[the DIY Files] …1, 2. Freddy’s Coming For You.

My nail designs, er, manis, are not all flash and sparkle. The problem with working in an office environment are the limitations placed on your appearance and attire. These manicure designs are meant to be both corporate-appropriate AND something to talk about. Enjoy!

Now that we’re into the second week of the month, how apropos to have a manicure with a bit more complicated nail art celebrating not *just* Halloween, but one of the most beloved characters of the holiday who just, wellhappens to embody all of the horror, gore, and unnerving dread that the holiday brings out:

“saaaaay ‘MURDER!'”

I may be in the minority when I say that Jackie Earle Haley’s version of the classic character was actually superior to Robert Englund’s original. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that he had more material and character write up, AND it wasn’t supposed to be in the same vein as the 80’s B-movie Englund starred in. He added the necessary depth to the villain needed to not only make him identifiable with audiences, but brought a sense of reality to Freddy which would garner both sympathy and fear.

“… Three, four, better lock your door.
… Five, six, grab your crucifix.
… Seven, eight, gonna stay up late.
… Nine, ten, never sleep again.”

Okay, enough of the character dissection. Let’s put it this way, Freddy ranks in the top 5 of my fictional (or not so fictional) villains. Partially due to the fact that my first horror movie was Nightmare on Elm Street, but also because there’s a darkness to the villain that can’t be captured with simple murder and mayhem.


I’ll be recreating Freddy’s iconic burned skin for one hand + wielding his signature ‘nails’ [haha] on the other. This might be particularly tricky to do if you have short nails and/or crappy overly used-under appreciated paintbrushes [guilty as charged on both counts].

For the ‘burned skin’ nails, you will need the following:

  • a pinky translucent nail polish (used Zoya’s Avril here)
  • a beige nude (my tried-n-true Essie’s Mamba here)
  • a dark red/burgundy/OXBLOODMWAHAHA (ahem, like Sally Hansen’s Flirt here)
  • an opaque white polish (used Pure ICE Super Star! here)
  • a base coat
  • my trusty TOP COAT (Essie’s No Chips Ahead here)
  • 3 small paintbrushes/nail art brushes (2 with pointed tips, 1 small flat-ended brush)
  • a plastic zip-loc bag or plastic disposable surface.

1. Prime up your nail beds with a base coat. It does a nail goooood!

2. Apply a single coat of the translucent pink on each nail. Allow this coat to  dry completely. NO RUSHING IT.

3. Using the brush from the beige nude nail polish, grab large drops of the polish and place on the plastic surface. Taking one of the pointed-tip brushes, take single drops on the brush and dragging them in random lines across the nail bed. You want the lines to be thick enough to be visible while still allowing the pink backdrop to show through. Allow to dry completely.

4. Place a few large drops of the “Flirt” burgundy color onto a clean area of the plastic, take the second pointed-tip brush and fill in with small strokes the pale pink areas. Try to to keep the areas to be from being completely colored in or opaque. Think LAYERS of color. Allow to dry [again. Patience is a virtue!].

5. This time, take a few small drops of the white opaque polish and place it onto another clean area of the plastic. Now, with the flat-ended brush, dab a bit of the polish into “highlight” areas of the burned skin to add depth. Allow to dry for a minimum of an hour. You have multiple layers of polish… that will require a lonnnng time to dry.

6.  Time for the top coat!

This isn’t supposed to be perfect, nor are the nails meant to be identical in patterns of skin to each other.

Now onto part deux!

For the Freddy Knives, you’ll need the following:

  • your base coat, buddy.
  • a dark red/burgundy (like Sally Hansen’s Flirt above)
  • a shiny silver polish (Pure Ice Silver Mercedes)
  • the opaque white from before (Pure Ice Super Star!)
  • oh duh, a top coat
  • a point-tipped paintbrush
  • masking tape/painter’s tape (Scotch brand Blue Painter’s tape used here)
  • scissors

As with any nail art utilizing masking tape as a stencil, I always prepare the stencils first before starting with the polish. For this, I had 5 pieces of tape approximately 3 inches long (enough to wrap around the finger) cut. Take the scissors and cut 2 sides of the knife blade out of the tape, with one straight edge and one slightly-curved edge.

1. Prepping time with the base coat first….

2. Paint one coat of the burgundy color on each nail, and allow for it to completely and TOTALLY DRY. No rushing here.

3. Take each piece of tape and press down onto the back of your hand or onto your palm. Take the tape off, and press on again as needed if the adhesive is still too tacky. Please each piece of tape on a single nail bed, diagonally in order to appear as though they’re reaching out from the side of your nail bed.

4. Taking the silver polish, quickly swipe the silver polish across the knife shape, making sure there is no excessive polish on any nail bed. Count to 30, then remove each piece of tape from its respective nail.

5. Allow all of your nails to completely dry.

6. Using a clean point-tip brush, dip into the white opaque nail polish, and slowly swipe a miniscule amount of the polish along the curved edge and tip of the ‘knife’ blade. Again, use the white as the highlight on the blade. This way, the silver recedes and the white appears to come forward.

7. After the nails have dried, finish with a top coat. Fini!

More scary, frightening, GRUESOME manicures to come…. [cue cheesy horror movie music].

— Nita


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