Try This Orange and Black Nail Art Tutorial For Halloween

Got a pen? That's all you need to create this mani.

Ever since I started using nail polish, I've always been that girl who matches her nails to her holidays. Christmas: red and green; Easter: pastels; Canada Day: red and white; St. Patty's: green, green and more green... you get my drift.

So obviously I'm doing a Halloween theme too. Except I have one reservation: orange and black is definitely not my top pick when it comes to colour combos. But since I really have no sway in changing the heinousness that is the Halloween colour scheme, I tried to make a nail art design that was as posh as possible.

What you need

  • Base and top coat
  • Black nail polish (I used Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Black Out, which you can buy at for $3.49)
  • Orange polish (I used Sephora by OPI Nail Colour in Hi Def)
  • Quo by Orly Dotter Duo Tool, found in their Instant Artist Kit... OR just use a ballpoint pen that you are willing to ruin for the sake of nail art!

Step One

Apply your favourite base coat. I use Sally Hansen Miracle Cure ($7.64 at After that dries, apply an orange polish.

Step Two

Painting the black strip is actually a lot easier to do freehand than it looks—promise. The width will depend on the polish brush you use. The best way to get a nice straight line without using tape is to start at your cuticle and drag the brush in one swift stroke down to your tips.

Pro tip: Do not be stingy with the black polish. You want to have enough on the brush so that you can cover the full length of your nail in one go. Otherwise, you will have to go back and try to perfectly connect the line to finish it off.

Step Three

To make the polka dots, I used Quo by Orly's Instant Artist Dotter Duo tool (the smaller dotter). What makes this product so great is that it provides you with two different sized dots. Plus, it's metal while a lot of other dotting tools out there are plastic, which can slowly get warped over time and leave you with sad-looking polka dots.

If you do not own a dotting tool, no worries! I know you own a pen. Any ballpoint pen that can fit into the neck of a polish bottle is a good enough pen to use for dotting! I used a pen on two of my nails to prove how well it works. Can you tell which nails?!

Okay, I'll tell you. My pointer and middle fingers!

So, now that you believe how well a pen works... take the actual polish brush out of the bottle, and dab your dotting tool or ballpoint pen against the brush. When you put the tool against your nail, make sure not to push too hard or else you will just squish the black polish outwards and expose the orange. I can usually get away with two or three dots before I need to re-fuel my dotting tool.

Pro tip: Before applying your top coat, wait at least 10 minutes to give the polka dots enough time to dry. If you do it prematurely, you will get black streaks down your nail.

Happy Halloween, and I hope you nail it!

Rikki Ciminsky is a student at Ryerson University in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @rikki_see.

Tell us:

Do you paint your nails to match holiday colour schemes?

Have you tried a dotter tool before?

Will you try this DIY for Halloween?

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