Gorgeous Chinese New Year Nail Art Design Inspiration

After the excitement and excesses of the festive season, January can feel a bit dull, grey and a joyless. But it really shouldn’t, in fact the end of the month sees the commencement of one of the world’s most vibrant festivals, Chinese New Year. If you thought the festive season was over, you were very wrong. Every festival is as an excuse for a mani here at mylee and Chinese New Year is no exception!


Chinese New Year is brimming with rich visual inspiration and it’s increasingly common to see top fashion brands tapping into the festival with Chinese New Year themed campaigns. Why not follow suit and celebrate with a stunning mani that captures the dazzling colours and designs we associate with Chinese culture.

Red and Gold

One of the simplest ways to bring a hint of the Chinese New Year to your nails is by rocking a red and gold colour combo. Red is the go-to colour at Chinese New Year – in Chinese culture it represents good fortune and joy, perfect for a festival that looks forward to a year of prosperity and happiness. Gold or yellow, which represent wealth and prosperity, are similarly popular colours in Chinese culture and pair beautifully with red. What better way to capture the spirit of Chinese New Year?


For a look that truly evokes a classically Chinese aesthetic, go for a bright red base coat then hand paint Chinese designs (think classic floral designs or calligraphy) over the top in gold before finishing with a clear topcoat. If your brushwork leaves something to be desired you should be able to seek out a set of Chinese-themed nail stamping plates, as used on this stunning mani:

If that approach looks a bit fiddly, a simple red into gold ombre look is easy and no less striking. For an extra glamorous sparkly take on the look try a red glitter base, like our I’m in the Spotlight gel polish, then add a dash of dazzling gold glitter to create a gradient effect, like so:


This stunningly intricate mani would be an amazing Chinese New Year look – if you’ve got the skills to pull it off! These exquisite blue on white designs capture the look of classic Chinese porcelain beautifully but definitely require a steady hand.


Cherry blossom

Often associated with Japan, cherry blossom is also found in Chinese art and works beautifully as a pretty oriental floral motif. Again, it requires a bit of freehand brushwork, but a simple, elegant design shouldn’t be too hard to pull off.


Once you’ve applied a base coat and a coat of white polish (the example below opts for a French mani rather than a completely white base – we think it looks stunning) paint on the branches in black using a fine nail art brush, trying to keep them as fine and elegant as possible, then delicately blot on the blossoms around the branches using a red or pink polish of your choice.