August 17th, 2012

Sorority Manicures

Totally Greeking out this week, friends. If you enjoy nail polish and were in a sorority – or think they’re interesting – you’ll probably like this post.

You may know that I worked at my sorority NHQ for two years after graduating college. It wasn’t a great fit for me, but it got me to Indy, where I met Big Daddy, and the rest is history!

I worked a lot with the NPC (National Panhellenic Conference- the group all 26 national sororities belong to) and was so fascinated by all of them. I loved visiting other headquarter buildings, and I was obsessed with a picture that the NPC made of all 26 badges (aka those shiny pins) on one page. I would try to figure out where my friends or I would land if we went to another school. And I loved looking at other sorority logos, symbols, and colors.

I was totally that girl in college; the one obsessed with her sorority colors. Sigma Kappa’s colors are Maroon and Lavender, which somehow translated to pink and purple for us. Bid day was at the end of January at my school, so it aligned perfectly with Valentine’s Day merchandise. One of the best things I did in Sig Kap colors was a delicious pink and purple checkerboard cake for my final bid day at Elon.


I told you… we took it seriously. I was also T-shirt chair so don’t even try to talk to me about that crap, I will own you. T-shirts were my life.

Because I have such an apocalypse-stockpile-situation in regards to nail polish, I began thinking… why not do a Panhellenic mani? I’ve often thought about doing Sigma Kappa themed nails but never have. But why leave you guys out? I know from my tweets yesterday that many of you are sorority members. So here ya go: manicure inspiration, based on your chapter!

(I got the logos from the member organizations, and of course those belong to that organization, which is linked when you click each picture. I am listing them in the order that they joined the National Panhellenic Conference [dork, I know.] The nail polishes are linked to their brand website, or Amazon if they are discontinued by still available on some sites. A few I could not find to purchase online so they are not linked.)

Revlon Vixen, Sonia Kashuk Blank Slate, Essie Set in Stones

Pi Phi, the sorority my TWINNNNNNER is in! Blank Slate looks much bluer in person than in the photo… trust me. Vixen is actually darker too. Darn you, flash. I thought Set in Stones would really look classy and fun with these colors.

Julep Daisy, L’Oreal Paris Mystery, Anise Sun Soaker

Theta has a gorgeous NHQ and I love their logo. Mystery isn’t actually black, but I don’t own black- eek! Sun Soaker is very sheer and would make Daisy even golder when layered. Maybe Mystery in a half-moon along the cuticle? LOVE.

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pacific Blue, Spoiled Pet My Peacock, Sephora by OPI Havana Dreams

Kappa- Vic this is for you (my coworker from before I moved… we brought the sorority world to work daily.) Pet My Peacock is made up of awesome multi-blue colors so it would be very Kappa. Vic, please fly here and I’ll give this manicure.

Sonia Kashuk Smoke and Mirrors, Revlon Scented Mon Cherry

Our receptionist position when I worked at NHQ was often held by Alpha Phi members, since we didn’t have a Sigma Kappa chapter in Indianapolis at the time. I loved those girls! Keep it classy with these colors but if you could freehand some ivy on accent nails it would look even more awesome.

Sephora by OPI Traffic-Stopper Copper, Julep Melanie, Orly Gilded Coral

I love DG’s colors!!!! How perfect are these nail polishes for the sorority’s official colors? Using the Traffic-Stopper Copper as the bronze would be perfect with both other metallic colors.

Essie Chocolate Cakes, Sally Hansen Gem Crush Big Money, Essie Case Study

Anyone else not know that “mode” was a color? LOL. I often hear G Phi B’s making jokes about it as well. They have adopted pink in a lot of their materials to be less brown-on-brown. I thought it would be great to use the Big Money polish to bring in a hint of pink, since the glitter is gold and pink.

Zoya Gemma, Sally Hansen Crackle Antiqued Gold, Zoya America

EVERYONE knows an A Chi O. At least I feel that way. My sister in law and cousin are both members. I have a ton of dear friends from college who are A Chi O’s. You could do any green or red, but the Antiqued Gold crackle would look really fun and different. If you are even more creative, try freehand drawing a gold lyre on there.

Julep Harley, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Gray by Gray, Confetti Margarita Senorita

Tri Delt, another well-known group with fun colors. Lots of sororities have some variations of blues and yellows/gold. It would look great to do alternating blue and gold, with silver on the ring fingers.

Essie Bikini So Teeny, Old Navy Tip Toe Marine, Julep Sienna

A Xi D was possibly the sorority I preffed (like the finals of rush) with Sigma Kappa, but because I was away from school at the time and couldn’t attend, I don’t remember. Either way, I loved this group of girls. These blues look so fresh but adding intense gold – maybe as a french tip – would liven it up.

Spoiled Pick Your Poison, Ulta Cream of the Crop

I have to admit I love Chi O’s colors and symbols. Owls? Skull and crossbones? Very on trend right now. A great way to wear these would be a neutral-like straw color with red on only ring finger accent nails. I would suggest this for recruitment. I’m still mad we didn’t coordinate nails for recruitment.

Love & Beauty Violet, Julep Alfre

My sorority!! I left NHQ just as they were debuting that new logo. Still mad I didn’t get one of the cute new business cards. I had so many choices- I’ve often thought of doing Revlon Vixen and Zoya Megan together for this very purpose. But I mixed it up and stylized it a bit. I’ll post the picture of what I did with these after I get through all the other sororities.

