POPSUGAR Celebrity

These Gorgeous Award Show Manicures Hit a High Note

Nov 24 2014 - 11:00am

While we love award season for the updos and glamorous makeup, we're pretty partial to the red carpet manicures. Pastels, jewel tones, and a bevy of nail art designs are always good for some eye candy — and some serious DIY [1] inspiration. We'll be rounding up the best fingertip moments from all of the award shows, from the Golden Globes to the Oscars to the most recent American Music Awards. Stand by for envy-inducing hands!

Taylor Schilling

At the American Music Awards, Taylor wore Essie Bordeaux polish [2] ($9) on short nails for a chic, vampy look.

Meghan Trainor

Meghan wore Essie Spin the Bottle polish [3] ($9) with subtle black floral nail art to the American Music Awards.

Jessie J

Jessie matched her nails to her cream suit at the American Music Awards using Red Carpet Manicure Gel Polish in Fake Bake [4] ($10).

Olivia Munn

At the American Music Awards, Olivia wore Essie polishes ($9) in Licorice [5] and Good as Gold [6] in a retro half-moon design.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer's nails at the American Music Awards were so much more than a standard stiletto manicure — she wore red glitter on the undersides of her claws to stand out.

Jordin Sparks

Jordin rocked a glittery chrome manicure to the American Music Awards that perfectly matched her pewter sequined gown.

Sarah Hyland

At the 2014 Emmy Awards, Sarah wore Essie's Cocktails and Coconuts lacquer with gold striping tape, a manicure that perfectly complemented her diamond and gold jewelry.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Julia Louis-Dreyfus [7] stepped out on the 2014 Emmys red carpet wearing Essie's Mamba, a pale shimmering mauve.

Natalie Dormer

Natalie wore an inky, edgy manicure to the 2014 Emmy Awards.

Kerry Washington

Kerry coordinated her nails to her dress at the 2014 Emmy Awards.

Kate Mara

At the 2014 Emmy Awards, Kate chose a dark manicure that contrasted beautifully with her pale gown.

Michelle Dockery

At the 2014 Emmy Awards, Michelle Dockery accented her sleek nude manicure with a row of glittery rings.

Debra Messing

Debra chose a Fall-forward shade of gray for her manicure for the 2014 Emmy Awards.

Keke Palmer

Keke Palmer's long, nude nails looked elegant and striking against her navy gown at the 2014 Emmy Awards.

Zooey Deschanel

Celebrity manicurist Tom Bachik used hot pink nail tape to create a simple yet eye-catching manicure on Zooey at the 2014 Emmy Awards.

Kiernan Shipka

At the 2014 Emmy Awards, Kiernan paired a baby-pink manicure with a sweet bow ring.

Teyonah Parris

Teyonah attended the 2014 Emmy Awards with a rosy-pink manicure that matched her stunning ring.

Taylor Schilling

Taylor matched her nails to her nude dress at the 2014 Emmy Awards with a few coats of Essie's Cocktails and Coconuts.

Heidi Klum

Heidi's long, almond-shaped nails (by celebrity manicurist Tom Bachik) at the 2014 Emmy Awards elongated her graceful fingers. Get this look with a shade like L'Oréal Paris's Colour Riche Nail Polish in Doutzen’s Nude.

Lena Dunham

At the 2014 Emmy Awards, Lena wore 12th Street Rag, a pink chrome lacquer by Deborah Lippmann.

Nicki Minaj

Nicki may be toning down her beauty looks, but her nails at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards were just as wild as ever!

Rita Ora

Rita's custom nail look at the MTV VMAs cost $56,000. Yes, that's one expensive manicure [8] thanks to Azature.

Victoria Justice

Victoria set off her neon green clutch with a hot pink manicure at the MTV VMAs.


Lord's French acrylic manicure at the MTV VMAs was definitely a blast from the past.


Beyoncé's silver nail polish matched her MTV VMA moonman. You can get the exact shade at home. It's Nails Inc. Cambridge Terrace [9] ($10).

Iggy Azalea

Iggy's manicure at the MTV VMAs had a disco-ball effect next to her Versace dress.

