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). 

ncu - rainbow | @bulletnails
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ncu – rainbow

i’ve been thinking outside the box lately with my nail techniques! this week for the rainbow theme i used gel pens for my mani!

ncu - rainbow | @bulletnails

and it worked SO well. i’m still kind of surprised they 1) drew on my nails (actually on the peel of base coat), 2) that they didn’t completely wipe off or smear when i put a top coat over them, and 3) that they stayed on for a few days!

i love the control that i got by using pens. i love the colors. i love the glitter.

looks like my bullet journal isn’t going to be the only thing i use these pens for now! expect to see them again in the future!

ncu - rainbow | @bulletnails

sorry there are so many exclamation points here – i’m just super pumped how these turned out :)

ncu - rainbow | @bulletnails

i like the rainbow pattern that i did on my non-accent nails the best. i like how the edges are dark and the center is light. but i did the opposite on my ring finger just to see what it would look like. i don’t like it as much but i do like that you can see the chevron pattern better.

colors used: color technik glitter gel pens.

26gnai - red & pink | @bulletnails
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26gnai – red and pink

it’s way too early for valentine’s, although try telling that to target etc! but when i see red and pink together i can’t help but think of valentines. it’s the only reason i combine the two. so i got a bit of early valentine’s celebration in today with this mani.

26gnai - red & pink | @bulletnails

i really like how this turned out – it’s a cute simple pattern that was pretty easy to do. i started with the base coat of gold + glitter on three fingers, hoping to make it not too overwhelmingly red and pink.

then i made two rows of double dots, one pink one red and connected them with a little triangle of the same color with a small paint brush. i did my thumb first and learned the spacing, therefore like my ring and pinky fingers a lot better ;)

26gnai - red & pink | @bulletnails

i’ve also gotten in the habit of painting my “painting” hand with something that matches but is not as fancy, just so that while i’m wearing it throughout the week it matches when people see my hands. mostly i’ve just used the same base coat as my fancier design.

26gnai - red & pink | @bulletnails

this is what my right / “painting” hand looks like this week. this would have been cute for the challenge too actually. i haven’t been posting pics of this other hand because they’re not as interesting, but i thought it’d be fun to share that this is what i do – instead of leaving it blank or painting it some random way or spending a ton of time and energy to make it look the same (except worse because as ambidextrous as i may be, i’m still much better as this with my right hand).

26gnai - red & pink | @bulletnails

to be honest, the reason i showed my right hand was to give context to this photo. i’m so in love with this perfect tiny little heart that i managed to make on my thumb!

colors used: sally hansen fuchsia powerred carpetwedding glitters, pop gold glitz.

26gnai - new year | @bulletnails
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26gnai – new year new you

i’m not really in to new year’s resolutions. and “new year new you” doesn’t really speak to me. i’m actually really happy with who i am – and i feel like the resolution thing every year just makes people unhappy with themselves. people are constantly asking what are you going to change about yourself this year. why do we do that? only focusing on what needs to be changed or “fixed” instead of celebrating what is good leads to bad feelings about ourselves and insecurities.

so once again, this new year, there will be no new me. i am going to continue to love who i am. if there is something i think i need to change, i will work on it but i will not dwell on it. (end: new year’s resolution rant!)

26gnai - new year | @bulletnails

on to my nails – i did a new years celebration theme. i think this chunky glitter is so cute and it reminds me of fireworks and bubbles – both which remind me of new years celebrations. as far as the base coat goes, i just think black and gold together are super classy!

26gnai - new year | @bulletnails

colors used: wet n wild black crème, kbshimmer toast-ess with the mostest, essie matte about you.

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.

