26gnai - pastel bold gradient | @bulletnails
rupaul's drag race S09E03 | trinity taylor "princess aquapussy" inspired mani
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RuPolished – Draggily Ever After

i knew the second trinity taylor walked out onto the stage what my mani this week was going to be. her princess name was very james bond, but her outfit was all me! i love mermaids so much – and that crown! ugh heaven.

rupaul's drag race S09E03 | trinity taylor "princess aquapussy"

just look at it. amazing.

rupaul's drag race S09E03 | trinity taylor "princess aquapussy"

she did a reveal – going from a mermaid dress to a swimsuit. i have mixed feelings about reveals on the runway. i feel like they’re on stage for 10 seconds in their first outfit then rip it off and are in something else the rest of the time. why even bother. but i did like both of her looks. i would wear the gown, well anywhere. and i’m going on vacation soon and really want the swimsuit for my lazy days on the beach!

so for my nails i played with some sculpey and created a few stars. i tried to make them starfish (longer points) but at the size i needed i just couldn’t stretch them out without pulling off one or more points. i think it’s because i typically run hot and so my warm hands were making the clay super malleable. i think i need one of those frozen tables they have at coldstone if i’m going to continue working with tiny intricate clay sculptures ;)

rupaul's drag race S09E03 | trinity taylor "princess aquapussy" inspired mani

i painted my nails in a vertical gradient (which i’m not sure i’ve done before) in three shades of green/blue to mimic trinity’s shimmery fabric. i did my thumbnail pink to represent her sassy starfish companion.

rupaul's drag race S09E03 | trinity taylor "princess aquapussy" inspired mani

lastly i glued on all the clay pieces and painted them with a glittery top coat and called it a day!

the only thing i wish was different about this mani is the middle color in the gradient. i liked it at the time but now that i compare my pictures to trinity’s outfit i realize there was a lot bigger contrast between the light and the dark colors. that doesn’t make me like it any less though :)

colors used: nicole iceberg lotus, femme fatale jasmine, salon perfect loopy lime, rimmel london (pink – no label). 

rupaul's drag race S09E02 | cynthia lee fontaine "white party" mani
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RuPolished – She Done Already Done Brought It On

yay cynthia’s back! i told my friend last week that whoever the returning queen is will already have a huge advantage just because no one on this season so far stood out. and while that is true (and cynthia (and her cucu) is the biggest personality on the show now) i do think the other queens stepped it up this week.

i do think quite a few of the “white party” outfits were pretty great: i really liked aja’s with the mask (i wish she had kept it on the whole time though and stayed in the creepy hanibal lecter character through the entire runway), i liked farah’s showgirl-mirrored-feather ensemble, and i loved valentina’s wedding dress (even though it was a slightly obvious choice). i really think, even though everyone was clocking her for being a newbie, she’s the one to watch.

i’m also relieved that they’re back to the regular runway set – i would have died if they kept the high-school-gym-turned-pageant-show set they had last week.

rupaul's drag race S09E02 | cynthia lee fontaine "white party" mani

so my nail’s are painted for ms. fontaine’s white party look. 1: because it was gorgeous and sparkly and super classy and i’m glad she’s back (although it would have be the best if it was shangela again!) and 2: because i had no idea how i would paint some of these other plain white outfits onto my nails!

colors used: wet n wild french white crème, sinful colors tokyo pearl.

ncu - sweets | @bulletnails
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ncu – sweets

so i gave up “sweets” for the month of february. just to see if i had the willpower to do so, to see if after not eating them if i would still crave them, and hopefully to loose some weight. well i did, i still do (but not as much) and i did. so success. a month later and it’s easier to not have sweets very often. i have been able to choose healthier snacks (apples are my current favorite) and hopefully i will be able to keep up with this.

during this no-sweets-february – chocolate was the hardest thing to live without. so i am paying homage to all the chocolate that i did not eat in february, and hopefully nails-that-look-like-chocolate will be enough to not eat it too much now either ;)

i used three different colors on top, i was thinking white chocolate caramel and dark chocolate. and the base would be milk chocolate.

