Halloween Nails

Rebecca Wiseman
Candy Corn Nail Art

Candy Corn Nail Art

Halloween nails can be anything from darkly elegant to frightening to playful. From costume nails to unique Halloween nail art designs, this is the perfect holiday to go all out in ways you wouldn't dream of any other day of the year.

Candy corn nail art can be mixed with spooky motifs or worn alone. While it can be done on short nails, it is easier to fit all three colors on nails with a little length. The nail art seen here is done on medium length, oval shaped nails.

  1. Start with a bright yellow nail polish at the top third of the nail. Apply two coats for depth of color.
  2. In the middle section, use two coats of a bright orange nail polish.
  3. On the tips, use two coats of white nail polish.
  4. Finish with a clear top coat.

The nail art shown here on the thumbs and pinky fingers is a simple black and white, which makes the candy corn nails stand out more. You can use decals or freehand art created with a white fine detail nail art pen on black polish.

Trick-or-Treat Nail Art

Trick-or-Treat Nail Art

This dramatic design is a mix of freehand nail art and Halloween nail stamps on medium length, squared nails. With a little imagination and a steady hand, you can achieve this look with just a few colors of nail polish or nail art paint, nail stamps, and a fine detail nail art brush.

  1. Start with one coat of a clear base coat. Use a quick drying manicure spray between each color application.
  2. Apply one coat of a base color such as pale gray or lavender.
  3. Use a nail art brush to blend accent colors for the background.
  4. Use nail stamps and black nail art paint for the houses, tree, and trick-or-treat letters.
  5. Use white and yellow nail art paint with a fine detail nail art brush to accent the black stamps.
  6. Use the fine detail brush to add in the small details of the sky on each nail.
  7. Use either the fine detail brush or a striper brush and green nail art paint to add the grass detail.
  8. Finish with a clear top coat.
Metallic Orange Nails

Metallic Orange Nails

Orange and black are obvious choices for Halloween polish, but metallic orange with jagged black nail art offers a grown-up twist on these fun colors. This design can be done on any length nail. Here it is done on long, almond shaped nails. To get this look:

  1. Apply two coats of orange metallic polish.
  2. Use either a fine detail nail art brush and nail art paint or a nail art pen to make the jagged black and white lines.
  3. Finish with a clear top coat.
Funky Dark Designs

Funky Dark Designs

A dark nail design is perfect for Halloween. Black nail art, combined with dark hues like purple and dark blue, creates a funky result. This look starts on stiletto shaped nails.

  1. Apply a dark purple glitter polish to the nail tips and fade it up the nail.
  2. Use transfer foil in purple frost on the polish while it is still a little tacky to get the chunky design.
  3. Outline the foil with a black nail art pen.
  4. Finish with a clear top coat.
Talon Nails

Talon Nails

Nails that resemble claws or talons are a fun look for Halloween, especially if they are in keeping with your costume. Start by creating a long nail in an almond shape, using your preferred type of artificial nail if necessary.

  1. Apply two coats of a rich black nail polish.
  2. Use a metallic gold polish to make a stripe down the center of each nail from cuticle to tip.
  3. Finish with a clear top coat.
Vampire Nails

Vampire Nails

Create a vampire-inspired design on short square nails.

  1. Start with two coats of a rich black nail polish.
  2. Using a bright, true, red creme polish for the "blood," make a brush-wide stripe across the tips of the nails.
  3. Make one or two small drips running back toward the cuticle with the red polish and a fine detail nail art brush.
  4. Finish with a clear top coat.
Green Halloween Nails

Green Halloween Nails

Go all out for your Halloween costume with unnaturally long nails. Nails this big are best put on as temporary nails with adhesive nail tape like you would get with press-on nails. False nails similar to these can be purchased at a Halloween specialty store in varying lengths. For extremely long false nails like those shown here, speak to a nail technician about having them custom made. After attaching the nails, apply a ghoulishly green, possibly glow-in-the-dark, nail polish.

Glow-in-the-Dark Green

Glow-in-the-Dark Green

Green is a fun and spooky color that goes well with witch costumes, monster looks, and other scary ensembles. Choose glow-in-the-dark polish or glitter polish to add an extra splash of fun to your nails. The nails shown here are stiletto shaped natural nails, but this can be done on any length of nail whether they are natural or artificial.

  1. Start with a neon green polish on one side of the nail and orange polish on the other leaving the center of the nail clear.
  2. Apply a gold glitter polish over the tips for a glowing effect.
  3. Finish with either a clear top coat or a glow-in-the-dark top coat.
Spidery Sophistication

Spidery Sophistication

Use the inspiration of spider webs to create a pretty and sophisticated spidery nail design. To achieve this look:

  1. Start with long square nails and a clear base coat.
  2. Use a lacy looking nail stamp and black polish to make the spider web design.
  3. Accent this design with a white nail art pen or white polish and a fine detail nail art brush.
  4. Apply clear rhinestones with nail glue.
Simple and Colorful

Simple and Colorful

Nails don't have to be complicated on Halloween. A simple and colorful look is perfect for a range of costumes and can be ideal for children or those who have very short nails.

  1. Select five different metallic nail polishes, making sure to include Halloween colors like orange and green.
  2. Paint each nail a different color.
  3. Finish with a high shine top coat for more sparkle.
Spider Web Nail Art

Spider Web Nail Art

Give your nails a creepy look of spiders and webs with this nail art design.