SIA | @bulletnails
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SIA concert

 

so i missed the last prompt of the year long crumpet’s challenge. i was planning on doing it, even alluded to it in my last post. but something cooler came up and my nails had to honor that instead!

on saturday i got to go to a sia concert (with miguel – swoon!). it was amazing. it was just like you would think it would be – sia standing at the back of the stage, bangs-covered face, belting out all her amazing songs with maddie and a few other dancers dressed in nude leotards jumping around the stage. it was really beautiful actually.

i found out i was going to the concert on tuesday – which is why i didn’t have time for the last crumpet’s prompt (earth tones with fan brush). it was understandably usurped!

SIA | @bulletnails

so i tried two different things with my nails – one hand i did half and half like sia’s current iconic wig and the other i used a nude base to mimic the leotard. then each has a little sia face with big bow accent nail :)

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 - 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 - 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

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 S08E08 | kim-chi book ball runway inspired manicure
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RuPolished – Book Ball

this weeks episode consisted of way too much bickering between derrick and naomi. at one point i told my friends that if they cut into the runway portion to show this squabbling that i was going to riot. luckily for my friends – this week was an hour and a half episode and i got a full runway show.

rupaul's drag race S08E08 | kim-chi book ball runway inspired manicure

the main runway challenge this week was to make a gown out of books! and the outfits turned out amazing. i love the challenges where the queens have to make something. they’re always so creative (or awful, which is also fun to see). three of the five were something that i could see on a real runway (naomi especially needs to go into fashion design i think).

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for my mani i chose kim chi. even though i only used one outfit as inspiration – it was her set of three that made me like hers the best this week. her story had to do with her being a little sprout with lots of creativity, then her traditional mother who doesn’t know kim does drag and then kim as a flower – all the potential and beauty that she has and will achieve.

rupaul's drag race S08E08 | kim-chi book ball runway inspired manicure

unfortunately, my mani was not as much of a win as the girls’ outfits. i tried two new techniques and neither of them worked how i wanted them to. the first was newspaper transfer. i’ve seen this before and was never something i was super in to, but thought it was perfect for this mani (perfect only after my printer decided not to work and i couldn’t do my temp tattoo instead). i watched a few youtube vids then went for it. and nothing happened. i tried again. no transfer. the problem was that i had used a top coat (so my nails would be dry as i’m smooshing newspaper on to them). so i put on a matte top coat and whallah! text on my nails. but big text. with lots of space between the lines. so i did a second transfer at an angle to show more, and i guess to match all the overlaid papers on kim’s dress.

rupaul's drag race S08E08 | kim-chi book ball runway inspired manicure

my second new technique fail was the one stroke style (where you have two colors on your brush and it looks really cool on flowers and stuff when done right). well i apparently didn’t do it right. i used two pinks – trying to match kim’s headpiece – and they must’ve been too close in color because it just looked like pink. i ended up going back over the tip of my nail with another color to fake the style.

when it was down to the final two, i told my friends that if bob went home i was going to throw the tv out the [6th story] window. this was an easy threat to make because there’s no comparison between the two, but also because i was at my friend’s house and therefore it was not my tv ;) lucky for me and the owner of the tv, the right person went home this week. but after this – anyone could win! they’re all great and i won’t be upset no matter who wins (i will be upset every time someone goes home though).

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

animal is a hard prompt – the first things that pop into my mind are the myriad of “animal print” manicures that i’ve seen. they’re fairly simple, which is why they’ve been done so many times. but they’ve also been done so many times!

40gnai - animal | @bulletnails

so i tried to think of something unusual. when i had this prompt during my 31-day challenge i modeled my nails after a green rose chafer beetle. that was fun and different. and i wanted to be fun and different again.