okay, i’ve got to stop writing about this before i talk myself into finding a candybar…

colors used: homemade brown frankenpolish, essie partners in crime, mentality marmalade, sinful colors social ladder.

ncu - ugly sweater | @bulletnails
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ncu – ugly sweater

i had an “ugly christmas sweater” party a few weekends ago. i was really pumped to make my own sweater. i bought a bunch of gaudy stuff from michael’s and was ready to go to town and make this the most ridiculous sweater ever. but then i guess my designer brain took over. i made the sweater while watching christmas movies, only half paying attention to each task. once a few hours had gone by and i had glued so many sequins i could no longer see straight, i took a look at my “ugly” sweater and it was way to orderly and kinda cute! dangit! i guess that’s the designer in me – i can’t seem to make things ugly ;)

so my nails ended up not-so-ugly to match my not-so-ugly sweater! very simple, as usual, but i just tried to get the basics of my sweater onto my nails.

ncu - ugly sweater | @bulletnails

ncu - ugly sweater | @bulletnails

i really love the plaid ribbon accent nail. i used a peel off base coat like modge podge (it’s practically just elmer’s glue anyway). i applied the base coat and stuck a piece of ribbon on while wet. then did another coat right over the top. once it dried i trimmed it up and applied a top coat. and voila – holiday ribbon nail art :) and it’s so cute close up!!

ncu - ugly sweater | @bulletnails

colors used: wet n wild black créme, sally hansen golden-ired carpet, and celeb city.

rupaul's drag race S08 winner | bob the drag queen inspired mani
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RuPolished – Winner!!

i know i said that i would have been happy if any of the top three won rupaul’s drag race (and i would have!) but i am so happy it’s bob. she’s been a front-runner in my mind (and the race) since day one. she deserves that crown!

rupaul's drag race S08 winner | bob the drag queen inspired mani

i started this mani because of a joke that bob had made when i met her at dragcon. so i went up to her to get a picture (!!) and it wasn’t super crazy busy around so i told her that i paint my nails and i did one of her and could i show it to her. she said sure so i got out my phone and opened up instagram. the first thing that popped up was my feed, and on it was someone else’s nails. painted plain black. not missing a beat bob says “they look just like me!”

rupaul's drag race S08 winner | bob the drag queen inspired mani

so perfect! i went on to show her my top4 mani and she said she already knew them! yay :)

rupaul's drag race S08 winner | bob the drag queen inspired mani

thus, a black polish based mani as my final tribute! i added some gold embellishments to represent her finale dress and one shiny gem for her new crown.

rupaul's drag race S08 winner | bob the drag queen inspired mani

i had a little trouble photographing this – i used a matte black polish with a shiny clear coat on part. this last photo looks the best in my opinion because it shows off that shiny/matte effect i was going for.

rupaul's drag race S08E05 | madonna inspired runway challenge
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RuPolished – Snatch Game

oh snatch game, you bitch. when it comes to rupaul’s drag race, snatch game is a certain. and yet these girls aren’t prepared. chi-chi acted like a cat because ertha kit played cat woman and chi-chi has a cat. gurl. you have to be at the top of your game here!

rupaul's drag race S08E05 | bob the drag queen as uzo aduba (aka crazy eyes on orange is the new black)

derrick barry was good at britney – but then again he better be! bob was my favorite. his uzo aduba (crazy eyes from orange is the new black) was so perfect – in action and looks. and then his switch to carol channing was a risk but totally paid off – his carol was hilarious.

the  runway look this week was inspired by madonna. i hadn’t though about it until this week (out of how many seasons?!) but the girls must get notified ahead of time about what the challenges are going to be. they have to. it’s the only way there could be 4 queens who went out on the runway in a kimono. they must have known there would be a madonna challenge and packed one thing for it. otherwise at least 3 of them should have been wearing something else.

