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14 Scarily Easy Halloween Nail Art Ideas

by Tori Crowther / Friday, 06 October 2017

Traditional Halloween festivities don’t need to be a one-night occurrence. Thanks to the plethora of Halloween-inspired nail art filling Instagram, you can start practising your scary nails now and be a pro by the time the 31st arrives. Although we all love over-the-top nails during Halloween, if you aren’t much of a nail artist but still want in on the action, there are plenty of easy designs to DIY that don’t require any expertise. Halloween nail designs encourage messy, gory, and outside-of-the-cuticle action, so the messier, the better!

Candy Corn

Candy corn is definitely an American Halloween tradition that we’ve jumped on, and although they are hard to buy here in the UK, they make great nail art. This technique is called ombré and almost always starts off with a white base coat. You then need to paint the white, orange, and yellow polishes side by side on a makeup sponge and lightly sponge onto the nail; you may need to do this two or three times to get coverage, and that’s it. Don’t forget the topcoat to seal it.

Pumpkin Polka Dots

This simple polka-dot mani is great for getting into the Halloween colour code with an understated design. Paint your base colour, then using a dotting tool or end of a pen (get creative with your tools), dot on Halloween colours of your choice.

Blood Splatter

Blog post up about my Halloween look 🎃💉 #bloodsplatnails #halloweennails #bblogger

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This design is definitely a messy one, but the most fun. Paint a white base coat. Then, get a plastic straw and cut in half; put some red nail polish on a paint palette, magazine cover, or jar lid (again, creativity with the tools); cover the tip of one straw end with the polish; aim towards the nail; and blow into the straw. There you have it, messy blood splatter effect. Just don’t suck nail polish up the straw whatever you do!

Watchful Eyes

Start with a black base coat, grab your dotting tool, and using a white polish, make the whites of the eyes, let dry, and do the same with a black polish inside the white and make sure the black dots are smaller than the white.

Fleshy Ombré

Using the same technique as the first nail design, paint a beige base and then lightly dab layers of red over the top of it, sealing off with a topcoat. This design is the definition of chic Halloween gore.

Pixie Dust Pumpkin

Texture gradient 🎃 Halloween edition @zoyanailpolish Dahlia + Dhara 🕸

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Another ombré! Using a nail polish with a texture gives an alternative finish to a simple ombré, perfect to be worn in the day if you don’t want to scare your colleagues with blood nails.

Glow-in-the-Dark Ghost

Bad quality for the dark pic but oh whale 🐳😂 #glowinthedarknails

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Possibly the cutest Halloween nail design you’ve seen yet. Start off with a white base coat, then dot on the details using a dotting tool and finish off with a glow-in-the-dark topcoat.

Red to Black

Another stylish and simple design, start off with a red base coat and sponge on the black. To add more detail to this design, you can add small gems for a chic finish.

Friendly Ghosts

Try out this cartooned ghost mani — who knew ghosts could be so adorable? Using a white or cream base coat, dot on the black and use a small brush or toothpick to create the triangle shapes.

Stitched-Up French

This is a great Halloween twist on a traditional french mani. Paint a clear or light beige base coat, then follow this by painting on the orange tips. Using a toothpick or small brush, paint on the lined detail. This mani doesn’t have to be perfect because the stitching is supposed to look roughly drawn.

Cuticle Care

This is an easy-peasy, scary, and a little grim mani. All this requires is an unsteady hand and love of SFX gore. Using a light and a dark red going outside of the cuticle, use the brush or a sponge and build up the layers until the desired bloody effect.


Another fun Halloween mani is literally putting your fingerprints onto the nail. Paint a white base coat, paint red polish directly onto your finger, dab onto some paper to get the excess polish off, and transfer the polish from your finger onto the white nail polish. Seal with a topcoat and you have a crime scene on your hands.

Stars at Night

Paint a black base coat, leave to dry, and then add a sparkle polish. Using your tool of choice, add a mix of dots, stars, and a moon. These less-scary nails are great for the weeks leading up to Halloween and can be worn in the day without getting horrified looks for your deceptively bloody nails.

Gory Galore

Saved the best (or worst) for last. These are the ultimate zombie nails to scare anyone who catches a glimpse of them. This takes a bit more work than the others but is still easier than it looks. You’ll need to buy some cheap fake nails so that you aren’t cutting your actual nail. Stick the fake nails on, then cut to your desired look; the crazier, the better. Then using a sponge, dab on both light and dark red polish onto the fake and real nail (where the fake one has been cut off) and over the cuticle line. Go over this with fake blood to make it look realistic. To get an even more grim effect, dab on some red nail polish before adding the fake nail on to create layers of gory cuts. Ouch!