This week we caught up with Elizabeth Morris, owner-operator of Va-Va Varnish Nail Salon for her skull-candy mani.

The Trend: Keep it cute and festive with this Goth-inspired manicure. We love the combination of the smoky ombre effect with the skull nail candy. Throw on a black lipstick and you’re set for any costume party. Just be sure to show off your ghoulish manicure. Check out the details below.

EBONY: How did you create this design?

Elizabeth Morris: This design was done with gel polish. I started out with a clear base coat. For the smoky effect, I used a nail brush to work the color onto the nail, starting with layers that faded from thick on the tips to thin towards the cuticle. For the black accent nails, we like Essie Nail Color in Licorice ($8.00). For the smoky white accents, try Dermelect Cosmeceuticals ‘ME’ Anti-Aging Color Treatments in Opulence ($14). You can also use a sponge to create the fade effect, but I just like to use a brush. (Editor’s note: For details on the sponge effect, check out last week’s post.) Next, I added a layer of top coat to all the nails and applied the nail art pieces, which received another coat of top coat after they were adhered.

EBONY: How did you get started as a nail artist?

EM: I quit my corporate job in 2012 to pursue my dream of owning my own salon. I am a licensed manicurist and nail enthusiast, and I have an amazing team of nine ladies that are all nail techs/artists as well. It is really fun to have a client come back and be so excited about all the compliments they received over the last few weeks on their nails. A lot of ladies will start out at Va-Va Varnish saying they only do French or a nude color, and after forcing them to pick a color at every visit, they start to explore themselves and express themselves through color and nail art.

 —Minajiah Scott