Get your hands ready for fun

What’s your favourite thing about party season? Is it eating and drinking to your heart’s content? Festive music? Socialising? As fun as all of that is, for us it’s getting ready. Picking the perfect party outfit, styling our hair and doing our make-up brings us a lot of joy. But while all that must come off at the end of the night, our nails have the luxury of lasting a bit longer; which is why keeping up with the latest nail trends is very important to us. With a little help from some nail experts, here are our favourites for party season 2021 (and how to attempt them yourself at home). As celebrity manicurist Michelle Class says, “Party nails this year are going to be fun and fabulous!” 

The essential nail kit for giving yourself a manicure
Boots Moisturising Nail Polish Remover Pads (£2)

• Size: 25 pads

It goes without saying that party nails are not chipped nails. Remove the last of your old manicure with these. They contain vitamin E and pro-vitamin B5 to strengthen brittle nails, which is very useful if you’re trying to grow them!

Champneys Fingernail Clippers (£6)

“We’ll start to see a slightly longer nail length for the party season, just edging over the top of your finger to help elongate the nail bed,” says Michelle. And how better to get your nails down to just the right length than with a pair of clippers from Champneys?

Leighton Denny Small Crystal Nail File (£12.50)

We won’t tell you what shape to file your nails (although we will tell you not to file them back and forth across the entire nail as this causes damage), but we will suggest doing it with the most luxurious of nail files – the Leighton Denny Crystal Nail File, of course.

MASQD The Cuticle Pusher (£7)

The difference between simply painting your nails and actually giving yourself a manicure? Taking. Care. Of. Your. Cuticles. Tidy them up with the MASQD Cuticle Pusher. Just don’t forget to soak them in warm water (and remove any remaining nail polish) for at least five minutes beforehand to make them soft enough to push back without causing any damage. Then use a clean towel to dry them to prevent any chance of infection, before treating them to some nourishing cuticle oil.

Boots 4 Way Buffer (£2)

With one side for filing, one for removing ridges and others for buffing and shining your natural nails, this buffer is a good investment at a bargain price. First use the filing edge to shape your nails, then use the buffing edge to smooth your nail and buff away any ridges. Use the remaining edges to add some real shine!

Sally Hansen Double Duty Base & Top Coat (£6)

• Size: 13.3ml

A base coat that moisturises your nails with panthenol and a top coat that protects with nylon and prevents your polish from chipping? In one product? Sign us up immediately!

DIOR Creme Abricot Nail Creme (£22)

• Size: 10g

The packaging! The scent! The utter luxury of it all! Dior Creme Abricot Nail Creme is a nourishing cream that helps promote nail growth, improve nail resistance and soften cuticles. This is how all manicures should end.

2021 Nail Trends

So, now your nails are perfectly prepped, it’s time to get to grips with the latest nail trends!


“Hollywood glamour” and “rich reds” are among Michelle’s key trends when it comes to party nails. After all, it’s a classic that always makes sense. 

Image courtesy of @michelleclassnails on Instagram
OPI Christmas Cracker Set (£21.90)

• Size: 2 x 15ml

Imagine the joy of receiving THIS for Christmas. If you want to keep your nail polish wardrobe as minimal as possible, it has the only two colours you’ll ever need - Big Apple Red and Bubble Bath.


“Tortoiseshell is always a hit in autumn and there’s so many fun variations depending on your mood,” says founder of Gee’s Nail Spot, Georgia Blatherwick. To do them at home, you will need three nail polishes. Paint your nails with caramel nail polish and while the second layer is still wet, add splodges of brown polish and allow them to set. Then, add another layer of caramel before adding dots of black polish. Lastly, let it dry and let the love sink in.

Image courtesy of @geebee.nails on Instagram
Barry M Green Origin Nail Paint Butterscotch (£3.99)

• Size: 10ml

• Vegan

As well as being the perfect base coat for a tortoiseshell manicure, this nail polish is also made with a heap of natural ingredients like potato, corn and wheat and has an environmentally-conscious formula. 

My Mood Nail Polish Skinny Cap (£5)

• Size: 10ml

• Vegan

Even if you aren’t doing a tortoiseshell manicure, this is a great light brown nail polish nonetheless!

OPI Nail Lacquer (£13.90)

• Size: 15ml

Black nail polish isn’t scary – it’s elegant (and sexy)!


Michelle urges us to not forget glossy black manicures when it comes to party nails. And remember to add a top coat to make them look truly glossy.

Image courtesy of @michelleclassnails on Instagram
My Mood Nail Polish Sweet As (£5)

• Size: 10ml 

• Vegan 

Black clothes are wardrobe essentials and we think the same logic should be applied to your nails!

Essie Gel Couture Top Coat Nail Polish (£9.99)

• Size: 13.5ml 

A top coat that not only helps to protect painted nails, but also intensifies shine? Yes, please.


“The micro French manicure is back and firmly here to stay,” Georgia tells us. “It looks super chic all year round.” But how do you do it? “The secret to a micro French is starting with really short nails and making sure they’re filed super neatly,” Georgia says. “When filing make sure to tuck your file under the nail at a 45 degree angle and go right up to the edges so it’s smooth all the way round,” she continues. “You’ll then want to start with a sheer colour as a base and then go wild with the colour for the tip. Try doing the tip in two sweeps – one left to centre and one right to centre. Make sure you have a super skinny brush and don’t overthink it. After all, you’re just following the natural white at the end of your nail,” she explains. 

Image courtesy of @geebee.nails on Instagram
Rimmel French Mani Supergel Nail Polish (£5.99)

• Size: 12ml 

All worthwhile French manicures start with wonderful bases, like this one that offers superior colour and shine while also lasting up to two weeks!

A Little Something Cosmetic Nail Polish Set (£10)

• Size: 7 x 4ml

• Vegan

Choosing a colour is always the hardest part about doing your nails, so we’d be tempted to use all of these at once. And why not? It’s party season!

Shop our full range of nail polish sets


No collection of nail trends would be complete without “metallic shimmer” nails, one of Michelle’s favourites for party season. 

Image courtesy of @michelleclassnails on Instagram
OPI Nail Lacquer - Happy Anniversary! (£13.90)

• Size: 15ml

We especially like this in the context of party season because it reminds us of glistening snow. And it’s also just a really good nail polish – OPI’s signature pro-wide brush ensures an even application with no streaks!

Boots Polished Gel Finish Nail Colour 047 (£3.99)

• Size: 8ml

Put some sparkle into your party look with this metallic gold nail colour.

Explore more great metallic nail polishes

All prices correct on date of publication
Photography: unsplash