05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Opal Carew's Holiday Nail Art & Polish Giveaway

by Madelle Morgan

My friend Opal Carew (a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of steamy romance) has beautiful nails. I asked her to share some of her favorite nail design tips for the holidays. Perfect timing, right? She also has participated in A Naughty Little Christmas boxed set, but more about that later.

Opal, what attracted you to nail art?

I’ve always loved nail art, but there used to be such limited choices that I didn’t do too much with it. When I discovered Pinterest a couple of years ago, I saw the beautiful nail art posted and boom, I was hooked. I hadn’t realized how many stunning nail polishes were available!

Now my goal seems to be to own them all! (Lol) I have very little restraint when it comes to nail polish. I won’t tell you how many bottles I own, but I will tell you that my husband bought me special furniture just to house them! Now, really, how could I say no to these cute little faces??? :-D

Do you have any easy tips for creating beautiful holiday nails? Can you recommend some how-to web sites?

The easiest way to create lovely nails for the holiday season is to pick a beautiful nail polish that does the work for you.

There are a lot of elegant topcoats designed to be used over another polish to add a flash of elegance or a bit of glitzy fun. I’ll often layer two or three to achieve a custom look all my own. 

Another thing to do is a French manicure, but with holiday colours, and a bit of glitz!

This design below is the same idea, but I used a light, scattered touch of multi-colored glitter on the tips.

I ran across this guide to help you pick from the glamorous nail polishes available this season: Your Giant Holiday Nail Polish Guide 2013I checked and found I have most of the China Glaze, Cult Nails, and Zoya polishes they have on the list. (Lol) 

If you want to do some nail art, I’ve included some suggestions below.

Santa Suit Nails
These can be as simple as painting your nails red and doing a white tip. You can make the tip fluffy by using a dotting tool to give puffy edges, or use a textured polish. Or why not go velvet? To do that, just add white flocking powder. Check it out here.

Another version I’ve seen is to extend the white up the middle of the nail and add a black belt.  You can even use gold or silver to create a buckle. Cutepolish has a simple video to show how to do these.

Candy Canes
What would the holiday be without candy canes? It’s easy to create a candy cane look by painting your nails with white and red diagonal stripes. Better yet, add some dark green stripes, too. When I look at these, I just want to lick my nails. 

Christmas Trees
For Christmas trees, you can paint a triangle shape on your nail (over whatever background polish you want to use), then decorate the tree by painting it with glitter. In my design below, for the star on top I fished a single star glitter from a bottle of special polish. See the bottle on the right.

Tip: To make the triangle for the tree, you can cut out the shape from a piece of tape and stick it down on your nail, then paint the tree and pull the tape off right away.

If you want to be more adventurous, there are some fabulous videos and blogs that have tutorials. I’ve pinned lots of fun holiday nails on two of my Pinterest boards: Lovely Nails and Nail-mani/how-to. 

Did you incorporate your passion for nail art into any of your books? If so, which ones?

Her heart, her body, her soul--are his to posses.
Yes, but just recently. In His to Possess, my new six part serial novel starting on December 24th, the heroine’s best friend is into nail art. In my own life at the time, my son was considering a university in the UK. It was such a big decision, I suggested he visit the campus to help make up his mind. Well, of course, since he was going to England, I needed him to bring back some nail polish I couldn’t get here. I checked out UK blogs to research polishes and I found one called Leopard Moth that twigged an idea in my head to have a polish with a special meaning in the book. Read the post I found if you’re interested.

My son is coming home for Christmas and I’ve asked him to bring back several bottles so I can use them for giveaways!

I also had a pet idea about having a series based on a woman starting her own indie nail polish company. My editor loved the idea and the first book will come out in October, 2014. It’s about the interesting events that happen when the heroine uses Kickstarter to raise the investment capital for her new venture. One of the books will take place in Las Vegas and there just happens to be a major cosmetic trade show in Las Vegas next summer, so I hope to attend and meet many of the indie nail polish entrepreneurs and bloggers I admire.

You recently became a USA Today and New York Times Bestselling Author. How exciting! Can you tell us which books made the list?

This has been a very exciting fall. I teamed up with several other authors to put together some boxed sets. The Love in Disguise boxed set was released in October, 2013 and hit the USA Today list after two weeks and stayed on the list for two weeks. That was my first time on the list!

Then in November, we released the Unraveled boxed set with all new material. It also hit the USA Today list on the second week. We were all hoping it would hit the New York Times list too and… Woo Hoo! It did! This is a lifetime dream of mine, so I am floating on air!

Also, in mid-November, I took part in A Naughty Little Christmas boxed set, which is doing very well. It hasn’t hit the USA Today list as of this post, but it’s gaining momentum so we have our fingers crossed!

What are your New Year's Resolutions for 2014? 

