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As the temperatures dip, so can the desire to utilize your beauty arsenal. The thought of bundling up and emerging from home can be repellant in the coldest weeks of the year, and getting all dolled up (opens in new tab) to do so sounds even less appealing. Snowflakes in your lashes can be a major look killer, and the icy winter wind is going to turn your cheeks the ruddy color of blush anyway, right? But there's good reason to add a little color to your look, even when your inner chill runs deep: It's the happiest time of the year, after all. And if you've already brought out your moodier eyeshadows (opens in new tab) and deeper lipsticks, (opens in new tab) there's still room to spice things up—on your nails, to be exact. Your polish collection is the perfect place to start when it comes to dressing up—or down—this winter.
Before you know it, you'll be ringing in the holidays with "All I Want for Christmas Is You (Extra Festive Version)," and it's a good time—though when have we ever needed a special occasion?—to switch out those nudes and pastel polishes for something a tad bit more festive. Sparkles! Glitter! Chrome! Neons and sheers give way to deep, dreamy shades that scream December, and your manicure becomes a canvas for some bolder art. Hey, no need to ask us twice. Here, the 26 best winter nail colors, from shimmery party shades to matte jewel tones, to lift you from your cold-weather slump.
A Trendy Black
When I think of winter nail colors, I always think of a deep, rich black shade. This one from Sinful Colors is the definition of bang for your buck at under $4.
This rich rose shade from Sally Hansen is the ideal everyday nail shade, just like your favorite rosy lipstick color is great for daily wear this season.
A Retro Red
This shade from vegan nail care brand Auda.B is literally called "The First Lady," so it's 100 percent the epitome of classic old-timey red.
A True Chocolate
Spoiler alert: This nail color from NAILS.INC is meant to smell exactly like chocolate. Try it for the scent, stay for the creamy brown color.
A Milky Blue Gray
A milky shade of blue might not be the first color that comes. to mind when you think of winter nail polish, but this one will perfectly accent your all-black outfits.
A Festive Olive Green
This shimmery olive green shade from Emilie Heathe is just a little bit unexpected on the nails—and that's why it works! The gold flecks will really make your manicure pop.
A Rich Teal
Teal blue works year-round on the nails, but it looks especially good in the fall and winter months. This option from J.Hannah is super lightweight and chip resistant.
A Glimmering Gold
All that glitters really is gold, and this nail color from Context is proof. One coat of this and your nails will look like they've been covered in liquid metal.
A Duochrome Purple
Is it purple? Is it green? The world may never know with this duochrome nail color from Static Nails. Either way, I love it.
A Slate Gray
A cool, classic gray works wonders on your nails in the fall and winter. It's just as neutral as a black polish would be, but is way easier to wear
A Nearly-Black Purple
There's a reason this inky nail color from OPI is one of the top-selling nail colors of all time. it's earned cult-favorite status over the years—and remains incredibly popular—thanks to its rich hue and easy application.
A Classic Taupe
Another day, another neutral nail color for the fall and winter seasons. This taupe-y nude shade from Chanel is *so* worth the splurge.
A True Plum
If you love having bright pink nails in the spring and summer, try a deep berry-plum shade in the fall and winter. This one from Essie is both bright and richly pigmented.
A Burnt Orange
If pumpkin-orange isn't your favorite fall colorway, try this slightly darker option from Olive & June. It's a great halfway point between a true red and a classic orange.
A Sparkly Silver
Winter means that the holidays are coming up, so I give you full permission to go all-out with your sparkly nails this season. This option from Jin Soon is chock-full of attention-grabbing glitter.
A Frosty Blush
There is such a thing as a winter pink, and this checks off all the boxes: muted, opaque, and universally flattering.
A Thunderstorm Gray
Yes, fat, delicate snowflakes capture the essence of the holidays in the colder months, but have you ever heard of thundersnow? Consider this stormy gray-blue an edgier take on winter white.
A Pumpkin Spice
Autumnal shades don't stop being chic after Halloween. A warm, spicy orange looks especially beautiful on medium to deep skin tones.
A Dreamy Shimmer
You can totally wear pastels this season, and the added shimmer in this formula makes this dusty lavender shade even more winter wonderland-adjacent.
a holiday tree green
This creamy, seasonal green is basically fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la in a bottle.
a healthy silver
Silver always strikes the right chord in he colder months, and this polish's formula is 16-free.
A Warm Berry
This plummy purple would look right at home grasped around a steamy latte, and it's as clean as it is pretty—this line of polish is vegan.
A Mulled Wine
You're en route to the holiday party. You look down—your nails are bare. All is lost! But then, you remember your Purse Polish, which dries in just minutes. This is that Purse Polish, and it dries as speedy as possible so you can spruce up on-the-go.
A Wear-With-Anything Nude
Relieve yourself from the daunting decision of deciding on a nail color and lean into a classic neutral. This shade is endorsed by a supermodel, Ashley Graham, in case you needed more confirmation that this color will give you runway-ready nails. Plus, this cool-toned nude will go with every outfit, and can you ask for anything more?
It may have never crossed your mind to wear purple nail polish until now. Exhibit A: plum, with a pearlescent upgrade, which will look equal parts vampy and jovial on your nails. Don't knock it until you try it.
A Pale Pink
If you've had enough of winter's gloomy shades, look ahead to spring with this pale pink. It's a refreshingly sheer pink perfect for outdoor wedding season.
A Sparkly Shade
You're looking at a New Years party in a bottle. It's a champagne-rose-gold hybrid that guarantees a good time. Bring in 2022 with this sparkling shade by your side. Listen, you can't go into another year with boring nails!