DIY ‘Branded’/Scorched Cross Nails for Halloween!

We’re into the second week of Halloween month and we haven’t done a beauty look yet so let’s do something small that can have maximum impact, branded crosses and scorched nails!

I tried around with different colour combos and so many ways work, but I thought the best ideas can come from what you actually have, so with three popular colours, I’ll show you have to get this effect, plus a little bonus one!


The first colour is a pink-based nude nail polish. Fleshy tones are the best for it because we’re going for a ‘branded onto skin’ look. The one I had is a thick matte polish which possibly sells the effect better, but you can easily achieve this with normal gloss polish.
If your nail polish seems too thin, apply more layers; in this effect, thick polish is actually our friend for once.




When you’re liking the thickness, use a toothpick and start pressing where you wanted your cross then start carving through the polish. I dont know how many wonky, lopsided crosses I had, but it doesn’t really matter after you add the background polish so don’t get too hung up on symmetry.

At this point you can start laying colours inside and playing around with anything from green and purples, a darker flesh tone or crackle laquer.


One of my first little plays was doing back with red over the top but I didn’t like it. For me, the best looks were done by layering lighter colours to dark.



With the toothpick I started placing red into the cross then using a cotton bud/Q-Tip to stipple around when it was starting to dry. Only try to use a little bit at a time or else it’s just blotches of colour inside of this stipply look. The cotton bud actually started pilling and sticking into my nail which… in this case, actually gives it texture and makes the carving look more believable.
If your nail polish is really thin and you want to ‘bulk up’ the colour, always wait until it starts feeling tacky as it starts to dry – like what you do when applying false lashes. Also, using polish from around the handle or top of the bottle is usually a bit thicker.


Last part was going in with the black the same way I did with the red; place the colour in. In the above photo I wiggled the colour back and forth so it ended up with towards the edges and let my actual nail be seen underneath, which I thought looked pretty cool, but was curious if I added a bit more black when that was dry and-





Ohhhhhhh yeah, now that’s whaddeye like! The built-up edges really sell that something has been pressed into my nail.




Now for the digits, I was thinking of something a little bit different. I went with something along the lines of a ‘decayed’ look with the same colour scheme which – for the most part – sucked balls. I went a bit too crazy with the red, then had to bring back some of the nude, then my red looked a bit pink, so I just colour it with black but put too much black on the cotton bud and had black spots but managed to stipple effects in there.


You know what though? Carving more crosses into them helped. I actually loved these crosses and the look more with them coming from the cuticle than how I had it on my thumb.



While I kept my thumb matte, I decided to put a top coat on my fingers and I actually liked the kinda-wet, kinda-gross look of that too.






But maybe you can’t have nails like this, perhaps one something more cleaner or minimal, or only have one colour. How ’bout just doing a simple cross carving?



The method is the same as above, only for this one I’m using my red with a top coat and optional carving effect. First, use a toothpick and sketch your cross on. Try to make this as thin as possible if you don’t want the red streaking when you put the top coat on. Another option is cutting a cross our of a sticker and pressing it on.




When the polish is dry apply the thinnest layer you can on in the least amount of strokes. If you don’t care about streaking like I didn’t, just put on polish like normal. Unlike me, it’s best to clean the nude polish completely off from around the cuticle and maybe don’t eat corn chips before doing this.





If you do want to do a little carving effect, wait until the clear coat starts drying before carving it out

One thought on “DIY ‘Branded’/Scorched Cross Nails for Halloween!

  1. Pingback: Let’s limp into 2020 by Saying Goodbye to Half-Dead 2019! | Elle Does Stuff

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