There is no holiday quite like St. Patrick’s Day! Nobody knows exactly why we celebrate, but everyone is perfectly happy to take the day off from work and go buck wild.
The origins of this day may be fuzzy, but one thing is for sure: you absolutely must dress up in as much crazy green gear as possible.
We’re here to help you get your St. Patty’s manicure on point this year, so you’ll have plenty of time to get the perfect set in place for March.
All Green Everything
Unless you just arrived from an alien world, you’ll know that St. Patrick’s Day is all about the green. For the first few weeks of March, we recommend going through all of your green nail polish, whether it’s matte, glossy, metallic, or pastel.
There aren’t any concrete rules on which type of green works best on St. Patty’s Day, and we’ve found that the crowd out there is generally pretty accepting of however you show up!
Plenty of Glitter
Glitter isn’t just for birthdays, bachelorette parties, and new year’s parties. It’s a very important part of traditional St. Patty’s observance.
Load up on green glitter ahead of time so you have enough to go around. You’ll want to rub some on your face, throw some in the air, and sprinkle some on your nails.
Cool Celtic Symbols
Many interesting Celtic symbols hearken back to preindustrial times, and even if you don’t know what they mean, they still look cool.
We’re talking about those woven wooden patterns, the bold crosses, and the trinity knots. See if you can find a sticker pack that includes them all, or paint them yourself if you’re skilled.
The Famous Harp
There’s one beer that stands above the rest on St. Patrick's Day, and you ought to have at least one pint before the day is through!
Not sure what brand we’re talking about? The classic harp design should give you a hint!
This dark, dry Irish stout goes down smooth and leaves a foamy mustache wherever it goes. Show your love for this beer by painting the signature harp logo on one of your nails. Just be sure to use a brown background and golden paint.
Find the Pot of Gold
Legend says that if you follow a magic little man with the red beard over the rainbow, you’ll reach a big pot of gold and be rich forever. Yeah, we’ll just skip right to the gold, thanks.
Of all the classic Irish folklore, unlimited riches is one of the most intriguing, and you can easily represent some gold coins to bring you good luck at this year’s event.
Irish Flag Celebration
Who cares where you’re actually from, everybody is Irish on St. Patty’s Day!
Fly the green, white, and orange tricolor high over your party, wear it on a t-shirt, paint your face with the colors, or just use some stickers on your nails to make the point.
No need to paint the flag on every nail, just one or two accents will set you straight!
Clovers Are A Must
If you aren’t rocking at least a few clover designs on St. Patty’s, you’ll probably be sent home to change if your friends care about you.
Make sure you rep the lucky four-leaf clover because it’s one of the most important symbols for good luck and safe travels!
This article from Today’s Creative Ideas suggested you mix in some shamrocks with hearts and other cute designs for some added variety.
White and Cream Backdrops
All of those green and orange decals need a strong canvas, and the more surface area you have to work with the better.
Long, glossy white nails are the best base for your St. Patrick’s Day Designs, and we recommend these Greek Goddess coffin acrylics to give you a good foundation.
Some find them cute, others think they're weird. However you view leprechauns, you can earn some St. Patty’s street cred by painting a professional picture of one on your nails.
Remember the red beard, the hat with a buckle, and maybe a little pipe, too. It helps to wear long nails if you want to draw him head to toe!
Rainbows of All Kinds
If you don’t want to follow the leprechaun, you can still sit back and admire the pretty rainbow. Painting rainbows on your nails, however, is tough to pull off if you’re not a pro.
We recommend practicing some blank acrylic nails to master the technique before painting on your friend’s, new manicure.
As Belle Tag points out, you can just wear some regular rainbow decal nails on St. Patty’s Day without any green background! The design on its own is fun enough.
This is a classic design that works beautifully on a pearly white or bright neon green background, and you can make it happen at any skill level.
Make sure you have a shiny golden polish and draw the traditional horseshoe shape, with some black polish to add some shadow detail as well.
Sprinkle it with glitter and you have a lovely golden creation to wear at the party.
French Manicure, Irish Style
If you need to be somewhat of an adult this upcoming St. Patty’s Day, you can give a subtle nod to the partygoers by wearing a French mani with green tips.
Maybe you have a job where leprechauns and beer logos are off the table? We understand.
All you need is a light green polish to paint the very top of your nails, and you have a sophisticated look that still brings the fun.
Get a Bit Boozy
We mentioned a famous stout earlier on, but as a sophisticated connoisseur of Irish alcohol, you’ve got to include some whiskey as well.
Have a blast painting your nails with famous boozy labels, but slow down when you’ve had enough! Safety is always number one (or two).
Some of these labels are tough to replicate, but the slightly sloppy amateur art style is part of the charm, we think.
Stripes and Dots
Not feeling like loading up your nails with sticky decals and corny artwork? You can freestyle a classy and discreet St. Patty’s manicure without any of that extra junk.
This inspo collection from Stay Glam offers a few high-brow designs that use white and green sparingly to create subtle patterns of stripes and dots.
We even spotted a wavy chevron design in the mix, if you want a 1970’s throwback.
Sometimes you don’t need the extra attention that comes with glitter and gloss. Matte green is a great way to stay under the radar if you feel like you’ve moved past your crazy party phase.
Find a matte nail polish that fits your style and enjoy a more upscale look. You can always add some extra designs when Friday rolls around and you can let loose after work.
Darker Shades of Green
We tend to think of bright neon greens and eye-popping acrylic shine when we envision St. Patrick’s Day nails, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
You can rock some deep forest green nails to the same effect, and these colors tend to work better with daily outfits like jackets and sweaters.
Hunter green, olive green, juniper and pine are all great options if you want to switch up your palette this March.
Long and Strong Nails
If you expect a long week of St. Patty’s debauchery, you’re going to want some nails that last. Not everyone has the time or cash to get a full acrylic mani, which is why press-on nails rule.
Our collection features some of the best materials available, with great prices and a super-easy adhesive process. You can file them however you want and they’ll last at least a week before you need to touch up on the glue.
Plus, you can add any St. Patty’s stickers you want, and not have to worry about your fancy polish or pricey acrylic treatment.
Light, Bright Pastels
March is the month when pastels finally come out to play, and things finally start to brighten up around St. Patrick's Day. Talk about perfect timing!
If you don’t own a light, minty pastel green nail polish, make a point to pick up a bottle this March. You will love the versatility of the color and how easy it is to build designs on top.
Seafoam, lime, and pistachio are other pastel greens to watch for, so you might as well grab a bunch!
We can’t wait for this year’s St. Patty’s celebration, and to see all those fresh, original nail designs. See what we’re up to on Instagram and follow us for more holiday nail inspiration!