I find that one of the best subtle, and frequently workplace-appropriate, ways to express my geekery is custom manicures. That being said, I’m not exactly rolling in dough, so going to get my nails done professionally isn’t in the cards right now.
Because I still want to fly my geek flag high and proud, I decided to delve into the world of DIY custom manicures. If Pintrest is to be believed, in a few minutes flat you can create really intricate and detailed nail art on both hands; sadly for them, I’ve seen Pintrest Fails, so I know better.
This weekly column is going to feature a geek inspired DIY manicures (and sometimes mani/pedi, if I’m feeling ambitious) that will be accessible to people of all skill levels. I’m no great artist, but if you’re a beginner like me you can copy my designs very easily, and if you’re a seasoned pro, you can take inspiration from my design ideas and run with it!
I’ll always feature Amazon Associate links to the specific colors/products I use for your reference, so if you’d like to help support our little endeavors here, we’d appreciate it. However, especially for detail work, cheap drug store polishes can do the trick.
For my first foray into nail art I wanted to keep it pretty simple. Age of Ultron focused on Hawkeye, so if it’s good enough for Marvel, it’s good enough for me.
In the movies Hawkeye wears all black, but followers of the comics know that he is usually depicted in purple. After looking through all kinds of Hawkeye images, I settled on this for my inspiration.
To translate into a manicure design, I needed something sleek with black, lavender, arrows, and a little metallic just for kicks. My mind immediately jumped to one of my favorite black polishes, butter LONDON Union Jack Black, and essie’s lavender metallic Nothing Else Metals.
While butter LONDON is definitely an investment polish, I find that one coat is sufficient for full color coverage and it holds up even without a top coat. Essie polishes are great because they’re durable, available almost everywhere, and don’t require many coats. In my experience, both brands give you a big bang for your buck, which matters when you’re on a budget.
Finally, as far as supplies go, I picked up a Sally Hansen I <3 Nail Art Toolkit and used the detail brush.
If you can’t get your hands on Nothing Else Metals or a similar metallic lavender, but want to preserve the same general feel of the manicure, I’d try a metallic shimmery black like OPI Black Satin and a shiny lavender like essie Play Date for a similar effect.