Halloween is just around the corner! It’s about time to finalize any plans you might have for that Halloween-themed party you’re either attending or throwing. This of course includes your Halloween-themed look. In our previous article, we gave you some general ideas for doing your nails in a Halloween style. This time, we’re going to dive into more specific designs.
Also in the previous article, the designs used mainly gel polish; this time we’re featuring some spookily sophisticated nail designs that use both gels and dip powders together. One notable thing about this technique is it will work for both natural and artificial nails, so feel free to use what you’re going to learn in other ways. Without further ado, here are six last minute Halloween manicure ideas
1. Jack O’ Lantern
A Jack O’ Lantern design is about as Halloween as you can get, so let’s start here. Jack O’ Lantern designs are also relatively easy to make since it’s composed of mostly triangular shapes. For this mani, you’ll need the Sunset Obsession dip powder and the Caviar gel polish. Sunset Obsession is an orange hue, while Caviar is black so the final design will have a definite Halloween pumpkin vibe to it! You’ll also need your Kabuki and thin nail art brushes, as mentioned in the previous Halloween article.
This design starts off with Sunset Obsession which means you’ll need to apply its base coat, before dipping into the powder. Do this for a couple of times till you achieve two dip mani layers. Remember to remove any excess powder after each application. After the 2nd layer, apply the activator and buff when dry. You then take the Caviar gel, and paint on your Jack O’ Lantern design using the thin nail art brush. Remember, this does not have to be super perfect!
After you’ve applied the design, cure under a nail lamp, apply the gel top coat, and cure again. A little bit of cuticle oil and you’re done! The really cool thing about this design is it glows in the dark! This will definitely make your mani stand out at that party you’re going to.
2. Oozing Blood
This design will also use a combination of dip powder and gel polish, specifically, Caviar and Fashion Victim gels, and Danger dip powder. Besides the Kabuki and thin nail art brushes, you’ll also need a small scoop since you’ll be pouring on the powder onto your nails, rather than dipping them. A nail multi-tool works great for this, but any clean small scoop will work.
You start out by applying and curing the Caviar gel polish onto your nails. After it has cured, apply Fashion Victim on the cuticle area using the thin brush. Make sure to apply this color in a thick manner to get the best “oozing” effect. When you’re satisfied with the look, you then pour on the dip powder onto the design without curing the gel.
After the design has been saturated with the powder, you then tap-off the excess powder and cure the manicure. What the dip powder does is it gives the “oozing blood” a matte effect. By the way, you'll notice that there will still be a lot of excess powder, since you just tapped this off, rather than brushing off; this is okay. The excess powder won't harden. After curing, brush-off the excess powder, and apply cuticle oil, but make sure you get some on the design too. This is to really bring out the oozing blood design’s matte look.
3. Blood Spatter
This design is probably the easiest of the bunch since blood spatters don’t require a high degree of accuracy to look realistic! Like the previous designs, you will be combining the dip powder and gel polish. In this case, the colors you’ll be needing are Show White for the dip powder, and Fashion Victim for the gel polish. As for equipment, you’ll also need your Kabuki brush and a thin, pointed applicator.
First off, you apply the Snow White dip powder in the usual manner, and build the manicure up to two layers. Just like the other designs, remove any excess powder with the Kabuki brush after each application. After the dip polish has hardened, buff down using an emery board or file with a larger grit size. This is to keep the surface rough.
After buffing, take your Fashion Victim gel polish and apply over the dip manicure in an uneven fashion. As mentioned earlier, you’re trying to make the red Fashion Victim color look like blood got spattered all over your fingertips. At this point, you should also get your thin applicator (this could be the pointed end of a cuticle pusher, or even a toothpick) and use it to dab Fashion Victim all over your nails. When you’re satisfied with the look, apply your top coat, and cure. Remember to apply some cuticle oil to freshen-up your cuticles.
4. Mystical Eye
Next up is a design we’ll call the mystical eye. This Halloween nail design will use four gel polish colors, namely Cocktail Night, White Dreams, Purple Madness, and Black Sapphire. For equipment, you’ll need your thin nail art brush, and a pointed applicator (the same one you used for the blood spatter design.)
To start, you’ll apply a layer of Cocktail Night, after which you cure. Using White Dreams next, you then paint an eye-shaped design on the cuticle area of your nails. Next, you get your pointed applicator and dab-on a Purple Madness-colored dot at the middle of the white eye-shaped section.
After doing this, you then dab on a smaller dot using Black Sapphire in the middle of the Purple Madness dot, again using the pointed applicator. This is to simulate the look of an iris (be sure to wipe-off the applicator to avoid contaminating the Black Sapphire polish with the Purple Madness.)
Using your thin nail art brush, you then paint “eyelashes” along the border between the White Dreams and Cocktail Night sections again using Black Sapphire. Finally, apply a layer of topcoat, and cure. As with the other designs, be sure to apply cuticle oil when you’re done.
5. Spider Web
This is another design that will use both dip powder and gel polish. For the dip powder, you will need Hibiscus and Clear colors, while the gel polish you’ll be using is White Dreams. For equipment, you’ll need the thin nail art and Kabuki brushes, your multi-tool or a small scoop, and a buffing board.
This design starts out with two consecutive dips in the Hibiscus powder (after applying the base coat, of course.) The trick is to dip only to about halfway up your nails, and at an angle. You do this because you want to create a space at the middle of you nail that has a bit of a “peak”. You then scoop some Clear powder over the powder-less area. Don’t worry if you get some powder on the area with Hibiscus as you’re going to brush away the excess powder anyway.
You then apply the activator, and buff when dry. With your thin nail art brush, you then paint-on the spider web design using White Dreams. Start by following the outline of the “peak”, on the area where the Clear and Hibiscus colors meet. You then paint a line from the middle of the “peak”, towards your cuticle. You complete the web design by painting lines connecting the middle line with left and right portions of the “peak”. Finally, apply a layer of top coat, and cure! Don’t forget freshen-up your cuticles with oil, though.
What would Halloween be without some bats? For this last but definitely not least design suggestion, we will again be using a gel polish/dip powder combination. Our gels will be Lysm, and either Black Sapphire or Caviar, while the powder is Luna. For the equipment, have your thin nail art and Kabuki brushes ready.
First, you apply a layer of Lysm gel and cure. You then apply a thin layer of gel powder base coat and dip your nails with Luna about halfway up. With your Kabuki brush, apply more of powder by dipping the brush into the container and dabbing onto your nail, emphasizing the tips. You do this to achieve an ombre effect. After about two or three passes of the brush with the powder, apply a layer of gel top coat, and cure.
You then take your thin brush and paint on one or two bat designs on the lighter shaded area of your nail using either Black Sapphire of Caviar. When you’re satisfied with the design, you then cure before applying another layer of gel top coat. Finally, you cure the design one last time, before applying cuticle oil.
Practice Makes Perfect!
Okay, you’re probably thinking, all of these sound rather complicated to do at home. While you could always show these designs to your favorite nail technician, it’s actually not that hard especially if you have experience giving yourself a dip or gel manicure at home. If you’re unsure of how to proceed, it’s always a good idea to make practice drawings of the designs, particularly the bat, spider web, and Jack O’ Lantern designs. And remember, to always have fun!
Want more Halloween nail ideas? Check out the pics below. And Happy Halloween everyone!
Here are great examples of Halloween nail art that's on the understated side of the style spectrum. Check out the variations of the spider web and oozing blood designs. Nail art by Savanah Dwight.
These Halloween nail designs by Hilary Aldstadt convey a mystical, magical mood! Check out her version of the mystical eye design.