Music and Makeup: Love Like a Sunset Nails Inspired by Phoenix

sunset ombre nails
Here comes a visible horizon, right where it starts and ends

Two of the most beautiful shows I’ve been to this year were the same band: Pheonix’s triumphant performances at Coachella and Outside Lands. It’s hard for me to pick which set was better, but I’ll lean toward Coachella for the favorable weather and the impact of seeing it the first time.

Phoenix has one of the simplest yet most moving visuals I’ve seen. At the front of the stage white lights illuminated the band through the mist of a fog machine. Behind Phoenix was a huge LED screen that shifted between solid colors: blood red to stark black to bright aqua to lime green to wild magenta in quick succession. Here’s an clip of the show. It’s worth it to watch straight through, but if you want to skip ahead, the light show gets crazy beginning at 2:48.

[SEIZURE WARNING: intense flashing lights ahead]

Remembering this set fondly, I decided to do a sunset manicure inspired by the song. Luckily for klutzes like me, this is a very simple look: all you need are three shades of polish and a makeup sponge.

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Novels and Nail Art: Inspired by Tao Lin’s Taipei

taipei by tao lin
Did I mention I like sparkly things?

Last week I finished Taipei, the new novel by Tao Lin. It’s not exactly an enjoyable read, but I think it’s the best fictional representation I’ve ever seen of life right now, in 2013. The novel is filled with drugged-out wandering around cities, desperate Facebook stalking, and house parties where no one seems to like each other. The prose is bleak yet hypnotic, and though the characters are cut off from their emotion, I found the novel deeply affecting.

I decided to do some simple nail art inspired by the gorgeous cover. To get this look, I applied two coats of Sinful Colors in Secret Admirer. I usually shy away from blacks, but what I liked about this shade was that it was filled with silver microglitter, so it’s more wearable than pure black. You can check out nice swatches of that shade on its own here. To get the holographic effect of Taipei’s cover, I added two coats of China Glaze’s Fairy Dust. It has a mix of fine prismatic glitter that looks great over dark manicures without overwhelming the base. It’s a very subtle look indoors, but like the book, it has a gorgeous rainbow effect in sunlight.

Easy DIY Nail Art: Galaxy Nails Tutorial

And Earth is just a tinny speck of glitter.
And Earth is just a tinny speck of glitter.

I’ve always been a fan of galaxy nails, but I was worried it would be too complicated. I have pretty terrible fine motor skills, which is one reason I’m drawn to nail art – I like the challenge. Luckily, this nail art is much easier than it first appears. The only special tool you’ll need is a makeup sponge, which you likely already have in your cosmetics kit. If not you can get a dozen for a $1 or so at your local drugstore.

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New Years Nails: Blue with Silver Glitter Half Moons

Party Ready
Party Ready

I wanted to try a new look for New Years. To me, new years style means, dark shades and glitter glitter glitter. But because I usually wear an all-over glitter shade, I wanted something a little more detailed and special. I decided to adapt the Beauty Department’s New Years Nails article with some of my own style.

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