Friday, June 28, 2013

Avatar: The Last Airbender - Inspired Nails

Hello wonderful internet people! I've been slightly bored lately, which led me to rewatch the last season of Avatar: The Last Airbender (I really hope all of you have watched it. It is too beautiful and amazing to not watch. Plus, Zuko may be one of the hottest animated characters in the history of the universe. GO WATCH IT). With the show being in the front of my mind for the past week or so, I decided I wanted to do a tutorial related to it in some way. I planned to do a character on each nail, but after several embarrassing practice drawings of all the other characters, I settled on the most adorable little airbender (and the easiest character to draw), Aang. So... enjoy the tutorial!

Oh yeah, guess who discovered Tumblr. Prepare for an
onslaught of gifs in the coming weeks.

You'll need:
- base coat
- skin-tone polish
- scotch tape
- blue polish
- scissors
- black polish
- dotting tool
- top coat
- glow-in-the-dark top coat (optional)

So in case you didn't listen to my begging you to watch the show, Aang is the avatar in A:TLA, meaning he's the only human on the earth with the ability to manipulate all four elements (water, earth, fire, and air). He was born as an airbender, which is why he has the arrow tattoos. And that's all the details I'll give you- go watch the show to figure out everything else. ;)

Start off with your base coat and paint your nails a pale skin-colored polish.

Maybelline Color Show - Sandstorm

Cut a piece of tape and place it on a smooth surface, such as a CD case, that you'll be able to peel the tape off of later.

Paint a square of blue polish for each arrow. You can do all ten at one time, but I usually paint the main four nails on each hand and then thumbs separately, so I only did four here. You can add your glow-in-the-dark topcoat here or paint it on later. The GITD topcoat is meant to represent Aang's avatar state, so if you have one that glows blue or white, that would be the best, but I only own a green/yellow one, so I had to make due.

Sally Hansen - Blue Me Away

Once your polish is dry, cut out the squares one at a time (I apologize for the random cat hair on the tape - a wild Oscar appeared during this step).

 Cut off two corners of the tape to form the point of the arrow.

Then cut out the sides to complete the shape. 

Place it onto your nail and smooth it out. Then you can use a pair of scissors or a nail clipper to cut off the extra tape at the end. 

Once you've done this for each nail, add a top coat to seal the tape in. Now is another good time to add your GITD top coat (to the arrow only). If yours has a pretty weak glow, you could also add it multiple times during various steps to build up the effect.

Using the black polish and dotting tool, dot on two eyes.

Sally Hansen - Black Heart

Add the glow-in-the-dark to the eyes and add another top coat! After this step, I tested my nails a couple times to see how many layers of GITD I needed and continued to build everything up. I also used a few extra coats of my regular top coat to smooth out the tape more. Depending on how thick the arrows ended up being and how smooth you'd like your nails to be, you can add as many or as few layers of top coat as you'd like.
And then, of course, it's time for final pictures.

Have I ever mentioned my camera hates glow-in-the-dark? Sigh.

(Please tell me it at least resembles this? Maybe?)
And that's about it! I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial. Let me know if there are any A:TLA characters you'd like to see in the future (Appa nail art, anyone?). Now excuse me while I start book 1 of the Legend of Korra again (Come on, book 2 release date, where are you...) - see you all next week! 


  1. WHY DON'T YOU HAVE MORE FOLLOWERS?! This is just wrong! Your blog is great, and I think I might have to try this mani out, I'm quite glad I have naked nails right now :)

    1. Aww, thank you so much for making my day! :) If you try it out you should definitely post a picture on Facebook or email it - I'd love to see your take on it! ^-^


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