The new year brings fresh inspiration when it comes to nail art trends. This January, it’s all about embracing cool tones, delicate details, and muted shimmer for low-key glam nails that transition smoothly from holiday party season. Whether you love make a subtle statement or go bold, these 15 simple nail ideas for January 2024 are pretty, polished, and anything but boring!
Metallic silver nails are a timeless and versatile manicure option, but this updated take on the trend adds just the right amount of contrast and edge. Start with a sheer pearlescent base in a soft silver hue. Next, add irregular black striping tape details and a single sparkling jewel or rhinestone accent nail. The result? Sleek silver nails that shine brighter than any holiday tinsel.
This calming, icy blue manicure reminds you of crisp winter skies post-snowfall. The semi-sheer baby blue hue looks airy and ethereal against the nude nail bed. For added interest and dimension, paint on irregular rounded white tips. Keep this peaceful palette clean and fuss-free for winter nail idea that’s anything but cold.
Understated nails are the perfect canvas for little unexpected touches, like subtle glitter, rhinestones, or—our favorite—delicate pearl nail art. Start with a neutral base in a milk tea beige or ballerina pink. Next, use nail glue to affix petite pearls or jewel rhinestones. Limit the lavish accents to just one feature nail for the sweetest manicure that’s simplicity at its best.
Let It Snow
For fairytale frost-kissed nails with a modern minimalist twist, recreate the magic of freshly fallen snow with this graphic wintry design. Use sheer whites and greys layered over nude nails to achieve depth and dimension. Next, paint on irregular snowflake tips or triangular flakes floating over select nails. The end result sits somewhere between a snow day dream and icy abstract art.
Simply can’t quit glitter? Us either. Take your penchant for sparkle into 2024 with these playful disco ball nails. They may be simple, but they make quite the statement. Start with a clear base coat over clean nails. Next, use a detail brush to paint on dots of different sized silver and iridescent glitter. Feel free to keep them concentrated over one accent nail or scatter the glitz more randomly for tons of icy shimmer and shine.
Vamp it up this New Year’s Eve (or any cold winter night) with these sultry red nails. While a cherry red manicure is always a stunner, adding chic black details turns up the temptation even more. Start with two coats of rich creamy red polish like Chanel’s iconic Vamp. Next, use striping tape to create chunky diagonal stripes over accent nails. Top it off with glossy topcoat for irresistible depth and dimension.
Soft Ombré Shimmer
Gold and silver metallics look beautiful on winter nails, but sometimes shimmering solids feel overly harsh. Enter this elegant ombre look. Sheer out metallic polishes by applying them over nude nails versus opaque base colors. This creates a subtle gorgeously gradiated effect. Build up the pigment more heavily over the tip of the nail for depth and dimension that’s anything but flat.
Good As Gold
Speaking of metallics, this gilded nail idea puts a feminine twist on the traditionally holiday gold manicure. Start with a sheer champagne base with hints of silver and rose gold shimmer. Next, paint on delicate gold foil tip guides for an irregular abstract effect. The warmth of the gold plays beautifully against the cool neutrals in the base for light and airy dimension perfect for January.
If loud glitters and showy shimmers feel too over-the-top, try this understated sparkling manicure instead. It’s all about subtle shine. Paint clean nails with two sheer coats of nude or milky white polish. While still wet, gently press tiny iridescent glitter into the polish, concentrating the sparkles over the tips and cuticles versus flooded all over. Once dry, seal it in with a glossy topcoat.
Warm up cold January days with these burnished copper textured nails. Skip the high-shine metallic finish in favor of a brushed patina effect instead. Start with a rich copper cream polish. Before it dries, use a wide makeup brush to gently stroke vertically from the cuticle down, creating delicate ridges and grooves throughout the nail. The velvety matte texture is totally unexpected and incredibly luxe.
The iconic French manicure gets a modern upgrade thanks to unexpected colors and irregular tips. Start with a glossy black base (vamp icon Sarah Jessica Parker would surely approve!). Let it dry thoroughly before using a small detail brush dipped in bright white polish to paint on jagged asymmetric tips in various widths for tons of edge. Talk about chic!
These interstellar purple galaxy nails harness fashion color trends seen on 2024 runways while still maintaining a winter vibe. Begin with a rich eggplant or wine cream base coat. While still wet, use a small detail brush to flick on deep blue and silver glitter polish, concentrating the sparkle over the tips. The jewel-toned base grounds the glitter for a mesmerizing manicure that’s stunningly stellar.
Vamp up neutral winter nails with a rich jewel-toned hue applied creatively. Start with a bright amethyst purple base polish. Let it dry before using striping tape to section off triangles or abstract shapes. Fill them in with deep blue and black cream polish. Remove the tape to reveal graphic multi-dimensional nails with major wearable color drama.
Bringing disco diva energy into the new decade, these retro mirrored nails turn up the fun with funky silver glitter and unexpected pops of color. Begin with a glossy silver base coat. Next, use circle nail guides or hole reinforcement stickers to create perfect circular cutouts. Fill the circles over accent nails with bright chartreuse and fuchsia polish. Remove guides to reveal peekaboo neon pops for tons of dance floor flair.
Multi-Chrome French Tips
Give basic French manicure tips an exciting modern multi-chrome update. Start with a sheer pink basecoat to allow the next layers to shine through. Paint tips with two coats of duochrome glitter polish that shifts between copper and chartreuse tones in the light. The oil slick effect is galactic yet still delicate enough for everyday wear. Top with glossy top coat to really make that unicorn shine gleam.
Those are our picks for the top 15 simple nail art ideas for January 2024. Whether you embrace chic winter tones, unexpected pops of color, delicate details or bold shimmer, these designs will take your nails to stylish new heights. Don’t be afraid to get creative and make these trends your own with unique shapes, cool color combos or added jewels and embellishments. However you choose to shine in the new year, let your nails lead the trendsetting way. Happy New Year and happy manicures!
What are the biggest nail trends for January 2024?
- Cool-toned metallics like silvers, golds and coppers
- Soft ombré shimmer effects
- Subtle pearls and jewel accents
- French tips with modern colorful twists
- Coppery brushed matte textures
- Milky nudes and sheers with delicate detail
How do I transition my nails from holiday looks?
- Pare down heavy red and green glitters
- Embrace lighter sheers and bare nails
- Add unexpected pops of color over nudes
- Incorporate more white and silver
What simple nail idea is best for short nails?
- Alternating solid color tips
- Single color polish with glitter top coat
- Abstract shapes over a sheer base
- Minimal white tips with black base
Can you wear dark vampy nails in winter?
- Absolutely! Deep plums, berries and emeralds are very chic
- Go for creamy finishes over gloss for a richer effect
- Pair with classic French tips for contrast
- Add unexpected pops of color for fun
What nail shapes are trendiest this winter?
- Short rounded squares and squovals
- Coffin shapes with unexpected tip colors
- Ballerina/almond lengths in pale nudes
- Embrace your natural length and shape!