23 Glamourous New Year’s Nail Looks to Up Your Style Game

From barely there to all-out bling, dress up your nails with a fabulous New Year's Eve manicure!

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New Year’s Eve is practically around the corner, and after the 12 months we’ve had, it’s time to let loose on the biggest party night of the year.

Whether you plan on celebrating in an exotic location, at a fun New Year’s Eve party— or from the comfort of your couch— your New Year’s nails should look perfect as you get ready to wave buh-bye to the year that was. Up the glam factor and pair with one of these pretty and festive New Year’s Eve makeup ideas, as well as some chic, affordable jewelry.

Silver-tipped nails

Silver Tipped Nailsvia @amyle.nails/Instagram

For your New Year’s nails, update the classic French manicure with a bit of silvery bling. Start with barely-there polish all over your nails. After the base layer dries, use a thicker silver color to paint just the tips of the nails. Once it dries, follow with sheer polish with silvery or iridescent glitter bits all over nails. When you post your final look to Instagram, have these New Year’s captions at the ready.

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Shaken not stirred manicure

Shaken Not Stirred Manicurevia @betina_goldstein/Instagram

If you love the elegance of James Bond movies, you might fall for this cute olive-inspired mani. Use a (what else?) olive-colored nail polish as a base coat. Apply two coats and then wait until your nails are dry before painting on random red circles. Top with an extra shiny topcoat. Now you’re ready to play one of these New Year’s games.

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Diamond and black double French manicure

Diamond And Black Double French Manicurevia @betina_goldstein/Instagram

This chic look for New Year’s nails is surprisingly simple to achieve since any mistakes you make with the silver tip you can easily cover with a black crescent design. Start with sheer pink nails. Carefully paint on a thin silver semi-circle just over the tips of your nails. After the design dries, follow with an even thinner semi-circle in pure black or choose a color that matches your dress—or your mood! Use these tips to make your nail polish last longer.

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Gold leaf nails

Gold Leaf Nailsvia @rut_beiztegui/Instagram

Who says gray has to be boring? Apply two coats of a medium gray shade and wait until nails are nearly dry. Dip a thin brush into gold nail polish and draw a curved line down the side of two nails. Draw slightly curved lines coming out of the “stem” until you’re satisfied with the leafy look. Pair it with the Pink Armor Nail Gel for stronger nails.

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Reverse French manicure

Reverse French Manicurevia @aliciatnails/Instagram

Don’t have time to do your nails before the big New Year’s party? This is a really easy solution: Buff and file your nails and use a soft cloth to remove any dust. Use a dark nail polish color or nail pen to dot on a crescent shape just over the base of your nails. Here’s more exciting nail art for inspiration.

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Easy bling manicure

Easy Bling Manicurevia @aliciatnails/Instagram

This mani only looks complicated. Brush on a sheer base coat to your nails—bonus points if it has a bit of hidden shimmer. Then use a tweezer to apply rhinestones with a sticky back over all 10 fingernails. Don’t forget to condition first with some of the best cuticle oils.

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Holo nails

Holographic Nailsvia @stephstonenails/Instagram

Holographic nails seem to be a trend that is here to stay, and they’re perfect for New Year’s nails. You can stick on sheets of holographic nail stickers and be done in minutes—no drying time required. For another quick nail look, check out liquid latex for nails.

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Velvet matte manicure

Velvet Matte Manicurevia @checkyesmichelle/Instagram

Sometimes subtle shine is the order of the day…or night. Apply two to three coats of your favorite high-shimmer nail polish—hint: These are the best nail polishes. After nails are dry, apply a matte base coat for an interesting textured effect.

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Side shimmer manicure

Side Shimmer Manicurevia @stephstonenails/Instagram

To create this New Year’s eve nail look, swipe a chunky glittery gold polish all over nails. After this base color dries, carefully apply a bold green shade just to the center of each nail and leave one or both sides bare to show off that nail bling. For a longer lasting manicure, try using the best gel nail polishes.

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Ombre-ish manicure

Ombre Ish Manicurevia @themaniclub/Instagram

Not sure what you’re wearing yet? This mani will go with any outfit. Use a mix of four different neutral (but glam) shades and paint each finger a different color. The trick to making it look pulled together is to keep your thumb and pinky nails the same hue. By the way, here’s what your nail polish color reveals about your personality.

