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grammy awards 2012: red carpet inspired nail art

February 13, 2012

While color was hard to find on the Grammy Awards red carpet last night, perhaps due in part to the somber tone following Whitney’s death just one day prior, there were still some striking looks.

In a follow-up to last month’s Golden Globes nail art post, I put together five nail designs inspired by the ladies of the Grammy red carpet.

First up, a look inspired by Malin Akerman in a Cushnie et Ochs sheath, and Gabrielle Union, who wore a white cut-out dress to a pre-Grammy party.

I began by applying two pieces of Scotch tape to the sides of my bare nail, creating small covered triangles.

I then painted over the tape with Sally Hansen xTreme Wear in White On and carefully removed the tape to reveal the pattern. Using Scotch tape on bare nails is so much easier than applying it over polish!

After waiting for the white polish to dry, I added a clear top coat for shine. The combination of bare nail and bright white polish feels fresh and modern.

You can always count on Katy Perry to bring a pop of color to an event. She showed up in a pale blue Elie Saab gown with bright blue hair.

For this blue-on-blue mani, I began by painting my nails with Mattese Elite Lapis. This color didn’t give me the soft, muted look I was hoping to achieve, so I decided to go matte. With two coats of Essie Matte About You, I transformed the glossy blue into a softer matte color.

left: no top coat, right: matte about you

Inspired by Katy’s bright blue hair, I wanted to add a darker blue tip to my nails. Using the metallic Zoya Noel, I carefully painted a line across the tip of each nail. I find it easier to control my line if I make several tiny vertical lines rather than one long horizontal swoop of color across the tip. I love how the glittery tips stand out on top of the matte base.

Next up is the lovely Kelly Osbourne, who arrived in a sparkly dress by Tony Ward. I love the monochromatic grey look, and I think her hair color is so striking.

For this glittery look, I began with two coats of Zoya Dove, a pale grey cream. I applied a good top coat (Cult Nails Wicked Fast) and let my nails dry for about half an hour.

I then put a piece of Scotch tape diagonally down my nail, sectioning off the bottom right portion of the nail. You can read more about my Scotch tape nail art technique here.

I painted over the exposed area with Cult Nails My Kind of Cool Aid, a “gravender” polish with a bit of shimmer. I then carefully removed the tape to reveal the diagonal stripe. If you don’t want to use tape, you could certainly paint this on freehand.

I didn’t feel like waiting for the polish to dry well enough to use more Scotch tape, so I decided to paint on the glitter stripe by hand. Patience…I’m working on it.

I used Mattese Elite Seduction which packs a glittery, holographic punch. I love this stuff. Leaving a stripe of the darker grey polish exposed, I filled in the right side of my nail with Seduction by dabbing with a small eyeliner brush.

After my nails were fully dry, I added a good topcoat to seal everything together.

Holographic glitter...ahh.

Oh, Nicki Minaj. Not only did she bring color to the red carpet…she also brought a man dressed like the Pope. (?)

For my Nicki-inspired look, I painted my nails with Essie Silken Cord, a bright, saturated red. I then dipped the corner of a small eyeliner brush into a tiny amount of OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees, creating a circle of tiny  dots around each nail.

It’s a simple look, but it’s probably just about all us mere mortals can pull off from Nicki’s nutty ensemble.

Finally, we have Alicia Keys, who is always a class act. She arrived in an architectural gown by Alexandre Vauthier.

For this Alicia look, I began by painting my nails with OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees. For some reason I don’t have a solid black polish right now, so I used this dark grey.

After letting that dry, I dipped an angled eyeliner brush in metallic gold China Glaze Passion. I painted a small ‘V’ onto each nail, and then filled in the triangle with gold polish. You could certainly use tape here to achieve perfectly straight lines, but the shape of the eyeliner brush made this fairly easy to freehand.

Let the gold polish dry so it doesn’t smear into the black, and then finish with a top coat. Voila!

That’s it for this edition of red carpet nails!

What was your favorite look at the Grammys this year? Let me know in the comments!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2012 11:02 AM

    Love these looks! The real question is … were you up all night??!

  2. February 13, 2012 12:28 PM

    Fantastic Grammy inspired nail art, great interpretations Anna :)

  3. shayan permalink
    February 13, 2012 1:38 PM

    i am obsessed with ALL OF THESE!

  4. February 13, 2012 7:20 PM

    These are so great!

  5. February 14, 2012 1:30 AM

    i love this post!!!! really!!!! 5 ideas packed in one post! woo hoo!
    the white one is my favorite!

    http://thelairweddings.wordpress.com

  6. Angela permalink
    February 14, 2012 7:30 AM

    These are fantastic Anna! I like the glittery grey!

  7. Rochelle permalink
    February 21, 2012 4:47 PM

    Wow!!! These are amazing!! I have tried a tape mani once and loved it – this gives me great ideas for more combo!!!

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