A lovely lacquered mani is the perfect punctuation mark to any festive outfit. And with all the nail polish options out there (from glitter to jewel tones to magnetic formulas) you can customize your nails to suit any soiree, be it a work function or an all-out glam black-tie affair. In the past year alone, nail polish sales have spiked dramatically (54% according to NPD market research group), firmly establishing nail polish as the go-to beauty pick-me-up for many women.

Read on for some of the
latest nail polish trends that you will want to try out this holiday season.

Holiday beauty: Glitter nail polish

Glitter nail polish is having a major mani moment and this season there are plenty of
glitzy offerings to get you in the party mood. Glitter nail polish used to be the bane of every beauty girl’s existence – not only was it arduous to remove, but often the glitter would get clumped in the neck of the bottle, leaving you with an uneven application. But glitter has gotten a makeover. The new glitter formulas are more refined, go on more evenly, and are easier to remove. Take Essie LuxEffects – five new metallic-flecked shades with improved formulas that can be worn alone or on top of your favourite shades for a multi-dimensional effect. Glitter has never looked so grown up.

Holiday beauty: Jewel tone nail polish

Shades of emerald, amethyst and sapphire are always in heavy rotation for nail polish trends during the holiday party circuit. This season, create a twist on these staple shades with the YSL Le Noir La Laque collection (available at Holt Renfrew). The jewel-toned shades are infused with flecks of black (Black Bronze, Black Indigo and Black Lapis) to make them more moody. Plus the mini-sized bottles are great for toting around in case of chipping.

Holiday beauty: Inject colour in to your French manicure

Break the French mani monotony and upgrade the typical soft pink and classic white tip with a bold colour and contrasting tip. Try a candy apple red polish with a gold tip, or if you’re colour-shy, you can wear neutral on most of the nail (try a universally flattering neutral like taupe) and slick a gorgeous plum across the tip (we saw this look at the Fall 2011 Monique L’Hullier show). We’re certain the French would approve.

More haute nail polish trends for the holidays on the next page…

Holiday beauty: The new neutral nail polish

A low-key neutral nail has been re-interpreted for winter with hints of sheen and metallic undertones. If you’re fair-skinned, try a soft rose gold shade like Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Glamorous Life (available at Murale) and if you have darker skin, look for the fresh neutral “nail foundations” developed by RGB Nail Colours (rgbcosmetics.com) and Hollywood manicurist Jenna Hipp that are tailored to match a whole variety of skin tones.

Holiday beauty: Magnetic nail polish

Perhaps the most buzz-worthy at-home nail polish trend of 2011 is magnetic nail polish from British brand Nails Inc. (available at Sephora). The three
metallic shades are infused with magnetic pigments and when the magnet in the cap is hovered over the wet polish, you can create a design on the nail. According to Nails Inc: “As the magnet is held over the nail, the iron powder in the formulation gravitates toward the magnet, forming the pattern/design secretly hidden in the magnet.” We like to think of it as “Nail Art for Dummies” since one-of-a-kind designs are literally foolproof.

Holiday beauty: Tuxedo nails

As we told you here,
tuxedo dressing is front and centre this season. Now, you can give your nails the tux treatment too, like we saw on the Ruffian Fall/Winter 2011 show where nails were decked out in silver, black and white. Sure, you will likely need a nail pro to help you achieve it, but guaranteed if you go the extra mile with this menswear-inspired mani, you’ll be toast of any black-tie affair.

Read more:
Holiday hair and beauty tips
The best lipstick looks for the festive season
8 amazing holiday looks
Holiday beauty tips: 15-min looks