40gnai - animal | @bulletnails

then it hit me – use your spirit animal! which is a unicorn. they bleed glitter and fart rainbows. and impale their enemies with a giant sparkly shaft on their faces. what more could anyone ask for?

i started with a shimmery white basecoat and topped it off with iridescent flakies. my accent nail is a beautiful sparkly unicorn braid.

i’m a little sad about the pictures – it was tough getting a shot of these nails. the sparkles and flakies on the white base almost always showed up as solid white. :( and it’s been cloudy since i painted them so can’t try any sunshine photography…

40gnai - animal | @bulletnails

colors used: sinful colors snow me white, sinful colors social ladder, sally hansen pearly whites, models own luis lemon, models own toxic apple, models own beach hut, salon perfect fired up fuchsia, models own pukka purple, spoiled plenty of fish in the sea, and torrid purple iridescent.

click below to view the mani zoo :)

40gnai - animal | @bulletnails

rupaul's drag race S08E07 | bob the drag queen black and white realness runway inspired mani
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RuPolished – Election Year

i really liked this week’s challenge. i liked the pairings (i was worried about bob and derrick – way to werk it out!). i liked the runway looks.

rupaul's drag race S08E07 | black and white realness runway inspirationthe runway was black and white realness – inspired by this amazing look from detox during her season’s finale episode. i remember when i first saw a picture of her in this outfit/makeup – i just assumed i was looking at a black and white photo. then the episode came out and i was blown away!

so i’m really glad they used this as a challenge. not everyone did very good with it (why was naomi so blue – and did derrick put any makeup on?

rupaul's drag race S08E07 | bob the drag queen black and white realness runway inspired mani

the most surprising thing to me was how beautiful bob looked. i don’t know why – she’s dressed up as a clown – but i think she looks so feminine and soft. and super fun! i only wish her hair was a little more extremely white – rather than just really light blonde.

rupaul's drag race S08E07 | bob the drag queen black and white realness runway inspired mani

so i started by painting my nails white. then on three fingers i painted half black then went to town with my dotting tools. i tried to make the dots line up (index) but that was too much hassle so i gave up. i actually like them not lining up better anyway.

rupaul's drag race S08E07 | bob the drag queen black and white realness runway inspired mani

i painted the silver accent to match bob’s makeup (looked a little more silvery than just flat grey). and then came the hard nail. the diamonds. i used a striping brush and did the outlines in black, then filled them in. but with that technique the white parts were disproportionate. any other time i would have left it – but since i was trying to match i went back in with a striping brush, dotting tools and other small brushes. let’s just say there is a lot of polish on my middle finger!

rupaul's drag race S08E07 | bob the drag queen black and white realness runway inspired mani

eventually though – it got to what i was imagining and i am very happy with it :)

rupaul's drag race S08E06 | naomi smalls wizards of drag runway inspired mani
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RuPolished – Wizards of Drag

rupaul's drag race S08E06 | naomi smalls wizards of drag runway inspired mani

this weeks drag race was the dress-somebody-else-up-in-drag episode. it was fun – they had ladies from little women LA as their somebody-else which was a good change from the macho men they usually have.

the main challenge involved each queen having to dress up herself and her little lady (as chi chi kept calling them) as a character from the wizard of oz.

rupaul's drag race S08E06 | wizards of drag | todrick hall

i think my favorite outfit of the night was todrick hall, who was on the show as a judge – not a contestant. i just like him in general anyway, but he killed it as the wizard (if that’s what he was going for. and i assume he was).

rupaul's drag race S08E06 | naomi smalls wizards of drag runway inspired mani

unfortunately – green sequins and sharp angles are awesome on a suit, but not too interesting on (or easy to translate to) a manicure. so i went with my second favorite outfit: naomi smalls and jasmine. i thought it was a really clever take on the scarecrow – like the yellow brick road meets haute couture. good job naomi!

rupaul's drag race S08E06 | naomi smalls wizards of drag runway inspired mani

colors used: essie cocktails & coconuts, essie buy me a cameo, sally hansen golden-i, sinful colors tokyo pearl, sally hansen deluxe and essie partner in crime.