  1. Start by applying two coats of red nail polish.
  2. Use a small detail brush and black nail polish or a black nail art pen to draw the web design.
  3. Use a large dotting tool and a small nail art brush to make the spider on one nail of each hand.
  4. Add an iridescent glitter to the body of the spider and the lines of the web.
  5. Finish with a clear top coat.
Pumpkin Nail Art

Pumpkin Nail Art

This is a fun Halloween nail art design for young girls or women with short, round nails. This look is easily achieved.

  1. Apply two coats of a bright orange nail polish.
  2. Use a jack-o-lantern nail stamp with black nail art paint on each nail.
  3. Finish with a high shine top coat.
Frankenstein Nail Art

Nails of Frankenstein

The iconic image of Frankenstein's monster screams Halloween. This is a great look for small hands and short nails.

  1. Start with short, square nails and use a yellow-green polish for the base color.
  2. Use a fine detail nail art brush with black and white nail polish with a small dotting tool, or black and white nail art pens, to draw the face details.
  3. Finish with a clear top coat to make the design last.
Black Nails

Black Glitter Nails

This is a simple look that can be worn on any length of nail. Here it is shown on stiletto shaped nails. Use a rich black nail polish with a multi-colored glitter polish over it. Finish with a top coat for more shine.

Bats and Spiders

Bats and Spiders

This eerie nail art design is easy to achieve with nail stamps. Start with medium length nails in a "squoval" shape (squared with rounded corners).

  1. Use either a clear base coat or a sheer nude pink base color.
  2. Use two coats of a rich black nail polish across the tips.
  3. Apply white nail art paint and a spider web stamp on the nails where spiders will be placed.
  4. Use spiders, bats, and cross or gravestone nail art stamps with with black nail art paint. Place them above the black tips.
  5. Finish with a chunky holographic glitter top coat.
Skull Nail Art

Skull Nail Art

This haunting nail art design works best on rounded nails with a little length.

  1. Apply two coats of a bright white nail polish like you would use for French tips.
  2. Use a small detail nail art brush and black nail art paint to make the concave of the cheekbones and the teeth.
  3. Use a large dotting tool and black nail art paint for the eyes.
  4. Use a small dotting tool and black nail art paint for the nose.
  5. Finish with a clear top coat.
Blood Dripping Nail Art

Dripping Blood Nail Art

Dripping blood takes some patience to do as realistically as this design. This nail art requires gel polish and a UV or LED light. A small, handheld light will make this easier to achieve. Cure each coat of polish before moving on to the next.

  1. Start with long almond or oval shape nails with a nude pink gel base color.
  2. Use a blood red gel polish across the tips and the sides. Use a small to medium nail art brush to get the drip design where you want it. Cure the layer of polish with the light. Repeat this step until you achieve the build up that you want as this will take four or more applications along the tip.
  3. Finish with the gel top coat and cure a final time.
Jack-O-Lantern Nail Art

Jack-O-Lantern Nail Art

Halloween designs such as this one work well on short rounded nails. To achieve this look:

  1. Apply an orange glitter nail polish to the thumbs.
  2. Apply a black glitter polish to the middle fingers.
  3. For the index fingers, start with two coats of a white nail polish. Use black nail art paint with either a small nail art brush or nail art pen to make the face.
  4. For the jack-o-lantern nails on the ring fingers, start with two coats of an orange creme nail polish. Use black nail art paint with either a small nail art brush or nail art pen to make the jack-o-lantern face.
  5. To make the candy corn nails on the pinky fingers, start with a white stripe at the top of the nail. Use the same orange polish from the jack-o-lantern to make the orange stripe. Use a bright yellow nail polish for the yellow tips.
  6. Finish all nails with a clear top coat.
Monster Nail Art

Monster Nails

These nails are a play on Jack and Sally from A Nightmare Before Christmas. This look works well on oval or almond shaped nails with some length to them.

  1. Alternate the blue glitter, orange glitter, and black glitter polishes.
  2. For the middle finger with Jack, start by applying two coats of a rich black polish. Use white nail art paint or polish and a small nail art brush to make the skull shape and the bow tie underneath the skull. Use a fine detail brush and black nail art paint or polish to make the eyes, nose, and mouth designs.
  3. For the middle finger with Sally, start by using a marker or black nail art pen to draw an outline of the face, neck, and eyes. Fill in the hair with a red-orange nail polish, and the face and neck with a mint green polish. Use white nail art paint or polish for the eyes. Using a fine detail nail art brush with black paint or a nail art pen, make the mouth and fill in all the detail of the face and hair. Go over the outline of the face and neck again as well.
  4. Finish with a high shine top coat.
Black Cat Nail Art

Black Cats and Polka Dots

Neon pink is typically not a Halloween color, but add some black cats and it becomes a perfect background color. This design can be done on any length and shape of nail. Here it is shown on short square nails.

  1. Apply two coats of your favorite neon pink creme nail polish.
  2. Use a medium dotting tool and black nail art paint to make the polka dots on the ring and pinky fingers.
  3. For the cats, use a small detail nail art brush with black nail art paint for the cats' bodies. For the eyes, use the same brush with white nail art paint. Use the same pink nail polish and a small dotting tool or toothpick to make the dot for the nose.
  4. Finish with a clear top coat.

Whether you are using brushes or nail art pens, Halloween nail art is only limited to your imagination. Match the design to your costume or choose a playful yet spooky nail design for regular wear.

Rebecca Wiseman
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Halloween Nails