ncu - anti-valentine hearts | @bulletnails
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red & black hobbies

i like this one. i did struggle a little bit – again i think the prompt is too constricting. but i think i worked it out ;)

ncu - anti-valentine hearts | @bulletnails

i don’t know that i’d consider playing cards a hobby of mine but i do really enjoy it. from super simple to super fast – i grew up playing cards with my family. and i still really enjoy a good game night!

ncu - anti-valentine hearts | @bulletnails

colors used: sinful colors snow me white, color technik glitter gel pens.

ncu - anti-valentine hearts | @bulletnails
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anti valentines hearts

simple broken hearts. meh.

ncu - anti-valentine hearts | @bulletnails

i think my problem sometimes with prompts is that they’re too specific. like maybe someone else will have some clever design for this – but when i’m told anti-valentine hearts, i’m not sure that it leaves enough room for creativity…

 

rupaul's drag race S09E05 | night of 1000 mandonnas part two: valentina's "sex book" runway look
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RuPolished – Snatch Game

halleloo i’m back. i have had naked nails for the past two weeks while i’ve been on vacation and then working 14 hours days. sometimes you just don’t have time for the upkeep…

this week’s drag race was snatch game. something we do every season, and every season at least one girl still seems surprised she has to do an impression. anyway, there were definitely some stand-outs, both in the good category and the bad. obviously the best was alexis – girl had liza down pat!

on to the runway: “night of 1000 madonna’s, part II” – except we gotta minus a few because somehow there were still repeats!

how has no one done either of these classic 80’s looks? they’re still what i picture in my head when i think of madonna. maybe everyone figures someone else is going to do it so they pick something else? i feel like after the kimono-no-no that if i were told there was going to be a madonna challenge i would bring two outfits.

anyway, even though there were repeats there were some great looks. farrah’s was amazing and trinity looked great but when valentina walked out on stage i just died. i lived! and then i died. i thought it was a clever, beautiful, tongue-in-cheek choice and she was serving that body-ody-ody.

rupaul's drag race S09E05 | night of 1000 mandonnas part two: valentina's "sex book" runway look

so that’s the outfit i chose for my nails. one because it super simple and that is my favorite thing ever. two because it was so smart. and three because i’ve lived with naked nails for the past two weeks – of course they’d get censored sooner or later ;)

ncu - red & black | @bulletnails
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ncu – red & black

when i decided to do this playing card mani for the black and red challenge i didn’t realize i would struggle so much with the little stems on the spade and club. tricky little buggars!

ncu - red & black | @bulletnails

i think they ended up looking okay, maybe a little out of proportion, but i can deal with that! i do really like this mani, if for nothing else, because of the combo of matte and shiny. that was unintentional, just the polishes i ended up using. i didn’t do a top coat because i really liked the contrast.

ncu - red & black | @bulletnails

colors used: sinful colors snow me white, style me up! black, wet n wild red red.

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.

26gnai - black base | @bulletnails
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26gnai – black base

i’m going to start by apologizing: i’m sorry but this is not a happy post. feel free to skip to the photo (after that is were i get back to nail business).

but things suck right now. hard. i’m sad, embarrassed, angry, ashamed, confused. what happened tuesday was a failure of the system. people were told to be scared. i guess it’s not surprising that they ended up scared. scared enough to vote for hatred. scared enough to look past all the proven bad behavior and still want to follow.

and now, we’re being bombarded with stories of bullies (on both sides, but mainly directed at minorities). one day after the election and people’s better selves have gone into hibernation. people believe they are now free to treat others in atrocious and disgusting ways.

my only silver lining is that hillary actually won the popular vote. not by much (3-4 hundred thousand, depending on which source you look at), but i have to hold on to the fact that most people didn’t want trump. that does little good for this country, but restores my faith in humanity a bit at least. but who knows, maybe the “electors” will use their legal rights to change their vote and fix this error. i’m not holding my breath though – only 3 electors have changed their vote in the past 30 years (although if we go back further we see many more people with minds of their own: in 1832 32 electors changed their votes, 1836 there were 23 and in 1872 there were 63!). read more about this at fairvote.com and watch the video above to see why this system no longer works.

26gnai - black base | @bulletnails

so nails… when i originally read this prompt my plan was to do rainbow stripes on top of a black base. i was in a hopeful, optimistic mood. no longer. i am in mourning. my country is in mourning. so my nails reflect that. i did a matte and shiny combo of the american flag (sorry it’s not super accurate, still trying to get better at small details).

i love the matte/shiny look but i had a dickens of a time trying to photograph it! i got the best results using a flash – it lit up the matte part while reflecting off the shiny, hopefully making it clear whats going on. i don’t typically use a flash because it makes everything look so washed out. but i took the photos into photoshop and added a little color back to my skin (i’m not a zombie i swear!)

colors used: style me up black, sally hansen invisible.

