When it comes to Halloween, many of us love going all out with elaborate costumes, spooky decorations, intricate makeup looks, and, of course, over-the-top manis. But sometimes, we want to embrace the season in a more low-key way. (Or we didn't snag a manicure appointment in time.)
Whether you are a nail art newbie, don't have the time to perfect an elaborate mani masterpiece, or prefer a more understated approach, we gathered some of our favorite designs that will add a touch of spirit to your Halloween ensemble, no pro skills required. Read on for 10 simple and easy nail ideas to recreate this Halloween.
If you want something simple but undoubtedly spooky, consider topping a milky base with a red blood drip design. Celebrity nail artist Elizabeth Garcia—a master at achieving the drippy look—suggests using tools you probably have around the house to get the look: bobby pins or toothpicks. She recommends dabbing on small circles with your bobby pin (or toothpick), then going back and connecting them by drawing on the lines.
This manicure showcases fun, iconic Halloween imagery in a simple and natural-looking way. To get a similar look, just top off a glossy, neutral manicure with French tips and drippy accents on some fingers and nail stickers—like those found on Deco Miami's Spooky Sheet ($10)—on the others.
For an effortless yet evocative Halloween mani, consider a solid color with a shimmer or chrome finish. Rita Remark, global lead educator for essie, says green nails, like this shimmery slime set, are "perfect for showing your witchier side without being obvious about it. Vibrant green nails are still very on-trend for fall, so you can... nod to the season without disrupting your fashion sense."
Ghosts With the Most
Nail art is much more achievable when you opt for a single accent nail. For this set, start with a classic almond-shaped French manicure on four out of five fingers. (To add a minimalist twist, consider painting every other nail black.) Then, add tiny white and/or black ghosts to your designated accent nails.
Up in Smoke
Hazy tips might seem hard to achieve, but getting the look is easier than you'd think. After your base color has dried, Garcia says to add some ink to the tips of your fingernails; then, "take your brush of choice, dip it in a bit of alcohol, and touch the existing ink that's already on the nail with it," she says. "The ink will diffuse and separate, creating a super cool effect." She recommends finishing off the look with a matte top coat.
Decals and nail stickers can help you achieve a detailed nail look without the heavy time commitment; "There are no nail art skills or tools required," says Remark. "It is, however, very important that you apply them properly to prevent them from lifting." She shared her steps for flawless decal application:
- "Make sure... the base nail color is completely dry before applying the sticker. If it's still tacky, the sticker won't stick."
- "Try applying the decals with a tweezer; this makes placement easier and prevents oils from our fingertips interfering with adhesion."
- "Always apply [the stickers] beneath a top coat. [A ]top coat will seal them in. It's ideal to use a thicker, more voluminous top coat—essie's Gel Couture ($13) is a great option—because it covers the decal seams much better."
A Medusa Moment
These enchanting nails feature an ombré transition from a subtle nude at the base to a bright shade of green along the tips, topped off with a shimmering line of gold that evokes Medusa's serpentine locks. This mystical manicure is the perfect blend of sophistication and fantasy—making it an ideal look for the Halloween season.
This celestial set gives off witchy vibes without immediately reading as "Halloween," making it perfect for those seeking a more ambiguous set. While pros can top the black polish with freehand gold drawings, you can get a similar look with nail stickers. Whichever method you choose, you'll want to seal everything in with a matte top coat.
Pretty in Pumpkin
Of course, you can always skip the nail art altogether and opt for a solid-color mani in a Halloween-y shade instead. That includes black, white, and green, but we have a soft spot for orange—it's perfect for fall in general, looking just as seasonal on November 1 as it does on October 31.