Halloween Nails: 5 Spooktacular Designs

Photo by Kate Perkins

Halloween is rapidly approaching, and for many of us that means parties galore. Whether you need a finishing touch for the perfect costume or want to be festive without all the fuss of dressing up, we’ve got you covered.  

These nail designs are as simple as they are spooky — we’re talking 3 steps or less — and you don’t have to be an artist to pull them off. All you need are a few basic colors, a handful of toothpicks, some tape and a little patience.

The Frankenstein French



For this design you will need a toothpick and two colors — green and black. Start by sweeping a layer of color across the tip of your nail. If you’re using a neon green like this one, you may need to apply more than one coat. Next, dip your toothpick in the black polish and carefully trace a line underneath the green tip. Don’t worry if the line isn’t perfect — you can cover up any mistakes during the following step. Using the toothpick again, dab little stitches along the line you just traced. Allow time to dry and you’ll be looking franktastic in no time.

Bloody Mani



For this design you will need red polish and a toothpick. Begin by placing drops of red polish towards the middle of your nail. Thicker drops will take longer to dry, but they’ll look more realistic in the end. Next, paint a thick layer of red across the tip of your nail. While the paint on the tip of your nails is still wet, use the toothpick to drag the polish down to connect to the dots. You can replace the color of the drips to represent different things, like green slime or blue water droplets. Let your creativity ooze.

Cat’s Claws



For this design you will need black polish and scotch tape. The tape will act like a stencil to keep your claws looking super sharp. Line the edge of the tape up against the middle of your nail at the very tip, then angle it down to the cuticle. Repeat this step on the opposite side. Then rub the tape smooth against your nail to make a seal so that no paint can leak underneath. Next, apply a layer of shiny black paint. Remove the tape while the paint is still wet and your look is ready to go.

Casper the Friendly Cuticle



For this design you will need white and black nail polish. Begin by brushing a layer of white paint across the entire nail. You may need to add more layers to get an opaque white like the one shown above. Once the white paint has dried, use your black polish to drip some eyes and a mouth onto the middle of the nail. That’s it! If you’re feeling adventurous you can switch out the white paint for orange and whip up some tiny jack-o-lanterns.

Peek-a-BOO Polish 



For these bug eyes, you will need a toothpick plus black and white polish. Begin by painting your nails entirely black. Once the base coat has dried, use your white brush to drip two drops onto the nail. Then, use a toothpick to add little black pupils to the center of the white dots. You can do one pair of eyes on each nail, or a bunch of them depending on your pupil painting skills.  

There you have it. Five festive fingernails for Halloween. One final tip: apply a clear top coat once the designs are dry to keep them from chipping. Then they’ll stay instagram-worthy for days. #NailedIt