40gnai - autumn | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – autumn

so this week and next week (stay tuned!) are very similar prompts. so while thinking about autumn i tried to think what else signified the season besides the beautiful colors of leaves changing. the next thing that popped into my mind was pumpkin spice. i love the flavor, but i have come to loathe it because for some reason EVERY. DAMN. THING. is pumpkin spice flavored right now. literally why?! (fun fact: all but one of those links is a real pumpkin spice product!)

but anyway, that’s what i based this manicure on. who says you have to be inspired by things you like?!

40gnai - autumn | @bulletnails

i tried my hand at watermarbling again (i was going for a latte look). i’ve struggled a bit with it in the past but i also haven’t tried it enough to get very good at it. one thing that bothers me is how much polish i’m wasting so this time around i used a shot glass! that definitely helped, but i was only able to put in a few drops of each color – meaning it wouldn’t work with something very colorful – but for this was great. i also just tried to use a really light touch when drawing through the circles. i noticed the more i just skimmed the surface the better my lines were. so maybe i won’t give up on watermarbling after all…

colors used: sinful colors snow me white, models own copper pot, spoiled orange you glad.

40gnai - autumn | @bulletnails

40gnai - yellow, red & green + fishbraid | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – red, yellow & green + fishbraid

have you ever notice that the pastel of yellow is pastel yellow, the pastel of green is pastel green and the pastel of red is pink? i really wanted to do this mani in pastels but was unsure how to make sure it was read as red and not pink. i used one of my favorite polishes: kind of a neon pink / salmon-y color.

40gnai - yellow, red & green + fishbraid | @bulletnails

i also had an idea for a different style of fishbraid – i wanted all three colors on each stroke. it kinda looks like if you have three brushes stuck together, like in calligraphy, or like i (and maybe you) used to do when i was a little kid with crayons. i don’t mind the blast-from-the-past aspect of that!

40gnai - yellow, red & green + fishbraid | @bulletnails

i like the way it turned out – it’s an interesting combo of colors (one i would not choose on my own) and an interesting take on the fishbraid (which really is one of my favorite techniques because it’s so easy yet looks so complicated). if i were to do this mani over the only thing i would change is to try and get each layer closer together to try and fit in more (so it’s not a giant S). oh and also i might try to remove some of the polish as i go – the tips of my nails got real thick because instead of painting stripes i painted the whole tip of my nail each time (the polishes were too transparent and you could see the overlap).

colors used: sally hansen mellow yellow, sally hansen mint sorbet, wet n wild fergalicious.

40gnai - yellow, red & green | @bulletnails

40gnai - books | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – books

i have been waiting for this one for ages! i’m a big reader – i have a 3-4 hour a day commute and, while not a fast reader, i go through a lot of books. which made this prompt both easy and hard. easy because i have so much inspiration. hard because how do i narrow it down?!

so i went with freshest in my mind. i just finished reading the second book in victoria aveyard’s red queen series glass sword. i have a bad habit of starting a book and then finding out it’s part of a series. that was the case with this series. i flew through the first book – such an interesting yet familiar concept. then found out it was part of a trilogy. a trilogy not yet finished! ugh! those are the worst. all i want to do is finish the story but now i have to wait until february to find out what happens.

here’s a synopsis of the red queen (book one in the series):

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

i think that describes my mani better than i could! the characters are divided by blood – red and silver. so with my design i tried to make it look from one direction like red blood dripping and from the other like silver blood dripping.

40gnai - books | @bulletnails

i think it turned out pretty close to what i was imagining. since there’s no actual thing as silver blood i think it’s hard to think of the silver part as the drippy part – the red bloodiness just stands out so much.

40gnai - books | @bulletnails

i also got to use my new chrome powder on this mani! i have been searching what feels like my whole life for an actual chrome polish. while this isn’t perfect (might be my technique) it’s so much closer than anything i’ve encountered before. i will definitely be trying to work it in to more designs!

40gnai - books | @bulletnails

colors used: wet n wild red a good book, chrome powder.

take a look at the other biblio-cures:

40gnai - books | @bulletnails

40gnai - lemon/peach + fluid lines | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – peach or lemon + fluid lines

i don’t know what “fluid lines” means. i should’ve been paying more attention to the other participants in weeks past to see what they did. but i didn’t. so last night as i was painting my nails i decided that i’m going to put a lot of fluid (aka nail polish) on my nails and draw lines through it!

i know that this is technically a needle drag or dry marble but i think it also works as “fluid lines.” there’s not much to this mani – it’s a pretty simple process (with lot’s of tuts around if you don’t know how).

