Three holiday nail art looks I did with Tenten Haute Affair nail polishes

Before I got into makeup and skincare, my first foray into beauty was actually nail polish. I grew up accompanying my mom to her weekly manicure appointments, and one of my first beauty purchases was an iridescent blue-purple polish. These days, I don’t wear polish as much as I’d like because it seems impractical with all the household chores I do, but when Thai brand Tenten sent over their limited edition holiday collection, I just could not resist playing around and giving myself an extra special mani!

The Tenten Haute Affair Collection (P700 for the 4-piece set) includes four jewel-toned shades that exude glam and sophistication. The shades are: Naughty or Nice (ox blood red), Green With Envy (emerald green), Midnight Kiss (royal blue), and Snow Angel (silver glitter). These are standout hues that make for party-worthy tips when applied as a solid color, but they look even more stunning when combined together! The formula is very smooth and lies flat against the nail, which makes it easier to do nail art. I also found that a single coat deposited an even coat of pigment - no patchy applications here!

The easiest kind of nail art to do is to play with negative space. Simply apply a clear base coat, then trace the tips with your chosen color. You need a steady hand to apply this cleanly so make sure to rest your hand against a flat stable surface as you draw. I chose to use Naughty or Nice because the minimalist application brings a more modern approach to the usual red manicure. The deep tones look almost black, which is chic and dramatic! Tip: apply your top coat with care as the fresh polish can cause pigment below to bleed.

For a more classic luxe design, try a reverse French manicure. It looks fancy but it’s actually really easy to do! Start by applying and drying a highlight color like Snow Angel, which contains very fine silver sparkles. Make sure to use a smooth formula like this as an uneven application can ruin the look. Once that has set, paint on a contrasting color while maintaining a thin border along the sides to allow the highlight color to peek through. With the combination I used, Green with Envy looks like emerald stones set in silver!

If you have a hard time with freehand drawing, an alternative is to do a half-and-half manicure. Apply your base color, then once that is dry, place a piece of tape over half of the nail before painting the exposed area with a second color. You can dab the tape on your hand to remove the excess stickiness, but make sure to secure the tape application so you end up with a crisp line between the two shades.

Ready for more of a challenge? Doing different freehand designs on each nail breaks the monotony of normal manicures and allows you to get really creative! It’s also a great way to wear different styles if you can’t decide which one to go with. Playing with geometric shapes is a bit easier since you can use the tape method to create painting guides but make sure to apply layers very thinly so they dry faster and don’t create an uneven texture. Midnight Kiss was good to use for this since it’s very pigmented and you can get good color in just a single layer of application.

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I prepped my nails with the Tenten Base Coat B89 (P120) and sealed them in with the Tenten Top Coat (P120) but apart from those, I didn’t use any fancy tools to create these nail art designs. I purchased some fine-tip synthetic brushes (about P30 each from National Bookstore) but ended up not using them since there are no intricate details. I also had my favorite Tenten Magic Nail Polish Remover (P350) on hand to make cleaning up in between looks easier - all you need to do is to place your finger into the bottle and lightly brush your nail against the plastic bristles to remove all traces of polish. It smells pleasantly of watermelon, too!

I found the polishes to be quite chip-resistant and they lasted 5 days before any damage became noticeable. To prolong their lifespan, make sure to use protective gloves whenever possible (when washing dishes and doing laundry) and to reapply the top coat every 2days.

The inside of the Tenten Magic Nail Polish Remover

The inside of the Tenten Magic Nail Polish Remover

The Haute Affair Collection has beautiful colors that are more daring than what I’d usually pick for myself but they make such great statement pieces for any polish collection. You can only buy these shades as part of the set but it’s actually a steal since the collection is valued at P800! Like all Tenten polishes, these are 5-Free formulas and do not contain Formaldehyde, Toulene, DBP, Formaldehyde Resin, or Camphor so they’re safe even for pregnant women. The set is available on the Nippon Esthetic website.

Have you ever tried doing your own nail art before? Which of these designs would you want to recreate for the holiday parties you’ll be attending?