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oscars 2012: red carpet inspired nail art

February 27, 2012

Last night’s Academy Awards was a classy affair, with a bit of a retro vibe on the red carpet. Though I had to keep my hot pinks and bright blues in the drawer, there were still some fun dresses to use as nail art inspiration. In a follow up to my Golden Globes and Grammy nail art posts, here’s my take on the 2012 Oscars…

Angelina Jolie

Angelina was stunning as always in a Versace gown with a dangerously high slit up her thigh. (You can now follow her right leg on Twitter here if you’d like.) She topped her all-black dress with a classic red lip.

Starting with bare nails, I used two pieces of Scotch tape to section off the bottom part of my nail to match Angie’s neckline.

I used OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees, an almost-black grey polish, to fill in the bottom portion of my taped-off nails.

I considered filling the top portion in with a light nude for a skin-like look, but my nails are a bit busted up from using a lot of nail stickers recently, so I decided I needed some color. I used the regular polish brush to carefully fill in the bare portion with Essie Silken Cord.

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez arrived in a super-sheer, shimmery dress by Zuhair Murad. Most of the red carpet looks were pretty safe this year, so I was glad she had a little fun! Though I hear there was a wardrobe malfunction on stage? I was too busy painting my nails to notice.

I began with a thin coat of Cult Nails Mazo, a barely-there shimmery nude. I followed that with a layer of fast-dry top coat and let my nails dry completely.

I then cut very thin strips of Scotch tape and placed them across my nail as you see below.

I painted over the tape with a bright white – Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White On. While the polish was still wet, I carefully removed the tape.

After letting the polish dry completely, I covered it with another thin layer of Cult Nails Mazo for extra shimmer.

The stripes on J. Lo’s dress spiral out in different directions, so on subsequent nails, I switched up the placement of the tape strips to create different designs. I want to recreate this with bright summer neons in a few months…

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams was definitely the style standout for me last night in coral Louis Vuitton. Though as long as she keeps bringing Busy Phillips as her date, I’ll keep thinking of her solely as Jen from Dawson’s Creek.

I started with a fairly thick coat of Essie Tart Deco, a pale coral creme. While the polish was still wet, I added a thick layer of the darker Essie Meet Me at Sunset. I mixed the two around as I painted to get a slightly non-uniform look.

To recreate the cute little bow on Michelle’s dress, I used a pointy Q-tip to dot on a bow-like shape with the brand new glittery Arsenic from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (stay tuned for a full review of the new OCC collection later this week).

Shailene Woodley

I was surprised by Shailene Woodley from The Descendants’ conservative Valentino dress, but it was refreshing to see a young star a bit more covered up on the carpet!

It’s time consuming, but I carefully took one piece of glitter at a time from OPI for Sephora Traffic Stopper Copper, a chunky copper glitter in a clear base. I used pointed Q-tips which you can find in most drugstores – I think they’re made for eye makeup application. A regular rounded one would work just fine, too.

One at a time, I applied the glitter pieces to my white nails (Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear White On), adding more to each row as I went toward my cuticle. I then applied a clear top coat (Cult Nails Wicked Fast). Simple yet sparkly!

Natalie Portman

Last but not least we have Natalie Portman in vintage polka-dotted Dior.

For my Natalie look, I began by painting my nails with Essie Silken Cord. Using a Q-tip, I made the smallest polka-dots I could manage with OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees. I wanted to add her blingy necklace, so I painted a small V onto my middle finger with Arsenic from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. I’d probably leave this detail off for everyday wear, but for Oscar nail art, why not!

That wraps up awards season this year!

What was your favorite look from the red carpet? Let me know below in the comments!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Steph permalink
    February 27, 2012 9:02 AM

    Wow! These are really impressive, Anna! And I can really see each dress on your nails. Love the OCC glitter, can’t wait to read more.

  2. February 27, 2012 11:05 AM

    Angelina’s dress was stunning but I found her arms a bit disconcerting…

  3. February 27, 2012 11:39 AM

    so much fun! I love the looks you picked and I may just try that Angelina look myself

    • February 27, 2012 11:42 AM

      Thanks, Lianna! I attempted Jessica Chastain after your tweet…but it was a total flop.

  4. February 27, 2012 2:21 PM

    awwwww… I love mani a’la Natalie Portman Dior dress… so cute :D

  5. February 27, 2012 4:02 PM

    i just cant get over how creative this whole idea is. I’m OBSESSED with getting my nails done, and i love how you can do such intricate things so EASILY with just some tape, glitter. etc. in love!

  6. Cassandra permalink
    February 29, 2012 1:04 PM

    Loved Jlo’s dress…and you’re manicure version is cool update of the classic French manicure!

  7. March 8, 2012 2:03 AM

    Such a cool idea!


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