Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Nail Art Wednesday: Fiery Flame Nails Inspired by the Hunger Games and the Girl on Fire

"Katniss, the girl on fire, has left behind her flickering flames and bejeweled gowns and soft candlelight frocks. She is as deadly as fire itself."
- Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire

Yes, we're doing Hunger Games week here at Polished Indulgence. If you can't tell, we're reaaaaally excited about the movie coming out this weekend and to kick it up a notch, we're doing a flame nail design for Nail Art Wednesday. I swear, the moment I read about Katniss sporting flame nails during that first Hunger Games to go with the whole Girl on Fire thing, I knew I had to do my own take on it. Now, flame/fiery nails aren't exactly something new. I've seen all sort of variations that a simple google of "flame nail art" shows you. On that note, I sure hope you aren't tired of seeing them yet as I've yet another variation to show you today.

I wish I could take all the credit for the technique used behind creating the design, but I can't. It's the brainchild of Lindsey from Neverland Nail Blog where she uses a dry brush to create a gorgeous smoky texture. My first thought upon seeing her tutorial was how perfect it would be to use in a flame design, and so here is what I came up with:


What I Used:
Black matte base: China Glaze Stone Cold
Yellow metallic: Nubar Oro
Orange metallic: Nubar Arencia
Red metallic: Nubar Rosso
Red and gold glitter: China Glaze Electrify

How I Did It:
***Some of the details might be lost in the photos without flash so you'll find below one with flash and another without for each step.

Step 1: After applying your favorite top coat, apply your base color until it's opaque. For this design, we're using a matte speckled black.

Step 2: Place a bit of the yellow on a piece of foil or on a palette. Take a round, dry paintbrush (the smaller it is, the more detail you can create) and dab it on the yellow polish. Using swooping motions, do random swirls and curves on the nails.

Step 3: Place a bit of the orange nail polish on your foil/ palette. Doing the same as with the yellow from step 2, randomly add swirls and curving lines on to the nail. Be careful not to cover the yellow too much.

Step 4: Do the same as step 2 and step 3 with the red color. But this time, also make sure that you cover the lower part of the nail close to the cuticle.

Step 5: The lighter colors might be looking drowned out by the red at this point. If that happens, take the orange again and create swirls starting 1/3 from the cuticle (and only very slightly overlapping over the red).

Step 6: Using the yellow, do the same swirling but starting 2/3 from the cuticle and only very slightly overlapping over the orange.

Step 7 (optional): I wanted to add the sparks you'd normally see from a huge fire (plus, it gave me a great excuse to use another of the polishes from the Capitol Colors collection) to give it even more dimension. Taking a teeny, tiny bit of some gold and red glitter, dab it on just the 1/3 of the nail from the free end. Clean up the edges if you messed up some and finish with top coat to seal everything in then you're all set!

I used a bigger brush that I normally would use with nail art so I'm not sure if it's because of that that the swirling details aren't as obvious. It could also be because of the colors I chose as they all blended together so well that it almost looks more like a gradient than the smoky look I was going for, or maybe the fact that doing it against a darker base makes it less obvious. Either way, I'm still happy with how this came out, but the next time I try to do this technique again, I'll probably stick to a smaller brush and more contrasting colors. I love how the metallic finish of the "fire" against the dark base really stands out and looks like its glowing. Adding the glitter for the sparks was just like adding the cherry on top.

You know, like these sparks!

Love how glow-y it came out!

Can you see the "sparks"?

Yes, I don't own the actual books as, instead, I have the e-books on my trusty Kobo.
But you know I had to pose with the cover anyway.

I wanted to do a photo with fire too, but this is as close to an open fire as I'll ever get.
(Kids, don't try this at home.)

Hammie says: Oooh. Matches Mr. J's scarf!

Happy Hump Day! Halfway through the week and I'm wishing the weekend was here already! Will you be watching the movie on Friday? Are you going to be sporting Hunger Games themed nail art? Have you tried (or will you try) your hand at flame/fiery nails?


  1. I love reading this blog! I've recently started doing some of my own nail art tutorials alongside my usual fashion posts! I'm following you also!

    check it out here..

  2. Gorgeous!!! I love how you realized the design and made it more than a line drawing of flames. Very beautiful and inspired!

  3. Gorgeous! Love the smoky look for your own take on the girl on fire nails

  4. thesmalllittlethingsinlifeMarch 21, 2012 at 9:01 a.m.

    Beautiful!!! You hardcore fans are so fun! I haven't read the books or know much about The Hunger Games, but I'll definitely be catching the movie. Those nails are awesome!

  5. I absolutely LOVE these!

  6. Thanks, Naomi! Will you be trying your hand at the dry brush technique? :)

  7. Thanks so much, Mary! I have seen a lot of the line drawings you mention, that's why I wanted to do something on the other side of that spectrum. :) I'm so glad you like it!

  8. Thanks, Stephanie! Have you tried this smoky look? It's really easy and the results are fantastic. :)

  9. Thanks, Annick! Hahaha, well ,we're not called fans for nothing. ;) I hope you do read the books if you have time. It's a fast paced read that even non-bookworms will enjoy. :)

  10. Gosh, thanks so much, Ammali! *blushes* :)

  11. thesmalllittlethingsinlifeMarch 23, 2012 at 12:10 p.m.

    I'm a HUGE bookworm and weirdly enough, still haven't gotten to these! I will let you know what I think when I DO read them! <3

  12. Carmela, you did an amazing job! I've seen a lot of flame nail art that's so literal, but yours is much more artistic. Love how you got the theme across clearly without being literal. :) Hot manicure. ;)

    And which candle were you burning, by the way?

  13. This. Is. Absolutely. GENIOUS!
    You found a very classy way of recreating fire! I've seen a few fire manicures (and while they are all pretty) yours is edgy and sophisticated. Just plain HOT!

  14. *blushes* Marta, you're the sweetest! Thank you so very much! :D

    And I'm glad you think it's hot because it is, after all, supposed to be fire... ;)

  15. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have! :D

  16. Thank you so much, Mary! That means a lot. :D I was honestly hoping it would look more.. I dunno, wispy, I guess but I really do like how the colors kind of just blended into each other nicely. I generally try to stay away from literal just because I think it's more interesting to come up with something that can mean a whole different things to different people. :)

    Oh, it was just some random gel candle I found lying around the house. All the other candles I have are the huge ones and I didn't think taking a photo would those :P


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