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40 Spooky, Freaky, and Fun Halloween Nail Art Ideas to Inspire Your Next Mani

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What do we love about Halloween? Short answer: everything! The chance to dress up, experiment with amazing makeup and nail looks, and transform ourselves into anything we please is what makes the day feel like pure magic. Whether you’re inspired by ghosts and vamps, werewolves and witches, or your favorite movie villains—Halloween gives us a chance to express ourselves to the max. And that’s what we at IPSY are all about: showing off your unique self—even if that means summoning your spooky side.

We’re always hard at work searching for beauty ideas to inspire our costumes (including makeup looks for every ghoulish get-together), and the nail art designs we’re seeing has got us all in the Halloween spirit. A fun manicure is a perfect way to top off your costume and take it to the next level. So, to make sure you’re killing your look from head to toe, we’ve rounded up 40 Halloween nail art ideas—from vampire fangs to glam spiders to lit jack-o-lanterns—for you to DIY (if you dare) or take to your nail artist for inspo.

1. Dust Sprite Nails

The fun little fuzz balls that we can’t get enough of make for the cutest Halloween mani—although we’ll probably wear them any time of year. Start with a neutral or bare-colored base coat and paint them where you please to give them a cool floating effect. 

2. Candy Corn

We know candy corn can be controversial, but whether you love or hate it, it’s undeniably Halloween. All you need are three colors—white, yellow, and bright orange—to create an easy treat-inspired nail look. Try it and trust us, it’s bound to be your sweetest mani ever. 

(Our Pick: AURORA Gel Effect Nail Polish for a burst of bright orange and instant Halloween vibes.)

3. Pumpkins & Skeletons

Pumpkins and skeletons are kind of a no-brainer this time of year, but we love the sketched-on effect of this funky cool mani. To create it, paint your nails black, white, and orange. Then, use a super thin paintbrush to create that drawn-on look.

4. Crystal Balls

We see compliments in your future, because this crystal ball-inspired nail art is one of the coolest we’ve come across in a while. The contrast between nude and black is eye catching, and gives it a modern and chic effect that’s equally fit for house parties or chic masquerades. (Our Pick: KASKA Nail Polish in Velvet Matte Black is edgy, long-lasting, and won’t chip on you.) 

5. Super Cute Pumpkins

When one pumpkin isn’t enough, paint one on every nail! A thin paintbrush is key to creating this artsy design. Add tiny dots or stars around them for a touch of Cinderella-esque magic and you’re ready for the most festive Halloween ball. 

6. Slithering Snakes

Perfect for Halloween, cool enough to wear anytime you’re feeling edgy. We love a stark white base to make these spooky snakes pop, but try them in gold against black, experiment with neons, or make it chic with a nude base for a surprisingly versatile mani. 

7. Vampire Vibes

You can’t go wrong with cute red lips, but add some teeny fangs and red blood drop designs and you’ve got a dangerously gorgeous mani. (Our Pick: CONTEXT Nail Lacquer in Take It Off has a beautiful, high-shine finish and gel-like effect.) 

8. Glow-In-The-Dark Aliens

The best thing about these little aliens? Some glow-in-the-dark polish means you’ll see them well past when the lights go down. Place them against a dark or black background for a floating, out-of-this-world effect. 

9. Bloody French Mani

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A classic French manicure  is always on-trend. Cover them in intricate drops of blood red polish for the most stylish-meets-spooky Halloween mani ever.

10. Dark Glam

Glamorous vampire, magical witch, dark angel—this sparkly mani will complement them all. Keep the base neutral and alternate between V-shape French and glitter-dips for a super pretty (and versatile!) look. 

11. Soft Pink Spiderwebs

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Not all Halloween manis are dark and scary. We love the soft, pretty vibes of this white-on-pink look. Add a gem or two for a tiny touch of glam and you’ll give off all the ethereal vibes. (WE ARE FLUIDE 7-Free Polish in Gala Cafe is a long-lasting, soft and light shade that’s pretty for Halloween and all year-round.)

12. Black and Gold Bats

Black and gold foil bats are fun, festive, and perfect for channeling All Hallow’s Eve energy.

