After re-reading the Hunger Games in the last couple of days, I was reminded that Katniss herself had her nails done for the interview directly preceding the beginning of the Games. In the book, Katniss says Cinna's team decorates her by "painting flame designs on [her] twenty perfect nails." So of course, I had to do a flame design.
For a background, I used Orly Iron Butterfly. I wanted it to look a bit like smoke and ashes as well as being representative of District 12's coal industry. It's an easy one-coater matte black with silver shimmer, and it resembles China Glaze Stone Cold from the Colors from the Capitol collection.
I wanted a flame design but I wanted it to look a little more natural than the typical hot rod flames. So I opted to paint the flames right over the charcoal instead of using a more opaque base. I started by freehanding the flame design in China Glaze Riveting, a red-orange glass fleck. At first I'd planned the flames coming up my nails from the tip, but decided since Katniss was the girl on fire, the flames should be coming from her nails instead.
After doing all the red, I used Zoya Tanzy to fill in all the flames, leaving a bit of a red outline around the edges. I went over it twice to make it a little more opaque.
Lastly, I added some Milani Gold Glitz to the base of each flame (at the cuticle), to make it fully opaque and add a little bit of extra sparkle. It also toned down the fire to a bronzey-gold. Again, I didn't want bright hot rod flames, but more natural coppery flames.
I tried so many "versions" of flames (including the "hot rod type" which were made by painting black over the flames instead of the flames on the charcoal), but these actually came out exactly how I wanted them to. I had a heck of a time trying to get pictures of these in natural light because the glare wanted to wipe out the flame shapes.
I won't lie, these were NOT easy, and it took a LONG time. But the result made it all worth it to me. I feel like the Girl on Fire.