11 Halloween nail art ideas that are actually impressively chic (and wearable)

Because Halloween doesn't have to be gimmicky

Dove Cameron with baroque style Halloween nail art
(Image credit: Getty Images/Unique Nicole / Stringer)

Spooky season is officially here and with it comes a shedload of Halloween nail art inspiration. While you might be busy making party plans and organising costumes, here on the Marie Claire UK beauty desk, our minds are firmly on nail art ideas. So much so that our Instagram 'Saved' folders are brimming with all of the best Halloween nail art designs we can't wait to get on our hands.

When it comes to Halloween nail designs, we know all too well that things can become a bit gimmicky. The good news, is there are ways you can get in the spooky spirit without having to go whole Halloween hog. We're talking nail art designs that are chic, wearable and totally suitable for the whole month. Think subtle micro-accents, dark French manis and autumnal designs to get you in the Halloween spirit without having to compromise on your usual tastes.

Whether you're booking in at the nail salon or trying your hand at an at-home mani, keep scrolling for all of the spooky (sorta) but chic (very) nail inspiration you could ever need, along with the best nail polishes and tools for Halloween nail art.

Best Halloween nail art designs:

1. Ghost accents 



Last Halloween, we teamed up with celebrity manicurist, Iram Shelton, to create this exclusive Halloween design. Turns out, cute little ghosts on perfectly preened nails, teamed with a chic French manicure makes for a ghoulish (but stylish) delight.

2. Pumpkin tips 

Forget French tips when pumpkin tips are on offer. We love this detailed design with gold accents on the pumpkins to elevate the look—plus ghosts to complement. This might be one to take to your nail tech due to the complicated elements. But if you're feeling up for a challenge, grab some orange and metallic gold polish and get practising. 

3. Chic clowns 

Who knew clowns could be so chic? This design features spooky faces and pretty stars, embellished with rhinestones to give it an elevated look. If you're feeling confident, you could give this a try at home, but we'd recommend taking this inspiration to your nail tech to create your own version. 

4. Micro spooks 

Okay, you got us, this Halloween nail art design is a little gimmicky, but have you seen how cute it is?! By micro-sizing your pumpkin, ghost, cat and witches' hat accents, your manicure game is instantly revved up a gear.

5. Reverse French 

If you want to try the reverse French with a spooky twist, try this stunning bat design. The Halloween detailing isn't immediately noticeable so it's great if you want to get in on the seasonal fun without an OTT design. Get yourself some nail art detailing brushes and try this one out at home. 

6. Watercolour ghosts 

White ghosts are cute, but pink and purple watercolour nails are cuter. This colourful design is one that you can wear for Halloween and beyond—ideal if you're not matching your nails for a Halloween theme but still want something fun. 

7. Bloody micro drops

Keep things nice and simple by leaving nails totally bare and creating a single bloodied accent on each hand with a red polish. The best thing about it? It takes minimal time to execute, making it the ultimate last-minute addition to any Halloween costume. 

8. Scalloped French 

Can't decide on one design? Try one a bunch at the same time. This look takes a scalloped French with black, purple and orange shades paired with ghosts and stars to finish. It's definitely a bit more on the nose, but if you're into a bright design then it's likely right up your street. 

9. Skeleton hands 

Nothing says Halloween more than skeletons and we reckon this is as stylish as it gets. This manicure starts with a beautiful milky base topped with accents of skeleton hands on three nails using small detailed lines. To make the design really stand out, go over the skeleton designs with a matte top coat. 

10. All-black gloss 

Look, we know this one isn't technically Halloween nail art, but it's worth noting that a simple and classic black gel manicure is the perfect option for the Halloween season. Keep things looking professional and luxe with a high-shine, gel-effect top coat.

11. Chrome starry night 

For the folk who like to keep it pastel—even throughout spooky season—try this pretty purple starry night scene. Use either a pearlescent purple nail polish, or go chrome with a powder over the top of a pastel shade. Then top with your starry night scene using small nail art pens. This is one that'll work right through October and beyond. 

Shannon Lawlor
Executive Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is the Executive Beauty Editor at Marie Claire. With nearly a decade of experience working for some of the beauty industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear, Glamour UK, Stylist and Refinery29, Shannon’s aim is to make the conversation around beauty as open, relatable and honest as possible. As a self-confessed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for hard-working perfumes, fool-proof make-up products and does-it-all skincare.

With contributions from