6 New Year's Nail Colors That Are Far From Basic (No Glitter Required)
New Year's Eve tends to sell a certain color story: black, gold, silver, and loads of sparkle. And when it comes to nail colors, prepare for glitter galore. We're talking foils, glitzy decals, disco tips, velvet lacquer...you get the idea. If your tips resemble a glitter-soaked dance floor, you're doing something right.
But for all my minimalists out there—or those who simply prefer to stand out among the glittery crowd—a sparkly shade isn't your only option for a festive New Year's mani. Below, experts offer their favorite (and beautifully unexpected) polish choices for the holiday.
We know, we promised no glitters on this list—but silvers and golds tend to appear much more subtle than full-on sparkle. Chrome nails certainly aren't going anywhere, and with these metallic shades, you'll glimmer like a frosted glass of Champagne, not the New Year's décor.
"I love wearing jewel tones," says Rachel James, founder and CEO of Pear Nova. "Since green translates to new beginnings, jade and emerald are good options [for] a new year." In traditional Chinese medicine, jade also represents health, wealth, longevity, and prosperity and is believed to draw out negative energy—all good things when ringing in the New Year. Perhaps some jewel-toned tips can provide a similar energy.
Mustard & citrine.
We're calling it: Beauty fans will flock to golden yellows this winter. And for the New Year, a saffron, mustard, or citrine shade is no doubt a bold yet elegant pick. "Citrine represents joy, prosperity, and energy—something we all look to have in 2023," says James. "A color that's unexpected and pops is ideal for New Year's. Rich shades of yellow give exactly that, especially on medium to deep skin tones."
We simply had to include Pantone's anticipated 2023 Color of the Year. According to the color institute, the hue "vibrates with vim and vigor." It also represents courage and empowerment, "a pulsating color whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative." That practically screams, New year, new me, don't you think?
"Midnight blues are definitely having a moment," says Nadine Abramcyk, co-founder and head of the brand of clean salon Tenoverten. A classic black mani will always remain on-trend, but "there's something a bit daring swapping it out for a deep blue," she adds.
It's dramatic and moody yet somehow soothing at the same time. "Deep blue brings up a calming and abundant feeling, maybe because it reminds us of the beautiful ocean," says Amy Lin, the founder of sundays. "In Chinese culture, we want to see the new year with abundance, endless possibilities, and opportunities." Just like uncharted waters, the new year sparks mystery, freedom, and a bit of awe.
Pop of red.
Finally, you can never go wrong with a festive red. It's a classic pick for the holidays, as you can make a statement without too much effort (that's also why folks tend to rely on a red lip this time of year). "I think across many cultures, red has been associated with love, joy, and passion," Lin adds. "With an event like New Year's, you feel hopeful and excited to celebrate the arrival of a whole new year. It is a great color to show excitement and joy."
If you'd like to switch up your go-to ruby red, you can also gloss your tips with a moodier cranberry. According to Abramcyk, the darker hue feels sexy and elegant. "The perfect combination to ring in the New Year," she adds.
If you prefer to gloss your tips in glitter, please, go right ahead! But that's not the only way to lean in to the festive beauty looks this year. In fact, some underrated nail colors make an even bigger statement than sparkly lacquer—we expect they'll stay trending all winter long.
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.