Simple & Super easy Halloween nails using Barry M nail effects polish

So, I don’t really have the time or patience to sit around drawing designs etc on my  nails and in my opinion at this time of year when everyone is going over the top in costumes and decorating it’s nice to keep some things simple.

This look is super easy, super quick and will produce a different design on every person.

What I used

For this look I used:

  • Barry M Basecoat, Topcoat & Nail Hardener all in one
  • The Elle Orange
  • Barry M Nail Effects Nail Paint in Black (311)

Halloween tools

Producing the Look

  1. Paint on a layer of basecoat onto the nail. The purpose of basecoat is to protect your nails and as I’m using the 3-in-1 polish it will also harden my nails preventing breakages/flaking and will make them shiny. This is an optional step but I do believe it helps your nails look better for longer.
  2. Wait for the base to dry before painting on a layer of the orange polish. Depending on the brand and quality of the one you’ve chosen you may need a couple of coats to get a perfect opaque look.  You needn’t be so perfect with the actual application as the shatter effect will cover any little flaws. Don’t worry about spillage onto the skin as this can be corrected with a little polish remover at the end. Wait for each layer to dry before painting on the next or moving onto the next step.

The Elle Orange

3. Cover the whole nail in a single layer of the Nail effects polish; Be careful not to overlap the strokes as this result in blotchy, lumpy patterns.

4. Use a cotton bud dipped in polish remover to tidy the edges and any spills.

5. Once dry finish with a layer of topcoat to add extra shine and protection.


As you can see the shatter effects polish produces a different pattern on each nail. Rather than covering the  entire nail with the black polish I painted stripes which is why the pattern is quite sparse, I did this because my brush and pot have become caked up and I need to get it back to its usual consistency (see tips below if this happens to you).


One of the problems that I find with the Barry M special effect polishes is that they react very quickly to the air and the polish cakes up around the brush and in the bottle within a few minutes. It gets to the point where you can’t use the polish but instead of throwing it away and wasting money on a new bottle simple wash the brush in a cap full of nail varnish remover and add a couple of drops to the bottle, put the lid back onto the bottle, give it a shake and wait for a few minutes. Good as new!

Adapt the colour for your costume! I chose orange and black because they are the traditional Halloween colours. My sister is dressing up as a devil so she chose red and black. Nails effects come in various colours including white, light blue and the new blue and gold colours. O.P.I may have more colours and there are tons of other brands that jumped on the bandwagon and produced their own shatter effect polishes. If you fancy a different effect then Barry M have just introduced a ‘foil effect’ and Nails Inc. have launched a version where you pass a magnet over the nail colour to produced a striped pattern.

Barry M 3-in-1 polish can be bought at Boots, Superdrug or through Barry M for £2.99

Barry M Nail effects nail paint can be bought at Boots, Superdrug or through Barry M for £3.99  and is available in 6 colours

The Elle Orange was a sample pot.


2 thoughts on “Simple & Super easy Halloween nails using Barry M nail effects polish

  1. I’ve heard it’s a major no-no to use nail polish remover as nail polish thinner, do you know why? I’ve heard it dulls the polish and I’ve also heard you just should never do it. You must not have any problems with that, right?

    • I only use remover in the shatter and crackle effects polishes and never with regular polish. A few other blogs have actually said that they think a little polish remover is put into shatter effect paints as an ingredient to produce the effect but whether this is true or not I’m not 100% certain. I’ve never had any problems with the remover dulling this kind of polish because I’ve always found it to dry matte anyway and I always apply top coat so the finish is glossy.

      I can see why you wouldn’t add it to regular polish, I think it would just ruin the consistency and ,like you say, dull the finish.
      Alternatively, you can buy nail polish thinner which does the same trick but I’m on a very tight budget and I can’t justify bbuying a big bottle of thinner that won’t get used up when I can use remover and a high gloss top coat to get the finish I want.

      I’ve also come across metallic shatter effects polish from Next and I don’t think I would add either remover or thinner to that at all. It’s all down to you really, if you can find a safe, cheap way of extending the life of the polish and saving yourself money then go with it.

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