Sunday, October 9, 2011

31 Day Nail Art Challenge: Rainbow Nails

I was not quite sure how to work rainbows into a Halloween theme. That is, until I thought about the very vibrant and colorful sugar skulls that are part of the traditional El Dia de Los Muertos celebrations in Latin cultures. Skulls made of sugar are decorated with colorful icing and placed in alters and on gravestones as a way to 'sweeten death' and to remember a loved one who has passed away. I took this idea and translated it to a very colorful rainbow manicure:

Look at how cute they turned out! Eee! I did not add any bling to these, but a few dots of silver or gold, or some glitter polishes would be rad.

I started with a bright base color for each nail. See the end of this post for a list of the polishes I used. 

I actually kind of like my right hand better in this manicure, which doesn't happen often! Most of the nails required two coats of polish for coverage, except the orange and red. 

I painted the outline of skulls in black acrylic paint on each nail. I added little protruding cheek bones on each skull, since many of the examples of Day of the Dead Skulls seemed to be in this style. 

Then it was just a matter of mixing acrylic paints in complimentary and contrasting colors, and filling in each skull, then adding details in contrasting paint. I could have added more details, but these did turn out pretty close to what I had imagined. 

Here are the finished nails on my right hand. The thumb skull kind of looks like an alien, ha!

Here are the two hands together. El Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead is celebrated by Latinos here in California, and increasingly people of all cultures are embracing this holiday. The town of Petaluma in Sonoma County has a whole month of exhibits, workshops, parades, and other celebrations in observance of El Dia de Los Muertos. Find out more on the Petaluma Arts Center website. I really want to do the sugar skull workshop next weekend, it looks like so much fun!

Here are the polishes I used in this manicure: Wet 'n Wild Everybody Loves Redmond, Wet 'n Wild Sunny Side Up, China Glaze Happy Go Lucky (love this yellow!), Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Lickety-Split Lime, Wet 'n Wild Blueberry Fizz, Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Urgent Orchid, Essie All In One Basecoat, and Seche Vite Topcoat.

Whew! That's a lotta polish!

On a COMPLETELY different note: I have decided to make regular donations to Women's Recovery Services with this blog. Every 20 posts I will donate $10 to help women in my community. From their website: "Women’s Recovery Services (WRS) is a haven where women struggling to live free from addiction can find the support and specialized treatment they need." 

During their stay with WRS, women will receive hygiene and grooming products. As beauty bloggers well know, having a nice hair style, or wearing a bit of pretty make up, or even a nice manicure can really boost self confidence and make someone feel worthwhile. For a woman going through a transition to a sober and healthy lifestyle, this boost of confidence can mean a lot. In this small way, I hope my nail blog will help someone have a better life and another chance.

I encourage YOU to think about ways your blog can help your own community! You of course can make donations to Women's Recovery Services, but you can also look for a similar program where you live. As bloggers, we have the luxury to buy pretty polishes and make fun artwork. Think about how a bottle of beautiful polish or a trip to a salon would make another woman feel, a women who may have lost confidence in herself and who could really use our compassion.

Tomorrow another nail art challenge: gradient. I think I have a pretty interesting interpretation of this style. Come back tomorrow to see it!


  1. OMG, I LOVE this design, it's totally awesome!

  2. Looks great, this is one of my favorites out of the challenge manis so far!

  3. OMG! Never take these off haha! These are amazing!

  4. Thanks Amber, I really like this design as well.

  5. thanks Sarah! It is one of my favorites so far, too.

  6. Ha ha, Amy! I am working a bit ahead, so I actually did keep these on for two days.

  7. It is amazing !!! It reminds me a bit of a design Robin Moses did :) Check her out on youtube ;) I just love how you did the skulls, you have a really steady hand! I also gave you an award! Here´s more info:

  8. Thanks Theodora! I love love love Robin Moses. She is so brilliant. Thanks for the award, that is so sweet!