40gnai - lemon/peach + fluid lines | @bulletnails

here’s one thing i haven’t seen anyone doing that really helped me: TIP: use a small brush and put a little polish on it before you start. that really helped me because by the end of my nail the colors were flowing really well together but at my starting point the brush/needle would pull up the polish as it was pulling it along and i had to go in and fill it later (or redo it on a few).

colors used: sally hansen mellow yellow, wet n wild sunny side up, essie sunday funday.

40gnai - lemon/peach | @bulletnails

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – inspiration

can you guess what my inspiration was? if you said stranger things – you’re right!

this show is just amazing. and so perfect for the “inspiration” prompt: the show itself was inspired by all sorts of 80’s movies, the show has inspired so much beautiful fan art and that has inspired me :)

screen-shot-2016-08-18-at-7-55-06-pm

the above image was my epiphany moment – i was like, yeah i could do that on my nails!!

i started with an off-white base coat (that just so happened to be the exact same color as the pages of my book). next step was to add the liquid latex (because i knew this was gonna be messy!) and start in on the upper trees. i actually really like it at this point – the streaks going down my nails plus the sponged part at the top looks like trees in fog or something. but i wasn’t done! i added the same grey on the bottom so i had a solid base to work on top of.

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

unfortunately at this point i forgot to take pictures until i was done. but from here it’s simple enough! i re-taped off the top part, then sponged on a gradient of blue and navy over the grey. then following the same lines from the trees above i continued them along the bottom using the navy.

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

i added some glitter to mimic the particles that float through the air in the upside down. again, i could’ve been done here: representing the world that the show exists in. but that’s no challenge ;)

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

so i used my printable temporary tattoo paper and printed tiny little versions of mike, eleven, dustin and lucas on their bikes, and will running away from the demigorgon for the upside down (used the silhouettes from Matt Ferguson’s above image). will and the monster are hard to see – unfortunately i went a little too dark with my background colors. maybe i shouldn’t have done the grey before the blue…

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

i love using the tattoo paper because it allows me to do much more detailed art on my finger canvases than i could otherwise do (i like to think of myself as the type of person who could paint super small details like that – but i seem to have proven otherwise on past endeavors). one problem that i have with the tattoo paper thought is that it is a white piece of paper with sticky on the top. when you’re using it the sticky side goes down, the paper gets wet and eventually comes off to leave the sticky side and image on your nail (or skin if you’re using the paper as intended). well this gets difficult when trying to place really small objects precisely because of the white paper blocking the image. it took me a few tries to get the bikes to look like they’re on the ground and not floating like in E.T. (although that would be fitting, seeing as how it is one of the inspirations for the show).

speaking of the tattoo paper – i originally did a different design for this mani. i really love typography and the intro text is beautiful. once again i struggled trying to paint that onto my nails. i ended up doing the tattoo paper on this one too.

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

i don’t really like that one. i like the concept – one hand being the normal logo and the other representing the upside down. it just wasn’t super readable when not under pretty bright lights. and the curve of my nails made some of the letters disappear :( also the second downside to tattoo paper is that the sticky side is like a super super thin plastic. if you get it on your skin it sticks to it and is kind of hard to cut through. i struggled with that a lot on this one. on pretty much every nail, it got stuck to the nail and my finger, and i had to take an exacto knife and cut through it, without cutting myself or ripping the design.

anyway here’s one more closeup!

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

colors used: sinful colors bubbly, models own everyday grey, sinful colors love nails, sally hansen  deluxe, wet n wild kaleidoscope, essie matte about you.

40gnai - inspiration | @bulletnails

40gnai - orange + geometric | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – orange + geometric

i wasn’t too excited for this one – but i really like what i ended up with! i think i was intimidated by the “geometric” label – thinking i was going to have to do something super intricate or math…

40gnai - orange + geometric | @bulletnails

luckily neither was necessary :) i did a really simple asymmetrical color block – because squares are part of geometry right?! i love the grey to counteract the orange, the silver to add some sparkle and the matte to make the whole thing more subtle. i sorta lucked into this one!

40gnai - orange + geometric | @bulletnails

in person these contrast a lot more against my skin. i think my lighting setup needs some work – i’m really not that orange skinned!

colors used: pop ablaze, models own everyday grey, kiss spa10 silver glitter.

40gnai - orange + geometric | @bulletnails

40gnai - things in the water | @bulletnails
40gnai - yellow & silver + gradient | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – yellow & silver + gradient

i struggled here! yellow and silver did not mix well for me! i tried doing a sponge gradient that ended up an ugly mess (the mixed part in the middle was a really matte brownish green). i tried painting them yellow and sponging on silver. i tried painting them silver and sponging on yellow. all of it ended up looking poopy (literally).

