Nail Art Tutorial: Santa Nails

Sunlight Santa Nails Nail Art Tutorial, Swatches & PicturesChina Glaze Phat Santa, a red jelly polish, inspired me so much that I knew I had to do some Christmas nail art with it. These Santa Nails are the result!

Here’s Santa’s red suit with fluffy white trimming and black belt with gold buckle. It just took a few steps, and as long as you don’t rush, yours will come out lovely. And the best part? You just need 4 colours.

You know how lots of children like to put out a plate of cookies and a glass of milk on Christmas Eve for Santa Claus to enjoy when he visits?

Well, when I was a kid, I told my parents that I was thinking about leaving Santa Claus a bowl of salad and a glass of water. No, I’m not cruel – my intentions were good.

I was concerned about his health and if Santa felt the need to finish everything on all the plates. That’s a lot of cookies! So I thought I’d at least make sure that he got his vegetables in. Yeah, I was a strange kid.

My parents just burst out laughing at my suggestion. So I didn’t put out the salad that night, but I did consider leaving a little note telling Santa that if he couldn’t finish all the cookies, he could just leave some at my place. I’d help him out. 😉 Maybe I wasn’t that strange, after all.

Santa Nail Art Swatches

All swatches have:

Sunlight Santa Nails Nail Art Tutorial, Swatches & Pictures


Sunlight Santa Claus Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Pics


Sunlight Santa Nail Art Tutorial & Swatches


Sunlight Santa Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Pictures


Flash Nail Art Santa Nails & Tutorial


Flash Santa Claus Nail Art Tutorial & Swatches


Flash Santa Claus Nails Nail Art Tutorial


Flash Santa Claus Nails Nail-Art Tutorial & Step-by-Step Instructions


Natural Light Santa Claus Nail-Art Pictures & Tutorial

Natural Light

Natural Light Santa Claus Nails Nail Art Tutorial & Pics

Natural Light

Natural Light Santa Claus Nail-Art Tutorial & Nail Swatches

Natural Light

Sunlight Santa Claus Nail Art Nails


Flash Santa Claus Nail-Art Tutorial & Pictures


Natural Light Santa Claus Nail-Art Tutorial & Swatch

Natural Light

*~* Santa Nail Art Tutorial *~*

Santa Nails Nail Art Tutorial Supplies

What I Used:

  1. Nubar Foundation Base Coat
  2. Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
  3. China Glaze Phat Santa
  4. China Glaze Snow
  5. Milani Nail Art in 703 Black Sketch
  6. Milani Nail Art in 701 Art of Gold
  7. Piece of foil
  8. Daniel Stone Art Tool #3

Step 1: Apply a Base Coat

Step 2: Paint Your Nails Red

To start Santa’s suit, you’ll want to use your favourite bright red polish. Here, I used China Glaze Phat Santa, which has that squishy look. (I raved about it in my recent review on it. You can check it out and more swatches by clicking on the above link.)

Please wait about 15 minutes to allow your polish to dry a bit before proceeding to the next step. You’ll be working with white, so we don’t want any of the red to bleed into the white.

Flash Phat Santa China Glaze Swatch & Review

2 coats of China Glaze Phat Santa

Step 3: Add the Fluffy White Trimming for Santa’s Suit

Take your piece of foil and add a few drops of white nail polish onto it. You’ll be using the foil as a makeshift palette.

Tip: You could also use a plastic bag or any other material that won’t absorb the product (e.g. paper). Just be sure that it won’t soak through and ruin your work surface. (Foil’s cheap, and it prevents the polish from leaking, which is why I tend to use it for my palette.)

Get your dotting tool ready. You’ll want one that makes medium-sized dots.

Tip: If you don’t have a dotting tool, use the end of a makeup-brush handle. (This is what I used to use before I had a dotting tool.) Just be sure it’s not an expensive one because you’re going to get polish on it, and you may not be able to remove it completely.

Dip your tool into the white polish and add dots in a vertical line from cuticle to your nail tip. Try to make it straight, but don’t get frustrated if it’s not perfectly straight. (Mine aren’t perfectly straight, and it doesn’t affect the end result.) Also, consider putting the white trimming on different angles for a funky look.

You’ll want to repeat this dotted vertical line right next to it so you have something that looks like this:

Santa Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 3

If your dots are really thick, make sure you wait about 5 minutes before continuing to the next step. But, if you made just average dots like I did, you should be able to go right to the next step.