and really? a kimono – that’s the look that you chose? ew. she’s had so many fashion rebirths during her career and you all chose the same. exact. one. so this week instead of copying one of the queens looks i decided to do my own madonna recreation. (although bob’s was my favorite – she won it for me this week)

rupaul's drag race S08E05 | madonna inspired runway challenge

when i think of madonna it’s 80’s madonna. bleach blonde hair with jet black roots, lace, bracelets on bracelets and necklaces on necklaces, crosses, pearls, bows. so this is my attempt at hand-drawn lace. i like it – if you were to look at it without knowing the challenge i don’t think you’d get it, but that’s okay it’s still cute without knowing the theme.

spoiler warning: do not continue reading if you haven’t seen this episode (and care what happens in it): i am really upset that acid betty went home. yes she was bad in snatch game, but so were robbie, nina and chi-chi. and her runway was cute and creative (and not a kimono). she was always so out-of-the-box creative and over-the-top on the runway – this is one of only a small number of times i have disagreed with someone leaving the show (i may not always agree, but usually don’t think they were actually wrong in their decisions). i think we lost a lot by not getting to see more from her.

colors used: essie cocktails and coconuts, spoiled visually slimming, sally hansen wedding glitters, sinful colors snow me white, sally hansen celeb city.

rupaul's drag race S08E02 | acid betty runway outfit inspired mani
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RuPolished – B*tch Perfect

this is a fun project! a little stressful because it means that i have to paint my nails every week (on top of my every other crumpet’s nail tarts challenge), and i have to get them done relatively close to when the episode airs. i think wednesdays will probably be posting day (i watch the show on monday, paint on tuesday).

rupaul's drag race S08E01 | acid betty runway outfit inspired mani

ideally i should be able to paint and post in the same day, but unfortunately i have a 2 hour (each way) commute to and from work each day and that really cuts into my free time. i get other stuff done during that time – but i don’t think my coworkers would appreciate me painting my nails on the shuttle bus! so wednesdays it is :)

rupaul's drag race S08E01 | acid betty runway outfit inspired mani

this week’s drag race inspiration is acid betty’s runway look. just between you and i, my favorite runway look was bob the drag queen’s little (sheer) black dress. super classy yet scandalous – the perfect combo! i decided not to use bob tdq’s outfit because i had just done a little black dress mani for a fashion prompt a few weeks ago, plus i felt like i could do betty’s outfit better justice.

rupaul's drag race S08E01 | acid betty runway outfit inspired mani

this was a fun challenge – i used a lot of different techniques (striping brush, caviar beads, tattoo paper, embellishments, dotting tool) as well as played with the differences between nude and naked. i think the only thing i’m unhappy with is my index finger – i just wish i had either a bigger canvas, or little elves that could paint smaller than i can!

also! i had an epiphany on my way to work today – about the name of these posts – rupolished! haha i crack myself up. (#RuPolished)

superbowl 50 | @bulletnails
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Superbowl 50!

this weekend is the superbowl. i don’t watch football. but! this year it’s happening in my backyard (not literally) and it’s hard not to get caught up in the collective fangasm going on all over the place right now.

superbowl 50 | @bulletnails

on top of the hoopla happening here in san francisco, one of the teams is from my last city – denver. not being a big sports fan in general, i tend to just adopt whatever team is in my hometown. i grew up in nebraska where there were no professional sports, but i was a husker (university of nebraska) fan by default. i think that defaultness has stuck with me. so the broncos are still my team (as are the rockies, rapids etc.) plus i’ve gained the giants, 49ers, warriors etc. some may call this bandwagoning, but whatever.

superbowl 50 | @bulletnailsanyway – back to the mani :) i had this idea to represent the actual game – so i have both endzones, the field and footballs that can literally move up and down the field. it’s cute and i ended up really liking it! the footballs actually have a football texture that i haven’t been able to stop touching! to do these i started with a nice dark brown polish, then used a dotting tool with some clear gel polish to add the bumps. once cured under my lamp i painted another coat of brown and added the laces. the only hiccup that i ran into on the whole mani was with the matte polish here. it totally smeared the white polish of the laces 😭 in the closeup you can see the before and after. the brown looks so much more football-like in the matte version (obviously except for the smeary).