40gnai - yellow & silver + gradient | @bulletnails

so instead of relying on the normal definition of gradient i was forced to think outside of the box. which is actually really good for me. i love gradients and they’re probably my most used technique but they’re all technically the same.

40gnai - yellow & silver + gradient | @bulletnails

so for my yellow and silver gradient i decided to make a half-tone pattern or bubbles or rain or something. i used a few different sized dotting tools and just went crazy. and i love how it turned out! the yellow is super bright (and makes me look really tan) and really makes the chromey silver really stand out. really simple but took a lot of creative thinking to get here!

colors used: salon perfect yowza yellow, claire’s liquid metal dime a dozen.

40gnai - yellow & silver + gradient | @bulletnails

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – festivals / hippie travels

this is probably my favorite prompt of this whole thing so far. i did not anticipate that!

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

but this one is close to home ;) when i thought of festivals and hippies and things associated with that i couldn’t think anywhere past haight-ashbury. it’s the birthplace of the hippie movement. the summer of love, the human be-in, lsd, the beat generation, grateful dead, janis joplin – all of this in a tiny little neighborhood off the golden gate park in san francisco.

well that tiny little neighborhood is about 6 blocks from my house. and while it has changed, and is still changing, it’s still a beacon of love and acceptance. in my mind there is no better place to represent on my tiny finger canvases than haight-ashbury :)

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

so i started by doing all my nails tie dye. i’ve done tie dye once before and really liked the look. i went a bit more neon for this one and the colors just worked so well together! here you can see the mess with the liquid latex still on.

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

then i added some details to a few of the nails. there is the haight-ashbury street sign, a vw bus and a peace sign. i had other icons i wanted to add, but ran out of time and thought better of some (a pot leaf being one of those i reconsidered – probably nsfw!)

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

the amount of detail i wanted in these (the street sign for instance) was a little daunting. i’m not real great with really fine detail, but i found a different brush in my kit that actually works really well. the close-up is still messy looking but when you’re more than .5 inches away it’s actually legible and not too unkempt! yay!

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

i put a gel clear coat over the top because i fell in love and definitely wanted to wear this for a while. while i was curing it the neons in the tie dye were so perfectly psychedelic – that i had to try and get a picture of that too.

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

colors used: spoiled distant memory, salon perfect loopy lime, salon perfect yowza yellow, pop ablaze, model’s own pukka purple, sally hansen fuchsia power.

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

40gnai - nude & color + half & half | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – nude & color + 1/2 & 1/2

these two prompts seemed made for each other! the first part is “nude plus color” and the second part is “half & half.” so i did nude on half and (all the) color on the other half :)

40gnai - nude & color + half & half | @bulletnails

40gnai - nude & color + half & half | @bulletnailsthis was a fun mani – i was inspired by this beautiful design by didoline and knew this was going to be my half & half. i didn’t live up to the comparison, but for having done this freehand (versus stamping) i think i did a pretty good job!

as you can see above, i started by drawing a squiggly line on my silicone mat (it’s pink and is normally fine but made the colors on this one seem off) and then placed random swatches of lots of different colors underneath. this was my half color. after letting it dry and peeling it up (besides wanting to wear it) i cut it up into nail sized pieces and stuck them to my nails.

40gnai - nude & color + half & half | @bulletnails

my only regret is not being able to use more of the colored part! (if you notice as i worked my way down my hand the colored part started to take over more and more of my nail – i just couldn’t help myself!)

40gnai - nude & color + half & half | @bulletnails

i ended up putting a matte top coat on because i thought it pronounced the “nude” part of my nail better – with the shiny it looked a little uneven. it did mute the colors a little bit. if i had more time (read: energy) i might have gone over the colorful part again with a glossy topcoat. but i don’t have more time. or energy.

colors used: models own luis lemon, salon perfect fired up fuchsia, essie sunday funday, torrid purple irridecent, sinful colors love nails, heaven power up green, blackheart beauty  green yellow shimmer.

40gnai - nude & color | @bulletnails

40gnai - insects | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – insects

i like this mani – it just doesn’t quite fit the prompt. i’ve done an insect manicure once before for an animal print prompt. it was also a beetle. they’re just so interesting! unfortunately this one ended up not quite so interesting.

there were so many ideas i had in my brain – but most of them i knew i couldn’t pull off. i really wanted to do something with bug eyes. i love how crazy they look. especially macro photos – beautiful. i have no idea how to translate that to my fingernails – maybe someone else in the group will have and i can try to figure out how they did it!

so i looked up some beetles and did a lazy version of these:

i only have one textured polish, which is blue, so i used that as my base – sponging it on to try and concentrate the texture even more. then i added black over the top, sponging again so as not to fill in the texture but to also take out some of the shine.

