20 snowflake nail art designs and ideas for winter 2022

Learn how to frost your mani with snowflake nail art – plus, get inspired by our favorite looks for the season

a woman's hands pictured with blue and white snowflake nail art
(Image credit: Future/Getty Images)

If you want to try snowflake nail art but have no idea where to begin, stay right where you are. With winter on the horizon, there’s no time like the present to learn how to create a frosty design at your fingertips. 

No festive beauty look is complete without Christmas nail designs, and snowflake nail art is an elegant spin on the holiday mani. “A snowflake manicure is a perfect way to achieve a festive look without going OTT,” agrees nail artist Sophie Louise Martin. “You can go as classic or as abstract as you want, from hand-painted delicate flakes to speckled dots that mirror falling snow.” 

For those of you who know how to paint your nails like a pro, why not step up your DIY mani with a snowy scene for 2022? Or, if you prefer to put your nails in the hands of the professionals, screenshot your favorite snowflake nail art design and take it with you to your next nail appointment. What better way to complement your Christmas makeup and Christmas hairstyles than with a fabulously festive snowy design? Everybody knows more is more at this time of year. 

How do you do snowflake nail art?

There are various ways to achieve a snowflake manicure. While the professionals use dotting tools and thin brushes, many brands have created nail art stickers that you can simply press on and nail wraps that you can apply yourself. There's a method to suit every skill set but, learning how to do gel nails at home will help you create a longer-lasting snowflake mani when you can't visit the salon.

Follow Sophie's step-by-step instructions to achieve a classic snowflake design at home:

  1. Prep your nails: “Firstly, you’ll need to make sure your nails are perfectly prepped, and the cuticles are pushed back."
  2. Remove oil: "Then, wipe your nails with acetone to remove any oils." This allows the polish to grab onto the nail bed for a longer-lasting manicure. 
  3. Pick your base: "You can go for a classic nude or white nail design, if you want to be more adventurous, forest green and traditional red are very popular this year."
  4. Draw your design: "Dab a dotting tool into white polish and place a dot in the center of the nail. Then, place two smaller dots directly above the center dot, below the center dot, and to the left and right of the center dot. Next, in the four spaces between your dots (the diagonals) place a singular dot."
  5. Create details: "Grab a thin liner brush or a cocktail stick, dip it in the white polish, and draw thin lines throughout the dots and voila, you have a snowflake.” 

21 Snowflake nail art designs and ideas to try

1. French snowflake nail art

Elevate classic French tip nails for winter with carefully drawn-on snowflakes. To save yourself time (and reserves of patience) limit the snowflakes to one or two nails - these are often called 'accent' nails. 

2. Black and white snowflake nail art

For a sophisticated spin on the classic snowflake design, try painting white snowflakes on top of a dark berry or navy base. Spring nail designs tend to be brighter and more colorful but winter is the perfect season for a moody winter polish.

3. Subtle snowflake nail art

Intricate snowflakes painted onto a neutral base look delicate and chic. Nicely cared-for nails are a must for this look, so get into a good nail care routine then dial things up with the luxe accents. If your nails are a little thin and tend to break, it might be worth looking into BIAB nails as this technique can boost your nail strength. 

4. Double French and snowflake nail art

A double French manicure and snowflake nail art are a match made in heaven. Take your cue from nail artist lolo.nailedit who used CND polish in High Waisted Jeans and White Button Down. This looks great with a glossy hard-wearing finish, so choose between a gel or acrylic manicure for the best results. 

5. Metallic snowflake nail art

Say goodbye to fall nail designs and colors and activate full festive mode with snowflakes painted on mixed metallics, topped off with a sprinkling of glitter. This would be as fabulous in a cozy pub as it would be around the Christmas table - it's one of our favorite nail designs for short nails

6. Gold glitter snowflake nail art

Glitter nail designs are a must for the festive season. If you’re not a fan of shimmery eyeshadow looks, apply glitter to your nails instead. Gold works especially well with white snowflakes.

