Channel your inner Katniss with this Mockingjay mani

Nov 20, 2014 at 7:45 a.m. ET

Mockingjay Part 1 finally hits theaters on Friday! I'm rocking my very own mockingjay manicure this weekend when I go see the film, and you can too with this easy-to-follow nail tutorial.

Preparation is crucial for good designs, so for our Hunger Games nails we will need to start with a strong base of white and black.


  1. Apply a base coat to protect your nails.
  2. Apply 2 layers of black nail polish on your preferred accent nail. I went with the middle.
  3. Next, apply 2 layers of white nail polish on all your other nails to create a base for ombre nails.
  4. Apply 1 layer of fast-dry top coat to make the surface flat for easier painting.
  5. Let all these layers dry completely before you move on.

Now, let's start the real design.

Eye-catching fire



1. Apply DIY peel-off base coat around your nail to make the cleaning job easier after you're done with the ombre. You can easily make a peel-off base yourself using Elmer's glue and water in a clean empty nail polish bottle. Fill the bottle 3/4 with Elmer's glue and 1/4 with water and shake it up. Wait until peel-off base is dry on the cuticles if you decide to use this method.

Instead of using peel-off base you can also wrap your finger using masking or Scotch tape.

2. Apply yellow, orange and pink nail polishes on a latex-free makeup sponge, overlaying colors, in 3 stripes. Use fresh or thinned nail polishes for optimal results. Apply several layers so the polish absorbs into the sponge.

3. Take the wet sponge and push it onto your nail. After you first push the sponge onto your nail you will already see that color transferred to your nails, but it doesn't quite yet look like an ombre effect and colors will be separated. Start lightly dabbing sponge up and down your nail to create the ombre effect. If your colors aren't bright enough, let ombre dry and repeat this step again.

4. After you are satisfied with your ombre, remove the peel-off base, apply top coat and let it dry completely.

5. Drop some black nail polish onto a plastic bag and use a small brush to create drips as seen above. You'll start to form fire tendrils.

Never fear if you touch your cuticles with black polish while painting; take a flat brush, dip it in acetone or non-acetone nail polish remover and clean your skin.

6. Let the design completely dry and apply top coat. Try to apply the top coat with one brush stroke so you don't smear the design.

Now we'll move on to the accent nail.

Glittering Mockingjay



1. Drop some white nail polish onto a plastic bag. Using a small detail brush, start creating the shape of the mockingjay logo on your nail. Use the book cover or pull a picture of the logo up on your phone for reference. You can always use a small brush dipped in acetone if you need to clean up any accidents while painting. White nail polish will create a good base for another color on top to have brighter colors.

2. Let the white nail polish dry completely and then drop some gold nail polish onto your plastic bag and, using same detail brush, fill in the white bird.

3. Let your design completely dry and apply a thick layer of fast-drying top coat. Apply top coat in one stroke to not smear design.