superbowl 50 | @bulletnails

i really like this manicure. it turned out just as i had pictured it in my head. that in and of itself is a big win but hopefully the broncos will have a win too and all will be well with the world!

colors used: essie partner in crime, sinful colors snow me white, essie no more film, models own beach hut, salon perfect loopy lime, sally hansen celeb city, spoiled black mamba, salon perfect bermuda baby.

40gnai - star wars christmas | @bulletnails
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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – Christmas

merry christmas from a galaxy far far away. today’s crumpets prompt is christmas. but it’s also the release of one of the galaxy’s most awaited movies: star wars! now, don’t get mad, but i have never seen any of these movies. at first it was just an i-didn’t-grow-up-in-a-household-that-watched-that-kind-of-thing thing. but after a while it was a the-series-is-too-far-in-to-get-started-now sort of thing. now it’s a i-like-seeing-the-look-on-people’s-faces-when-i-tell-them kind of thing. people have tried to make me watch them, some have even tried trickery. it’s not that i think they’re gonna be bad (although i do worry about the hype!) it’s just that i don’t really care…

40gnai - star wars christmas | @bulletnails

but all that aside, i do know a lot of people do care. the fact that every movie theater around me’s opening night showing has been sold out for over a month now, is quite an indicator of the obsession. and it’s a little contagious. i was almost a stormtrooper for halloween. and now this.

40gnai - star wars christmas | @bulletnailsi’ve seen a few star wars manicures (the stormtrooper is inspired by this cute one) but i thought it would be so cute to have them all dressed up for the holidays! so i have the opening crawl (you know, the words going off into space that starts each movie) on my thumb, c3po, a stormtrooper, r2d2 and some lightsabers.

the only finger that turned out how i imagined it is r2d2. i like the straight lines – those i can handle. the others are messier than i would like. i guess i still haven’t gotten the hang of painting small details with nail polish. i know a lot of people use acrylics and stuff, but that 1. seems kinda like cheating and 2. means a whole extra set of supplies that i would have to find a home for. so i guess that means i’m going to keep fighting with the polish until i can conquer it, so maybe forever!

40gnai - star wars christmas | @bulletnails

if you notice on my right hand the santa hat is just polish, but on my left (in the second pic) i used a little bit of cotton to make the hat fluffy. it’s a fun 3d addition, but i have a feeling it’s going to drive me crazy and get removed pretty fast!

take a look at all the other great christmas ideas:

40GNAI - christmas

birthday mani | @bulletnails
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happy birthday to me!

yesterday was my birthday :) i had the day off and i slept in, ate super delicious pie and painted my nails!! the perfect day (oh and went out to dinner with some friends and then drinks with more friends – even more perfect!!)

birthday pennantsso for my nails i decided that since i don’t do birthday parties, my nails could. so i hung up some cute pennant banners ;)

birthday pennantsi used some scotch washi tape that i got at target for the triangles. they’re super cute and sparkly – but stick up a lot. after i took my pictures and before i went out i decided to top off with a (pretty thick) gel coat so they wouldn’t get stuck on anything or just fall off.

