Trick or Treat, These Halloween Nails Are Too Good Not To Try

Spooky season is coming.

by Natasha Marsh and Jessica Fields
Originally Published: 
Halloween nail art

Whether you choose to dress up or simply sit back and observe, Halloween is a great time to people watch — especially in New York City, where sidewalks are runways. Last year, I saw Bridgerton-level ballgowns and wigs, scary-accurate renditions of the Wicked Witch of the West (green makeup and all), and a couple sporting Canadian tuxedos á la Y2K Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake. Although these costumes make a splash on their own, to really elevate your Halloween style this year, don’t limit yourself to just clothing — why not include an on-theme manicure too? Halloween nail art can range from kitsch to chic, but they’re always so fun to wear.

Opt to go full out with gleaming vampire teeth and scary skull heads, or keep it minimalist with a simple moody jet black look. Either way, the nail art options are ongoing and seemingly endless this Halloween season. And lucky for you, TZR scoured Instagram high and low for the very best of the best to make the decision process just a bit easier. Ahead, the top stand-out Halloween manicures. They’re so spooky and easy to recreate, you might find yourself trying more than one this week.


Jack-o'-lantern’s always bring out the artists this time of year. But if your home lacks a porch or yard to house them, not to worry, as you can bring that same energy to your manicure. To achieve this look at home simply approach your nails as you would your pumpkin and get creative. First, paint your nails with a muted pumpkin orange and gather your tools, in this case, a brush and black polish, then get to work sketching faces and stitch designs.

Go Batty

Sure Halloween is about spooks and thrills, but your manicure doesn't have to be scary to be festive. Take a cue from this cute design that features bats seemingly floating from one nail to the next. Pro tip: Use a sheer nude color as the base to make the overall look more chic than terrifying.

Chrome Cobwebs

Perhaps the most stylish approach to a holiday-themed manicure is to lean into one of the top nail art trends of the season: chrome. This metallic web design is an elegant and edgy take on the dusty structures made by spiders and is even more alluring to look at. To really amp up the look, try weaving threads of a different color or bronzy gold into the web.

Creepy Crawlies

Halloween has a habit of making even the creepiest of things cool and this spider-laden French manicure proves it. If you’re looking for a way to make the classic design more seasonally appropriate, try adding in a few of the holiday's best elements like cobwebs, spiders, bats, and stitches. Combined with a matte top coat this manicure is a sight to behold.

Spooky Spelling

Although logomania is often sported in clothing choices and designer brand representation, lettering, a spin off of the technique, looks great on nails as well. Whether you spell out words like “spooky,” “freaky,” “creepy” or any other 10-letters-or-under words, you’re sure to gather attention with this manicure.

Don’t Ghost Me

If you aren’t a fan of the gore but still want to participate in the season’s fun, opt to elevate the traditional French manicure with small baby ghosts on the tips. To achieve at home, shape your nails into almond, coffin, square, or round shapes and top with French tips and a ghost nail sticker.

Skeleton Bones

This mani is a great enhancement to any Halloween costume — the straight-to-the-point skeleton bones are clean, sharp, fashionable, and so versatile. To make this one last, don’t forget to finish off with a top coat.

Orange Creamsicle

If creepy-crawly nail art isn’t your thing, go the more traditional route with a detailed seasonal manicure of autumn oranges and pumpkins. It’s a softer take on a spooky manicure. You can wear this one with matte or glossy polishes — either one will make a statement.

Hocus Pocus

Skipping the costume this season? No problem. You can still get the spooky effect with this bold nail design. To pull off the look, be sure to invest in a good glossy black polish for the base and a highlighter yellow for the details.

Casper Chic

For those who are short on time, this nail sticker mani is an ideal route. Make sure you have clean nails free from polish or residue before applying the friendly-looking ghost nail art stickers. Layer on enough high-shine top coat that you can’t feel the stickers’ edges — that’s how to make sure it lasts.

Bloody Nights

If vampires and werwolves are your thing, this press-on manicure is sure to meet your standards. If you’re interested in adding your own personal touch, feel free to blend the blood in with flames, glitter, spiders, or goblins.

Scary Movies

If your favorite part of the season is watching Scream, Halloween, and other terrifying classics, you’ll find joy in this slasher-themed manicure. With the help of a dotting tool, paint in the red oozing blood. Opt for a ghost sticker for less steady hands.

Nightmare Frenzy

Wear some Halloween spirit on your fingertips with this monster mani, inspired by The Nightmare Before Christmas. Simply grab your favorite glitter polish for the base and paint on your favorite spooky characters with a thin nail brush (or pop on some festive stickers!). Remember to seal with a high-shine top coat.

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