In honor of Read Across America Day this past week, I decided to return to my childhood and paint a couple of children’s book cover-inspired manicures! If you’re not a teacher or don’t have children in elementary school, you might not be familiar with this little holiday, so here’s the gist. March 2nd celebrates Dr. Seuss’s birthday, so kids dress up as the Cat in the Hat and all that jazz. It also happens to take place the day before World Book Day, which worked out well!
Last year, I joined up with Julep to create a Dr. Seuss manicure for Read Across America Day. This year, the wonderful folks at Albert Whitman sent me some adorable picture books, which were perfect to create a series of children’s book cover nail art. So join me on a trip back in time to all of our childhoods!
I’ve always loved Hop on Pop! It’s one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books, so I decided to take the bright colors and minimal cover art, and use them as color block nail art inspiration! I played with the idea of the green grass across the tips of my nails, and did fun geometric shapes in orange, like the text across the top.
This book is too sweet! The illustrations are so lovely, and I really enjoyed the pastel pink and blue color palette. It made for a very nice minimalist manicure, which allowed me to focus on creating detailed recreations of the center imagery!
This one was really fun for me. I did a little mix of the prior two approaches – some literal and some inspired. For Rapunzel’s pink dress, I used the triangular shape it creates as a geometric accent nail. For the rest of the manicure, I played up the TONS of flowers on the cover, and included a little reference to her long, blonde hair on my pinkie.
Is there a children’s book you’d like me to do in the future? Let me know! Happy Reading!
Who doesn’t love a great author that pens a side series under a pseudonym? I definitely do! That’s why after reading (and LOVING!) Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson, I needed to grab all her other books, including this series that she wrote as Katie Finn. Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend is a cute, contemporary YA romance that has a ton of sass! I will say that a lot of the conflict in this book was hard for me to believe, and I was about to lose hope on reading further into the series until I got to the end. I’m not sure if I’m really bad at predicting what happens in books, or if this twist was just very well executed, but solely based on the final chapter of this book, I will be reading the sequel!
I’m sure you all know that I do a lot book buying based on covers and what inspires me, so I will admit that the fact this book is pink was a HUGE reason I purchased it. I don’t have many pink books, so to beef up my rainbow bookshelf, I had to add this novel to my collection!
Now let’s jump into my minimalist cover-inspired mani!
There are really only three colors on this book cover: pink, red and white. That made things super easy, as the past few cover-inspired manicures I’ve done had a TON of different colors! I used Alpine Snow & Guy Meets Gal-Veston by OPI and Hubris & Ravenous by wHet Nails.
Since I really wasn’t inspired by the white text on the cover, this mani turned out to be both really simple and very minimalistic. I started with a dotting tool and the wHet Nails darker red for the lollipop and broken pieces. I then used my thin striping brush to paint out the white stick. Once that was dry, I used the jelly OPI red to get the candy-like sheer look that let the white stick show through. A final dot of pink to get the lollipop’s broken detail, and it’s complete!
Have you read any of the books in this series? What did you think of them? Happy Reading!
I am head over heels in love with the Puffin in Bloom collection, and have been since I originally began noticing them during my frequent visits to Barnes & Noble. Rifle Paper Co. creates stunning everything, so it’s no surprise that this collab between them and Puffin Classics was executed so perfectly!
On Black Friday, I finally made the leap and bought the box set (which comes with the most adorable matching bookmark). The covers are floral and feminine and SO inspriring, so what did I do? Painted 4 different manicures, of course!
I used a WHOLE bunch of colors, so it would be pretty impossible to name all of them. My usual favorites – Julep, OPI and Nail Inc. – definitely made an appearance.
Without further ado, here are my cover-inspired manicures that quickly rose to the top of my favorite list!
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
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Do you have a favorite classics edition? Happy Reading!
Rainbow Rowell is a contemporary lit goddess! I probably say this more often than I would like to admit, but we love RR around here… case & point my Landline and Attachments cover-inspired manis!
Fangirl was my first Rainbow Rowell book, and has been one of my favorite contemporaries since that moment. What is there not to love about cute boys, nerdy girls, fan fiction and a Harry Potter inspired book within a book (side note – who is STOKED for Carry On??)! So when I found out about the new special edition versions, I seriously had to talk myself out of buying all THREE. I settled on the salmon cover from Target, and I’m very pleased!
Now comes the fun part!
I put a ton of pressure on myself not to mess these guys up because I’m so in love with both the story and the covers. That’s probably what took me so long to actually do them after reading the book – but now I’m ready. Let’s start with the original!
Mint and Fangirl – you can’t have one without the other. I don’t think I can count the number of times I’ve taken a pic for Instagram of mint/pastel/rainbow books and Fangirl is ALWAYS in there!
To get the iconic minty color, I used two coats Essie Fashion Playground. A couple of details that stood out to me on this cover were the thought and speech bubbles, as well as the adorable Levi illustration. I played with minimalist versions of the bubbles and plaid pattern of his shirt for the accent nail.