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halloween part 1

halloween is my favorite holiday. when i was little my mom always made my sister and my costumes. there were some good ones in there. there were some that went all the way through my nieces and if my mom has her way will probably go to my grand-niece too! our costumes were always so cute and wholesome. i’ve been raggedy anne, a clown. one year i was catwoman. that one was awesome – i had really long press on nails / claws and i was all in black with a mask. nevermind that the all black outfit was probably a sweatsuit and the stitching on it was done in fabric marker. i felt awesome.

now as an adult i try to continue in the tradition of hand-made costumes. both for nostalgia (and my wallet)’s sake as well as the fact that all (most) of the pre-packaged costumes for ladies are disgusting. examples: sexy nurse, sexy dorothy, sexy toto (okay i don’t know if that’s a real thing but scooby doo is), sexy pig, sexy shark attack victimsexy squirrel, and sexy pizza rat.

anyway, there will be more halloween posts so i’ll continue my rants later on – let’s get to the nails!

mummies

for my first halloween manicure of the season i decided to try one of the new techniques i learned during the year. sugar spun nails are fun and quirky and fairly easy. this manicure in my head was a little different than it turned out on my nails. i was hoping to get the strings thicker to look more like gauze wrapping but i got a lot of really thin strings. i still think it turned out okay – i just ended up going over my nails more times to make up for it.

mummiescolors used: spoiled visually slimming, wet n wild french white crème, revlon matte top coat, pop ablaze, and wet n wild glo’ money, glo’ problems.

the problem with thick sugar spun polish is that it takes for-eh-ver to dry. and you end up with the photo below…

mummies

i had to repaint these two nails because when i hopped in the shower a few hours after doing my mummies the paint just smeared all over. heading for bed and working in the morning, i didn’t have much choice other than to clean off the polish and just do two accent nails (but only on one hand!).

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fall leaves

i live in california. there are no seasons here. trees, flowers, grass, all grow all year long. so i decided the only way i was going to see the changing leaves was to put them on my fingers!

falli was originally going to paint on the veins of the leaves but i decided to try imprinting them instead. i’m sure there’s some technical term for it but i don’t know what it is…

fallanyway i started out with a makeup sponge and put dabs of autumnal colors on it, then transferred to my nails. i tried to mix it up as i was applying to my nails so that the pattern on each would be slightly different and you’d see more of some colors pop out.

fallas you can see in the pic on the left, when i put on the top coat it really filled in the grooves that i had dug into the polish and makes the leaves a lot more subtle. i think in most of these pictures i like the before top coat versions better because it’s more dramatic. but in real life i like that my nails are a little smoother.

fall

colors used: opi bogotá blackberry, homemade brown, mentality taffy, heaven power up green, and wet n wild sunny side up.

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textured stamping

i went bowling the other day. bowling is really bad for my nails. i broke both thumb- and index nails. i also ruined my gradient manicure in the process. so it didn’t last very long :(

texture stampthis was my quick redo. i really like the base coat (essie lots of lux), it has a nice texture and is a wonderful dark / royal blue. the stamping was, once texture stampagain, a bit of an experiment. i used claire’s liquid metal in dime a dozen for the stamp. it has really nice coverage – the pattern shows up really nicely. but i think it’s too liquidy for stamping. i had a lot of polish left on the plate after scraping, which left little shadows around the pattern (notice the pinky nail on the main photo). fortunately you don’t notice the bad stamping job too much in everyday life.

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31dc: day twenty nine: inspired by (the) supernatural

supernatural is one of my favorite tv shows. it has perhaps jumped the shark but i still won’t miss an episode. with 218 episodes and counting, there’s no way i could hear the word supernatural and not think of this great show.

31dc supernaturalif you don’t watch the show all of these nails will be the most random things for you. but if you do watch – hopefully i’ve done all of these things justice! on my right hand i’ve got the mark of cain, PIE!, fire and rock salt, the license plate from the impala, and the angel banishing sigil (does this have a name?). my left hand is the anti-possession tattoo, cas (and his super awesome angel wings), and dean’s amulet.

31dc supernaturalthe rock salt is actually table salt – this came off almost immediately after taking the picture. but that’s okay – i didn’t really intend it to stay. i think my favorite of this manicure is cas and his angel wings. when planning out this design, this was the only thing i knew for sure i was going to do. i used the sugar spun trick that i did for yesterday’s “inspired by a tutorial” for his wings and i think it adds a really nice texture to our favorite lost angel… assbutt.

