Halloween Nails: 7 Halloween Nail Art Ideas

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Whether you’re pulling a Cady Heron and dressing up as a terrifying Zombie Ex-Wife, or you’re following in Karen Smith’s footsteps and being a sexy mouse (“Duh!”), your Halloween costume won’t be complete without a holiday-appropriate manicure. Check out our frightfully fierce options below!

For The Crafty

Candy Corn Nails

This photograph from The Beauty Department offers a visual aid for making your nails into adorable little pieces of candy corn.

Your Tool Kit:
- China Glaze “Papaya Punch” (Orange)
- Orly “Spark” (Yellow) 
- OPI “Alpine Snow” (White)
- Top Coat
- Tape
- Scissors

Step One: Paint your nails with two coats of the Papaya Punch, or orange. Then let them dry. (That’s important—make sure your nails are completely dry before moving on to step two!)

Step Two: Using your scissors, cut strips of tape down to about a third of the size of your nail. Place one of those thin strips horizontally in the center of each of your nails. Make sure the tape is pressed down the whole way!

Step Three: Below that strip of tape, paint your nails with two coats of Alpine Snow, or white.

Step Four: Above that strip of tape, paint your nails with two coats of Spark, or yellow.

Step Five: Give your nails five to ten minutes to dry completely. Then peel off the strip of tape from each nail.

Optional Step Five-and-a-Half: Use a clear glitter polish before adding your top coat to add a sparkly, sugary look to your festive mani!

Step Six: Paint with a top coat, and you’re finished!

Spider Woman

This photograph from the beauty blog AmberDidIt.com offers a visual guide to creating a DIY scary spider web decal on your finger.

Your Tool Kit:
- Whatever base color polish you want (Check out Essie “Bobbing for Baubles,” which is a nice charcoal color- softer than black, but darker than grey)
- Whatever color you want for the web design (Try OPI “Alpine Snow,” or white)
- A top coat

Step One: Paint your nails with two coats of Bobbing for Baubles, or whatever base color you chose. Make sure they’re dry before moving on to step two!

Step Two: Using Alpine Snow, or whatever color you chose to create the design, begin painting the web line by line following the image above.

Step Three: Once you’re finished creating your Halloween-y decal, give it five to ten minutes to dry. Then apply your top coat and voila!

Are You Afraid of the Dark?


So many of your Halloween festivities will take place in dimly lit areas, whether you’re on a hayride, at a bonfire, or dancing in the dark at a costume party. Create glow in the dark nail polish to make sure your mani stands out, even in the dark!

Your tool kit:
- Pack of glow sticks
- Clear nail polish
- Scissors

Step One: Choose your glow stick and crack it until it is entirely illuminated.

Step Two: Using your scissors, carefully cut off the top and the bottom of the glow stick. Each cut should be roughly half of an inch away from the tip of the glow stick.

Step Three: Quickly place the glow stick over the opened bottle of clear nail polish. Allow the juices to leak out until the glow stick is empty.

Step Four: Replace the cap of the clear nail polish. Shake it vigorously to mix the glow stick resin and the clear polish.

Step Five: Apply two coats of your homemade glow-in-the-dark nail polish to your nails! Now more than just your smile will light up the room wherever you go.

The glow only lasts about three or four hours, so make sure you paint your nails just before you leave for your soirée! Be sure to double check the package of the glow sticks you buy to make sure the glow stick resin is non-toxic (not that any nail polish is made to be ingested—but be sure not to nibble your nails while you wait for that boy to ask you to do the Monster Mash just in case!).

Dark Diva

If you’re trying to pull off a sexy but scary look this Halloween, you’re going to need the manicure to back it up.

Your Tool Kit:
- A base coat
- Orly “Couture Vinyl,” or glossy black
- Tape
- Scissors

Step One: Apply your base coat.

Step Two: Paint two coats of Couture Vinyl, or black matte polish, onto your nails. Allow them sufficient drying time before moving on to the next step.

Step Three: Place a piece of tape over the base of your nail, leaving about half of a centimeter exposed at the top.

Step Four: Paint two coats over the exposed area with Wicked, or a glossy black polish. Wait five to ten minutes for it to dry.

Step Five: Peel off the tape, and there you have it—a sleek and sexy Halloween manicure!

For the Not-So-Crafty

I’m Classy, but I’m Here to Party

Orly “Androgynie” has a black base, perfect for the Halloweekend, but also offers a subtle gold sparkle. Apply two coats, then a top coat, and you’re out the door with beautiful nails in plenty of time to bob for apples.

Bloody and Beautiful

These decals, available for purchase on Etsy are the easiest way to get fantastic, scary nails in no time. Just peel off the decal, press it firmly against the nail, and the design will transfer right over. Apply a layer or two of a top coat and you’re all set.

Spider-Girl (The Easy Way)

Instead of following the instructions above to make your own spider web nails, you can pop into a drugstore near you and pick up Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects nail polish strips. Peel, stick, and press and you’ve got ten silver and black webs on your hands in no time. Perfect when you’re running late for trick or treat night!

So whether you’re looking for a sexy, sweet or scary addition to your flawless Halloween costume, this list of festive manicures has you covered!

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About The Author

Alicia serves as an Assistant Editor for Her Campus. She graduated from Penn State in 2015 with degrees in Journalism and Spanish and a minor in International Studies. Before she joined HC full-time, Alicia worked for the editorial team as an intern, editor of the Her Story section, editor of the Career section, standard content writer, viral content writer, and News Blogger. When she's not busy writing or editing, Alicia enjoys attempting to become a yogi, cooking, practicing her wine tasting skills, hanging out with her Friends (you know—Chandler, Monica, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe & Joey?) and city-hopping her way across the globe. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @aliciarthomas.