26gnai - halloween | @bulletnails
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26gnai – halloween in the wrong colors

i’m struggling with feeling excited about any of the prompts this round. they’re just not speaking to me. they’re not inspiring me. like this one. “halloween in the wrong colors.” what are the wrong colors? i feel like halloween is the holiday with the least strict color code to start with (sure orange and black, but yellow, purple, green, dark blue etc are all typical too). it’s not like christmas (red green and maybe white), valentine’s day (red/pink) or fourth of july (red white and blue) etc.

so instead of exploding my brain trying to think of what to do, i decided to choose a recognizable halloween character and do my typical simplification to it. oh and make it the wrong colors. in this case – the opposite colors…

26gnai - halloween | @bulletnails

i chose the bride of frankenstein. i love her hair! i’ve wanted to be bride of frankenstein for halloween for a white, but i haven’t done it because i want to do it right! and lately i tend to procrastinate around halloween time. maybe next year…

26gnai - halloween | @bulletnails

i did my other hand in the correct colors – so that people at work or whatever might have a chance to actually guess what the design is.

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 - 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 - 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

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.

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

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 S08E05 | madonna inspired runway challenge
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RuPolished – Snatch Game

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

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

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

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

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

rupaul's drag race S08E05 | madonna inspired runway challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

rupaul's drag race S08E01 | laila mcqueen entrance outfit inspired mani
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

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.

birthday mani | @bulletnails
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happy birthday to me!

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

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

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

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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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dia de los muertos

my second favorite holiday of the year comes just two days after my first. dia de los muertos is such a rich, spiritual, fun holiday. there’s parties, face painting and booze, but also remembrance, honor and respect.

muertos

as if all that weren’t enough, this is also the origin of the sugar skull – one of my favorite things (my house is full of them!). i typically attend the festivities, and usually paint my face. this year my nails are also in the spirit (haha get it – spirit – because of the spirits).

muertos

this year i have a skull half mask that i’m probably going to wear to the parade because i have to work and won’t have time to paint my face. :( my friend and her hubby and baby will be going with me though – so i’m excited to see if they paint their faces – especially the little one. he’s just old enough that he might sit still for it.

muertos

colors used: spoiled visually slimming, wet n wild french white crème, pop ablaze, spoiled plenty of fish in the sea, spoiled kickin’ the habit, maybelline pink shock, and spoiled distant memory.

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halloween part 3

tincturescan you tell yet that i love halloween? today’s manicure was inspired by my halloween party bar from last year. i had decorated all the alcohol bottles with fun witchy / spooky / halloween labels. it was so cute! some of the bottles are actually still decorated like this (some partly because i no longer remember what alcohol is in the bottle!). for my mani i found some cute designs on etsy and made some nail stickers using my trusty temporary tattoo paper.

tinctures

i had to squeeze and squish the designs a lot to fit on my nails. they’re pretty small, but not entirely unreadable. i tried to focus on fitting and centering the the image, then the title and then whatever else fit.

tincturestincturesi started with a coat of spoiled i’m so jaded and added brush strokes of kbshimmer pt. young thing. then a few coats of wet n wild glo’ money, glo’ problems glow in the dark polish. and finally the temp tattoos. my nails look really cool in the dark – but i have not figured out how to capture them on camera! i read a few blogs about photographing glow in the dark manicures, but it just seems like no matter what i do, i just get black or at the most, blurry photos (ie image below).

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you can kinda see here that the tattoos do a nice job of blacking out part of the glow so the design is just as cool in the dark as it is in the light (sorry but you might have to use your imagination!!).

i like these. the tattoo paper is aways nice to be able to do complex designs in a small space and not to have to spend an inordinate amount of time. if i were to do these again the only thing i would do different would be to use a more parchment-y color scheme than the green and silver.

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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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halloween part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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new iphones

today was the release of the iphone 6s and 6s plus. i had a lovely 10 hour shift but somehow still managed not to sell a single iphone. last year my record was about three months. we’ll see what this year brings.

6sbesides all the actual work stuff, i painted my nails to match the new colors of the phones. my “rose gold” isn’t quite right but i think it’s okay for never having seen the color in person before!

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i tried doing the waterfall technique. i’m not a huge fan of how it turned out, but after doing it once i feel like the next time i have some ideas of how to improve it. colors used: mentality marmalade, sally hansen wedding glitters, sally hansen celeb city, spoiled black mamba.

