Today we're joined by Opal Crew, whose His to Possess will first be out as a 6-part e-serial starting December 24. His to Possess, in which a one-night stand becomes so much more, includes an interesting twist where the hero buys the heroine a specially imported nail polish. Opal herself is just as obsessive about nail polish as her hero is about his heroine, and she's here to talk about that obsession. Thanks, Opal!
I am obsessive. Not just about writing, but in everything I do. One of those obsessions is nail polish.
I just love nail polish. It’s bright and glittery, glamorous and fun!
Let’s face it, life is busy. There are always so many demands on our time. As an author I’m sitting at my keyboard all the time. I love doing many artistic things, but writing is my priority. To fill that craving to work with colors and textures (and shiny, glittery things), I treat my nails like ten little canvases where I work magic.
Okay, maybe magic is an overstatement, but glittery nails flying over the keyboard brighten my day! And, bonus, I can do everything at my desk. I can paint my nails, while I’m thinking about the next scene I’m about to write, let them dry while I research on-line, or soak off five layers of glitter while I type emails. I’m adept at tapping on my keyboard with fingertips wrapped in cotton and tin foil. (Isn’t everyone? I’m doing it now!)
With the holiday season upon us, great holiday manicures can help set the mood. Glamorous nails for seasonal parties, glitz and bright colors that remind us of foil wrap and tinsel, or fun designs of candy canes or Christmas trees.
If you don’t have the patience to do detailed nail art, you can use one of the many beautiful seasonal polishes available. Ruby Pumps from China Glaze is a favorite with its fine glitter that adds subtle sparkle. Green, gold, silver in foil finish, shimmer, gloss, or even a satiny matte finish. Easy peasy. There are some stunning options. Linear holographic polish adds a shimmering rainbow to your nails. Add a specialty topcoat in glitter, or a beautiful flaky and you’ve got a custom look. There are even topcoats with flakes of real 18K gold!
Other options include specialty nail polishes which give a great effect solo. There are glitters, shimmers, pearlescents, crèmes, and mattes. There are leather finishes and sandy textures. Some polishes have glitter right in the mix, sometimes giving a candy sprinkle effect, or a speckled effect, or even a feather effect.
There are polishes that change while you wear them. Duochromes and multichromes shift color as you move. Thermal nails change color with temperature, which means your nail tips, which are away from your body heat, will be a different color from the rest of the nail. (I love that they give you a French manicure look with no work!) There are polishes that change color when exposed to sunlight, or when you add a clear topcoat.
Another way to do something easy but gorgeous is to add gems. A single rhinestone on one nail, or maybe a row of them. You can cover your nails in tiny pearls, a look that Ciaté calls caviar nails, or tiny sequins. There are lots of fun or elegant stickers available to dress up your nails. Even studs! I love using a spiky stud on a black leather nail.
If you want to do some nail art for holiday designs, there are lots of places to get inspiration. I’ve posted a number of holiday manicure designs, many with tutorials, on my Pinterest board “Holiday Nails.”
My favorites are Santa suits, candy canes and Christmas trees. Santa suits can be as simple as painting your nails red and doing a white tip. You can make the tip look fluffy by using a dotting tool to give puffy edges, or use a textured polish. Or you can actually make them fluffy by going with a velvet finish. To do that, just add white flocking powder.
Another version I’ve seen is to extend the white up the middle of the nail and add a black belt. You can even use gold or silver to create a buckle. Cutepolish has a simple video to show how to do these.
It’s easy to create a candy cane look by painting your nails with white and red diagonal stripes. Better yet, add some dark green stripes, too. For Christmas trees, you can paint a triangle shape on your nail then decorate the tree by painting it with glitter or rhinestones.
As I was writing this, a cute design for three dimensional Christmas lights arrived in my inbox which uses teardrop shaped rhinestones for the lights and embroidery thread for the cord.
If you know someone on your gift list who likes nail polish, there are beautiful inexpensive brands that you can buy from the drugstore for $2 to $10. Sinful Colors are great, with beautiful colou choices and finishes. Designer brands like Deborah Lippmann (about $18) and Chanel ($30) will cost more.
Now, if you were to score yourself a billionaire boyfriend and tell him you want some nice nail polish, you might find a bottle of Azature’s Black Nail Lacquer in your stocking. This polish costs $250,000! (Yes, that’s the right number of zeroes.) It’s made with 267 carats of black diamonds and the bottle has a platinum cap studded with... yes, black diamonds. The polish was worn by Kelly Osbourne at the Emmy awards. Those of us who aren’t billionaires, can indulge in the $25 version that contains a single diamond. If you were very good ;-) you might find the new White Diamond Lacquer under the tree. The bottle contains 98 carats of white diamonds with 1,400 individual diamonds set on a platinum cap. And the price tag is $1,000,000!
But do you really want a guy who’s going to spend that much on nail polish? The billionaire in my book, His to Possess, shows his sweetheart that he can show restraint (in the spending department anyway) by buying her an inexpensive, but very special bottle of polish. It’s a drugstore brand, but not from the corner store. He has it shipped in from the U.K.
Okay, so he can be obsessive about pleasing his woman. But that’s not a bad thing!
In His to Possess, the heroine’s best friend is into nail art. At the time I was writing the book, my son was considering a university in the U.K. When he went to England to check it out, I asked him to bring back some nail polish I couldn’t get here. I checked out British blogs to research polishes and I found one called Leopard Moth that twigged an idea in my head to have a polish with a special meaning in the book. Here’s the blog post I found if you’re interested.
Editor's note: Opal is hosting a nail polish sweepstakes on her site! Be sure to check it out.
Learn more about or pre-order a copy of His to Possess, Part 1: The Seduction by Opal Carew, available as an e-book on December 24, 2013:
Want the whole story at once? Learn more about or pre-order a copy of the collected edition of His to Possess, available March 18, 2014:
OPAL CAREW is the author of thirteen erotic romances for St. Martin's including Forbidden Heat, Pleasure Bound, Twin Fantasies and other erotic romance novels. She lives in Canada and makes regular trips to the US to speak at conferences and industry events.