Trend Alert: Velvet Nails

When I think of velvet, I’m brought back to my five-year-old self, with my black velvet Christmas shoes complete with shiny red and gold poinsettia embroidery. Today, at 22, I sport the fabric in a more sophisticated manner, with a sharp black velvet blazer I picked up from Zara a few years back. Even though velvet was a huge trend on the Fall 2012 runways, I have yet to experiment with dresses, coats, shoes, or trousers made from this luxe fabric.

Flash forward to last week, when I was perusing one of my favorite beauty blogs, The Beauty Department, and I came across this new trend in nail art (soon to be my next weekend project) – velvet nails!

It looks like I just discovered how I’ll be rocking velvet this winter. This step-by-step tutorial from The Beauty Department shows you how to achieve a fuzzy, textured manicure, topped with metallic “studs.” I love the addition of the studs to make this festive nail art stand out even more. TBD has a cool mechanical pencil trick to perfectly place those tiny dots.

There are two polish options when deciding how to go about tackling this trend – actual velvet nail polish, or the more low-budget (yes, please), DIY option of flocking powder (I know, I hadn’t heard of it either – we’ll get to that in a moment).

As it turns out, British nail varnish brand Ciaté has been producing velvet polishes for a while now. Their velvet manicure set includes crushed velvet powder in the same hue as the polish, and it comes with a tiny brush and tray, as to prevent a crushed-velvet mess on your bathroom counter (pretty sure that’s going to happen anyway).

Ciaté Velvet Manicure in Berry Poncho, $19, Sephora

The cheaper, possibly more adventurous option, is to use flocking powder. Naturally, this begs the question, “What exactly is flocking powder?” Seriously, what is this stuff? Well, according Yahoo Answers, “It’s pulverized wool or felt used to create texture on paper, cloth, metal and other materials.” It’s generally used for rubber-stamping (that’s a thing?) and scrapbooking and is sold at craft stores. You can also buy it on eBay. The flocking powder serves as an alternative to “crushed velvet,” and it’s a lot cheaper than the manicure set above (only $6 for 12 different colors!). Since you’re buying the powder on its own, keep in mind that you’ll have to match it to a polish color with a similar hue.

[image credits: the beauty department, sephora & ebay]

Cameron Jacoby

Cameron is originally from Jacksonville, Florida and studied Economics at Washington University in St. Louis. She now lives in San Francisco, where she does social media and blogging for startup companies. She loves fashion, art, and animals.

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