13. Chic Black And Orange Nails

Want to keep it simple and chic? Opt for nude or neutral nails with slashes of orange and black. Or make it your own with slime green, hot pink, or blood red. 

14. Multicolor Halloween Nails

We love a multicolor mani—not only does it save time at the polish wall, it gives us the chance to get super creative with all the colors we crave. Make yours Halloween-themed with a range of oranges, blacks, deep grays, and more for a look you’ll love through autumn.

15. Magical Ombré French

Make every night a starry night with this beautiful black ombré mani decked with celestial accents—star, moons, your favorite constellation, the sky’s the limit. (Our Pick: PRETTY WOMAN Nail Polish in Ice Queen goes on smooth and bright and makes for perfect accents and intricate designs.) 

16. Cute-ical Cats

 The most adorable mani on our list? This cute mani with tiny matte black cats peeking out from your cuticles. Keep your nails pretty bare, and paint on as many kitties as you like. This one’s proof that Halloween can give you cute, fuzzy feels, too. 

17.  Floating Sheet Ghosts

This reminds us of some of our earliest Halloween costumes—simple, cute, and easy-to-create. While our tastes (and skills) have grown, it doesn’t mean we can’t channel our childhood with this imaginative mani that’s equal parts cute and cool. Billowing white ghosts peeking out from different directions make for a whimsically spooky mani that we’re sure to wear year after year. (Our Pick: DEBORAH LIPPMANN Gel Lab Pro Nail Color in Amazing Grace for perfect, chip-free ghosts.)

18. Say Boo

This simple nail art reminds us just enough of the 90s horror hit Scream to become slightly spooky. Paint black nails with floating ghost faces in every which way, add a “BOO” or two for good measure, and you’ve got yourself a Halloween mani worthy of one (or five) sequels. 

19.  Stylish Vamp

When we think of vampy manis, we usually think of sharp, stiletto nails. But this softer version is pretty and functional (aka they won’t scratch your friends and get caught on your clothes). The red and black ombré effect makes it perfect for All Hallows Eve, but in our opinion, these nails are pretty enough to wear year-round. (Our Pick: This rich red PEOPLE OF COLOR Nail Polish in Rodeo Drive.)

20. Spiderweb French

With black French tips and a clear background, these witchy, spider web nails are—dare we say—chic? Consider them proof that a great French mani can be tailored to any occasion. 

21. In Stitches

A little quirky, a lot cute, and endlessly fun—this black and white Halloween nail art design has it all. Paint vertical stripes with black polish on a white base for a stitch-like effect (see pinky), dot on eyes, and add zig-zags for Frankenstein vibes (see middle finger). The options are endless. 

22. Spooky Baby Blues

We see countless eyeball nail art designs around Halloween and they almost always give us the heebie-jeebies. This one is totally eye-catching (sorry, not sorry) thanks to the contrast of bright blue on matte white. Add red veins and blood splatters, and it’s a design we can’t take our eyes off of. (Our Pick: Paint those baby blues using NAILS.INC Regents Place Nail Polish.)

23. Funky Frankenstein

Franken-manis are always a good idea this time of year. Make yours cute, colorful, and totally memorable with matte stitch-inspired nails flanked by bright neon green accent nails featuring your favorite undead friend. (Our Pick: This ultra-shiny, chip-resistant, neon green LAW BEAUTY ESSENTIALS Nail Polish in Spear Me.)

24. Spooky Kitty

Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Binx from Hocus Pocus—which is your favorite TV cat character? Either will approve of this simple nude mani with black kitten faces and wispy tails. Pop on a set of fuzzy ears, add whiskers, and you’ve got a purrfect black cat costume. (Our Pick: Try the ivory or medium nude shade from this CONTEXT SKIN Nail Lacquer Duo in Piece of Me & The Last Mile as your base.)

25. Ghostly Vibes

Bring your own boos to your next Halloween gathering with this easy spider web and ghost nail art. Paint webs on one nail or all, then top it off with a sheet ghost accent nail for a mani that’ll put anyone in the Halloween spirit.

26. Witching Hour

This look wins for sheer wow-factor. It gives us all the spooky, The Nightmare Before Christmas vibes we want this season and looks like a total work of art. It takes a steady hand, so you might want to leave this one to your nail pro (unless you’re one yourself), but with cats, full moons, and creepy houses, it’ll totally be worth the effort. (Our Pick: Create a stunning base coat with holographic purple CIATÉ LONDON Moondust Geology.)

