Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nail Art Wednesday: A China Glaze On Safari Take On Neo-Noir Nails from the Phillip Lim 3.1 F/W'12 Runway

Whilst browsing the latest nail trends for F/W'12, I chanced upon a how-to of these fantastic looking nails from the Phillip Lim 3.1 show on one of my favorite beauty blogs, Beauty Editor. Essie Weingarten (the celebrity manicurist behind the brand of the same name, Essie) is credited with creating this look. She says of this design, “This graphic nail design is dramatic yet incredibly wearable. Women of any age can wear this look to make a super-modern statement that is still totally chic.

The inspiration: neo-noir, comic-inspired nails.

I can't agree more! But instead of the black, grey and white that was originally used, I wanted to put my own spin on things and challenge myself by using only colors from the China Glaze On Safari Native set. So here's my take on these modern statement nails:

My surprisingly stylish (if you don't mind me saying) version.

What I Used:
Grey/purple creme base: China Glaze Jungle Queen
Plum accent: China Glaze Purr-fect Plum
Grey accent: China Glaze Elephant Walk

How I Did It:

Step 1: After applying your favorite base coat (for this mani, I used OPI Natural Nail Base Coat), apply an opaque layer of the grey/purple creme base. Taking a cue from the runway version of the design, the darkest shade should be the base if you choose to replicate the design with different colors.

Step 2: Once your base color is dry, take the medium shade (the plum) and paint on a curved vertical stripe about 3/4 to the right of the nail, as shown below. For this, you can use the brush that came with the nail polish, especially if it's a particularly skinny brush (think Essie or Color Club). Otherwise, you can opt to use a small paint brush or a medium striper brush for better precision (or if the nail polish you're using has one of those wider brushes like OPI or Sally Hansen Inta-Dri).

Step 3: Do the same using the lightest color (in our case, the grey) and color in the entire area to the right of the medium curved stripe you made in step 2. Wait a few minutes to both stripes to dry (so we don't end up smudging it) then finish with a healthy layer of top coat. Clean up the edges, if needed.

Now this is my kind of nail art! It's visually interesting without being too out there. It's a sedate minimalist look, easy to do, yet packs a lot of punch. You probably won't even need any special tools if you choose nail polishes that come with skinny enough brushes, although I would probably use a bit of tape if your non-dominant hand is pretty shaky. Otherwise, freehand is always the easiest option. Getting the amount of curve consistent for each nail might be the trickiest part but even that isn't all that hard. In fact, the inconsistencies add to the visual interest, in my opinion. Certainly, the actual runway nails had stripes that weren't perfectly curved throughout all the nails either. This is why I'm sure that even a nail art newbie can replicate this!

 Here's a look at the entire hand.

 I'm surprised by how classy this turned out!

 On Safari shades deserve an animal print backdrop, right?

 This would be a great alternative to jazzing up an existing manicure that you've gotten bored with.

 One last look!

Yay fer Wensdee! I got me one good eye dilated earlier today fer a voyagely eye check up an' can I jus' say how much I dislike havin' t' wait fer them t' go aft t' normal? Thankfully th' tests came ou' all arrr, so that's th' good part. But 't always takes me one good eye what feels like forereto go aft t' a normal, non-dilated state. In fact, as o' this writin', me starboard eye got a healthy does o' that stingin', dilatin' solution so me pupil in that eye be still a strangely large size while th' port be aft t' th' usual. But enough about me eye health. How's yer tides workin' ou' fer ye? Be havin' ye been keepin' abreast o' fall fashion news? What's a trend ye're excited t' jump on? Be havin' ye been talkin' sea dog all tide today? (Now, aren't you glad I saved the pirate talk for the last bit? Hahaha! Happy International Talk Like A Pirate Day!!)


  1. Love your color choices! And I agree it looks modern and chic. :)

  2. I like your take on neo-noir comic inspired.Who knew Essie was so creative :-)

  3. Gorg! Definitely trying this out..Thanks..xx

  4. This looks awesome Carmela! You did an awesome job.

  5. Great fall-appropriate spin on the inspiration look! Really pretty!
    I might have to try something like this! :)


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