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."
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Three shimmering, dual-color looks, including one I like to call "Soft Jazz Goth Diva."

Everyone knows that the best part of watching The Hunger Games 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 EB.

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?

I’m baffled as to whether the name Glosstini is suppose to refer to its small statue or possibly some shiny cocktail

I’m baffled as to whether the name Glosstini is supposed to refer to its small statue or possibly some shiny cocktail.

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.

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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 adhesive.


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!

McDonalds chic

McDonalds chic.


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 nails. 

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 jazz. 

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.

Christmas or strawberry or watermelon, a look for all seasons!

Christmas, or strawberry or watermelon, a look for all seasons!


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. 

The 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.

If you don’t double coat the tips, that’s cool, you don’t really have to

If you don’t double coat the tips, that’s cool, you don’t really have to.

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?