Everyone has a different way of celebrating the holidays. If you’re picturing your nails covered in three-dimensional holiday motifs — perhaps a Black Santa and all of his reindeer, complete with a light-up nose for Rudolph — go for it. You might prefer a simple Christmas red nail that will take you through winter to 2023. Your polish options are endless, especially from our favorite Black-owned nail brands.
There’s really no wrong way to do Christmas nail art, but if you’re having a hard time deciding on what manicure to get in these jovial last couple weeks of the year, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites. Find inspiration in BLAC’s favorite Black-owned lacquer brands that’s right for your particular level of holiday spirit.
Suite Eleven Lacquers
Arieal “Ari” Smith-Liburd began formulating her nail lacquers in 2015 after being forced to toss almost all of her beauty products due to several chemical and food allergies. Suite Eleven lacquers are 10-free, vegan, and PETA-certified, which makes them suitable for even for most sensitive skin.
People of Color
Jacqueline Carrington started People of Color to create nude polishes for women of color that were pointedly left out of the market. However, the brand features a range of hues from classic red to daring neons.
Breukelen Polished combines a love for nails and Brooklyn with 11-free polishes named after aspects of the NYC borough like “Marcus Garvey” (a street in Bed-Stey named after the Jamaican political and civil rights leader) and “It’s Brick” (slang referring to cold weather).
Editor’s Pick: Do or Die or most festive red in our collection
Auda B’s vegan, 10-free polish is touted for being long-lasting: it has a gel-like texture that is chip-resistant.
Habit Cosmetics is the perfect example of a clean polish that doesn’t compromise quality or sustainability. Each of these 10-free nail polishes are infused with myrrh extract to help strength the nails and are sustainably packed with a bamboo cap, glass bottle, recycled plastic parts, and FSC-certified paperboard.
Founder Brandi Blocker created LaPierre Cosmetics so that her mother could safely wear nail polish while undergoing treatment for lung cancer. The brand harnesses its ingredient-conscious philosophy into other products like hand and body butter.
When Kitaya Mischo King was pregnant with her first child, she couldn’t find a chip-resistant polish with safe ingredients, which lead her to spend two years creating her own.
Bernadette Thompson Nail Lacquer Collection
Bernadette Thompson has its place cemented in history as the first Black-owned nail brand in the United States. The woman behind the eponymous brand has worked with celebrities like Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, and Lady Gaga.
Founder Rachel James came up with the idea to create a luxury, vegan nail polish brand while studying fashion merchandizing in university. On her last day, she presented a project to a professor on a fake nail polish brand, and was subsequently encouraged to go work for a brand like OPI. Instead, she harvested her ideas into Pear Nova.
Mented Cosmetics started as a journey to create the perfect nude lipstick for all complexions. Their nail polish collection matches that mission with universally flattering, flesh-toned colors.
Triple O Nail Polish
Triple O Nail Polish combines founder Symantha Wechie-Onyechi’s love for nail polish and pre-colonial African history with several collections named after legendary states like the Bamana Empire and the Kingdom of Nri.