A haunting darkness lurks in the corner; indeed, the festival of all things macabre and ghoulish is almost here. Come the end of October, choosing to morph into one of the many Halloween-approved costumes may be cumbersome to some but with just the right amount of preparation, the spooky season will prove to be a breeze. Whilst you could play dress up with a specific character in mind, the scream fest also presents itself as the prime opportunity to go OTT with your look of the night. Beauty savants may know this already, but whether you’re leaning goth or have chosen to go with a more generic theme (think garden fairies, aliens or the uh, bloody devil), make sure to place sufficient importance in an essential accessory: your nails.
Apart from ensuring you’re armed with a choreographed head of hair and a make-up finish that screams she served, vivifying your manicure is crucial to really making your mark for the evening. After all, simply opting for a colour-coordinated nail look may fall short of the intended effect you had been hoping for. Instead, working within the realms of your theme will grant you with just enough inspiration—all you need is a spark of creativity to point you in the right direction to ensure that you’ll emerge with a set of talons that are just as electrifying as they are menacing.
To that end, we’ve employed the expert knowledge of Quynh Anh Dang Ngoc, better known as Quinada, a professional nail artist from Vietnam who’s known for her unique and groundbreaking designs that lean to the weird and whimsical. Fair warning, her tips for creating an extravagant look may not be the easiest to replicate, but if you’re down for some DIY-fun and are willing to get as experimental as possible this weekend, then you’re in for a treat. The good news? Her Halloween manicure recommendations can be manipulated for just about any theme under the sun, so you can be certain that you can apply the same rules well beyond the scream season. Now go on, knock them dead.
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Could you share more about the prevailing nail trends this Halloween?
According to Quinada, the strongest nail trend at the moment will probably still be the multi-dimensional embossed nail looks, with designs that protrude from the surface of the nail. Instead of taking inspiration from the more popular horror movies, manicures that are more futuristic or alien-esque are becoming more popular.
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How can we achieve such a manicure?
Going beyond the usual manicure, these types of nail art will require some creative finessing. “If you’re up for it, you can make use some recycled household materials or plastic waste lying around your own homes,” she offers. For example, in this instance, Quinada created a ‘connected’ bionic look made of old electrical and fishing wires, mixing it with plastic from disposable water bottle caps.
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If we already have a set of nails we'd like to keep, how do we work from there?
Granted, many of us might already have had our nails done for the month and would prefer to keep them on even beyond Halloween. In those cases, Quinada recommends working upwards from your 2D manicures with easy plastic shapes that can be melted on with a glue gun. For Halloween, perhaps a pair of 3D-devil horns will seal the deal, and you can even paint over it after.
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Any other tips for alternative manicure looks?
In line with the reigning multi-dimensional look, adding textural layers to your set of nails will help to give a different vibe to each set of nails. Quinada’s recommendation is to use what you already have around you—just like how she once recycled onion peels to create a nail set in the shape of Vietnam’s national flower, the Lotus. For instance, if you’ve decided to go with a botanical or garden theme for the evening, using paper cut-out shapes of flowers or leaves on pop-up nails can create a look you desire.
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With all this experimentation, how do we ensure our nails remain healthy?
Make sure your real nails are healthy, have good elasticity, and are light pink in colour. When painting your nails, during the first 24 hours, you shouldn’t hit your nails directly against hard objects—to protect the protective layer of paint. “While using artificial nail art on real nails, I suggest you wear gloves whilst creating the look to keep your nails beautiful and durable,” she says.