40gnai - insects | @bulletnails

you can still see some of the blue underneath. i meant to cover it completely, but actually like the added color :) i could have left it like that, but decided it wasn’t buggy enough so i added some lines to mimic the shape of the beetle’s shell.

40gnai - insects | @bulletnails

colors used: essie lots of lux, spoiled visually slimming, essie matte about you.

40gnai - insects | @bulletnails

40gnai - pink/aqua + houndstooth | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – pink & aqua + houndstooth

i was not looking forward to this one. the color combination is not my favorite. and i don’t have a stamp to rely on so i knew i would have to do it by hand. not an exciting prospect. but i watched a few videos and thought i had enough of a grasp to try it out.

i was overconfident. i’m not good with small details. i don’t know if it’s me, or my brushes or that i don’t use acrylic paint. or a combo of all of those. or maybe some other factor i don’t even know about.

40gnai - pink/aqua + houndstooth | @bulletnails

even with all of that, i do like this mani. just from not super close. it looks like houndstooth, until you inspect it, then it looks messy. i did my left hand first (like always), with a dotting tool and a small brush. i practiced on my silicone mat with those same tools and it looked a lot different. whatever. when i went for my right hand i thought i’d try to make it easier and i cut up scotch tape to make the squares. that helped but it’s still messier and more uneven than i would like. oh well. it was a good get-out-of-my-comfort-zone moment.

colors used: essie garden variety, sally hansen bubblegum pink, spoiled visually slimming.

40gnai - pink/aqua | @bulletnails

40gnai - beach | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – holidays / seaside / beach

the first thing i thought of when i heard this prompt was “it was an itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini, that she wore for the first time today.” so my accent nail on each had represents the bikini and my other nails are the beach.

40gnai - beach | @bulletnails

for the beach nails i used quite a few blues dabbed on with wax paper to get a water-like texture. i wish i had a sandy textured nude color that i could’ve used for the base, but unfortunately i don’t have many textured polishes in my arsenal. the funny thing about this nude color is that, while it may not look like it in the photos, it is very close to my skin color. so as i was wearing this mani around i kept doing double takes when looking at my fingernails because the nude disappears and it looks like my nails are only the length of the blue portion.

colors used: sally hansen babe blue, sally hansen mellow yellow, mentality gumdrophard candy, sally hansen  deluxe, essie cocktails & coconuts, salon perfect fired up fuchsia, torrid purple irridecent.

40gnai - beach | @bulletnails

40gnai - coral/white + ikat | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – coral & white + ikat

another color plus design week. i’ve done ikat once before and i really liked it – it was easy to do, hard to mess up and looks fancy/complicated. i realized after doing this one that it also has a lot to do with color choices. i like the coral and white combo but i needed another color. i debated between silver, gold and navy. as you can see i went with the silver. which i’m happy with. i think i would have liked the navy better but i was worried that it would overshadow the actual colors i was supposed to use this week.

the white i used is a very shimmery pretty color. but super translucent. i thought starting with a base coat of that would be enough, but as my design started taking shape i realized i was going to have to go in for some touch-ups and a bit of added white in the middles. ugh. i had to use an opaque white then cover it with the shimmery white. the middle of each diamond is sitting like three inches off my nail – there’s so much polish!

40gnai - coral/white + ikat | @bulletnails

it’s cute though. i think they colors make it look very dainty, which is nice because i don’t typically do dainty. i like the nails that have a diamond on the top and bottom of the nail rather than the ones with it in the middle. you see more of the coral and the overall pattern on those.

i hate that i forget about this design until it pops up in a challenge. it’s so quick and easy – i should be doing it more often!

colors used: sinful colors social ladder, wet n wild dreamy poppy, sally hansen celeb city.

40gnai - coral/white | @bulletnails

40gnai - summer | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – summer

the theme this week is summer. i live in san francisco. most people assume that since it’s in california it’s always sunny and warm. not the case. to illustrate that fact here is the most quoted (and incorrectly cited) saying in this city during this time of year is:


the coldest winter i ever experienced is a summer in san francisco.


it’s funny because it’s true. during the summer months, the fog rolls in low and tight and doesn’t release it’s grip until october, when we finally get a hint of the summer that everyone else just enjoyed. the fog is so prevalent here it actually has a name (karl) and a twitter account.

i started my mani with a gradient background of sunny blue, dark sparkly blue and grey (because even when it’s sunny here the fog’s not far away).