Step 4: Add Santa’s Black Belt

For this part, I highly recommend a black nail striper because it makes creating a horizontal line way easier. If you have other brushes, feel free to use them, but just know it’ll be trickier.

Tip: I found that it was easier to make the line by doing it in 2 parts. First, start from the side and paint half the line to the middle of your nail. Then re-dip your nail-art striper brush and start at the opposite side and paint the other half of the line, joining it at the middle. You can then fuss around with it to thicken the line or make it more opaque.

Also, don’t get frustrated if you get some black on your skin. After you take a shower, it’ll come off by itself. Or, if it bothers you, you can use polish remover on it. (I just let the shower do the work.)

This line will most likely be thick, so be sure to wait about 10 minutes before proceeding. You’ve come so far already – you don’t want to smudge it because of impatience, right? 🙂

Santa Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 4

Step 5: Add a Gold Buckle

Use your gold nail striper or your brush dipped in gold polish to add a little rectangle in the middle of the belt. I used the white fluffy trimming as a rough guideline for where it should go.

Idea: Consider putting a thin black line on the right side of the gold buckle near the middle. It’ll make it look more like a buckle. I left that part out because I wanted to show you how even a simplified look makes this design recognizable. Feel free to go all out and add your own extra details like highlighting the fluffy white trimming with glitter, etc.! 🙂 You’re only limited by your imagination! Have fun!

Afterwards, make sure you wait a good 15-20 minutes before you proceed to the next step. This will prevent any smearing.

Santa Nails Nail Art Tutorial Step 5

Step 6: Apply a Top Coat

Use a generous amount of top coat and try to apply it with a very-light touch. This will further prevent any smudging.

Another Idea: For your thumb nails, you could paint Santa’s white beard using your dotting tool. Then use your black striper to add a small little smile or mouth. Afterwards, it would be really fun to paint on a bunch of little cookie crumbs in his beard. I was going to do this, and then I forgot when I was painting…haha! Oops!

Are you on Santa’s Naughty or Nice list? Why do you like Santa Claus? Did you leave cookies and milk for Santa when you were a kid?


42 thoughts on “Nail Art Tutorial: Santa Nails

      1. maddy

        I might have this design on my nails or the snowflake design you made before because my mom decorated our tree and house with blue, white and silver decorations so the snowflake will match our Christmas theme this year

        1. Mary Post author

          Hey maddy!

          That’s really cute how you’re thinking about potentially matching your Christmas home decor. 🙂 Let me know which one you end up wearing. I’m curious to see which one wins.

          1. maddy

            I talked to my friends and family and they suggested the snowflake nails but since i absolutely adore these nails, I’m going to put Santa’s suit (with the beard and cookie crumbs) on my thumbs and snowflakes on the other fingers!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Ashesela!

      Hehe, yeah, I can be silly like that. If I ever do another Santa nail design, I’m going to have to remember to put cookie crumbs in Santa’s beard. I would LOVE to wear that kind of silly manicure. I’m pretty bummed out that I forgot that part.

  1. Marisa

    This is so AWESOME!!! I knew what it was right away without reading your description. Great job! I love it!

    Oh, and you were just looking out for Santa’s best interests. Trying to make sure he’d be around for many years to come, lol
    Marisa recently posted: Orly – Sapphire Silk

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marisa!

      YESSS! I’m so glad that you could identify what they were right away. Hehe, when I visited my mom, I asked her what she thought they were. She said, “Candles?” 😛 (Her eyes are bad, though…)

      1. Maria Saldana

        Yep I took a picture so soon I’ll put it on my facebook and show off ofcourse I’ll tell them it was you who design it.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Tawny!

      Well, I wanted to do some festive nails, so I thought that there’s nothing more classic than jolly old St. Nick. But painting his face might be too obvious, so then I decided to paint his suit – thought it would be easier for more people to replicate, too. 🙂

  2. Maria Saldana

    Can I ask you a question about scheve vite top coat I heard that it can harm you is that true? And it doesn’t streak the nail polish?

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Maria!

      Seche Vite isn’t Big-3-free because it contains Toluene. It’s a hotly debated topic as to the harmfulness of that ingredient. If there are any reservations, I suggest not using the ingredient. However, I’ve made the informed decision to keep using it, and I know many others who also will continue to use it. It’s definitely a personal choice, though. You need to do your research and then decide what you want to do.

