21 Halloween Nail Art Ideas

Create a chillingly chic manicure with these clever DIYs.

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August 20, 2020

Photo By: Hang Nguyen

Photo By: Rachael A. Jones

Photo By: Jane Safarian

Photo By: Thuy Nguyen

Photo By: Rachael A. Jones

Photo By: Betina Goldstein

Photo By: Hang Nguyen

Photo By: Alyssa Allen

Photo By: Rachael A. Jones

Photo By: Betina Goldstein

Photo By: Rachael A. Jones

Photo By: Jane Safarian

Photo By: Alyssa Allen

Photo By: Alyssa Allen

Photo By: Rachael A. Jones

Photo By: Thuy Nguyen

Green Slime

Calling all Ghostbusters fans! These green slime nails are the perfect nod to the “little spud” made of 100% ectoplasm.

Buy It: Etsy, $35.10

Amber Pumpkins

Instead of kitschy pumpkin patch nails, we love these dainty amber pumpkins from Hollywood nail stylist Hang Nguyen. The effect is reminiscent of a high-fashion tortoiseshell and creates a super luxe look.

Starry Black Night

Tap into the chill of a brisk autumn evening with this black-as-night celestial design. Nail decals (sometimes called nail tattoos or vinyl) make tiny designs like this so much easier than painting. Just make sure you have tweezers handy for lifting and placing designs.

Vampire Blood

This sinister scene from nail artist Jane Safarian looks incredibly chic with pale pink stiletto nails. The blood effect seems to defy gravity by dripping up from the base of the nail bed. Alternatively, you could paint the blood as French tips with the drip coming down the nail.

Spooky + Kooky Stripes

Mismatched nails are trending big time, but an important thing to remember when creating mismatched nails is that each nail should go together. This classic black and white plus orange palette from Los Angeles salon The Cosmo Studio works so well for a minimal Halloween look. You could also swap out orange polish for neon green to create a not-so-subtle nod to Beetlejuice!

Bats in Flight

Pumpkin orange may be the one true Halloween color, but purple can achieve a spooky vibe, too. These teeny, tiny bat decals look great against a trendy lilac polish. Remember to let your polish dry completely before applying decals. The glue is surprisingly sticky and creates a mess if the polish is still even the least bit wet.

Eerie Eyes

These creepy little eyeballs from Los Angeles designer Betina Goldstein are actually cute! We love the minimal approach the celebrity nail artist took with painting the tiny eye at the base of each nail against a clear, plain nail. But you could also go even smaller and create an eyeball pattern with tiny eyes scattered on each nail.

Black Cats

It wouldn’t be Halloween without a black cat motif. We love the minimal, color block approach in this design from Hang Nguyen and how the cats are painted in the corner of the nail vs. the middle.

Modern Geometrics

If ghosts and goblins aren’t your thing, try riffing on classic Halloween colors with trendy geometrics as your guide. These modern nails by professional nail artist Alyssa Allen aren’t necessarily themed, but the colors are perfect for the general Halloween season.

Zodiac Constellations

Halloween design doesn’t have to be scary or full of gore. It’s also the perfect time to embrace the stars and your horoscope — especially if you’re a Scorpio! These minimal constellation decals create a pretty mystical scene without painting. To customize the constellations for your own nails, look up your star chart to find out your sun, moon and rising star signs.

Dainty Spiders

We love the minimal approach artist Betina Goldstein took with these black spider nails. Painting each spider in a corner instead of the middle of each nail creates a much more dynamic design.

Or Spider Webs

If painting spiders is too advanced, try these spider web decals. Pro tip: Apply a clear top coat after you’ve applied the decals. This prevents peeling and helps your design last longer.

Buy It: Amazon, $8.99

Or Orange Glitter Ombré

For extra glam, you can also create an ombré nail with glitter nail polish. To achieve the ombré look, paint the first coat of nail polish about three-quarters of the way down the nail. For the next coat, paint just the top half of the nail. For the next coat, paint just the top quarter. And for the last coat paint just the tip of the nail until it’s completely opaque.

Poison Apple

Halloween is all about the villains; so, what better way to pay tribute to your bad side than with a poison apple à la Evil Queen? These press-on nails are slightly transparent and inspired by the jelly nail trend.

Buy It: Etsy, $30.57

Spooky Smoke

Remember the scary show intro for Are You Afraid of the Dark? There’s just something incredibly haunting about a flame in the night and this marbled technique from Jane Safarian creates a similar smoky effect.

Neon Leopard

The leopard trend doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon; so, why not give this print a Halloween twist? We love the vibrant, neon orange polish Alyssa Allen used in this design.

Séance Vibes

Summon the spirits beyond with fortune teller-inspired nails. From a teeny, tiny ouija planchette to a crystal ball and tarot cards, these decals create quite the mystical look.

Buy It: Etsy, $9.30

Moon Phases

The full moon has inspired haunting tales for centuries and now you can create a spooky lunar scene in a flash with these super-easy to apply nail stickers. They’re also perfect for Twilight fans — especially if you still pine for #TeamJacob.

Buy It: Etsy, $4.00

Orange Ombré

The world of nail art can get pretty complex and overwhelming with specific tools to micro techniques, but you don’t have to be an intricate painter to knock out incredible nails. The ombré effect by Alyssa Allen is a great painting technique to start with. And an orange ombré is perfect for fall.

Glow-in-the-Dark

Glow-in-the-dark nails are perfect for Halloween events at night such as harvest festivals or trick-or-treating. These little bat decals look like plain white stickers by day, but at night they turn a bright neon green. Pro tip: If the glow dims over time, you can “recharge” the stickers by shining a blacklight over them.

Cauldron Aesthetic

Bubble, bubble! These metallic nails from The Cosmo Studio have a weathered, oxidized look that reminds us of a witch’s cauldron. In fact, diehard Harry Potter fans will remember that all first-years were required to have a “size 2” pewter cauldron.

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