We only recommend things we love, however we might earn a small commission if you choose to buy something.


All Hail The Nail: The dark arts

Your nail beds provide the perfect place to 'dress up' without being overtly Halloween-ey. Here are the best places for inspiration on the internet.


Share the story
Link copied

Nail artists come alive towards the end of October. Do you hear that? It’s the tap, tap, tapping of talons drumming impatiently. A melancholy, tinny beat gaining intensity as the darkness descends by 4pm and a damp chill sets in. It’s the sound of nail artists around the world - amateur and professional alike - waiting for this most auspicious of nights to blow up their social feeds and create the kind of viral nail art we’ll be taking to the salon with, ‘Can you do it like this?’ echoing off the walls. Even if there are no parties this year. Halloween. Pagan holiday, growing British obsession, and the night when the artists around the world gather their collective resources (virtually, anyway) to out-shine each other in a global nail-off.

Nail art as its own denomination didn’t really come into effect until around 2012 when it exploded onto our screens (and nails) in a way that was unprecedented. Perhaps as a backlash to the recession a few years before, they suddenly became an affordable form of self-expression and they’ve since clawed their way into our culture, reflecting the zeitgeists of the time, and have even been used to spell out political (albeit ten character) statements. Who can forget Lindsay Lohan’s ‘F*** U’ in court.

Nail adornment is of course nothing new - those enterprising Egyptians were at it as far back as 3000BC, dipping their digits in henna to seduce as well as pull rank over their less prosperous sisters.

But we digress. If anything is going to get you to crack open some lacquer, the onslaught of Halloween-inspired designs on social media are sure to coax out some creative juices like a witchy osmosis. But forget cats and pumpkins, we’re harking back to Halloweens Pagan roots. More otherwordly and mystical for supernatural girls who love their crystals and constellations (sexy cats need not apply). Here are the designs we’ve chosen to worship this season:



A subversive BURO. nail tip: when they go dark, you go light. Watch Halloween Queen, makeup artist Lisa Potter Dixon’s Mystical Magic Eyes process, by artist Michael Do