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

rupaul's drag race S08E03 | ruco's empire inspired mani
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RuPolished – RuCo’s Empire

week 3 of rupaul’s drag race brought back a contestant, featured some (great) overacting, and the first ever runway in rollerskates! the runway fashions were fun (and kinda my style – ie 80’s), but my favorite part of the show was ruco’s empire. so funny!

rupaul's drag race S08E03 | ruco's empire inspired mani

rupaul's drag race S08E03 | ruco's empire inspired manibob the drag queen killed it! her and her acting team were my inspiration for this week’s manicure. i tried to do the outline mani – i’ve never really liked it but thought it would work well for this look. i think it really only works if you can make the lines really thin but i had a few things working against me. 1: i didn’t have a thin enough brush, 2: my gold was too thin to show up enough (already have 2 coats on), 3: my nails are really curved so if i had been able to paint thin lines you wouldn’t probably even be able to see the lines on the sides.

 

rupaul's drag race S08E03 | ruco's empire inspired mani

i still think that this turned out pretty cute – i ain’t mad at it ;)

metal fishtail | @bulletnails
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metallic fishtail

i really liked my last fishtail, so i decided to try another one this week. i got a shipment of model’s own polish a while back and still hadn’t used this coppery color that i had been most excited about. unfortunately the color didn’t turn out as awesome as i had hoped. next time i use it i’ll have to do more layers (hopefully to make it more copper than gold) and/or do more of a basecoat (white or maybe brown?).

i also ended up doing 5 colors in my fishtail, but this was solely to break up the monotone that i had going once my first three colors were down (the copper, gold and silver). i liked the pink splash so ended up changing the solid color on my other three fingers to match that instead.

metal fishtail | @bulletnails

overall i like this technique – i’ve gotten a lot of compliments (because it looks complicated) and is still easy to do. it just takes a long time for all those layers to dry!

colors used: models own copper pot, sally hansen wedding glitter, sally hansen celeb city, sally hansen hot magenta, orly in ageless sleep.

pink fishtail | @bulletnails
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neon fishtail

my first time doing a fishtail! i really like the way this turned out :) the pink and purple are both new – from, torrid, a really great clothing store for curvy girls – and of course i wanted to do something with them right away.

salmon fishtailthe colors look really nice together and the pink even makes me look tan (even though i am the exact opposite of that!). the only trouble i ran in to was that the colors aren’t quite opaque enough for the fishtail to work properly. because of this i had two options (neither ideal): 1 –  paint on a thin to normal coat of each color and just deal with being able to see the color underneath or 2 – paint thick or double layers of each, doubling the drying time and taking up my entire evening. as you can see, i went with more of option #1.

salmon fishtail

colors used: torrid purple irridecent [sic], torrid neopink, and kbshimmer pt. young thing.

purple fishtailafter wearing this mani for a few days all the pink nails started to chip. the fishtails were fine though so instead of redoing the whole thing i repainted the pink to purple. i’m really happy with being able to keep these a few extra days – they’re cute and like a whole new design (but way easy!).

neon gradient | @bulletnails
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neon gradient

it’s been really foggy and cold lately. since i can’t do anything about that, i decided to make some sunshine on my nails. i got a whole rainbow of new polishes when i was home for christmas and wanted to do some more with those. i wanted to use all the colors but my nails would need to have been twice as long and that’s never gonna happen.

neon gradient

these turned out really nice. i was going to use loose glitter flakies for the whole thing but after struggling with my accent nail i decided i didn’t have an entire day to do the others.

neon gradient

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 - 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 – 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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tanicure

i’m so tan! it probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to most people – it’s summer, everyone’s tan. except i live in san francisco. nobody is tan here! we only get to see the sun as a blurry bright spot in the fog.

