Hunger Games Nail Polish Works Surprisingly Well For Festive Holiday Manicures

Three shimmering, dual-color looks, including one I like to call "Soft Jazz Goth Diva."
Publish date:
December 19, 2013
manicures, nail art, How-To, shimmer, nail polishes, covergirl, hunger games

Everyone knows that the best part of watching The Hunger
is all the killing and fighting and love-triangling, right? It’s all Team
Peeta versus Team Gale versus Team Katniss (if you ask me).

Honestly, my
favorite part of the movies (books are WAY better, but that kind of goes for
all novels turned films) is the ridiculous Bjork-proportions of fashion and
insane get-ups. My affection for characters named Effie (what up, UK Skins) is
also greatly intensified with Elizabeth Banks chomping at the scenery. How early you gotta get up for hair and makeup, girl? Snaps for

As I was killing time in a Walgreens, ironically enough before
catching up with pals to see Catching Fire, the second
installment, I came across CoverGirl’s Capitol Collection inspired by The Hunger Games. What better blockbuster to base a
line of makeup on than one with such focus on outlandish style and satirical
fashion? Albeit, I’m pretty sure this dystopian view of post-world-war infinity
is commenting on society’s spectacle of hedonism as stark class contrast,
but I’m not going to bring you down with political discussion within a piece of
YA fiction. This is a beauty site, after all.

CoverGirl sent me their Glosstinis (AKA
nail polishes) from the Capitol Collection, which are, in my opinion, the most
ogle-worthy seeing as they’re all these really cool glittery--but not, like, My
Little Pony glittery-near-holographic jewel tones. I’m all about the jewel
tones. Also, all the names have something to do with “flame” or “fire,” and how
many branding/marketing people sat around a boardroom for hours to come up
with a dozen names of nail polish colors based around a fire theme? Seriously,
how many?

Anyway, I went to town, nail-arting the hell out of my
digits to the best of my ability, as someone who has the steady hands of an electrocution victim. I came up with three different looks, using six of
the polishes. Prepare to be blown away.


To me, this nearly almost looks like a super-basic pixelated
rendering of a candle flame, or possibly dragon eyes (but maybe just the bottom
half?). The two brightest colors, Sulfur Blaze and Flamed Out (lol) provided
the Ronald McDonald “pop” for this look.

To prep, I pre-cut little pieces of masking tape. If you
have painter’s tape, even better--you want to use tape with the wussiest

First, I painted the whole nail with Sulfur Blaze and let
that dry for, like, five minutes because I’m impatient. Then I taped an open V on
each nail, gently pressing the tape down, careful so as not to smoosh the
polish that is not quite completely solidified yet.

Next comes Flamed Out. Swipe that over the tape, two coats,
and let dry.

This is the tricky part. You want to let it dry enough that when
you remove the tape, it doesn’t lift the edges of the paint, but you also don’t
want to let that tape bond with the polish underneath and lift that when you
take it off. So stressful.

I waited about five minutes after the second coat to
take the tape off.

Once you do remove tape, you might see that some of the red polish
has bled underneath it (d’oh!), for which it is a good idea to keep Q-tips and
nail polish remover around. Dip your swab in remover and LIGHTLY swipe it over
any bumpy bits. You can fill in any bald spots with polish after eradicating
the weird fault lines that may have occurred.

Then clear coat that shizz for everlasting light. You did it!


The ubiquity of French manicured acrylics in the
Italian-Catholic suburban town where I grew up has pretty much put me off to
French manicures in general and forever. I am, however, way into reverse-French
manicures--the ones where you paint the little half-moons at the top of your

Since it’s tis the season and all that and I’m not a huge Xmas person in
terms of holiday cheer (don’t get me wrong--it’s not like I hate Jesus or
anything), I really appreciate subtlety when it comes to referential holiday

One of my favorite colors in this collection is Scalding Emerald, which
is a very pretty sparkly khaki green. So chic--I love it when nudes level up.
It’s like “Look at me but you didn’t hear that from me.”

I used that color for the half-moons of my nails. It’s
really difficult to do this, by the way, since I have teeny tiny moons even though I
trimmed my cuticles. Blargh.

Two coats were needed--more like two dots--to get that
green color to really look green.

I let that sit for about five minutes, and then let ‘er rip
with Rogue Red, for the rest of the nail. Again, kind of difficult for my
grandma hands to get the “base” color around the moon without smearing polish
all over my cuticle line. Q-tips be thy savior.


This title is probably something you’d find on a
poorly-translated box for foreign club wear, but I don’t know what else to call
it when you’re mixing black and brown (gasp!) and sparkles.

I’m super-into
this Black Heat color; it looks like the iridescent black of a beetle or a drag
queen’s eyebrow pomade. It’s like sophisticated goth at drugstore prices.

Seared Bronze is also a crowd pleaser because who doesn’t like
gold/bronze/coppery tones? I don’t want to meet them.

I pretty much ombre’d
them together, first applying two coats of Black Heat.

Then I painted the Seared Bronze on the tips. This color is
actually pretty strong with one coat, so it covered the black pretty well.

I then brushed backwards with the second coat, with the
brush barely coated in polish, so it kind of faded out toward the middle of my
nail. Using sparkly nail polish is much more forgiving with this technique so
you don’t have to worry about doing everything while the colors are still wet
and tainting one brush with a different color polish. I’m not a savage; I
wouldn’t let that happen to you. They kind of seamlessly blend together easily,
with glitter intermingling.

Now you take this look to da club, or maybe just a bar with
live jazz music, or possibly to a holiday family dinner where you will appear
arty and cosmopolitan to your distant relatives. So versatile, no?