Flaming Manicure

Not too long ago, I played the opera Die Walküre by Richard Wagner, the 2nd of 4 [very long] operas that make up Wagner’s Ring cycle. Everyone was expecting some appropriate nail art from me, so I chose to do a fire design based on the last scene of the opera. It’s the only place where I had to play the piccolo in my part, so it just made sense to me.

Because it’s a fiery scene, I started by painting my nails with a red based black polish called chelsea from nails inc. It’s perfectly opaque in 2 coats, although you can see more of a red tint if you only use one coat.


I had an idea to keep the background matte while making the flames glossy, so I applied a matte top coat from Sephora by OPI as my next step.


The flames were hand painted with craft smart acrylic paints. I used a striping brush and started painting with a mix of black and red for depth, wiggling the brush from the cuticle area up to create tendrils. I then used blends of red and orange and orange and yellow to fill in the space using the same technique. It’s not a hard brush stroke to master, but it does take time complete all your nails.


This freehand design has come a long way from my drag marble fire nails from awhile ago!


After trying to experiment with glossy top coat over the flames, I ended up just applying more matte top coat to my nails. I couldn’t get a satisfactory look the other way without it getting too labor intensive, plus acrylic paint naturally has a matte look.


Total Gesampkunstwerk moment: playing the magic protective fire music for the last scene of Die Walküre with fire on my fingers, burning it up on the piccolo with the sheet music for the scene in the background.

I was pretty happy with how this manicure turned out, and it’s going to be a shame to erase my hard work, so I’ve been lazier than usual about painting my nails again. I’m going to be experimenting with fake nails in the next few posts, so if things look a little weird, that’s the reason why!

Happy polishing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s