40gnai - summer | @bulletnails

notice on the above photo that the polish on my middle finger is peeled away near my cuticle – that’s a problem i’ve been having with the liquid latex. it seems to pull off the polish that it’s not supposed to. something i’m going to have to experiment with. also on this pic i really love the dark blue on my thumb – it’s sort of ghosted over by the light blue – looks just like clouds or fog rolling in.

40gnai - summer | @bulletnails

after the gradient i added in (by hand) the beautiful golden gate bridge. it’s one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city / world. it represents summer to me because my favorite beach here has a view of the ggbridge, sausalito, alcatraz and even the bay bridge and oakland if you look hard enough.

40gnai - summer | @bulletnails

after i had the bridge painted in, i (reluctantly) covered it in fog.

40gnai - summer | @bulletnails

i sponged on some grey and white to cover up the bridge. and just like in real life i tried to leave some uncovered – the meanest little tease ;)

40gnai - summer | @bulletnails

colors used: sally hansen babe blue, orly magic mirror, mentality hard candy, opi guy meets gal-veston, wet n wild red a good book.

40gnai - summer | @bulletnails

40gnai - summer | @bulletnails

40gnai - mint green + leopard | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – mint green + leopard

i like doing this second set half of the crumpet’s nail tarts challenge. one big reason it because it’s making me do designs i wouldn’t normally do. for instance i never imagined i would to a leopard mani. it’s just not me. i’ve watched the tutorials and always thought it wouldn’t be hard to do. but i just never really wanted it on my fingers.

40gnai - mint green + leopard | @bulletnails

leopardand yet here it is. it’s not bad. cute even. but not something i felt very comfortable in. maybe if it had been more lisa frank (neon rainbow and glitter) i have been more comfortable with it. another bonus of this part of the challenge is that i am forced to use certain colors. this time was “mint green” i originally didn’t think i even owned a mint green but then found this little beauty waaaay in the back of my polish drawer. and it’s a great color. i’m really happy to have discovered it again.

40gnai - mint green + leopard | @bulletnails

colors used: sally hansen mint sorbet, models own everyday grey, sally hansen golden-i, orly in ageless sleep, spoiled shaken snow globe.

here’s the other newly minted mani’s from this week:

40gnai - mint green + leopard | @bulletnails

40gnai - weddings | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – weddings

this week’s prompt is weddings. i haven’t attended too many weddings in my life and i’m not one for super girly things. but i really like this manicure. it’s simple and sparkly – like me ;)

40gnai - weddings | @bulletnails

i used a nice pearly white for the base because… well it’s classic! then i have a nice glitter that i sponged on near the nail beds. i was originally going to put it on the edges like a french manicure – but i just bought a bottle of liquid latex and wanted to try it out!

40gnai - weddings | @bulletnails

it worked great :) i paid like $8 for 4 oz. tub of liquid latex body paint. i used a wand from an old lipgloss and am trying to figure out if i want a smaller container so that it doesn’t dry up while applying.

40gnai - weddings | @bulletnails

colors used: sinful colors tokyo pearl, essie hors d’oeuvres.

40gnai - weddings | @bulletnails

here’s the other man-i do’s ;)

40gnai - weddings | @bulletnails

40gnai - hot pink + mermaid scales | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – hot pink + mermaid scale

since drag race is over but i’m used to doing more than one mani a week, i’ve decided to jump on the second half of the crumpet’s nail tarts challenge: a color prompt plus an assigned style. since i’m not officially on that list i don’t have an assigned style so i’ll probably just pick and choose :)

40gnai - hot pink + mermaid scales | @bulletnails

this week’s prompt was hot pink and i had an idea for mermaid scales a while back that i’ve been wanting to try. everyone seems to use stamping for mermaid scales but i suck at stamping so my big idea was to use my dotting tool and add the scales individually. i really like how it turned out – i think it would have been slightly better with one or two more colors – then the pattern wouldn’t have overlapped as much.

40gnai - hot pink + mermaid scales | @bulletnails

 

i also decided to show how i touch up my photos. i try to never mess with the actual manicure, but i just can’t seem to get all the polish off of my cuticles or to keep them from being dry and gross. so i touch them up. nobody wants to see dry cuticles. and i don’t want anyone focusing on my bad clean up job when i work so hard on the art.

i wonder how much or if anyone else touches up their photos. sometimes i see people’s photos and can’t believe their hands are so perfect! well, now you know mine aren’t ;)

40gnai - hot pink + mermaid scales | @bulletnails

colors used: salon perfect fired up fuchsia, kbshimmer pt young thing, sally hansen wedding glitters.

