitz up a neutral polish with something sparkly. Keep on scrolling for our favorite holiday renditions that are festive without being too on the (Ruldoph-red) nose.

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Glitter nails are soft and elevated in a tonal palette.✨

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Even if you hate holiday nails, you may actually be on board with the “ugly nail” trend that’s taken over this season. And if you want to wear red lipstick to your next Christmas party, we’ve finally found a hack that will help keep it off of your teeth for good

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