nail trends

According to Google, searches for “Christmas nails” are up over 200 per cent, with festive mani’s high on everyone’s holiday pampering list. Seasonal-appropriate digits elevate your party look in no-time and give you that holiday cheer without a Santa nail transfer in sight! Think grown-up glitter, lively reds and super shiny finishes that will glimmer with every canape you pick up. For talons that get you noticed, nail guru Leighton Denny MBE, reveals the five hot festive nail trends and easy-to-follow steps to polish like a pro.

Looking for other winter nail shades? Check out our favourites here. 

The Trend: Glazed 2.0

Sheer, glistening, neutral nails with a luminous, moonlit finish – otherwise known as ‘glazed doughnut’ nails – has undeniably been the reigning nail trend of the year. And these dewy, glowy, glimmering nails aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. But for winter we’re going to see ‘Glazed 2.0’. Take your glazed doughnut nails to the next level with bolder, darker shades – but still with that gorgeous, iridescent, glimmering glazed finish.

Try: Nailberry Stardust, £16, Essie Head to Mistletoe, £9.95, Manucurist Green Flash Bronze, £15.


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The Trend: Elevated Glitter

For a statement festive nail, glittering gold and sparkling silver polishes are the way to go. For an elevated, ‘grown up’ glitter look, apply a dusting of your chosen sparkly polish to nails for a stunning, multidimensional, glittering finish. Just don’t forget to apply a topcoat for an ultra-glossy, shiny, chip-free mani with added razzle dazzle.

Try: Leighton Denny’s Nail Polish in Angel Dust, £12.50, Chanel Le Vernis Clair De Lune, £25, Mavala Star Palace Nail Colour, £5.50.

The Trend: Dynamic Reds

Bright red nail shades are a festive staple, a Christmas crowd favourite, but this year it’s all about dynamic, dark, luxe, vampy reds, and deep, rich plum shades to add a moodier hue to the classic festive shade.

Try: Leighton Denny Vamp, £12, Max Factor Nailfinity X-Press Gel Nail Polish, £7.99, OPI Infinite Shine Nail Polish in Bagota Blackberry, £16.


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The Trend: Naked Nails

Naked, barely-there nudes have been championing all year and will still be hugely popular this winter. The fresh, minimalist, perfectly groomed, dewy nails, that look effortlessly chic and pulled together is all about finding the neutral nude shade that replicates the beautiful colour of your natural nail to give that ‘your nails just better’ effect.

Try: For those with fair skin, milky neutral shades with blue undertones or nudes with a sheer pink hue will work best, like Beauty Pie’s Wondercolour Nail Polish in Go To Girl, £15.

Medium / olive skin tones should veer towards creamy almond or warm, dusty pink shades. Avoid anything too pale, which can clash with the yellow undertones of your skin colour. We love Bio Sculpture’s Lyrics Of A Lily, £12.


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While dark skin tones pretty much suit all shades but for a ‘your- nails- but- better’ nude polish, look for deep, rich, and creamy beige and caramel shades, or a warm chocolate with red / orange undertones like Leighton Denny’s Nail Polish in Forest, £12.50.

The Trend: Moody Micro French

The micro-French manicure is a modern take on the classic French mani – a shorter cleaner nail shape, a beautiful, glossy neutral base shade, with a super fine, stark white strip across the tips. Switch up and elevate your micro-French mani by opting for darker, moodier shades for the tips – play around with different shades from deep, warm pinks, to rich blues and emerald greens.

Try: Hermès Les Mains Hermes Nail Enamel in Bleu Encre, £42 and Candy Coat Gel Polish in Nº 085, £9.


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Five Top Tips to Polish Like a Pro

1. The key to a perfect mani is fine layers – a base coat, two thin coats of colour and a topcoat – ensuring you allow enough time for each coat to dry. For example, your base coat should appear matte before you begin to apply your colour and you should leave around 2-3 minutes of drying time in between each coat of polish and before applying your topcoat.

2. Don’t underestimate the powers of base and topcoat. All nail colours should be protected with a topcoat to prevent chipping and fading, extend the life of your manicure and keep your nail colour fresh and vibrant day after day.

3. Don’t forget your tips to prevent chips. Slightly ‘swipe’ and seal the tips of the nails with your nail polish and topcoat – this will seal the colour and protect it from chipping.

4. Apply a fresh layer of your topcoat every three to four days to keep the colour fresh and prevent chips.

5. If your polish chips or smudges, remove the polish on the damaged nail and start again for a perfect finish. Layering more polish over the top will just make it more prone to chipping and smudging later. The key is to allow each layer to dry (base coat, polish, and topcoat) before applying the next.

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