Beauty, Nail Art

Christmas Nail Art 1 – Santa and Elf inspired nails

A while ago I did a course in nail art through a “learn at home” provider. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I like to decorate my nails for special occasions/ holidays etc.

Laura also likes my nail art so this Christmas I designed us both a set of nail art designs for the whole hand; taking inspiration from designs I found on Pinterest and adapting them for these sets.

To achieve the more complex designs can take time and it is challenging to get all the nails to look the same when doing hand designs. With that in mind I decided a basic glitter ombre effect nail would be best for most of the nails and to have just a couple of them with more complex designs.

There are multiple ways to achieve an ombre effect with glitter (sponge, brush, dusting) but the key to making it last, is a good top coat. I have one bottle of clear polish that I only use as top coat for glitter designs. The glitter tends to get on the brush and into the bottle so it’s best to keep one bottle for this so you don’t end up with glitter on designs you don’t want them on. Also I would recommend using multiple coats to ensure coverage.

The pictures were taken in a rush before a night out! So please excuse the messy edges.

I’ve included below my notes on the nails including tips from my experiences.

Santa Nails - on nail sticks

Santa Nails – on nail sticks

Ho! Ho! Ho! Nail –

  • Base colour – metallic red
  • Other colours – white and gold
  • Black nail art pen
    • The is pretty basic and easy to achieve quickly if you follow the tips below:
      • When using a nail art pen don’t be tempted to use it before the base colour has dried. This can increase the chances of smudging and ruin the whole nail!
      • Don’t squeeze the pen for the first time over the nail. The nibs get blocked easily and you don’t want a big splodge on one nail!
      • Try not to squeeze too hard on the pens when writing with them so that you don’t end up with lots of colour coming out at once. This will result in thick lines which often burst/ break easily will take much longer to fully dry.
Elf  Nail Art on nail sticks

Elf Nail Art on nail sticks

Ombre Nail –

  • Base colour – Green
  • Gold colour polish
  • Gold iridescent glitter – fine
  1. Paint x2 thin layers of the base colour; ensuing full, even coverage.
    • Thinner layers dry must faster and by putting two layers on, you ensure a vibrant colour
  2. Once both base coats are dry, paint a thin layer of gold at the tips to cover approx. 1/3 of the nail
    • This gives the glitter something to stick to in the area you want it and reinforces the gold colour. If you don’t have a gold polish though you can just use clear for this.
      • A sponge gives a nice ombre effect but you’ll have to be quick with the glitter as the colour will dry much faster with such a thin layer of polish.
  1. Add glitter, you can use a brush for precision; however I found for these nail (in fitting with the Christmas theme) a slightly more scattered approach, achieved by dusting them lightly with the glitter, gave the best look.

Elf body –

  1. Paint the whole nail white, try and do a couple of thin coats and make sure the finish is smooth (no brush lines)
  2. Leave to dry fully
  3. Paint most of the nail green, leaving the space at the cuticle for the collar – you may need two coats to get a good colour
  4. Leave to dry fully – these drying steps are really important because it means colours don’t run into each other i.e. the white into the green which can look messy
  5. Draw a black line down the centre of the nail, then outline the collar and  draw on the belt across the middle of the green bit of nail
  6. Leave to dry fully
  7. Draw on the gold belt buckle – I used a nail art pen


If you’d like me to discuss the other nail designs in more detail, please comment below 🙂


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