Scrolling through nail art is a relatively new pastime of mine. I happened across this particular Instagram account run by Cambria Proskine, a licensed nail tech and Paul Mitchell pro, and for the past week, it’s pretty much the only thing I look at, other than food and my computer screen, because I’m a very professional lady. With Halloween fast approaching, she’s been putting up a lot of festive nail art photos and quick, hyper-lapsed tutorials, much like we’ve been doing here at The Gloss with our Halloween content. So, I thought, why should I keep my newfound love for Halloween nail art to myself? You guys might want to look at some too, right? I mean, who doesn’t love looking at nail art? (That was a rhetorical question, Carol.)
Believe it or not, nail art isn’t always something that needs to be left to the pros. Sure, there are a lot of elaborate looks out there that I wouldn’t even dare to try, but there are easy looks that beginners can achieve, too!
Read on to see our favorite Halloween-inspired nail art looks, from beginner to expert:
Ombres can seem really intimidating if you don’t know how to go about doing them, but they’re actually not that difficult if you’re patient enough to learn. This tutorial is a great one for beginners. And, if you pick the right colors, it’s the perfect Halloween option! You can also go with a deep red and black ombre if purple isn’t your speed.
Simple Candy Corn
This is as simple as using paint or Scotch tape to make clean lines. I personally think this works best as a statement nail, but it’s definitely easy enough to do on your whole hand. Also, to all the candy corn haters out there: you’re wrong. (Editor’s note: Our friends over at Teen did our nails just like this!)
Neon Spider Webs
The neon green makes it Halloween worthy on its own, but a little baby spider web doesn’t hurt. All you need for this is a striper brush or even a toothpick, and the shape is simple enough that, if you practice on a piece of paper for a few strokes first, it’ll be easy enough to do on a couple of nails.
How cute are these little eyeballs? You really just need a dotting tool for this, and it’s probably the easiest manicure tool to master. You probably need two different sizes to achieve this, but most dotting tools are double-ended anyway. I recommend this one.
It’s like a mini game of connect-the-dots, but for your nails! Plus, blood is always the right choice when you’re going for a festive Halloween look. That’s why so many people choose it as an inspiration for their Halloween makeup.
Take the bloody look one step further by putting it all over your nail, instead of just keeping it to the tips. All you have to do for this is splatter red nail polish all over your nails, just like you used to do in high school art class when you were trying to be a ~*real painter*~. Just make sure you have plenty of nail polish remover available for when you ultimately get the red polish all over your hands.
Click to the next page for Halloween nail art for Intermediate level nail artists!
Skull & Crossbones
Anything that requires a specific shape that can’t always be achieved by a dotting tool automatically steps out of the beginner level, for me. All you really need for this is a striper brush and dotting tool, but you definitely need a steady hand, and I’d recommend having a reference photo on hand. Nails by Cambria’s tutorial is pretty helpful, too.
Elaborate Web Statement Nails
This spider web isn’t too much more difficult than the one in the beginner, but because it’s more elaborate, it definitely takes more time, patience, and maybe a touch more skill.
Honestly, I think anything with stitches is difficult, mostly because whenever I try to do anything similar, I can never get the spacing down. Plus, there are a few different techniques involved here—the colorblocking combined with the detailed striping isn’t all that easy, even though it might look like it is.
I cannot figure out water marbling for the life of me, even after watching Heather try it out a few months back. So yeah, while this might actually be a piece of cake for everyone else, I consider marbling to be an intermediate technique. Definitely not expert, because, well, in theory anyone can do, but definitely not for the faint of heart.
I just want to pinch these mummies’ cheeks, they’re so darn precious! But yeah, this probably takes a lot of patience and a very steady hand to complete.
Again, it’s the detailed shapes involved in making the cats themselves that make this look a little bit more difficult to achieve. Just as I did earlier, I recommend trying to paint these out on a piece of paper beforehand so you can figure out what method of drawing works best for you.
Click to the next page for Halloween nail art for Expert level nail artists!
Pretty Flower Skulls
I’ve watched this tutorial at least 30 times now, and I am now certain that I will never be able to do this for myself. The flowers are difficult enough, and that skull is shaded to perfection. I am not worthy. You probably aren’t, either (sorry).
This is so impressive that, for a second, I thought it was a manicure made up entirely of nail wraps. But, alas, it’s just a manicure completed by someone far more talented than I will ever be in the manicure department.
American Horror Story Nails
I think we can all agree that Season 1 of American Horror Story was the best, right? You’ll all remember Tate (Evan Peters) rocking his “Normal People Scare Me” T-shirt, and, IMHO, any manicure that involves text is impossible.
All-Inclusive Halloween Nails
This manicure doesn’t leave any of the Halloween festivity out, so not only does it display more creativity in all ten fingers than I have in my entire body, it’s just downright impressive.
Glowing Evil Eyes
Look, if you break it down, this isn’t that hard to pull it off. She used a sponge to make a neon and yellow ombre, covered it and created the eye shape using black polish, and added a white dot for the highlight, but I just know that if I ever tried to do this on my own it would just look a damn mess.
Comic Zombie Nails
I mean, come on. I know I’m planning on doing pop art comic book character makeup for Halloween, but this just takes it to a whole new level.