Jordin Sparks

Decked out in all white, Jordin added a splash of color with a blood-red manicure at the MTV VMAs.

Jamie Chung

This nude, studded manicure complemented Jamie's engagement ring at the MTV VMAs.

Gwen Stefani

At the MTV VMAs, Gwen opted for an inky, black manicure to match her tough-girl belt.

Shay Mitchell

At the 2014 Teen Choice Awards, Shay Mitchell sported a dark, vampy manicure with diamond-studded statement nails.

Nina Dobrev

Nina Dobrev [10] chose a soft pink manicure with a subtle glitter tip at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards.

Lea Michele

Celebrity manicurist Jenna Hipp gave Lea Michele [11] this black and pink multimanicure for the 2014 Teen Choice Awards.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez [12] wore her nails long and nude to the 2014 Teen Choice Awards.

Lea Michele

Lea opted for a petal-pink style at the Kids' Choice Awards.

Victoria Justice

Victoria's minty polish was superfresh at the Kids' Choice Awards.

Ariana Grande

Pink nails were Ariana's look du jour at the Kids' Choice Awards.

Bella Thorne

Usually one for elaborate nail looks, Bella went night and neutral at the Kids' Choice Awards.

Ryan Newman

Actress Ryan had fun, pink nail art at the Kids' Choice Awards.

Coco Jones

Actress Coco applied sparkling sequins to her nails at the Kids' Choice Awards.

Jayma Mays

Jayma's navy blue polish was superchic at the Kids' Choice Awards.

Lupita Nyong'o

It was an opaque pale pink for the first-time Oscar nominee.

Julia Roberts

For the Oscars, Lisa Jachno of labnails [13] did the actress's digits in Lancome Vernis in Love lacquer in Gris Angora [14] ($15), a lovely light gray hue.

Jennifer Lawrence

The Oscar nominee went short and sweet with a rounded square tip.

Anna Kendrick

The Oscar presenter chose a deep, vampy red that matched her lip color.

Julie Delpy

The actress picked pale pink to complement her sparkling Jenny Packham dress at the Oscars.

Naomi Watts

The Oscar presenter showed off clear lacquer on her short and perfectly polished nails.

Lady Gaga

Going against her wild style, the singer picked a long peach nail for the Oscars.

Rita Ora

Smile! Rita Ora brought out the fun side of nail art for the Grammys.


At the Grammys, a close-up of Madonna [15]'s hands shows lots of bling from her gloves to her rings and her glittery french manicure.

Kelly Osbourne

Kelly Osbourne may have the best manicure we have seen so far this award season with this black polish topped with a replica of a Grammy award.

Sara Bareilles

Sara Bareilles went with a black nail polish to add a moody feeling to her otherwise bright ensemble at the Grammy Awards.

Paris Hilton

The glimmer of Paris Hilton [16]'s Grammy Awards ensemble didn't stop at her dress — her nails also had a silvery shine.

Skylar Grey

Skylar Grey went with a khaki manicure to match her tan leather dress on the Grammys red carpet.

Cyndi Lauper

It was gold jewelry and a gilded, mirrored manicure for Cyndi Lauper at the Grammys.

Bonnie McKee

In an embellished take on the half-moon manicure, Bonnie McKee added stones all around her cuticles for the Grammys.

Rocsi Diaz

This white-out nail polish really popped against Rocsi Diaz's hot pink clutch on the SAG Awards red carpet.

Hannah Simone

While her dress was a pale blue, Hannah Simone went with a pastel orange shade on her nails at the SAG Awards.

Anna Gunn

Anna Gunn showed of her team spirit at the SAGS with her Breaking Bad clutch, and we love her gray manicure, too!

Stuart Brazell

On the SAG Awards red carpet, Stuart Brazell picked a gilded metallic polish that picked up the bronze in her dress.

Renee Bargh

Matching your clutch to your nails isn't a bad idea, and Renee Bargh had a perfectly gold pair on the SAGs red carpet.

Kelly Osbourne

We have come to expect amazing manicures from Kelly Osbourne, and she didn't disappoint on the SAG Awards red carpet with a bedazzled accent nail.

