New Year’s just might be the holiday that lends itself the least to a quick pandemic pivot. You’re literally supposed to be elbow-to-elbow in a dark room smooching strangers and swilling champagne. Whoops. MAYBE NEXT YEAR LOLz NOT LOLz?? This year, festive nails just might have to be a stand-in for sequined minis, ball-dropping, and general end-of-the-year debauchery. Because the truth is, I’m sure we can all agree that the end of 2020 and the dawn of a new year is something deeply worth celebrating—virtually, figuratively, or well, on our fingertips.
What’s great about truly 90 percent of the lewks on this list is that you absolutely can try them at home. (No need to venture to the salon.) A masked-run to the drugstore or a novel look at your existing at-home polishes and you could have a sparkly, celebratory mani that will absolutely lift your mood. Think glitter, gold, sequins, confetti and everything else you probably wouldn’t rock the rest of the calendar year.
And no matter if you’re Zooming into Times Square or cruising to your Netflix next-up, there’s no better accessory than a really great manicure. For the beauty-obsessed, December 31 is the perfect excuse for ridiculously cool nail art. This year, we’re going with chic, minimalist designs with that little something extra, like speckled glitter and (tastefully) bejeweled cuticles. Below, we rounded up the 36 prettiest nail designs that will make ringing in New Year’s Eve feel like a party.
1. The layered galaxy
This year, the idea of going out of this world just hits different, no?
2. These rhinestone polka-dot
Start with base layer of your favorite neutral, than add sparkly stones as you (and your patience) see fit.
3. This subtle quartz set
A milky rose quartz gel mani is set-off with slivers of silver and gold.
4. These neutral starry nails
Who is the star of this New Year’s Eve? You, your Hulu login, and your nails!
5. irridescent outlined nails
Materials needed: Clear and gold nail polish, a striper brush and a steady hand.
6. The dark confetti + glitter combo
Go goth, but like, in a cute way. (Black glitter + black polka dots = 🖤.)
7. This dark french mani
Ideal for an at-home black-tie affair.
8. These glistening gold nails
Someone just told me about the U.S. Navy acronym of KISS (especially relevant on New Year’s). These nails agree.
9. This basic holographic mani
No IRL disco balls? Np.
10. This sparkly midnight manicure
Maybe you’ll stay up to midnight, maybe not. The deep night energy of your nails is all you’ll need either way.
11. These rhinestone embellishments
A rhinestone fantasy design made for those who want their nails to look like money (a.k.a. ME).
12. This “dip baby dip” design
These red nails are anything but basic.
13. This low-key glitter
This goes out to everyone who wants to keep it chill but still be on-theme.
14. This star-studded accent nail
This is what you call chic and understated with one pop of ~ extra ~.
15. These sparkly bubblegum nails
If wearing a literal party on your nails sounds like a vibe, get this.
16. This rainbow french
If you don’t mind going into the new year indecisive as hell.
17. These rose gold accents
Fact: Rose gold will never do you wrong. (Shop the prettiest polishes here.)
JIC you want to show off your holiday spirit with your nails.
19. These tiny glitter tips
Are you more into neutral nails? A touch of glitter won’t hurt!
20. This Swarovski strip mani
Your nails don’t need much else when they’re coated in Swarovski crystals.
21. These champagne glitter nails
Go all out with glitter this NYE, because why not?
22. This disco ball design
A manicure like this will make you want to dance.
Want all eyes on your nails? Bingo! This bold foil design can be spotted from a mile away.
24. This simple, sparkly stripe
Minimalists will love this low-key chic design.
25. These tinsel-inspired tips
26. This matte-plum mani with gold accents
An easy way to dress up this fall hue is with a pop of gold.
27. These royal-chrome nails
An unexpected twist for a holiday that’s dominated by metallics.
28. This sparkly-matte combo
We’d like to name this design “When Opposites Attract.”
29. This oxblood-stripe mani
Feeling a little edgy? Go with this oh-so-sharp design—it just requires some strategically placed nail tape.
30. These gold leaf nails
TFW you want your nails to feel festive and decadent.
31. This speckled-glitter mani
Here’s proof glitter can look chill, too.
32. These festive, bright tips
A *fancy* french tip is more fun.
33. This navy and gold design
34. These bejeweled cuticles
I want to recreate this dripping-in-diamonds design ASAP.
25. This blush-pink and gold combo
NYE nail art that’s still office-appropriate nail art for all the people who ran out of vacation days earlier this year.
36. These gold-lined, cranberry nails
This isn’t your average red mani.
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