Rather than New Year’s resolutions, every year I come up with a set of goals for the year.  Some are small and easily accomplished and some are lifetime goals. I don’t put time requirements on myself to achieve them that year, because then I wouldn’t put the big stuff on there. With a goal list, I feel free to include the longer term goals, and focus on them. About four years ago, I added to my list to become a USA Today bestselling author, and to become a New York Times bestselling author. (Yeah, I know I said it was a lifetime goal, but I couldn’t bring myself to put goals that were that big on the list before that!) I didn’t know how long it would take to meet these goals, or even if I ever would, but I never dreamed I’d achieve both in the same year!

One of my goals next year is to get back to publishing three books a year with St. Martin’s Press, and to regularly self-publish stories. I’m on track with that, having just signed a six book deal with St. Martin’s, and by making a rigorous schedule for myself for my other writing. Add in a few more boxed sets and voila… an ambitious, crazy schedule that will keep me hopping, and feed my passion to write, write, write!

What new releases can your readers anticipate?

Three Happy Endings - a $0.99 boxed set of three stories involving handcuffs, hot tubs and honeymoons, will be released December 10, 2013. The above mentioned serial novel His to Possess, will be released over five weeks starting December 24, with the bundle coming out in March, 2014. A second, related book, His to Claim, will follow in June, with the bundle in September. Finally, the next serial comes out in October - I won’t tell you the title (heaven knows if it’ll change along the way) - but it’s the first book about the woman who starts her own indie nail polish company.

I’ll also be part of a biker boxed set in February, and possibly another boxed set in March (if I can find the time!) Both sets will have all new material. In between all these things, I’ll be working on and releasing short stories for three series I have on the go. You can see all the newest releases on my website (Note from Madelle: sign up for Opal's newsletter if you'd like to be informed of Opal's new releases.)

Thank you so much, Opal. Anything else you'd like to add?

Thanks for inviting me to do this interview!  It was fun!  And in the spirit of the season, I will send one lucky commenter a special nail polish. The winner may choose either a bottle of the Leopard Moth nail polish from the UK, or one of the cute snowmen polishes shown earlier. (Note from Madelle: The winner will be announced here in the Comments list on Friday, Dec 13.)

Have a great holiday season, everyone!


About Opal:

As a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of steamy contemporary romance, Opal Carew writes about passion, love, and taking risks. Her heroines follow their hearts and push past the fear that stops them from realizing their dreams… to the excitement and love of happily-ever-after.

You can find Opal on-line at:


Mindy Hardwick said...

What a great, creative blog post. I have always loved to paint my nails but I had no idea of the many ways to be creative with it! I would love to win a bottle of the polish!

Shobhan Bantwal said...

What a nice and unusual post, Madelle! And such lovely and creative nail designs!

Judith Ashley said...

It's great to have you visit with us via Madelle, Opal. My goodness, do you ever sleep?
Do you have an idea of why boxed sets are so popular right now? And are they mainly made up of short stories or novellas?

And I'd love to win a fantastic bottle of nail polish.

Thanks, Madelle - a great interview! Love the pictures and links too.

Opal Carew said...

Mindy, good luck winning the polish. It's such fun to receive a bottle of nail polish in the mail!

Opal Carew said...

Shobhan, I'm glad you enjoyed the nail designs!

Opal Carew said...

Judith, actually sometimes I forget to! lol

The boxed sets are really popular because they allow a reader to sample many different authors' work at a really attractive price. Usually the sets come out at .99, which is crazy cheap.

For the authors, it's a chance to broaden their audience. This happens two ways: 1)by being exposed to the other authors' readership and 2) as a result of the increased reach because of the power of so many authors promoting the work.

It's a win-win for everyone!

The boxed sets are sometimes full length books, sometimes novellas. Sometimes they're back list books the authors are packaging together and sometimes they are new material.

When buying a boxed set, just check the product description. Bottom line, at .99 even if you've read some of the books before, you're still getting a great deal!

Tami McTaggart said...

So awesome! Congrats on the bestselling awards :)

Opal Carew said...

Thanks, Tami!

DebbieW said...

I loved this posting Opal.
I've been a fan of your work for a long time and this was just fun and so girly.
Manis and pedis nothing like them.
I would love to win new polish especially from you!
Continued success to you!

Opal Carew said...

Thanks, Debbie! So nice of you to say!

Good luck in the draw!

Robin Kramme said...

What a fun blog post to read on this site. Different yet so linked to creativity. I must say I think my typing picks up speed when my finger tips are "dressed up"!! Putting my name in to win if the holiday spirit happens to head my way. Congrats on all the well deserved awards and for sharing your goals.

Opal Carew said...

I love glittery nails when I'm typing! Good luck, Robin.

Madelle Morgan said...

I drew for the winner of the nail polish, and Mindy won!

Opal will be sending lucky Mindy a bottle of nail polish.

Happy holidays, everyone!