40gnai - hot pink | @bulletnails

40gnai - music | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – music

this weeks theme brought a lot of inspiration into this little brain of mine! i had three different ideas and wasn’t sure how to narrow it down. two of the designs were similar so i figured i could eliminate one of those pretty easy. and then i decided i had two hands so would do both of the others!

40gnai - music | @bulletnails

my first inspiration was playing music. i took piano lessons as a child. i was in band in middle and high school (played french horn, clarinet and trumpet). and have tried picking up the guitar a dozen or so times – little hands and long nails haven’t been very helpful here.

40gnai - music | @bulletnails

so i made guitar nails :) i had glittery nails from the crown mani i did earlier in the week and was reticent to remove it. so i worked it in to the new design as the strings. if i were to do this design again my accent nail would have been more of a circle of black with brown around it rather than being all black (to be more obviously the hole in the guitar).

40gnai - music | @bulletnails

my second design is all about the experience of listening to music. i’ve always been a fan of the visualizers on stereos and the computer and this is supposed to mimic the waveforms of music.

40gnai - music | @bulletnails

on this one too i kept the super glitter from my last mani and added the waveforms with a nail art pen. i like the pen a lot because i’m so used to drawing with a pen but it’s super liquidy, it spreads and stains (last time i used it, it was in the crack between my nail and finger for over a week!). so this time i made sure to keep it away from my skin.

40gnai - music | @bulletnails

40gnai - spring | @bulletnails
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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – spring

this week’s prompt is spring. the first thing that popped into my mind was “fall back, spring forward” but that’s not very inspirational when it comes to having to paint my nails. so i tried thinking about springy things – flowers, easter, the birds and the bees, actual springs (both of the bubbling water and circular metal varieties). after all that brainstorming i remembered the phrase, “april showers bring may flowers.” well it’s almost april and it’s practically been monsoon season here in cali (on a realistic note, while it seems to have been raining a lot lately, it’s only because we’re in the midst of a 5+ year drought. in actuality, we’ve only gotten enough rain this year to account for normal annual downfall. someone told me (so take this with a grain of salt) that we would need at least a year of daily rain to make up for how much we’ve lost!).

40gnai - spring | @bulletnails

so i chose to make a rainy day design. i was inspired by lacquer or leave her’s ocean rainstorm mani. super cute combination of waterfall technique and glitter :)

i didn’t have quite as many blue polishes as i would have liked, but after overlapping them and mixing some i ended up with a good range of colors. i also added a cute little yellow umbrella! it reminds me a bit of how i met your mother – maybe subconsciously i chose that color because of that show. i mean, that yellow umbrella was practically a character towards the end!

40gnai - spring | @bulletnails

colors used: models own  chrome blue, sally hansen velvet deluxe, covergirl deep blue sea, mentality gumdrop, sally hansen babe blue, spoiled  plenty of fish in the sea, essie no more film, sally hansen glare essentials, spoiled visually slimming, top speed snow bunny, models own luis lemon.

40gnai - spring | @bulletnails

40gnai - spring | @bulletnails

40gnai - food | @bulletnails
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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – food

i’ve done a few food related manicures before (popcorn, eggs & oranges). but this time i thought i’d be funny. whenever someone does all their fingernails a different color or pattern or whatever it’s called skittles. which is also a type of food!

40gnai - food | @bulletnails

i know it’s corny (aha! another food theme idea!!) but i thought it was funny. this was also a good manicure for me because my little sister and her husband were in town over the last week and i just didn’t have much time to paint my nails. so i was able to do something pretty quick and it still looks like what i wanted it to look like!

40gnai - food | @bulletnailscolors used: wet n wild red a good book, nyx girls forever 1989, models own luis lemon, spoiled i’m so jaded, and sally hansen pronto purple.40gnai - food | @bulletnails

check out the other tasty manicures:

40gnai - food | @bulletnails

40gnai - fashion | @bulletnails
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40GNAI – fashion

during my 30 minute google search of “2016 fashion week” i came to the realization that i do not understand fashion. at all.

fashion?
like if i saw this person, wearing this outfit, out on the street, i might give her a dollar. or my leftovers from dinner that i’m tired of carrying around.

fashion?

or this ^^ – i have no words.

40gnai - fashion | @bulletnails

so, com@lieve91pletely uninspired by the mess that is “high fashion” – i decided to go with the only fashion note that i know: the little black dress. i did fancy it up a bit (inspired by @lieve91 on instagram – who is amazing with fashion inspired manis) with a bit of purple gradient. it’s cute but you can only see the purple when out in the sunshine. lucky for me, even though it’s february, it is 73° outside so i have ample time to see it in the sun :)

colors used spoiled visually slimming, nicole by opi show you care.

