Boo! Enjoy Some Nightmare Nails for Halloween!

theHeFiNaToR | October 31 2014

Its Halloween time – and for me that means lots of candy, decorating, a party or two, and a dozen helpings of The Nightmare Before Christmas! I follow a whole lot of nail art Instagram accounts (@nailstorming and @ohmygoshpolish are my faves) and have seen multiple renditions of The Nightmare Before Christmas themed nail art. Using a conglomerate of them all, and using only the colors I had, I decided to take a stab at creating my own Nightmare Nail Art Masterpiece and share it with you all!

Items Needed

I have no allegiance to any 1 brand of nail polish, so I just went with the brands I had and chose the appropriate colors. Here are the polishes I used, but you can use any, as long as they are close in colors:

  • NYX polish in Algae (Teal)
  • NYX polish in Dusty Pink
  • LA Colors polish in Moody Red
  • LA Colors polish in Ocean Mist(I used this over the white to make Sally’s ghoulish skin color)
  • Sinful Colors polish in Snow Me White
  • Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear polish in Mellow Yellow
  • Wet n Wild Fast Dry polish in Ebony Hates Chris
  • Orly brand Bonder rubberized basecoat
  • Nicole by OPI High Shine top coat

I also used a couple tools:

  • Double ended dot tool (small and medium dots)
  • Small art brush
  • Precision dot tool
  • Striping tape
  • Hard plastic, washable surface (I used the top of my large round nail polish remover container – to be used like a painters palette)

And for cleanup I used:

  • Cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • 1 Bottle of polish remover


Lots of steps here, but I’ll try to keep them simple. Also – I want to add before you get started, that for a lot of the design work I only needed a small amount of polish on my tools. To get just a small amount, I placed a drop of polish on top of a plastic surface so that I could dip my tools in it and use it for multiple designs (like a painter’s palette!). Only place what you will need before the color starts to dry up, otherwise you could wind up wasting a lot of polish!

Let’s get started!

1. Starting with clean dry hands apply the Orly basecoat – let dry. I’ve used this basecoat a long time and it helps paint stay on my nails longer and helps even out any natural bumps or rough spots on the nail.

2. Pick a hand (I chose my left) and paint the thumb white and the four fingers black – let dry.

3. Place white polish on the palette and using your small art brush, paint white lines down the black nails- let dry

4. Place black polish on the palette and use the small and medium dot tools to create Jack Skellington’s face on your thumb

5. Using the striping tape, create 3 distinct areas on each finger, minus the thumb. The size and shape of these 3 areas does not have to be the same on each nail

6. Using the yellow, teal, and pink, paint 1 color in each area. You may need to do 2 coats to ensure proper coverage and chances are this will get messy, but we will clean it up later!

7. Remove striping tape

8. Place black polish on the palette and use the small art brush to paint black lines where the striping tape was.

9. Using the precision dot tool, use black polish on the palette to draw stitch marks and ‘patterns’ in the colored areas, to look like the patchwork dress that Sally wears in the movie

10. Using white polish, paint thumb and let dry

11. Using Ocean Mist polish, paint 1 coat over white polish and let dry (this will create Sally’s ghoulish skin color.)

12. Using the palette, use white, black, and red polish and the precision dot tool to draw Sally’s face and stitches on your thumb

13. Now for the fun part, use a q-tip and polish remover to clean up around the nails and remove any polish you got on your skin.

14. Once everything is dry, paint over it with the High Gloss top coat and you are good to go!

And there you have it – glorious Nightmare Before Christmas nails to celebrate Halloween with, or any day for that matter! Even though nail art like this is no simple task, I liked how it was still a relatively simple design, except for the faces on the thumbs. I’m still trying to perfect some of my skills, but I will say that having some of the right tools makes all the difference in how your design turns out! Plus, I enjoyed how I was a hit at work with my amazing nail art and will continue to perfect my nail art skills to make awesome designs!



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