27. Bright Eyeballs

Eyeball mani, but make it...pretty? With reds, pinks, greens, and blues this super fun nail look will have all eyes on you. Paint them against brown (as shown here) or go even bolder with your brightest colors to really make them pop. 

28. Silly Spiders

We never thought we’d find spiders adorable until we saw them on this cute purple mani. The itsy bitsy spider legs are easy to paint on with an ultra-thin paintbrush. Add yellow dots for tiny bodies and you’ve got a last-minute nail art idea that’s packed with Halloween spirit.

29. Golden Skulls

Whether you’re in full skeletal attire or your channeling 90s goth vibes, this gold and black mani featuring skull nails and bones will give your look an unexpected touch of glam. 

30. Stars, Stripes, & Pumpkins

What’s more Halloween than pumpkins? Not much, TBH. We love that this jack-o-lantern-inspired orange nail takes center stage. With stars, stripes, and drips of color, it’s one of the most fun manis on our list. (Our Pick: Try this baby pink MISCHO BEAUTY Nail Lacquer in Babylove as your background polish to really make your nail art pop.) 

31. Flamin’ Hot

Fiery flames are a favorite Halloween nail art look because they’re bold, attention-grabbing, and drop-dead gorgeous. Plus, with bold orange and black colors, they complement so many costumes—devil, warlock, bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos—you name it.

32. Cosmic Energy

It’s certainly not for minimalists, but if your costume is inspired by the stars and heavens, this stunning galaxy-inspired nail art is for you. Scatter tiny stars in white polish every which way, copy your favorite constellation for a custom mani—the sky’s the limit.

33. Glam Cow-Print

Not all Halloween looks are fear-inducing. (Note: This beauty editor may have once been a western omelet.) If you’re into something that’s cute, cuddly, and will guarantee some laughs, this fun cow nail art is for you. Add bright pink dots wherever you please for a pop of color and a hint of glam. (Our Pick: Hot pink cow spots will really pop with NAILS.INC Looking Super Juicy Nail Polish.)

34. Far-Out Waves

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Give us your best ‘70s throwback look with bombshell waves, super-flare jeans, platforms, and this groovy wave mani. Pink, gold, and orange waves give it slightly psychedelic vibes that’s so Saturday Night Fever. (Our pick: This gorgeous, bronze gold CONTEXT SKIN Nail Lacquer in Shake Me.)

35. Skull Cameos

The prettiest goth-inspired nails we’ve seen, period. This skull cameo mani is actually three-dimensional and made using acrylic powder (so it’s best to leave it to the pros). A matte topcoat gives it a vintage effect that’s worthy of a permanent place in your nail art wardrobe.

36. All Wrapped Up

At first glance, all we see is a minimalist white and nude nail art design that goes with any look and that you won’t get sick of after a few days. Upon closer inspection, this look is so much more. The wrapped up mummy and spider webs complement the glitter flecks frightfully well, and the color palette keeps this modern and chic.

37. Pink Pumpkins

Black and orange? Been there, done that! This year is all about pink (we’re looking at you Versace!), and we want our Halloween nail art to be on point.

38. Ghoulishly Glam Neutrals

Ghosts? Check! Jack-o-lanterns? Check! Bats, spider webs, stitches? Check, check, and check. These Halloween nails have it all—literally—in a neutral color palette that feels cool, not kitschy.

39. Spooky Stamps

Stamping plates are one of the coolest ways to get intricate nail art designs with little effort. Exhibit A: These devilishly detailed Halloween nails.

40. Gory Glow

If we didn’t know better, we’d swear this realistic neon Halloween nail art design requires four AAA batteries. The special effects glow over a black background is super unique and will have everyone doing a double take.

Want all the best nail products and tons more inspo? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.

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About the author
Pia Bhattacharya
Pia is a New York-based beauty editor at IPSY with over 10 years experience including editorial, public relations, and copywriting. Her work has appeared in SELF magazine, in beauty and branding for Bloomingdale’s, and others.
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Article Last Updated March 6, 2023 12:00 AM