While a ruby red holiday party lip and voluminous, brushed-out soft curls work together for a festive look, a polished manicure perfectly completes the entire package. “Everyone looks at your hands! Beautifully groomed nails, healthy cuticles and well-nourished skin tells people that you care about yourself,” says Cathy Mancini, owner of LUX Spa in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood. “And don’t forget, when your hands look spectacular, you can rock some pretty serious jewellery!”

As if you needed any other reason to rock glitter nail polish this time of your, Mancini lists her top manicure tips for your holiday party look this season. Get the nail polish ready!

Manicure tips: Have nail tools on hand

If you don’t think you have the time for a manicure between mixing up punch and not breaking into the chocolate truffles before company arrives, consider the alternative: “You’ll be shaking hands with guests and friends and the last thing you want is to get their clothing snagged on your dry, rough skin,” says Mancini. “Or broken nails or cracked and split cuticles.“

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If you haven’t already asked Santa for one, now’s a good time to build up a nail tool kit. To keep your nails neat (and for a quick fix if one cracks when popping champagne on New Year’s Eve), you’ll need “a good nail file for natural nails,” says Mancini. Keep cuticles soft and clean looking by applying cuticle oil every night before going to bed. “We love CND Solar Oil and we retail the minis for $5. It’s small, but mighty and lasts a long time!” And it’s great for keeping on your desk. And of course, re-apply a good hand moisturizer throughout the day to prevent cracked or dry skin.

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More ways to get a festive manicure and nail polish tips for your holiday party…

holiday-nail-polish-tips-page-tw.jpgManicure tips: Try a festive nail polish shade
As for keeping a classic, yet neutral manicure, “You can’t go wrong with soft creamy pinks and beiges,” says Mancini. But there’s something about the holidays that make us inclined to rich, velvety burgundy and crimson red nail polish shades. Even black is an appropriately festive shade to wear this time of year (try CND Shellac in Black Pool or Overtly Onyx).

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Manicure tips: Opt for sparkly nail art

An allover coat of silver or gold is the obvious choice for your festive beauty look, but why not let those nail polish shades inspire a bolder, artsier take on the trend? “We have many women that come in looking for a spin on the classic French manicure; instead of white tips, they opt for a different colour,” says Mancini. Try a swipe of metallic fuchsia or deep plum along the tips. “We also have some requests to use the metallic in the moons of nails.” (Think the mulberry reverse French manicure seen on Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2013 runway.)

Or try a metallic accent nail with light coat of a matching glitter shade over top. Of course, you could always decorate an accent nail with festive art or create an ombré look using only glitter nail polish.

Manicure tips: Plan your festive beauty look around your manicure

Just because you found the perfect metallic holiday dress, doesn’t mean that you need a gold manicure to properly accentuate it. “We find that more women are in fact choosing to match their polish to their lipstick, but not necessarily to their outfits,” explains Mancini. “Most women tend to have ‘go-to’ colours in their wardrobe, which allows them to pick a nail polish and lipstick that complements pretty much anything they wear on a day-to-day basis.”


Manicure tips: Prevent nail polish chips
Take care of your manicure throughout the holidays, and it will keep you looking chic and polished (literally!). “Keep your gloves on!” says Mancini. “And that means both indoors while you’re doing food prep and cleaning, and outdoors to keep your skin and nails well moisturized and protected from the cold winter air.”

Read more:
Holiday beauty: Party nails

Nail care: The best cuticle oils

Beauty fix: How to get strong & healthy nails

Holiday beauty: 12 days of polish