IMG_8374anyway i got back from my amazing trip to hawaii and found out that i have 5 days off in a row over labor day weekend (especially amazing because i work in retail!). i had originally though of going back to hawaii because, why not. and as tempting as that was (and still is), i’ve decided to go to dallas instead. the flights are about the same price and about the same time commitment and if those were the only factors i would be on my way back over the ocean. but alas, dallas has something hawaii doesn’t. three things actually: a house that i can stay in free of charge, a car (my mini!) and my sister. so off to dallas i will be going for a vacation from these arduous last 6 days of working ;)

my nails had indeed chipped while i was in hawaii so i did another cute bright manicure for my trip to texas. i just can’t stop staring at it – it looks so awesome and vibrant against my tan! haha – it’s weird what you miss once you get a taste of it again! colors used: pop ablaze (my new fave color!), essie sunday funday, maybeline pink shock, and for the chevrons the always beautiful kbshhimmer in pt young thing.

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summery shades

i’m going to hawaii so soon!!! i bought this fun bright orange to get in the summer mood :) this weeks crumpets nail tarts prompt was hot pink – so i figured why not combine them.

summery shadesthis was nice and simple for the most part with a little hand drawn lightning bolt accent nail. i used pop ablaze and spoiled plastic flamingo.

summery shadessummery shades

you’ll notice on my left hand my polish is crinkly – i used a gel top coat and didn’t wait for the color to cure beforehand. it’s funny how it does that. shrink up underneath…
click below to view more hot pink (and/or tribal manis)

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yellow glitter chevrons

no challenge prompt today. i decided the other day that i really wanted to paint my nails yellow and grey. it’s just such a good color combination! one is so neutral while the other is so bright and vibrant.

yellow chevrons

i also knew i didn’t just want plain colors. my original thought was to do chevrons in matte and gloss so it would be really subtle. i love that look but as i started cutting the chevrons out of painters tape (with pinking shears) i realized that i didn’t want to cut out enough for all my nails!

yellow chevronsit’s amazing how a little laziness can dictate the entirety of something! so instead i did pretty glitter chevrons on my accent nail and left the rest matte grey. i really like matte nails – i think i need to get a better matte topcoat though. these are pretty but i would call them satin. for the glitter i used a sponge to apply so i would get better coverage. and boy did i! i love the macro shot of these. the glitter is so dense. yaaasss!

colors used: sally hansen gunmetal, sally hansen mellow yellow, pop gold glitz, and revlon matte top coat.

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tie dye nails

tie dyeso i finally got accepted to the crumpet’s nail tarts group on facebook :) yay! this means that hopefully i’ll have some fun inspiration. this week’s challenge was “tie dye” and “fugly” – you can choose to do one, both, or combine the two. i’m definitely only doing tie dye for this one. which is a great one for me to start with because i haven’t done it before. i was going to do a monochrome tie dye but being about 3 blocks away from haight ashbury, my inner hippie wouldn’t let me skip any colors ;) that’s fine – i’m sorta known for wearing all the colors in my day-to-day life, so why should my nails be any different.

tie dye

i did try to do a little more than just a traditional tie dye though. because, well, everyone has done that. so i have my accent nails as full dye and did french tip tie dye (tongue twister!) for the rest.

tie dyei really like the way it turned out :)

colors used for tie dye: wet n wild red a good book, nyx girls forever, sinful colors yellow (not labeled), heaven power up green, sinful colors love nails, essie garden variety, sally hansen posh plum. base colors: sinful colors snow me white and essie cocktails & coconuts.

okay, now that you’ve looked at mine – go look at these other great tie dye / fugly manicures!!

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peace

just a quick mani today. i took off my polish last night and was going to go naked for a while. but it felt too weird! so i went with my trusty spoiled distant memory (a fave because it matches my hair). i was going to leave it as is, but worried what people might think (oh the scandal! one color? “are you feeling alright?”). so i looked up some nail challenges and came across the “oh mon dieu” challenge on craftynails.com. now, i’ve missed most of the challenge (and am definitely not ready to dive into another everyday challenge) but they recently did the prompt “peace”.

peacei liked that idea so here’s my piece (haha get it?!). i used kbshimmer pt. young thing for the accent nails.

check out some of the other awesome peace manicures through this nifty “inlink” button below :)


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31dc: day twenty five: inspired by fashion

i’m not super into fashion. most of the time i only care about it when it decides to change standard styles and causes me not to be able to find clothes i like anymore (like with short shorts or skinny jeans and you either wore them or nothing).
IMG_0029but i do love shoes! these flamingo shoes are one of my favorite pairs. i always get comments when i wear them because they’re so fun and cute. plus they’re actually really comfy – bonus!

