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Holiday Nail Art: Swirly, Curly Candy Canes

Once the Christmas season rolls around, I crave the traditional taste of peppermint! Peppermint ice cream, peppermint hot chocolate and peppermint brownies are a few of my holiday favorites. With all these delicious cravings I have, it’s obvious that red and white, candy cane-inspired swirls would be my go-to design for holiday nails. This design is so fun and festive to wear on your nails. Just try not to eat your fingers—you’ll need those to open presents!  

The polishes I used for this design were China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat, China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat, China Glaze Red Satin and China Glaze White on White. I love how easy China Glaze polish is to apply and how the top coat doesn’t ruin the nail art design, but you use whatever kind of polish is your favorite!

Please note, I only applied the swirls to two nails because the design is so busy and needs some plain red to balance it out. Feel free to paint all 10 nails with candy cane swirls if you please.

Follow these simple steps to recreate this candy cane nail art design:

  1. As always, clean off all your nails and apply a clear base coat before you paint your pointer fingers and ring fingers white.
  2. Paint your thumbs, middle fingers, and pinky fingers red.
  3. Take a fine-tip nail art brush dipped in red polish and draw a wavy line horizontally across your pointer and ring fingers.
  4. Next draw another wavy line horizontally on the opposite side of your nail. Then draw one more wavy line from the top bottom to the top of your nail. All lines should intersect at the middle point of your nail. Fill in three sections, not side-by-side, with red polish and keep the other sections white. Let the polish dry and finish with a clear top coat. 

And there you have it! A candy cane manicure that's yummy enough to eat!

For more nail art by Jocelyn, visit

Jocelyn Merkley

Jocelyn is a turtle catcher, cat lover, nail artist and a wife and mother on the side. She loves to plan parties and girls nights that always include lots of nail polish! Her motto is that you always feel better with painted nails!

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