Lupita Nyong'o

White dress, white nails. We can't get enough of Lupita's matching color scheme at the Critics' Choice Awards.

Nia Long

At first glance you might think Nia Long's nail polish matches her black dress from the Critic's Choice red carpet, but the closeup shows the shade is actually a vampy purple hue.

Elisabeth Rohm

The theme for Elisabeth Rohm's Critics' Choice beauty look was retro. Her nude manicure had a simple bare line down the middle.

Aisha Tyler

At the Critics' Choice Awards, Aisha Tyler went with a two-toned manicure, mixing lavender and black shades.

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie was fully prepared for her handbag closeups on the Critics' Choice red carpet with her nude almond-shaped manicure.

Adèle Exarchopoulos

Adèle Exarchopoulos wore an inky black shade to accept her Critics' Choice Award.

Kerry Washington

A peach and silver manicure adorned the nails of Kerry Washinton at the Golden Globe Awards.

Kaley Cuoco

Emerald green was the color of Kaley Cuoco's manicure at the Golden Globe Awards.

Zooey Deschanel

Always the nail art lady to watch, Zooey Deschanel [17] painted a flower motif on her nails using L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Nail Versailles Romance in Crème Puffs, L'Oreal Paris Magic Top Coat Collection in True Gold, and L'Oreal Paris Colour RIche Nail in I Will!

Monica Potter

A sparkling, ombré manicure looked darling on Monica Potter at the Golden Globes.

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon [18]'s maroon-hued nails at the Golden Globes red carpet were perfect for the season.

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o's nails were painted a neutral beige at the Golden Globe Awards. The shade was achieved using one coat of Deborah Lippmann's Naked [19] ($17) followed by a coat of Diamonds and Pearls [20] ($17).

Sarah Hyland

Nude nails were a trend on the Golden Globes red carpet, and Sarah Hyland wore the hue well.

Lizzy Caplan

Opting for a classic, Lizzy Caplan painted her nails red for the Golden Globe Awards.

Jennifer Lawrence

Before accepting her award for best supporting actress, Jennifer Lawrence [21] showed off a dark burgundy nail polish hue — Deborah Lippmann's Bitches Brew [22] ($17) — that was similarly close to her lipstick shade of the night.

Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones's dark brown nail polish was a nice complement to her cream colored dress at the Golden Globes.

Leslie Mann

Leslie Mann's all-black manicure was super chic at the Golden Globe Awards.

Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza opted for a glossy nude manicure at the Golden Globes.

Naomi Watts

Keeping with her subdued look of the night, Naomi Watts [23] opted for a shiny neutral manicure at the Golden Globes.

Amber Heard

Amber Heard opted for shimmering bronze nails on the Golden Globes red carpet.

Emilia Clarke

Emilia Clarke's crimson manicure was a classic at the Golden Globes.

Hayden Panettiere

Hayden Panettiere [24] opted for a warm peach manicure at the Golden Globes.

Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts [25] got her digits done by celebrity manicurist Lisa Jachno of Labnails [26]. Jachno shaped Julia’s nails into a square shape using a Labnails taped file before painting them with Lancôme’s Midnight Rose polish — a dark, vampy shade.

Lucy Hale

Nude nails were a trend on the People's Choice Awards red carpet, and Lucy Hale wore them well.

Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum [27]'s nude manicure was heavenly at the People's Choice Awards.

Jessica Alba

Who said emerald green wasn't a neutral? Jessica Alba [28] had us dying to try the trendy hue at the People's Choice Awards.

Sara Bareilles

Anyone who plays with their nail art is good in our book, so Sara Bareilles's gold and red manicure at the People's Choice Awards was a serious treat.

Queen Latifah

A dusty blue manicure looked chic and slick on Queen Latifah [29] at the People's Choice Awards.

Naya Rivera

Naya Rivera posed with her dark metallic brown manicure and her trophy at the People's Choice Awards.

Anna Faris

Anna Faris [30]'s ballerina pink manicure matched her flesh-toned gown perfectly.

Jennifer Hudson

At the People's Choice Awards, Jennifer Hudson [31] opted for a completely textured manicure that looked like glittering scales.

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