Halloween costumes aren't the kind of thing you can rock every day, but you can absolutely get into the spooky spirit with nail art that you can change up whenever you want. Cosmopolitan.com tapped nail pro Alicia Torello (who paints Oprah's and Taylor Swift's nails!) to show and tell you how to make your mani look simply boo-tiful come October 31.
1. Creatures of the Night
1. Prep and paint. After you file your nails into the desired shape, push back your cuticles — NEVER CUT THEM! — and apply a basecoat. Then, paint two coats of a black polish, like NARS Cosmetics Nail Polish in "Back Room," onto any three fingers on your left hand and four fingers on your right hand. This will serve as the base for the glowing eyes nail art.Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
2. Make three dots in a "V" shape. Using a bubblegum pink shade, like Essie Nail Polish in "Boom Boom Room," and the small end of a dotter tool, make three dots in a "V" shape on two of your nails on your left hand and the remaining bare nail on your right hand.
3. Connect the dots. With a clean striper brush dipped into the pink polish, connect the dots using curved lines to create the drippy parts of the pink ghost. Apply a second coat once it's dry.
4. Create eyes on the black nail base. Using the striper brush and a white opaque polish, like Orly Instant Artist in "Crisp White" (which will help the yellow you're about to paint on pop more), draw two angled straight lines, connect the line with a curved bottom, and fill it in.
5. Add a pale neon yellow polish over the white lacquer. This gives you the glowing eyes effect; hand model Helin used Jin Soon Nail Polish in "Charme" here. Then, with the smaller end of a dotter tool dipped in black polish, create a dot that's touching the bottom of base of the eye. There's your eyeball. Repeat on the other eyes.
6. Give the ghost a face. With the larger ball on the dotter tool, make a dot as his right eye. Next, using a striper brush dipped in your black polish, create an outline of a star for the other eye and fill it in. Then, add small dots in the form of a subtle smile and connect then with a striper tool for a creepy-cool smile. Finish with topcoat after you've allowed the paint to dry for a few minutes.
2. Dark Eclipse Digits
1. Lay down the base color. File your nails into the desired shape, push back your cuticles — DO NOT CUT THEM! — and apply a basecoat. Then, paint two coats of a silver glittery polish, such as Revlon "Diamond Texture."
2. Create a thin border of polish along the outside edge of your nail. Using a striper brush dipped in an opaque orange polish, drag the brush along the side of your nail from your cuticle to the tip, curving it ever so slightly at the top of your free edge. Make the swipe wide enough so that when you layer on the next color, you can still see it peeking through. Try Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in "Sun Kissed."
3. Sweep on a black polish over the orange, leaving some of the orange to show. Give the first swipe time to dry, and then layer on a black polish along the side of your nail, using a striper brush to keep the application precise. Try Orly Instant Artist in "Jet Black." Torello says that if you mess up and apply too much black, you can always go back in with the orange polish, but be sure to add white under it first to make the color stand out more. Finally, finish with topcoat.Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
3. Sugar Skull Nail Art
2. Start creating the sugar skull design in white polish. This will make the colors you're about to apply pop. Use the small end of a dotting tool to first lay down the base of the flowers for the eyes. Try Red Carpet Manicure in "White Hot."
3. For the nose, tap on two dots that touch, several dots that are spaced out for the mouth, and a few leaf formations using the small end of the dotter tool dipped in the white polish.
4. Cover some of the white polish with pink. Using a bubblegum pink polish like Essie Nail Polish in "Boom Boom Room" to start, choose some of the white areas to coat with pink paint, using a dotter tool to apply it. Just steer clear of the white smile, since that should stay white.
5. Then add in purple paint. Again, dipping your clean dotter tool (use nail polish remover to get it clean so you aren't mixing hues) into a bright purple polish, like Lauren B. Beauty in "Mulholland Drive."
6. Now, light blue. Again, choose random spots to apply it. Try Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in "Blue Orchid."
7. Don't forget pale green. Try Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in "Wet My Thistle."
8. And lastly, apply a bright red hue. This is the last shade that should be haphazardly applied over any existing white spots aside from the smile. Try Zoya Nail Polish in "Gia."
9. Pop some marigold polish in the center of the flowers with the small end of the dotter tool. Try Butter London Nail Lacquer in "Cheeky Chops."
10. Choose two fingers and fill in black dots in the white smile. Finish with topcoat.Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
4. Chic Stitches
1. Prep, then paint your tips. First, file your nails into the desired shape, push back your cuticles — DO NOT CUT THEM! — and apply a basecoat. Then, paint on one coat of sheer pink polish, such as L'Oréal Colour Riche Nail Lacquer in "How Romantic," and use a striper brush dipped in black polish, like YSL La Laque Couture in "Noir Primitif," to trace a curved line that follows where the white part of your nail extends into the white tip. This nail art looks best when your nails are longer, but you can still fake the length if you have trouble growing out your nails.
2. Create tiny stitches. Haphazardly and crookedly draw on tiny vertical lines with the black polish and striper brush that resemble stitches. Don't worry if you mess up, it'll still look good and Franken-y. Finish with topcoat.
5. Dark Path Digits
1. File your nails into the desired shape, push back your cuticles — DON'T CUT THEM! CAN YOU HEAR ME? — and apply a basecoat. Then, paint on one coat of white polish, such as Floss Gloss Nail Polish in "Mrs. Tony Montana." This helps make the polish colors you're about to apply look more opaque and brighter when you pat it on.
2. Apply two shades of polish to a makeup wedge to create the ombré effect. I applied a bright red shade to the top of the makeup sponge and orange polish on the bottom of the sponge. Pat it on the nail. Try Smith & Cult Nail Lacquer in "Kundalini Hustle" and OPI Nail Brights Nail Polish in "In My Back Pocket."
3. Clean up any color that got on your skin. With an old makeup brush dipped in nail polish remover, brush away any polish that was colored outside of your nail.
4–7. Create the twisted lines from the left side of your nail to the right side. With a striper brush coated with black polish, like CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss in "Diva After Dark," create wavy lines that mimic paths on your nail. Finish with topcoat.