6 Extra-Christmassy DIY Manicure Ideas for the Frazzled Holiday Soul
Are you still taking care of Christmas shopping? Are your cuticles ragged? Do you really wish you could debut a sparkly manicure on Christmas morning, but got no time to run to the nail salon? Do I sound like an infomercial yet?
Let me tell you a little secret: You have all the ingredients you need for a weird, homemade, but very seasonally appropriate manicure for all your wrapping paper-ripping.
My sister and I figured this out today. See, we don't have a single bottle of red- or green-hued nail polish among us, but what we do have is a lot of Christmas fluff — glitter, sequins, ribbon, wrapping paper, lace — and what is kitschy fluff destined for if not to be haphazardly glued to at-home manicures with a healthy helping of clear top coat?
We prepped our nails with olive oil on the cuticles and apple cider vinegar swiped over the nail itself, which is supposed to help the polish last longer. Our poisons? Crabtree & Evelyn Cinnamon Nail Lacquer, a phenomenal sparkly bronze shade that's the perfect antidote to overplayed reds and greens and golds, and the cooly green Essie Mint Candy Apple. And then we started playing around with decorative Christmas baubles, wondering what we could put on our nails. I ended up making minimalist silver wrapping paper Christmas trees and ornaments, while my sister went for the classic scotch tape mani in not-quite-red and not-quite-green.
Here are some of the more daring ideas we came up with, but failed to execute:
1. Use decorative ribbon to make a candy cane-striped accent nail. Cut tiny strips of decorative ribbon. Paint on one layer of color and gently press each strip of ribbon against the wet polish, either vertically or diagonally. Finish with a layer of top coat.
2. Metallic wrapping paper is perfect for stars, ornaments, Christmas trees, snowflakes, or anything that needs to shine. Just cut out tiny shapes from the wrapping paper — for my Christmas trees, I used two triangles on top of each other — and press onto wet polish. Dip the tip of a pin into a contrasting polish and use to add details, if you want (like ornaments on the tree, for example). Don't forget the top coat!
3. Create a textured polish with sheer ribbon. Just press the ribbon over your nail (it helps to have a sister with little fingers who can help you hold it down) and paint the polish over the ribbon. The end result will depend on your ribbon — will it be lacy? Nubby? Barely textured? Let it dry and then — say it with me now — "Top off with a top coat!"
4. Literally put a piece of the Christmas tree on your fingers. Do it, do it! We were too freaked out, but it has the potential to be really cool. Paint your nail with a thick coat of clear polish, then add the tiniest sprig of real evergreen. Top off with more clear polish. Unfortunately, the polish will almost definitely kill any scent of actual Christmas tree, but that's what sickly sweet holiday-themed body sprays are for.
5. Add a 3D ribbon. Remember that decorative ribbon? Cut a thin, long strip, and glue the center to your nail with polish, but keep the ends free. Once the center has dried onto the nail, tie it into a miniature — but very real — bow.
6. Turn the Christmas tree or lacy ribbon into a stamp. Paint your nails with a dark base coat (forest green, midnight blue, witch black). Take a sprig of the Christmas tree or a small piece of that particularly textured ribbon, and coat with white or silver polish. Press lightly onto each nail like it's a stamp.
7. Drink eggnog and don't stress about manicure chips or imperfections. Merry Christmas!