Hello, fall! Whether you welcome this new season with autumnal nails (think pumpkins, leaves, and sparkles galore) or go all-out with your Halloween costume or not, you can get in the spooky spirit with a manicure painted in the age-old traditional Halloween colors: orange and black.
We're willing to bet you'll be able to create many of these looks yourself—if not, simply take them to your favorite nail artist. Either way, don't forget to snap a shot for the 'gram. Adorning your nails with fun shades and shapes warrants so many compliments from onlookers, so why not make them super fun this October? We've got all the best nail inspiration below.
Ahead, scroll through for the nail designs to get you excited for the spookiest season of the year.
The line designs happening on each negative space nail here are like a modern-day nod to Picasso.
Pop of Papaya
These intricately hand-painted papayas are so cute, we want to wear fruit nails all year long. To keep the base clean and matte, go back in with polish remover to remove any color that's not in the tropical design.
A Trio of Ghosts
The nail art here looks straight from a story book. Abstract orange designs, nighttime moons, and three tiny ghosts give one hand a haunting vibe, while the other hand (click right on the photo!) seems to be dripping in slimy pumpkins and ghosts. It's scary-good.
How cute are these black French tips accentuated with pumpkins? They remind us of the illustrations from our favorite childhood story by E.B White.
These glossy Shellac nails are adorned with splashes of milky oranges and black and white lines. If you look closely, there's a negative space line that cuts diagonally through each nail.
Ombre Kitten Tips
These kitten nails are the French mani alternative we didn't know we needed—the yellow to orange ombre makes a stark black and orange mani less daunting.
Simple geometric shapes give this mani a fun kitschy appeal. Once you've got your base coat done, use a detailing brush to paint as many designs as you please.
Simple and Sparkly
These may be more simple than traditional nail art, but not everyone has time for an elaborate design. When you take a closer look, the dark polish is perfectly inky and edgy. As for the orange sparkly polish, somehow that's subtle, too. They're proof that you don't have to go all out or be a professional nail artist this October.
This easy nail design embraces the hit '80s movie Beetlejuice in a more polished fashion. Clean stripes and alternating orange and white nails are just really cool.
This muted mani incorporates two accent nails for a fall-themed mani that's super pretty.
Subtle pastel orange half-moons and a beaded Chanel logo? Fashionistas, take note. To get a half-moon shape, paint around a circular sticker or piece of tape and use a brush like Olive and June's Clean Up Brush ($8) to fix any wonky edges.
The various speckles against a soft orange base. Not only does this mani incorporate mixed prints, but it does so in a free-style, low-maintenance way that's easy to recreate at home. You don't have to stick to this exact design—instead, paint as you please.
Bowie Lightning Bolts
A black and white manicure with a striking orange lightning bolt in the middle? Sure, we're into it (and maybe also dressing up as Ziggy Stardust this Halloween).
They're a tad on the peach side, but either way, these wavy nails are really groovy. Use a lot of tape on this design to get clean, colorful sections. Then clean up any mishaps with a brush and some polish remover.
We're not the biggest fan of creepy crawlies, but we can make an exception with this cool design. Just use a small detailing brush to create these fun cartoon creatures, and practice makes perfect, so don't give up if a spider doesn't turn out exceptional on your first go-around. Just keep painting.
Touch of Tortoiseshell
While tortoiseshell isn't outwardly orange, when the light hits just right, this look gives off a spooky vibe perfect for the season. If you're not into hand painting, there are great stick on nails like the Urban Outfitters x Statica Tortoise Shell Set ($22) you can get for a great price.
Carve out a space for these pumpkin-colored nails this October. A negative space manicure contrasts the detailed pumpkin accent nails, adding cool, modern ease to the overall design. Plus, a single black stripe below creates super clean edges. (Don't worry, you can always cut a piece of tape into thin strips to get a precise negative space design).
Give Up the Ghost
If you're all about leaning into the thematics of the season, this ghoulish look might be right up your alley. Play it up by adding themed nail stickers to a classic orange mani or show off your artistic side by hand-painting the ghostly crew yourself. Either way, your nails are sure to look super cute!
A checkered background and splash some orange on top—it's that easy. We're kidding, this nail design takes talent and a steady hand so you may want to bring it to a professional.
These orange nails are french tipped and matte, which is so cute—but we're really drawn to the zombie skeleton on the accent nail. Use a matte topcoat like OPI's Matte Top Coat to get the cool finish.
Cartoonish pumpkins painted along each cuticle couldn't be cuter. (Say that five times fast). While we totally trust your skills, hand painting individual pumpkins can get a little tedious, so we recommend visiting a professional for a detailed, clean design you can trust.
Sure, butterflies aren't typical autumn fare—they're usually more spring-appropriate—but still, hear us out. This classic orange butterfly design looks really cool in the appropriate color palette and it still works for the season.
This orange and black dotted print is perfect for a minimalist design. Use a sponge to create different sized blotches (and, of course, don't forget the glitter).
This design brings together a fun orange and black color palette but adds a pop of olive for an unexpected combo. If you're looking to recreate this at home, make sure you have a small brush on hand.
What's the best way to keep orange and black nail polish from fading?
While limiting the use of your nails to protect polish may not seem doable, keeping nails away from the elements—sun, rain, snow—will also help preserve your color.
How many coats of nail polish should you apply?
For polish that will stand the test of time, try first applying a base coat, then layer with two coats of nail polish. Finish off by adding an extra layer of topcoat.
How long will nail polish last on nails?
Traditional nail polish may last anywhere from one day to two weeks, though polish that's a long-wear formula, or a gel, might last upwards of two weeks.