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halloween

it may be a little early (or maybe not), but halloween is one of my favorite holidays. to get a jump start on the halloween season, and hopefully get inspired for a costume and decorations, i did my nails in a halloween theme tonight. there were a few different designs i wanted to try out so i just decided to do all of them!

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this is the base coat for each nail. you’ll notice the index finger changed for the final pic – i had originally painted this with glow in the dark cat eyes on top. i had to do too many layers for the orange/yellow to show up and it just smeared all over the place. so i redid those two.

halloween_3speaking of smearing: this pic is what happens when you don’t use the bathroom before you start a nail project. manicures are like long road trips with little kids: you need to make sure everyone has used the potty before starting that journey!

halloween_4this one is probably my favorite. i was hesitant about how it was going to work out (or if it will stay for very long) but i like the end result. frankenstein’s monster is so iconic i knew i could get away with just the color, hair and bolts. the boltsare what caught me though. i started out just painting them on, but they didn’t stand out (literally!). so i went into my crafty supplies and found some clear/silver seed beads. i broke them in half with wire cutters (some just shattered into dust) and stuck it into the uncured gel polish. i set that, then painted over with the silver to make it really stand out and did one more gel coat – hopefully locking the beads in for at least a few days.

halloween_5lastly here’s another look at the results. i painted the pumpkin face onto one of my nail stamps so i could have a bit more control, especially with my left hand. and that made it a lot easier. if i messed up i could just scrape it off and not worry too much. yay.

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iphone 6

iphone_2so, i work at the apple store. it’s hard right now not to get caught up in the energy of the new phone launch. in honor of the 6 (and the + even though i think it’s too big) i decided to paint my nails with a gradient of space grey, gold and silver. haha. to give it a bit more techie feel i stamped a little circuit design on a few nails. i’m still struggling with the stamp a bit. i don’t know if it was the stamp or the polish. but more than once it dried before i could even get it from the plate to the stamp. and it’s not like i was going slow. more practice is needed but i hate redoing my nails so much. i see so many such-and-such-number a day challenges – i just couldn’t do it! first i don’t have time. second, like i’ve mentioned before, i spent all this time – i want it to last. i want to be able

iphone_3 to show it off! so it will probably be a while before i’m actually good with the stamp but i can wait : ) i love the first picture above: this is the ‘during’ photo where i had done the gradient but hadn’t peeled off the glue yet (you can see it peeling up a little on my thumb). i really do like this gradient – the silver is a little hard to see but overall the whole thing is really pretty. yay iphone colors!

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UPDATE: i worked like 17 hours at apple today (get that OT!). i did the overnight setup for the new phones which was super fun. then i stayed because it’s always crazy and i wanted to watch! while i was there i snapped a few pics of my nails with the new phones which are way too big for me, but apple definitely knows what they’re doing: these are gorgeous phones and feel really great.

 

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removal

fun pic about what it looks like when i remove the gel polish. i had originally looked up a lot of different techniques for removal. i don’t have any interest in soaking my nails/fingers/hands in acetone. this is the best way i’ve found of minimizing contact with the nail polish remover – limiting it to only my nails. what you don’t see in this photo is that inside of the foil wrap is a cotton ball soaked in remover. i found a trick where you can unroll a single cotton ball and rip it up into pieces. so each time i do this i’m only a single cotton ball, which also helps limit the amount touching my hands. so i wrap them all up in the foil and leave them for 5-10 minutes. then i can take off the foil and just wipe away the polish.

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tentacles

tentacles2i finally got my stamping stuff! i found an instagram video a while ago with a tutorial on how to do stamping where you leave it on the stamp and paint behind the design. i can’t seem to find the tutorial but the pic is here (i can’t wait til i’m at that level – it looks SO cool!). i love the mani on the right in that pic – such cool bright colors. my only worry is that people are going to tentacles1think they’re stickers. if i’m spending this much time on my nails – i want people to know that i did them by hand (mostly)! so anyway, here is my first foray into the world of nail stamping.

i had a few trial and errors while doing these nails. i knew the tentacles4design i wanted (this baby octopus was too cute not to use first) but i didn’t know how my polishes would hold up against the stamp. unfortunately, most of them didn’t do very well. they all ended up being very translucent and you could barely see the design. i did find a white that was strong enough, but didn’t really want just a plain white stamp. so i went a little overboard. to start out i painted a dark blue, did a white stamp and then did a gradient on top! whew! i did another stamp with a sheer glittery white/silver over all the nails to give it depth and movement. i like it on the ocean nails but it makes it hard to see the octopus and tentacles. i wish i had left it off of those. but overall a great first stamping set!