UPDATE: i added some pink dry brush / fan brushing to this mani to spice it up a little. i covered up all the purple, but it stands out a lot more. i like both versions – but this was a good addition!

40gnai - fashion 2.0 | @bulletnails

40gnai - fashion | @bulletnails

40gnai - films | love | @bulletnails
40gnai - films | preview | @bulletnails
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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – films

here’s my 40gnai mani from this week’s theme: films. i had so many ideas floating around my head for this one. then time got away from me and i couldn’t make up my mind and ended up doing a simple preview screen. it shows up before every movie after all…

colors used: salon perfect loopy lime and sinful colors snow me white.

take a look at all the other featured film manis:

40gnai - films | preview

40gnai - things that fly - hot air balloons | @bulletnails
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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – things that fly

i’m gonna keep this one pretty brief. once again the idea in my head and the design on my fingers are two drastically different things. i do like how these turned out but the theme isn’t obvious (like I think it always should be).

40gnai - things that fly - hot air balloons | @bulletnails
the theme was “things that fly” and my design is hot air balloons. in my mind i was seeing all these fantastical, colorful designs but when I googled it a lot of the designs are very simple – likes stripes, maybe a chevron or two. so i did what i could with what i had.

colors used: sally hansen babe blue, sinful colors snow me white, kbshimmer pt. young thing, salon perfect fired up fuschia, haute pink, yowza yellow, loopy lime and bermuda baby.

40gnai - things that fly - hot air balloons | @bulletnails

40gnai - wibbly wobbly new years | @bulletnails
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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – New Year

so this week’s prompt is new years. i couldn’t think of anything new years related (except for champagne, which i’ve already done), so instead my manicure is based on the most important thing happening today: the doctor who christmas special!!

40gnai - wibbly wobbly new years | @bulletnails

i started with galaxy nails and added a cute little tardis sticker. just some wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff…

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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

40gnai - winter | @bulletnails
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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – Winter

this week’s crumpets nail tarts prompt was winter. living in california i don’t get much winter (which is why i moved out here) but one thing i do miss is the gorgeous icicles that would form every year.

40gnai - winter | @bulletnails

i’ve also been really wanting to try the shattered glass manicure that i’ve seen around a few times. so i figured what better time to try it out!

40gnai - winter | @bulletnailsi looked up a bunch of tutorials and decided i needed cellophane. but everywhere that i found it it was just clear – none of the iridescence that makes this such a cool look. finally i found some small gift bags that had the right look, even if they were a little opaque for my needs. after cutting them into shards, i used essie garden variety as a base with spoiled black mamba as an accent on my ring finger. i used my clear gel topcoat as a glue to lay the cut pieces in. i repeated this one more time for variation and finished with like 10 more layers of gel to get rid of the roughness and sharp points that i knew would catch on everything!

40gnai - winter | @bulletnails

someone at work mentioned that these looked like the movie frozen. i have such a love/hate relationship with that movie (it was a good movie – i will 100% give it that, but i can’t stand how crazy everyone is about it – it was just a movie after all), but it is supposed to look wintery and frozen is all about winter – so i’d say that’s a win ;)

40gnai - winter | @bulletnailsif i were to do this again i would cut the pieces into smaller triangles. one of the difficulties i had was, on all but my thumb, my fingernails are very curved so the long strips of “glass” wouldn’t wrap around the nail. they wanted to be flat. i kept having to use tweezers while curing to hold down the ends so they would harden correctly.

take a look at all the other wonderfully cold manicures here:

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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – cartoons / comics

i just had a conversation with my mom about how few female superheroes there are. and how secondary they are. and that they’re just sex symbols. so much skin, so many mini skirts, so many high heeled thigh high boots. does that really seem like something you would put on to go fight crime? no. okay, rant over. probably.

anyway i thought it was great inspiration for this week’s crumpets nail challenge. so my theme is female superheroes. i started out by narrowing it down to a few bad ass ladies, then drew out their colors in adobe illustrator. the gif below shows you the hero with the color scheme i worked out for each.comics2from there i decided which ones i liked the best – both their color combinations and their recognisability (i’m pretty sure that’s a word!). i wanted to do a combo of both baddies and heroes.

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this was a really fun project. it’s cool seeing the themes and colors and stuff that a lot of them have in common. but like my rant said earlier – these ladies are too sexualized! it was hard even finding the pictures i did for this post (especially bomb queen – i did not know what i was getting in to when i listed her!).IMG_9171

colors used: lots… most frequent: spoiled visually slimming, wet n wild red red, essie cocktails & coconuts and wet n wild french white cremè.comic_nails

check out the link below to see more awesome comic/cartoon nail art!

