Tuesday Tutorial: Monster Mash Nail Art

One of the great things about Halloween is: it allows everyone to have a little fun, dress up, and be a kid again, even if only in your nail art. I don’t know about you but I love kitschy fun nail design but don’t like to pay salon prices (I’m just too hard on my fingers and manicures never last) so here is one of my personal favorite, easy, DIY home manicures.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • MNtools

    the tools

  • A base color (I chose black, come on it is Halloween!)
  • Opaque orange and white polish, this two sided polish from Revlon Nail Art is awesome and at around $7 it won’t break the bank.
  • A sparkle glitter polish, the polish itself should be clear, the glitter can have color. I chose green to stick w/ my monster theme. Red or orange could work just as well, your choice, just keep it Halloweenie (yeah I made that up.)
  • A bobby pin, it will get tossed when you’re finished.
  • An old  ink pen, it will also get tossed so make sure it isn’t the last pen in the house at midnight when your homework is due in 6 hours (for the record that has never happened to me, I am just speculating…)
  • A bottle of polish remover to deal with any mistakes or smudges.
  • Not pictured: some paper towels and q-tips for cleanup.

First off start with a base coat. I chose black because my two main accent colors are opaque brights and I want them to pop. You could choose another Halloween color like midnight blue or even a dark green if you like. Paint all of your nails with two coats and let them dry. If you need a brush up on how to paint your nails mess-free, check out this old Tuesday Tutorial.

basic black base

basic black base

Once this coat is dry it is time to start the art! This is really simple, it turns out super cute so don’t let the thought of painting on such a tiny surface intimidate you. Anyone can do it. I did the ghost and pumpkin both on the same hand for reasons of taking one-handed pictures at 4a.m. but lots of people choose to put the designs on just the ring fingers which is a great choice too.

When you’ve decided on which nail get out your white polish. Scrape most of the paint off the brush onto the rim of the bottle then start about halfway between the tip of the nail and the cuticle. Make a semicircle and pull the brush toward the tip. Without reloading the brush go back to your original starting point and make a semicircle in the other direction, again pulling the brush towards the tip.


ghostly outline

You should end up with something that looks like this. Don’t worry if your sides aren’t even or if you can see black through the polish, ghosts are floaty and ethereal they shouldn’t look like cookie cutters.

Next take a little of your black polish and drip it onto a paper towel or a piece of paper. You’ll only need a drop or two.


When you have a drip of polish ready, grab your bobby pin and dip one of the balls into the polish.


Use this as a dotting tool to make your ghost’s eyes. It doesn’t matter if the white polish is still wet, the surface tension of your polish will keep the eyes nice and round.


Now that your ghostie has eyes it is time to give his sheet a little definition. Using the same dollop of black paint take your discarded ink pen and dip it in the black polish.


When you have polish on the tip of the pen use it to lightly “draw” wavy lines in your ghost’s skirt.


It should look something like this when you’re finished.


Now on to the pumpkin!

For this you’ll need an opaque orange polish. Again, scrape most of the polish off your brush and starting very near the tip of your nail and towards one side make 3/4 of a circle.


Move to the other side of the nail and repeat. You should end up with a “V” in the center that looks something like the top of a heart.


Now you’ll repeat the “eye” process with the bobby pin. This time you’ll use the bobby pin to make both the eyes and a little mouth. Make the mouth by dotting several spots close together to make a jaggedy smile.


Now take the clean side of the bobby pin and dip it in the green glitter polish and use a few drops to make a stem.

For the rest of the nails we’re going to add a drippy monster “goo” to the base near the cuticle. Do this with the green glitter by fully charging the brush with polish and putting a big drop near the bottom of the nail. Then pull the polish towards the tip of the nail with the edge of the brush in several large “drips”.


Try to make each of the nails look a little different, you don’t want uniform polish drips on every nail. Once you’ve complete this step allow the nails to dry and then seal with a clear coat.

There you have it fun Halloween nail art! Do you have any cute tips or tricks you’d like to share? We’d love to see them in the comments below! Happy Haunting!


My name is Autumn and in my current incarnation I am a Features writer for the Charleston Gazette. I love fashion & step to the beat of my own inner design-team. My parents once told me, "You can be anything you want to be when you grow up." I misunderstood I thought they said, "You can be EVERY thing you want to be." and I've spent my life trying it all. I like to design and sew some of my own clothes and I enjoy playing with new makeup and I spend way too much time perusing fashion and DIY blogs. I also homestead so I am always reusing and repurposing things for fashion's sake.

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