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Glam glitter nail art

Glam Glitter Nail Artvia @jinsoon/Instagram

Break out your nail jewels and create an easy blingy look. Start with a sheer pink color that flatters your skin tone. After nails are dry, layer shimmer polish on top, then randomly add chunky jewels to the base of your nail.

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Starry gold tips

Starry Gold Tipsvia @overglowedit/Instagram

These nails will look amazing on New Year’s or any time you need a reminder that you’re a star. Paint all of your nails with a shell-pink shade. Cover the tips of all nails with gold polish color. Use tweezers to apply gold star nail stickers randomly over your nails.

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Vampy nails

Red Vampy Nailsvia @jinsoon/Instagram

Classic red is, well, classic for a reason. But if you’re looking to up your mani game with your New Year’s nails, consider shaping your nails to a funky point (before polishing of course!). Or just cheat and use press-on nails in the boldest shade of red you can find.

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Gold crackle nails

Gold Crackle Nailsvia @safinailstudio/Instagram

Here’s an expert tip for easily achieving the look of complicated patterns. Start with two to three coats of a white or shell pink base coat. Then, cover the top third of your nails with a thick gold polish. When nails are nearly dry, use an etching tool (or press your fingertips into your nails) to give them texture without destroying your mani. After that dries, seal your design with a top coat with gold sparkles.

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Red hot manicure

Red Hot Manicurevia @hamilton_nail/Instagram

If you love a retro vibe, these fun nails add a touch of ’50s Hot Rod to your New Year’s manicure. Paint your ring and middle finger on each hand a sheer pearly pink paint and the remaining nails a deep red shade. After nails dry, cover the tips of the pink nails with the same shade of red as the other nails and with a light hand draw “flames.”

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When sparkle met ombre nails

When Sparkle Met Ombre Nailsvia @321speaklife/Instagram

You don’t need long nails to create a perfect New Year’s manicure. Polish all of your nails with a high-sparkle nail color, pour out a dollop of sparkly color on a small piece of a makeup sponge, then press on to your accent nail.

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Sugar-dipped manicure

Sugar Dipped Manicurevia @wineweekendsandwhatever/Instagram

For the perfect winter nail look, coat nails with a pale shade, then choose one accent nail to cover with a silvery-sparkly top coat. Finally, pile as many pearls, crystals or nails stickers as possible onto that one nail for a sugar-dipped look.

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Starburst manicure

Starburst Manicurevia @beautyworksbyamy/Instagram

Shape nails into an oval tip; then cover with two coats of your favorite color. Using a thin brush, draw a dot of a contrasting color in the middle of the nail, then fan out your design to form mid-century inspired starbursts.

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Celestial nails

Celestial Nailsvia @overglowedit/Instagram

Polish nails with the color of your choice; then apply nail stickers or nail charms that highlight the fact that it’s a really big night! Use stars and moons or bits of shine.

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Ring in the new manicure

Ring In The New Manicurevia @fingerthispresson/Instagram

If you want to really go all out this year, try these New Year’s Nails. If you’re not a gifted nail artist, opt for a set of pre-painted 2022 nails.

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Moonglow manicure

Moonglow Manicurevia @riviera.beauty/Instagram

If you love the idea of shimmer but are already wearing a super blingy dress, opt for an opalescent white shade of polish. It’s a touch toned down from glitter polish and won’t distract from your outfit.

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Beauty and the beast

Beauty And The Beast Manicurevia @magpiebeautyusa/Instagram

Polish nails with three coats of extra shimmer, extra glitter nail polish. Once dry, apply leopard print nail polish strips to your ring and middle fingers for a look that’s naughty and nice. If you love to experiment, you’ll also want to make sure you know how to remove gel nail polish easily.

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Contrasting shimmer

Contrasting Shimmer Manicurevia @magpiebeautyusa/Instagram

Paint nails solid black as a base coat. Then, after nails dry, layer on two different shimmer top coats—try purple with green on top. If you’ll be wearing sandals, glam up your toes with a DIY pedicure.

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Rachel Weingarten
Rachel Weingarten is an award-winning freelance writer specializing in beauty, fashion, business and tech. She’s also the author of three award-winning books and the co-founder of a national nonprofit organization.