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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – “your job”

this was a fun but very last minute mani! my life has been a bit of a whirlwind lately (in a good way) and i just didn’t get time for this manicure until late last night :(

40gnai - job

i would have liked to spend some more time on this and even out the letters and stuff – but otherwise i think it’s cute!

40gnai - jobso if you don’t know – these are design applications and i’m a graphic designer. so we have indesign for page layout, illustrator for vector artwork (think type and logos etc) and photoshop for, well photoshopping ;) the thumb and pinky are silver with an apple logo to represent my imac that i do my design work on, and my “day job” at the apple store.

also fun story – last night i was watching the movie jobs about steve jobs, founder of apple computers, while painting my jobs themed nails about working at apple. i’m confused ;) but totally a subconscious pick movie-wise!

colors used: claire’s liquid metal in dime a dozen, maybelline pink shock, nyx girls forever 1989, spoiled plenty of fish in the sea and spoiled visually slimming.

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halloween part 4

hocus-pocus-movie-poster-1619i’m back with another halloween manicure (also the theme this week for crumpets 40). this one is based on my favorite halloween movie: hocus pocus. besides being an awesome halloween movie, this was the first movie i ever saw in the theaters without my parents! that was 22 years ago! i kinda don’t even believe that. (imdb won’t let me live in denial thought).

so my manicure is the wonderful sandersen sisters: sarah, winifred and mary as well as their spell book and the full moon / movie cover.

as much as i love this manicure – this is the only picture i have of it. unfortunately when i put the top coat on it completely smeared the paint. i don’t ever do this, but the photo above had to have some extensive photoshopping to save it. luckily most of the streaks were on their faces which were plain anyway and could easily be removed. a lot of it was from their lips – i don’t know if it’s the red i used or what.

imgresalso the words hocus pocus were definitely not on my nails – that’s just a little embellishment i did while editing the photo. i had wanted to write it on but there was no way i could do it small enough. and i’m too picky to not have had it in the correct typeface anyway!

colors used: most were mixtures (ie all their lips used the same base with another mixed in to give similarity but not sameness), essie cocktails & coconuts, sally hansen mellow yellow, essie partners in crime, essie lots of lux, and wet n wild red red.

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halloween part 2

so i’ve moved on from my rant about women’s halloween costumes. i’m not over it, i’m just over thinking about it. i found my costume for this year and it’s really fun. i found a super cool demon mask online and have based my costume around that. i was just researching colored contacts – i would love to do the black out ones. two problems arose: 1: price. the regular black out lenses are $28 and the ones that black out the entire eye are $256!!!!! dang. they’re so cool though. problem 2: i already wear contacts. i had a pair in my cart before i realized that i couldn’t even were them! unless i wore glasses. i don’t think a demon with glasses is a very scary thought ;)

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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – Geeks

sheldonweek three of the crumpets 40 is geeks. there was a lot i could do for this one. but my favorite geek is sheldon cooper. he’s so weird and annoying but lovable and fun.

so my geek nails are dedicated to sheldon. bazinga! colors used: opi opi red and sally hansen mellow yellow.

40gnai - geeks

i think it turned out really cute – i’ve had it on for a few days and have gotten some really nice feedback. i like that the ‘bazinga’ nail is natural because i think it makes the graphic stand out – i just don’t like how stained my ring finger is on my right hand. luckily it’s just at the tip – almost all grown out!

i also really love this red – i’ve worn it before (the bottles almost gone) but it just looks really nice in this manicure. it may have to do with the fact that i’m tan right now – so the color goes with my skin tone better. but it just looks so glossy and sexy! i guess geeks and sexy aren’t mutually exclusive right?!

40gnai - geeks

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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – Hobbies

I’m starting a new nail challenge with the group from crumpets nail tarts. it’s a very interesting way to form the challenge – each week there is a prompt, but some people are doing odd weeks (themes) and some are doing even (colors+style). i went with the odd weeks (because i’m slightly odd and) because i thought the themes would give me the most inspiration.

40gnai - hobbiesso week one is hobbies. this sounds depressing but i couldn’t think of any hobbies i have. besides painting my nails (obvs). i do do stuff. it just all seems to be computer based and that didn’t give me much inspiration. i tried to think of what else i do for fun. well, i drink. so there you have it – a beer inspired manicure ;)

colors used: sally hansen wedding glitters and sinful colors snow me white.

hobbies