Are you a closet Marvel nerd? Do you worry about people from the office finding you out as an Avengers super-fan? Do you yearn to display your graphic novel pride but don’t think that graphic tee will go over well, even on casual Friday? Are you escaping the office early this Thursday for an “appointment” to go somewhere where your niche interests will be more appreciated? Well, have we got a manicure for you and your vacation to Comic-Con–even if you’re just celebrating from afar via obsessively tracking your favorite Twitter accounts, geek sites, and livestreams.
Represented here are Black Widow, Thor, Loki, Captain America, and Iron Man. This manicure is a little daunting at first, given that each nail is different, but I’ll break it down a bit for you. That’s not to say I didn’t question my sanity once several times, but the results are pretty great.
- Sinful Ruby Ruby is the red
- LA Girl Color Pop in Darkness is the black.
- Wet n Wild Megalast in Elegance is the white.
- Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Pacific Blue is the royal blue.
- Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Breezy Blue is the light blue.
- Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Emerald City is the green
- Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Celeb City is the silver
- Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Golden I is the gold
- Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Disco Ball is the glitter
- Masking tape
- A dotting tool
- A tiny little striping brush
- A black nail art pen
- A couple of star sequins
I used 3 coats of each base color for good measure. Black Widow and Iron Man get red, Thor gets silver, Loki gets a shimmery green, and Captain America gets a pearlescent white.
Next, Black Widow gets 2 black wedges. Using striping tape, make an X across the nail. Paint the black on the left and right sides, then wait about 30 seconds before peeling it off slowly. DO NOT let the black dry completely before peeling the tape off because it will be bad.
Iron Man gets a shimmery gold french tip. Captain America gets red stripes, and a big royal blue dot. While the blue is still wet, place a star sequin (or star glitter) right in the middle using tweezers. Loki didn’t get any love this step because I got excited about how great Captain America looked and wanted to take a picture. Thor gets a red french tip.
Using the striping brush, I added the gold tip. If you like, you can use striping tape again but I just winged it. Use the dotting tool for the gold dots.
For Thor’s armor, I used the black nail art pen. If you are braver than I, you could use a striping brush.
Iron Man: Make one big dot with light blue (I used the end of a marker dipped in the polish). Then, add a smaller royal blue dot.
Add another light blue dot on top of that. (Side note: This is where I started questioning my sanity.) Using a tiny brush, and a little pool of polish poured onto plastic wrap, draw the little lines of the ark reactor. I also added a spot of glitter polish to the center, but you can’t see it very well in the pictures.
After everything is dry, slap a shiny topcoat on there. I’m using Seche Vite because it’s the best for getting the most mileage out of your manicure. Also, for cleanup around the edges, you can’t beat one of those nail polish corrector pens.
In the interest of full disclosure, here’s my non-dominant hand. It’s not as good, but still passable. [Editor's note: I'd say it's more than passable, it's downright fantastic!] The only way you get better is by practicing, so have at it!
Final step: Bask in the glory of a kickass mani that you can’t get in stores.