Difficulty rating: Accent nails: 5; Full set: 7
Polish rating: Licorice: A+; White on White: B; Ruby Pumps: B-
Tuxedo nails – and I have two versions for you!
Today’s manicure is Tuxedo nails, per request. The results came in from the poll I took a while back, and you, dear readers, selected Tuxedo nails!
I got some great suggestions for other nail trends to try, and I can see that Galaxy nails were also quite popular. This may be my next big mani trend to tackle! For now, let’s take a look at my attempts to do some tuxedo nails.
For the full set of tuxedo nails, I started with a basecoat of White on White.
White on White is a white creme polish, which I’ve worked with before. It doesn’t have great self-leveling qualities like Licorice does, but I will say that it is the best white nail polish I have come across so far. White polishes are notoriously streaky and fussy to work with. It gets a B, because I am still holding out hope to be blown away.
Once I had let my white polish dry a bit, I went in and did some freehand french tips with my black polish.
I used Licorice for the tips. Licorice is an amazing shade of creme black, that self-levels and is pretty awesome in general, as I have mentioned before.
Using the techniques from these posts, I began dotting on the buttons for the tuxedos. This part seems deceivingly easy, but make sure to angle your hand correctly so that your dots are perfectly in the center – many of my dots ended up not being centered. Also, make sure you leave space for your bow ties. Work quickly to avoid the polish becoming tacky and stringy. I left my ring finger blank, since it will be my accent nail.
Once I was finished dotting my buttons on, I used my bobby-pin (you can also use a dotting tool) to make the center for your bows. Then I used a toothpick to help me draw on my ribbons.
As you can see, some of the bows looked better than others, so my advice for this part of the manicure is to work slowly, and try out making your bows on paper first.
Once I had finished doing my tuxedo nails in black, I started getting to work on my accent nails using the same dotting techniques as before with a red color.
Ruby Pumps is a jelly glitter color that I thought was the red sister to Running in Circles, one of the most vibrant and shiny glitters I’ve ever laid eyes upon. If they are family, Ruby Pumps is either a serious underachiever, or in its angry rebellious teen years. (Ok, so the analogy is getting a little side-tracked, here! Let’s move on!)
I wanted to love this polish, as in the bottle it looks amazing, but it needs three really generous coats to come near being opaque and I feel that Essie’s jelly polish Leading Lady blows this one out of the water. While they’re not exactly the same shade (Leading Lady is darker), they’re close enough that I don’t think you’d need both in a collection.
Speaking of things that I wanted to love… I felt that the whole tuxedo manicure was a little overwhelming on the senses. If I had a party to go to, I might enjoy rocking the full tuxedo mani, but it seemed a bit much for every day. On top of that, if your dots aren’t perfectly centered, and your bows aren’t all amazing (thanks a lot, crummy index finger! ) having them side by side actually highlights the flaws in your manicure. This is why the full set is rated 7. I decided to see if I like the manicure better with two accent nails instead.
I kept a red and a black tuxedo nail, and painted the rest with Licorice. I like this look much more – the tuxedo nails look like a cute and more discreet addition to a manicure. If you’re still a beginner like me, this is a great way to start because you have to be less perfect to get great visual results.
What do you think? Have you tried tuxedo nails before? Do you have any great tips for drawing bows?