Making Waves in a Sea of Nail Polish

The 5th Wave Cover Inspired ManicureLights out, plague, birds. Would you have survived the first 4 waves? NOPE. I definintely wouldn’t have! The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is an intense, Sci-fi YA thriller packed with action and adventure. Of course, since it is a young adult book, you have to throw the love interest and strong familial ties in there too!

I feel like I’ve really been looking for a book like The 5th Wave recently; one that isn’t so much dystopian, but more action/science fiction. I mean, who doesn’t love a good alien takeover? I was intrigued right away, it held onto me the whole time and left me wanting more as soon as I realized I only had a couple more pages left!

I’ve just started The Infinite Sea, so a review of that will be coming later. But once I had both of these books together, my manicure inspiration hit me almost immediately, and I couldn’t wait until I finished the sequel to do it.

One thing I do want to mention before we get into the manicure is that my inspiration for this look really came from the colors of the naked books, as opposed to literal interpretation of the dust jackets! I will talk more about that below, but I wanted to throw it out there first. Now, let’s get to the polish!

Tools I Used // Essie Jiggle Hi Jiggle Low + Ciate Ladylike Luxe + Julep Black Latex
Tools I Used // Essie Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Low + Ciate Ladylike Luxe + Julep Cleopatra

Lining up the two naked books next to each other, you see there’s one main color, black, and two accent colors, silver and gold. Those three colors together ARE MY EVERYTHING! That is what really got the inspiration wheels turning, even before I’d left Barnes & Noble with the book!

I rounded up three trusty colors: Julep’s Black Latex Cleopatra, Essie’s Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Low from their Winter Collection and Ciate’s Ladylike Luxe. Now, Essie describes Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Low as a bold molten gold, but I’m really not sold on that description. It’s definitely silver, possibly with a hint of gold, but not much more than that.

The 5th Wave Cover Inspired Manicure

One of the classiest AND easiest nail art techniques I’ve tried is the Ruffian manicure. It’s a reverse French Manicure that follows the shape of the nail bed. I’d only tried it once before, but I adore the striking look it creates if done with the correct contrasting colors.

To create the Ruffian look, start with your base coat. Try to concentrate the color closer to your cuticles, as you will be covering the rest of the nail with a second color. Once it dries completely, you have two options. The first is using tape or a stencil to create the look, and the second is doing it free hand. I chose to run with it free hand, which speeds up the process because you don’t have to wait for the full dry you need when sticking tape to your nail.

The 5th Wave Cover Inspired Manicure

If you free hand the design, start with a good amount of polish on the brush. Place it where you want to start the second layer, and gradually spread it out from the center of the nail to the edges in one smooth movement. You can always go back in with a smaller brush and touch up any rough edges, but it works best if you can do it all at once.

The 5th Wave Cover Inspired Manicure

In The 5th Wave, one overarching theme that really resonated with me was that of hopelessness. I took that fear of the unknown, as well as the clean lines of the naked covers, and created this manicure. The black represents the fear the aliens have instilled in the human race, and it is covering up the gold and silver, which is their hope for the future. On my accent nail, I drew from Cassie’s strength, which is the reason for the reversed colors, covering the desperation and letting her perseverance shine through.

The 5th Wave Cover Inspired Manicure

Have you done a Ruffian Manicure before? I’d love to hear your techniques! Happy Reading!

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