      Any top coat can cause your nail art to smear, not just Seche. It’s because the nail-art polish isn’t dry yet, so by putting something over it that’s wet, you have the potential of dragging the colours with the top coat.

      Hope that helps. 🙂

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Jacqui!

      I’m glad that you find my tutorials so helpful! 😀 That’s exactly why I don’t just include the finished nail look. I like to share the step-by-step instructions as well as photos so that people can see how it’s done. Nail art is fun to replicate, and I encourage all my readers to give it a go. It’s not so much about skill as it is about patience. 🙂

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Nory!

      Do you think that you’ll put some festive nail art onto your fingernails this season? If not these Santa nails, there are so many wonderful designs. I’m sure you could come up with your own creative ideas, too. 🙂

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey another Cristina!

      Good idea – like I mentioned in the post, it would be cool to sprinkle cookies in Santa’s beard. 😀

      I’m curious to see how yours turns out!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Joan!

      I’m honoured that you like it enough to try it out. 🙂 Once it’s on, you won’t want to remove it…hehe, at least that’s how I felt. It was a sad day when I had to say goodbye to Santa. (But I can always paint it again!)

  3. Kvacka

    Hi! I like that you respond to each and every coment! =)
    I really like your blog and I will come back a lot! 😉
    This manicure is just perfect to me. I love posts with many photos and I love when blogger is great photographer as well. And the best thing of all is the tutorial at the end, so I can try it myself. Thanks! 🙂
    Kvacka recently posted: Absolutely Alice effect

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Kvacka!

      Of course! 🙂 I like to assure everyone that their voice is heard and that their opinion matters to me, whether or not we see eye-to-eye. (Although, usually, we do see eye-to-eye.)

      Thank you for coming to visit my blog again and again! I appreciate the support so much.

      I’m still improving my photography skills, and since I recently bought a new camera, I’m trying out some new features that I didn’t have on my old one. 🙂 Thanks for the compliment!

      And, yes, I try to include tutorials when I post nail-art looks. Not only do I like to share what I’ve done, but I also want other people to see how I did it and realize that it’s pretty easy. Everyone should try their hand at nail art because it’s so much fun and the possibilities are truly endless! 🙂

  4. Carmela

    I have a confession to make, I used to hate Santa when I was a kid. I blame that song: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. I felt it was all Santa’s fault and being a big Daddy’s Girl, I hated that my mom was kissing someone else. Never mind that he can easily bribe me with awesome gifts on Christmas. I still hated him very much. So no, I never left him cookies. That is, not until I realized that the Santa in the song was actually my dad. *sigh*

    As for the nail art, I think you picked another awesome design! I like how you focused on the belt. Everyone else focuses on the beard and the hat so this is something new. I like how replicable it is, too! I might be tempted to sport these some time soon. 😀
    Carmela recently posted: Zoya Isla is the one red to rule them all.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      Oh my – you’re the first person I’ve ever known who used to hate Santa! Hehe, and it’s funny how you thought your mom was cheating on your dad with Santa….Awww…sweet, innocent Carmela! 🙂

      If you give it a go, I’d love to see how your Santa nails turn out! (Although, I know they’ll be incredible!)

  5. Marta

    I’m absent from Twitter for one day and I totally missed this post!
    Those are some phat santas! And by phat I mean super cool not fat (though he could use a serving of SALAD) 😉
    (you’re always thinking of others) 😀
    How super cute are these! honestly! Love it!
    And again, the shape of your nails is such a splendid canvas for your nail art… no joke! 😀
    Marta recently posted: 12 Days of Christmas Manicures

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      Hehe, I wonder if I had left out that bowl of salad if my dad would’ve eaten it. Probably not. Most likely he would’ve given it to “Mrs. Claus”. 😛

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Kelly!

      Thank you so much! 😀 I’ll have another holiday nail-art tutorial coming really soon. I started late this year…

      No, I didn’t go to school to learn how to do nails. 🙂 And, oh gee….*blushes* Thank you for the HUGE compliment! 😀 I’m just realllllly passionate about nail polish and love to challenge myself with nail-art designs. It’s fun dreaming up your own design and then taking it from vision to execution!


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