HALLOWEEN NAIL ART: Spooky Grunge Scarecrow Head Nails

by - October 17, 2022

One of the things I did while I was putting together ideas for this year's Halloween nail art was to go back and look at designs I'd done previously. I didn't want to do a straight up recreation of any of them, but I did like the idea of doing some twists on some of my favorites. One of my absolute favorites from last year was my Spooky Grunge Voodoo Doll mani that I did and I definitely felt like I could easily take the spirit of that one and do something a little darker and more gritty with it this year. In the end... I feel pretty confident that I was able to do just that. 

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So the technique for this grunge background is one that I'm pretty sure that I made up myself last year and it's a really, really easy and quick way to add a beautiful grungy texture to the base of your mani. Start by applying your base polish to all of your nails until it's opaque or at least close to opaque. For this mani, I applied one coat of a very pigmented neutral taupe shade. Next, you're going to take a makeup sponge - generally I use one that has already been used for a gradient - and rip up the surface of it with your fingers and then with some tweezers so that you get a rough surface. I also like to press the sponge against a lint roller at this point to just make sure you don't have any loose bits that are going to end up sticking to your nails, as they're very, very difficult to remove once they're stuck there.

Once your sponge is ready, take 3-4 different polishes that won't get too muddy and just sort of randomly swipe them onto the sponge. You can add more or less of different colors in order to customize the finish and color balance that you're looking for. In this case, I went with a slightly different taupe to the base, a white, and a very ashy brown. Then you just dab that onto your nails until you have the desired texture. (If you want to actually see me do this, be sure to check out the video tutorial over on my Instagram.)

Now, for the stamping, I knew I wanted to use the same spiderweb and blood drip images that I used last year because they have a really unique design to them that feels... sort of extra creepy. I don't know if anyone else will see it that way, my brain is pretty weird after all, but they just felt like the perfect spooky spiderwebs for this design. I also wanted to use this scarecrow head image that is sort of cute... but also fairly horrifying? For the scarecrow head fill, I actually used all of the same polishes that I used for the base, but I leaned more heavily on the white to get a lighter version of the base. I swirled the polishes together to get a subtle marble effect and then filled it in. I used the ashy brown for the mouth and some of the red stamping polish that I was going to use for the blood drips for the eyes.

Once I had applied all of my stamping and was happy with the design, I sealed it all in with a nail art top coat and then finished with a layer of matte top coat to bring down the shine and really drive home that grunge vibe. And voila!

All Products Used
Dimension Nails - Hello, I'm Vegan**
OPI - Alpine Snow
Sinful Colors - So Daupe!
Sinful Colors - Street Legal
Whats Up Nails - Neither Noir
Whats Up Nails - Box Of Whine
Apipila Smudge Free Top Coat
OPI Matte Top Coat
Mundo De Unas A.N. Halloween Stamping Plate
Pict You PY-F008 Stamping Plate
Whats Up Nails Magnified Clear Stamper
Pueen Clear Stamper*
NailStuff.ca Dotting Tool**
NailStuff.ca Nail Art Brush**
Pueen Latex Tape Liquid Peel Off Cuticle Guard

* = PR Sample, ** = PR Sample/Affiliate NailStuff.ca code TRYSH

I really feel like this mani turned out exactly the way I intended it to. It brought a much more spooky, grungy feel than the one that inspired it and just has something really unsettling about it all. I have to say, I do really love this grunge sponging technique and I think it's a great way to add dimension to a base, especially a Halloween one, and also use up old sponges! Twofer!

Be sure to check out my Instagram over @pblnails for video tutorials on all of the nails I post here on the blog and follow me there to keep up on new Halloween nail art designs every day in October!

Thanks for reading!

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