Wondering how you can stay on-trend with the latest winter nail designs?
When the temperature plummets and you’re all wrapped up, there’s no better way to accessorize than with an icy cool mani.
Whatever you’ll be doing this winter, your hands will definitely be showing and with perfect looking nails and cuticles, you’ll be set to impress.
As the holiday season rolls in, winter is the perfect time to experiment with nail art, so be prepared to go bold.
If you want killer nails this season and you’re looking for inspiration, what are you waiting for? Check out my best winter nail designs for 2023 and head to the nail salon now!
1. Glitter bomb
Glitter is a year-round style when it comes to nail design, but the festive season gives you the freedom to kick it up a notch. With an endless selection of glitter polishes and varnishes on the shelves, you can complement any outfit with the perfect polish.
Glitter nail polish is guaranteed to draw attention to your hands, so be sure to add the effect with a statement ring. Chunky rings are all the rage this season, and how better to complement your winter nails?
If you want to add a little festive glamour to your nails but you’re looking for a less-intense option for during the day, try some sparkle instead. With well-placed glitter, your winter nails will attract just the right amount of attention.
2. Go Deep
One of this year’s most coveted winter nail trends is deep colors and earthy tones. Think rust, mink, forest green, sage, and gold.
While you can add glitter and opt for a luxurious silky finish, earthy tones work equally well in matte shades. With just the right amount of depth, earth tones are perfect for winter nails.
Of course, any manicure needs the perfect outfit to go with it, and it’s easy to combine earthy tones with any of your wardrobe staples. Whether you’re channeling the seventies or hitting the gym; matte varnish in earthy tones will give you the pep you need this winter.
Don’t forget – there are alternatives to regular nail polish. You can get a gel manicure or a dip powder manicure, which are both great alternatives to polish, and they last longer too. Generally, gel and dip manicures are longer-lasting, so they’re perfect if you’ve got a busy week ahead and don’t want to worry about painting your nails again.
Nail enamel is less likely to chip than regular polish, which is a must when you’re wearing dark or earthy tones. You won’t be able to hide a chip as easily when you’re wearing darker colors, so choosing a nail enamel will give you the added protection you need this winter.
3. Rock it in Red
Red is a classic color for nails, the brighter the better. If you’re not feeling confident enough for a full-on pillar-box red, try a deep red or burgundy instead.
You’ll find that red nails never go out of fashion but they’re a particularly stylish choice for winter nails. With red and green as the ultimate holiday combo, you’ll be ready to ring in the festivities when your nails are fully prepped.
If you want to add something special, try adding a white topcoat to certain nails or certain parts of the nail. If you’re really feeling creative, you can use a bright white polish to give the effect of snow on your rocking red winter nails.
4. Amazing Almond
So you think the only option for your nail shape is square or rounded tips? Think again!
Shaping your nails is another way to customize your look and explore the best of winter nails this season. Almond shapes are increasingly popular, so why not step out of your comfort zone and do something different for the holidays this year?
When you shape your nails in this way, you’ll be creating a shape that’s similar to the stiletto nail shape. With almond nails, however, you’re going for a much softer point and more curved edges, as opposed to a more linear look.
This offers a more feminine silhouette and can be worn at work, at home or when you’re at a glam night out.
While almond shapes are a winter nails trend in themselves, you’ll find that there are plenty of additional designs you can explore when you take the plunge.
The unique shape of almond nails means you can update the classic French manicure or embellish the shape with accessories and bling.
5. Let it Snow
Wintertime is a great excuse to go cute and kitsch with your nails, and what better way to welcome the snow than with your very own snowman nail art? There are plenty of designs to work with, so choose the one you can recreate or dream up your own.
Nail art fanatics often recommend stamping polish for intricate designs, even if you’ll be applying your snowmen by hand. Of course, stamping varnish does tend to dry a little quicker than regular polish, so you’ll need to be on it if you want to get your entire design finished in one go.
If you’re really feeling adventurous, why not turn your fingers into a storyboard this festive season? With a snowman on one nail, snowballs and snowflakes on others, you can create a cute festive scene and literally wear your work of art all over the holidays.
6. Freezing Frostbite
When there’s ice on the windowpanes and snow outside the door… it’s the perfect time for frosted winter nails. Now is the best time to embrace the cool, icy tones you’ve been coveting all year, so go wild and be as daring as you choose.
You can use frosted polish across the whole of the nail to create an opaque finish or opt for a gradient. With a darker hue at your cuticles, working up to a lighter shade at the tips of your nails, you can create an effortlessly chic design, and it’s one that’s easy to work with too.
Glam enough for nights out but easy enough to wear to the gym, you can enhance any outfit with frosted nails. You can combine almost any color scheme with a bit of frosting.
Already got a color in mind for your festive event? Simply live it up with some frosting and you’ll have perfect on-trend winter nails.
7. Opposites Attract
Combining two distinct styles can set your designs off and let you enjoy the best of both worlds this season. Both neutrals and glitter is big this year, so why not embrace the two and really create something special?
Nude and silver nails work perfectly together and there are so many different options to explore. The easiest way to mix the palette is to dress alternate nails in different colors, but you can go for something more inventive if you choose.
Try a nude base coat with a shimmery silver as a partial topcoat. Giving your nails an icy appearance is the perfect combination for the holiday season.
The best part about this design is you can make nude and silver nails as glam as you like.
For a big night out, go big on the glitter and be sure to shine. Alternatively, for day-to-day wear, you can add a touch of shimmer to nude nails and give them a bit of extra winter sparkle.
Nude and silver are a great combo if you need to quickly add some glam to your nails. Prepare your nails with a pristine nude coat first then simply add a touch of sparkle and glitter before you head off for a holiday event or seasonal celebration.
What could be easier?
Taking care of your nails this winter
Although wintertime is perfect for exploring nail art, stamping, and bold colors, you’ll need to take a little extra care of your fingers too. Low temperatures and exposure to lots of moisture in the air can ravage the skin, and it’s not particularly kind to your nails either.
If you want to maximize the effect of your winter nails, you’ll want to ensure your cuticles are looking good. Whatever hand cream or cuticle cream you’re already using, get ready to apply it more liberally throughout the winter!
If you’re looking for gift inspiration, you may have already checked out my makeup and beauty gift guide, but don’t forget to add some nail-pampering equipment too. The perfect stocking filler: nail polishes, varnishes, enamels, base coats, topcoats, primers, nail stampers, cuticle cream, hand cream, and nail repair bonders to treat your family and friends over the holidays.
With your hands in tip-top condition, you’ll be ready to explore the best designs of 2023 and rock your winter nails well into the New Year.