31dc supernatural

anyway – last day of 31dc!! yay i made it :)

31dc

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31dc: day thirty: inspired by a tutorial

i accidentally mixed up my last two days. so while the calendar may say today is the 29th, my nails say it is the 30th. that means tomorrow i will go back in time. did i just invent time travel?

31dc tutoriali may not have invented time travel but i did manage to do a pretty cute manicure. a while back my niece posted this sugar spun tutorial on my facebook page. and i thought today was a great day to try it for myself.

31dc tutoriali started out using sally hansen gunmetal as a base with kbshimmer shade shifter and nicole by opi iceberg lotus as the sugar on top. i really like the way it looks – subtle and a nice texture (that i couldn’t stop touching all day).

31dc tutorial

before i took it off for the night i wanted to try a little bit more just as practice. so i added some strands of kbshimmer pt young thing and spoiled plastic flamingo. i got some big blobby bits with the pink but i actually kinda like that. overall this was definitely a success – i will do this technique again – i already have some ideas for it!

31dc

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31dc: day fifteen: delicate(s)

today’s prompt is delicate print. i decided to do a bustier and some back seam tights. haha get it – because they’re delicates. it’s probably a good thing i think i’m funny – someone’s got to!

31dc delicate

i’m still struggling a bit with stamping. i want it to work so badly but it just doesn’t like me. this corset gave me some trouble – i stamped onto a silicon baking sheet to make a decal that i could transfer. this seems to make more sense right now as i’m trying to perfect my technique because if the stamp doesn’t copy completely or it’s messy or whatever, i don’t have to redo my 31dc delicatepolish i just restamp. which is good, because i had to stamp this one four times before i got one that was filled in and had the details too. the decal method also means that i can get the stamp on pretty straight each time (another thing i struggle with).

overall, i’m happy with this one – simple and clean and a little racy ;)

colors used: orly iron butterfly, essie cocktails & coconuts, opi opi red.

31dc

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31dc: day five: blue

once again i am a fair-weather fan. the warriors won again last night and this city is pretty excited – it’s hard not to get caught up in that.

31dc blue

for this mani i used my trusty ol’ temporary tattoo paper. i knew there was no way i was going to get anywhere near the warriors logo so played it safe. i had thought about just doing their colors but decided if i can’t challenge myself during this 31dc – i never will.

31dc blue

my middle finger is painted to look like a basketball using china glaze unplugged and spoiled don’t be cheesy. unfortunately when i went to put in the texture of the bball it covered a lot of the rubber lines that i had drawn in. i like this macro shot because you can still see them :)

31dc blue

here’s another macro shot – so pretty! as you can see – even with the printer not all of the logo showed up. on the three nonaccent nails i used a really pretty new textured polish lots of lux by essie.

31dc blue

one last picture. i am very happy with this mani. and so timely too!

31dc

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christmas lights

this was another inspired manicure. this one came from copy cat claws. she definitely found better “lights” than i did – mine sort of took over my entire finger after only a few were attached. they also feel really weird. i haven’t really done anything more than polish before so the fact that they stick out and are bumpy is strange to get used to. i superglued the colored stones down and then gel top-coated my nails a few times to make sure they will stick. we’ll see how well they hold up.

lights2  lights4  lights3  lights

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go giants!

i may be a bandwagon fan. but the giants might be bandwagon fans of mine. they have won the world series 3 times since i moved to san francisco after all. those are the only world series championships they’ve won in the 50-some years they’ve been here. can that possibly be a coincidence? probably. but i like to think i had something to do with it. i have been to, like, 5 games in the last 5 years. so yeah, i’m pretty diehard ;) anyway this mani was intense. placing the little beads was crazy time consuming. i had painted a clear coat over the orange that i was sticking the beads into but by the time i got partway done the polish had dried too much and they weren’t sticking anymore. lots of trial and error here. one trick that did work really well, i drew the logo on top of the orange in pen. once the beads were on it completely covered the outline. that made it a lot easier to place.

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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!

halloween_2

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.