Halloween How-To: Spooky Sanguine Manicure

Halloween is just around the corner, so How-To Tuesday has an extra tutorial for today to help get you into the spirit.

Looking festive for Halloween doesn’t have to mean wearing your costume to class; as tempting as it may be, your full scary or scandalous get-up just isn’t suited to the setting. Save the costume for after dark and channel your Halloween spirit through a spooky but stylish manicure.

For a base, try a sanguine color like Essie’s  “Wicked.” It is a blood-red polish that looks black when not in direct light. Apply two coats and let dry completely before beginning the details. Use a lighter, shiny color to provide a significant contrast, such as silver. Pictured here is Essie’s “No Place Like Chrome.”

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On every finger but the fourth, begin to create the image of dripping blood. Common incarnations on this look have the blood dripping from the top of the nail down, but the idea of blood dripping from the cuticles is a more unique take. You’ll need a toothpick, a bottle of nail polish, and a little creativity to do this. An earring back can work in place of the toothpick if need be. To start, drip a blob of the accent color of nail polish at your cuticle. Before it has the chance to start drying, start spreading the nail polish down towards the tip of your nail in wavy, drippy-looking formations. The more irregular it looks, the better. Use the toothpick to make a few more drips of blood separate from the rest if you’d like.

The fourth nail is a spider web that requires a little more patience and skill. You’ll start the same way as the others, by dripping a blob of polish at your cuticle. Then, draw three straight lines going horizontally, vertically, and diagonally across your entire nail. Then, connect the three lines with thinner lines that curve inward, like a bunch of little smiley faces. Make sure the lines are notably thinner, or else it’ll end up looking like a giant blob.

Keep in mind that all of these can be recreated in whatever color combination you want. Using the darker color as the base coat adds drama.

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If you are impatient or don’t have time, some great polishes for basic Halloween nails are Gelish’s “Night Reflection”, which is a deep purple that looks like a gel manicure, and Nicole by OPI in “A-Nise Treat,” which is a sparkly black with a sand-like finish.

Another option is nail stickers and thankfully, there are lots of them out there that fit all different shapes and sizes of nails. Just head on over to the closest Duane Reade and pick out your favorite style featuring skulls, cats, cobwebs, or whatever strikes you as best for the season.


Tamara Wescott is a contributing writer. Email her at bstyle@nyunews.com.


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