When I first sat down to paint this mani, I had trouble finding the perfect way to interpret the cover differently than the previous design. I didn’t want to take the easy route of same design, different colors. And it’s actually really funny the random places inspiration hits. I was walking out of Ulta after buying the teal I needed for the cover and BOOM, I knew what I wanted to do! Color blocked stripes that are inspired by the block letters of the title.
I got the perfect salmon with two coats of Julep Alicia, and painted a diagonal color block accent nail with China Glaze Turned Up Turquoise and Zoya Selene. From the start, I’ve never been into actual people on my nails, but Cath and Levi are highlighted so much more on the special edition cover. To pull from them, I painted Cath’s top knot and a heart on my middle finger using the Julep Plie Wand, which is seriously a lifesaver when it comes to painting detail!
Do you buy collector editions of your favorite books? Happy Reading!
If you are a YA fan and haven’t heard of All the Bright Places yet, I would bet my entire library of young adult fiction (probably valued at some absurdly high amount) that you’re living under a rock! As one of the most highly anticipated books of 2015, it definitely didn’t disappoint. This gem of a novel follows the story of a boy named Finch and a girl named Violet. It’s an incredible journey of self discovery, love and loss, and it’s hard to accurately express the beauty Jennifer Niven was able to craft through written word.
Jennifer tackles some really heavy topics in this novel, but does very well not to romanticize or make light of them. I think this comes from her ability to (unfortunately) relate well to the subject matter and speak very honestly about the topic of suicide and survivors of suicide. On the real, I spent the last 50 pages bawling like a baby with my winged liquid eyeliner running down my splochy face. But I wouldn’t have it any other way! All I can say is thank you Jennifer for creating a book that will stay with me long after I put it down.
Now let’s talk mani!
I am stoked on life to share this manicure with all of you! It is absolutely one of my favorites (and one of my best, if I do say so myself), and I had the pleasure to show it to Jennifer herself at the Pasadena Loves YA festival last week! I’m inspired by a lot of covers, but there was something so pretty about this one. I didn’t want to paint it, I NEEDED to paint it.
I started off with two coats of my fav light blue polish, Essie’s Find Me An Oasis, except on my ring finger, which I used Mint’s grey Fancy. My intention with that (because the colors are so similar) was so that I could use the blue as one of the Post-its on my ring finger. Throw on a quick coat of Seche Vite, and we’re good to start with the details!
I think we should start with the squares, or Post-its, from the cover. I took a bit of artistic liberty and cut the 8 squares down to 6, because in reality my nails aren’t THAT long! I grabbed some thin nail tape and worked out the grid. To get the colors just right, I had to add a bit of white to the Ciate polish to tone it down. From there, I used the Julep Plie Wand to fill in each space, and voila! You’ve got yourself some Post-it notes.
When it came to the violet, I just crossed my fingers and hoped it would come out. And what do you know, it actually looks like the violet on the book! I took the Julep Plie Wand and sketched out the general shape and then filled it in with the purple, black and yellow details. I had fun challenging myself to paint something freehand, a lot like the desk chair from my Attachments mani. It’s with these types of manicures that I find my passion most rewarding!
Have you read All the Bright Places? Tell me what you thought! Happy Reading!
If it wasn’t clear from my MCM post yesterday, I’ll tell everyone again… I enjoyed Winger very much! It was unique, fun and heartwarming in an immature teenage boy kind of way. I seriously laughed out loud… so loud, in fact, that my roommates made me close the door! And at the same time, it had me crying through the end. I love books that take me on a journey through a whole range of emotions, and Andrew Smith accomplished that with this contemporary YA novel.
This was the book I picked up for National Readathon Day, but I would have finished it just as quickly had it not been the holiday. I knew exactly what I wanted to paint on my nails before I even turned the last page. Manicures that have a clear look in my head always give me the most joy to paint, and ultimately remind me why I started all of this!
So less talk and more polish!
It finally happened friends. For the first time in the history of Novels and Nail Polish, I didn’t have a color I was looking for. I have every shade of blue EXCEPT for navy, and I came to that stark realization when I was furiously looking for the colors to complete this manicure. I had to take a break (and a trip to two different stores) to go out and find Essie’s After School Boy Blazer before painting my nails.
Aside from having the perfect name, After School Boy Blazer was exactly the right color to be the base of this manicure. I think one coat would have been enough, because the second coat made it look almost black. To represent the shirt, the powder blue of Find Me An Oasis took care of the accent nails.
I used red striping tape for the diagonal tie stripes across my three nails. Here’s the deal with that: totally a lazy move and I’ll admit it! On the one hand, they look straight and perfect the first time around, no messing with them or worry they’ll smear with a top coat. On the other hand, even with a clear coat, striping tape starts to peel up just hours after applied. That’s why I normally never use it in place of paint.
Bottom line: need a shortcut? Striping tape. Need a lasting mani, use paint.
For my accent nail, the loose schoolboy tie was a given. I ended up using a dotting tool to paint the thin red lines because all of my brushes are too thick. A tip I’ve come to realize when painting something based on the cover is to draw it out on a piece of paper beforehand, so you have a feel for where you’re going to take the design! If you’re on a contemporary kick like me, don’t miss Winger, that’s for sure! Happy Reading!