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i’ve been saying for a while now that i’m going to paint my nails to match these shoes and this was the perfect prompt to get me to do just that :)

colors: sally hansen mint sorbet, bubblegum pinkfuchsia power, and pep plum.

31dc

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31dc: day seventeen: glitter

i love glitter. anytime someone asks what my favorite color is, i say glitter. unfortunately i learned a hard lesson about glitter today. it does not like coloring within the lines. i did a tape manicure with glitter and i’ve figured out that the glitter should always be the base coat.

31dc glitter

anytime i pulled the tape up, there was either glitter poking out over the line or peeling up with the tape. i pushed it around enough as it was drying for it to turn out okay, but i definitely learned my lesson today.

colors used: essie coctails & coconut & hors d’oeuvres.

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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31dc: day four: green

i’m not a big weed smoker, but when the green prompt came up that’s all i could think of! i think it has something to do with all the dispensaries around here. the green cross. haha.

31dc green

i started out with base coats of my beautiful holo pt young thing from kbshimmer and green on the runway from opi.

31dc green

with a striping brush i painted on the marijuana leaves in opposite colors of the base coat. i worship this macro shot – all the rainbow!!!

31dc green

alas i have already painted over this manicure. it lasted about 3 hours. but i have to work tomorrow and i don’t think anyone would be fooled by me saying it’s supposed to be a star ;)

31dc

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where there’s smoke

another new technique. saw this smoke manicure the other day and loved the way it looked. mine didn’t turn out quite as i’d hoped – the original used pure acetone to disperse the paint on top. i, for some reason, still have yet to invest in acetone. this manicure does not work as well with nail polish remover.where there's smoke

this was supposed to be a quick mani – two coats and some blobs of acetone and you’re done. but with the polish remover this took me probably two hours. ugh. well now i know.

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fancy stripes

i love this manicure! i love the pink. i love the gold. and i love the super contrasty stripes. yay!

stripes

unfortunately i smudged the stripes on my right hand. wah wah. but i took some time and touched it up by hand. it ended up not being too noticeable. then this happened:stripes

i am (not literally) crying right now! my top coat completely ruined the stripes. i’ve never had this happen before. i threw out that topcoat straight away. there was no time to fix it. so i took off the stripey nail on both hands and painted it pink. nobody but me and my camera saw this pretty mani in person. (╯︵╰,)

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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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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!

iphone_1

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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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!

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pink stripes

i just ordered a nail stamping kit! i’m so excited. but in the meantime my nails are chipped like nobody’s business. so i decided to do an inbetween. at first i just had it pink with glitter at the bottom. but the glitter barely shows up in real life so it was too boring. yesterday i added the stripes just to give it more fun. i’ve gotten so many compliments on this! it’s so funny how some of the harder, more time consuming designs nobody notices. then i slap some polish on (this probably took me 10 minutes) and everyone loves it. i mean, it is cute.

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swirly stickers

this is my new favorite polish. it’s such a pretty pink / orange. and funny enough it’s fergie brand from wet ‘n wild. i dislike fergie – but i admit she makes a good nail polish! i’m going on a cruise with my family in like, a minute and really wanted my nails to look cute and summery. this color is amazing, and my accent nails are kiss brand nail stickers from walgreens. i bought these a while ago and keep forgetting about them. they worked pretty well. it was a little difficult not to get bubbles – i had to press and hold for long periods of time while the polish dried. but i think they’re really cute and would definitely use them again.