DIY Holiday Nail Art Ideas

'Tis the season for a magnificent mani. Try one of these simple yet stunning designs created by nail guru Jin Soon Choi.

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Blurred Lines


Apply two coats of blue. Swipe gold polish across the edge, creating an uneven French tip. Dip a very thin brush (we love Kiss Salon Secrets, $10) into gold polish and, starting at the tip, draw thin lines across nail from each side. Stop about a third of the way down.

Get the look: JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Blue Iris, $18; SpaRitual in Finding, $12

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All That Glitters


Paint two coats of a neutral taupe or pink base. Let dry. Add one thin coat of glitter, making sure to spread evenly throughout nail. Bonus: Sparkle polish is a quick fix for chipped solid colors.

Get the look: Coy Makeup for Lacquer Cabinet by Nailtini in Cement Mixer, $13; Formula X Sparklers in Love Chemistry, $13

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Chevron Chic


Start with two layers of burgundy. Using gold polish, swipe brush from left edge (a quarter of the way down) diagonally to center. Repeat on the right. Note: This look is great for short or long nails—just adjust the depth of the tips accordingly (shorter equals smaller).

Get the look: Vinylux Weekly Polish in Locket Love, $10; Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Wine Stock, $10

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Total Texture


Paint two thin coats of an ivory shade. Scrape glitter polish brush against bottle, then use other side of brush to gently dab sparkle onto nail, starting at the bottom. Gradually move toward the outer edge as you reach the top of the nail. Skip topcoat.

Get the look: JINsoon Nail Lacquer in Georgette, $18; Essie in Summit of Style, $9

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Squiggle Room


Apply one coat of red to all nails. Apply a second coat of red to one nail. While polish is still wet, place the dotting tool at bottom center of nail bed and draw an S shape, moving upward. Repeat with each nail.

Get the look: OPI Nail Lacquer in What's Your Point-Settia, $10; Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art Tool Kit, $6

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Top Tricks to Make Your Mani Really Last


Follow the three-day rule. Prevent chips by swiping on a high-gloss topcoat every third day. Deborah Lippmann Addicted to Speed ($20) is a good option.

Apply cuticle oil daily. Choose one with vitamin E, like Julep Essential Cuticle Oil ($18), and massage into cuticles and nails.

Ramp up the moisture. In winter months, hands are extra dry. Exfoliate in the shower and finish with a nourishing cream whenever you wash hands.

Wear gloves outdoors. They provide essential protection from harsh winds and cold and keep your skin soft.

Originally published in the December 2014 issue of Family Circle magazine.