7. Sparkly snowflake nail art

If you're after a less literal take on snowflake nail art, try applying silver glitter all over a dark base to recreate a snowy, midnight scene. This is one of the easiest looks to achieve from home, and it still looks utterly fabulous. Using one of the best nail strengtheners will help you achieve this length without breakage. 

8. Striped snowflake nail art

Subtly festive, this is snowflake nail art for people who think they don't like nail art. The neutral base and dark green stripe adorned with snowflakes look seriously cool and will go with your best Christmas jumper. 

9. Grey snowflake nail art

Grey is a great year-round color choice for nails if bright, colorful shades aren't really your thing. To make it wintery, try adding glitter and delicate white snowflakes. To ensure you get longevity from your manicure, nail care is so important – that means daily application of cuticle oils and hand cream. 

10. Speckled snow and silver nail art

Create a sparkly scene by using a very fine brush to paint silver dots of speckled snow and intricate snowflakes onto jelly pink nail designs. For full festive marks, why not add in silver tips, too? If you're worried about your snowflake nail art not lasting, try dip powder nails as these have better durability than other methods. 

11. Simple snowflakes

For a pared-back nail art design, opt for white snowflakes on top of a neutral pink base and finish with a glossy topcoat. Even better, try using snowflake nail stickers instead of hand painting them on. As it's not too fussy, this design is great for toes too if you're after pedicure ideas

12. Gold foil snowflake nail art

Get the Midas touch and take inspiration from these beautiful gold foil snowflakes. You'll need acrylic nails to achieve this super long, vampy shape – so we'd advise saving this look for the professionals. 

13. Green snowflake nail art

Steer clear of pastel nails this season, dark forest green is the perfect color choice for a Scandi-Christmas winter woodland feel. Top it off with white snowflakes and a wash of shimmer to add some extra pizazz. 

14. Pink snowflake nail art

Not a fan of traditional festive colors? Opt for neon brights or a pop of pink instead –it'll bring a funky, modern twist to festive nails and will help you stand out in a crowd. The best way to extend the life of your manicure? Using one of the best hand creams you can find. 

15. Dark snowflake nail art

A black base makes the white of your snowflakes stand out. With a steady hand, create tiny dots with shimmer shades to add some sparkle. Then, on opposite nails, finish the look with an accent nail reindeer. It's a smart idea to learn how to dry nail polish fast to avoid smudging intricate designs like this!

16. Golden shimmer snowflake nail art

The finely drawn snowflakes, bows, and glitter French tips are incredibly chic and flattering on medium-length nails. We love the classic nude base shade. Worried about the cost of manicures mounting up? Learning how to remove gel nails at home can save you money before bringing this design to the salon.

17. Deep purple snowflake nail art

A deep, shiny purple makes a very flattering base coat when applying white, sparkly, or metallic snowflakes on top. It's not a traditional Christmas color but it's very appropriate for party season!

18. Matte white snowflake nail art

If you love matte nails, this should be your go-to snowflake nail art design. A longer nail length means you can fit lots of white snowflakes on the nail, but this can work with shorter nails too. 

19. Traditional red snowflake nail art

Rethink your classic red manicure by adding a snowflake on an accent nail. This subtle nod to the festive season is chic, understated, and elegant - perfect for Christmas parties and evening events. It's also particularly flattering on squoval nails without too much length. 

20. Wavy tip snowflake nail art

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Let your natural nails show through a little with this wavy tip design. Deep red feels very festive and the white snowflakes are easy to create at home with a nail art brush and some patience (or some stick-on nail wraps!)

Emma Stoddart

Emma Stoddart is a freelance beauty journalist and self-confessed skincare aficionado with over five years’ industry experience. Emma has worked for some of the UK’s top women’s titles including Net-A-Porter, Stylist and Grazia. Her experience spans online and print as well as producing editorial shoots with some of the industry’s biggest artists, including Val Garland. Asides from working with them behind the scenes, she’s also had the chance to interview the likes of Patrick Ta, Pat McGrath, and Sam McKnight for all their insider tips and tricks.