Spoiled Pick Your Poison, Caboodles Red Glitter Hearts

A O Pi, the other sorority I might have preffed. They also benefitted from the Valentine’s day goodies, especially when you’d see panda valentine things, since pandas are one of their symbols. It would look really cool to do a monochromatic red manicure with this red heart glitter on top.

Spoiled Paying With Platinum, Essie Master Plan, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear The Real Teal

I was always jealous of Zetas because 1) how fun is turquoise? and 2) they’re the only NPC sorority whose Greek letters are the same as english letters. There was no Sigma wooden letter in the Michael’s craft section, but you could find a Z, T, and A. Master Plan looks a lot more grey in real life, and Paying With Platinum is a beautiful grey duochrome that has purple and aqua tones in it.

Zoya America, Revlon Sheer Nude, Essie Navigate Her

One of my first friends in Indy worked for AGD’s headquarters. I learned a lot about her organization- and LOVED that their mascot is a squirrel!!! Another play on the green and red, this would be great with a buff base and red and green polka dots.

Sally Hansen Crackle Snow Blast, Essie Bikini So Teeny, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pacific Blue

When I think of ADPi I always think about how my sorority house roommate’s sister is a member. Yellow or gold isn’t one of their colors, but I bet you could do something REALLY COOL if you have a few of those, and turn an accent nail into a little lion face!

Essie A Cut Above, Color Club Rebel Debutante, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Fuchsia Power

My sister Rosh is a DZ!! At a work conference, I met a DZ consultant and told her my sister would be attending the same University in the fall. She was also from NJ, and said, “then your sister will go DZ.” Go figure! I love the bright fun colors, even just the green with A Cut Above layered over it.

Julep Lily, Revlon Sheer Pearl

Phi Mu is pink, which is another fun color to have! They were pretty much the top chapter at my school, and my first roommate in Indy was a Phi Mu too. Just paint ’em pink… or if you don’t want to go bold, try a shimmery pearl color with a pink iridescence like Sheer Pearl.

Zoya Purity, Essie Navigate Her, Nicole by OPI Mer-Maid For Each Other

I loveeee this combo! I worked with a KD in NYC one summer (she later went on to be Miss Ole Miss!) and if I had known her sorority colors were this cool I would have given her a manicure.

Orly Galaxy Girl, Essie Pure Pearlfection, Ulta Celebutante

Tri Sig has a lot of similarities with Sigma Kappa (the Sigma, similar badges, similar colors) but the feel of the chapters at my college couldn’t have been more different. It was another top house, and their recruitment events were INTENSE! So I decided on some intense purple colors. Galaxy Girl would look great on it’s own, or Celebutante with Pure Pearlfection layered over it.

Color Club Rebel Debutante, Julep Daisy, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Golden-I

I don’t know any Alpha Sigma Tau’s off the top of my head, but it would be fun and very summery to alternate a yellow-gold and green. Maybe add a pure gold accent anchor?

Spoiled Pick Your Poison, Anise Sun Soaker, Zoya Gemma

ASA, again with the red and green. BUT!!! Their symbol is the ladybug. You could do green or gold nails, then paint accent nails red and dot them like ladybugs.

OPI Gargantuan Green Grape, Zoya Purity

I love A E Phi’s green color but I am very jealous of them because THEIR SYMBOL IS A GIRAFFE. It would be great to do a mixed mani, between some of those instant press-on patterned things in giraffe and a fun lighter neon green.

Ulta Cream of the Crop, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Pacific Blue, Julep Sienna

I am LOVING a pale pale yellow with a really vibrant blue to interpret Theta Phi Alpha’s colors. Sienna is a perfectly goldish-silver, and would look great with both or either colors.

Confetti Margarita Senorita, OPI Russian Navy, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Golden-I

I was always fascinated by Phi Sigma Sigma because of their Sphinx symbol. I always wondered what that meant to their founders, as I have been a fan of Egyptian everything since childhood. I love the use of the super deep and gorgeous Russian Navy blue with Golden-I for Phi Sig. I might do this mani for myself anyway!

Ulta Plum Perfect, Orly Rococo A-Go-Go, Sally Hansen Crackle Antiqued Gold

One of my high school best friends is a D Phi E and I found they had a lot in common with Sigma Kappa as well. I just see them as being a little funkier- I think any poppy purple with this Antiqued Gold crackle would be awesome.

Essie Case Study, Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Gray by Gray, Old Navy Tip Toe Marine

Last but not least, SDT. I love these colors together, they’re very mature but still fun. Maybe Case Study with stripes of the blues on it? Or polka dots.

Obviously, there’s more to a sorority than it’s colors. But it’s fun to play around with them in this way!

I decided to go fun and simple for my Sig Kap inspired manicure. Check it out!

Due to the positioning of my hand, you can’t really see the cure. I used circular stickers to tape off the bottom layer and paint the purple metallic. I am going to my first alumnae chapter event on Sunday, so I am excited to debut it around other Sigma Kappas!

Of course this post falls on a Friday to link up with Tara and Vicki‘s Nail Files linkup!

I am dying to hear what you all think! Have you ever done a sorority-themed manicure? Will you? Which sorority would you joined based on colors alone?


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