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

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

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

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

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

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31dc: day sixteen: geometric

on a lot of these 31 day challenges today’s prompt was listed as tribal. i saw someone had changed it on theirs to geometric and i liked that way better. so i followed suit ;)

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31dc geometricmy mani is inspired by piet mondrian – his paintings are so iconic (and geometric!). i love the way his work looks like stained glass.

i started out this mani taping my nails and painting within the lines, then going over it with the black. but i soon realized that that was a lot of unnecessary work. so i just did the black stripes and painted it in. the colors weren’t too opaque that anyone will notice the overlap (except in this macro!)

colors used: wet n wild french white creme, sinful colors yellow (no name on bottle), opi opi red and kiss black striping polish.

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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!

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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.

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31dc: day 8: (glam) metal

okay so this prompt originally called for metallic but i just couldn’t get metal out of my mind. at first i was going to do diamond plate, but i couldn’t get the music genre out of my mind. as my mind wandered i eventually ended up with kiss. they’re very iconic and would be easy to recognize (and not super hard to draw).

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kiss striping polishescolors used: spoiled visually slimming, sinful colors snow me white, wet n wild red a good book and the kiss (haha fitting!) nail art kit with black, white and silver glitter (left).

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hawaii, here i come!

i’m soooooooo excited! me and a friend just purchased tickets to hawaii for august. when i’m excited about something i need to do something creative to get these emotions out in the open. lucky for me it turned into a cute beachy sunset. man, i just wanna lay in that hammock all day!

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here’s how this started out. messy! typically i use elmer’s glue around my nail which just peels off with the excess polish. well i got a little ahead of myself and just went straight for it this time. cleanup took a long time…

nail polishes used for sunset gradient

these are the colors i used for the gradient (spoiled did i dye it too blonde, nyc 237 (is that the name? i couldn’t find any other for it), spoiled: plenty of fish in the sea, kbshimmer shade shifter and spoiled visually slimming). the black really only showed up on the thumb. i was trying to make it look like the sun was in the middle of the manicure and was getting darker off to the sides. i think it worked out alright :)

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bigger on the inside

i have been waiting SO long to do these nails!! i love love love doctor who and wanted to do these for the beginning of the new series but i missed it.who1

i just finished watching the last episode of this season and i think that’s as good a time as any to pay tribute (i volunteer as tribute. wait. sorry. wrong fandom).

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if you can’t tell, the nails are (thumb) cyberman, (index) dalek, (middle) tardis, (ring) the silence, (pinkie) all of time and space.

my original inspiration came from a buzzfeed article which featured this awesome dalek artwork.

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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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butterfly

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this was a fun experiment. in the stamping kit that i got a while ago there was a great print that looks like butterfly wings. my original thought was to go for the obvious and do a yellow and orange monarch look but i just got this great silver holographic polish in the mail and really wanted to use it. overall i think the colors are great but i am still struggling with stamping! all these tutorials i watch everyone seems so proficient. maybe i’m trying to hard, or using the wrong polish or expecting too much. butterfly2

the stamp on these nails looks clean and a rich dark black but don’t be fooled – it’s sharpied! the stamp was originally so translucent and in some places almost non-existent that i would have either had to take all the polish off and do it again, or (as i decided to do) just trace over all the stamp with a fine tip sharpie. it was a lot more work than i planned on for this manicure but the result is good and i guess any practice with stamping can only make me better. butterfly3

the process for this manicure started out with a really unique polish that i got from claire’s/the icing. its called liquid metal and it’s very solid and shiny – i thought it would make a good base coat. the thing that’s unusual with this polish is that it dries almost immediately and is more like a paint pen than nail polish. i still haven’t decided if i like it or not, but a good buy nonetheless. next was my pretty new “pt young thing” holographic polish from kbshimmer on etsy. so pretty! lastly came the stamp in black with a whole bunch of colors sponged on top.

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halloween stripes

these didn’t turn out as well as i had pictured them in my mind. i was thinking they could be a generic halloween manicure and double as giants colors (because they’re making some kind of run or something. i don’t know but everyone’s really excited about it). eh. oh well. at least i have candy corn to bring up my spirits (haha – puns!)

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halloween

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

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

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

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

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

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iphone 6

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

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

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

 

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(guardians of the) galaxy nails

i’m so excited for the guardians of the galaxy movie. i still haven’t seen it and i’m practically bursting at the seams! in honor of that movie i decided to try my hand at galaxy nails. i’ll admit – this one looks complicated and i’ve been avoiding it. once i actually got down to it, it was one of the easier ones i’ve done. you can be messy and it won’t matter. brilliant.

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t-we

twe2my good friend owns a tea shop. it’s the cutest thing to ever exist. the galleria that he’s located in asked him to move into a bigger shop (because he’s doing so well and they wanted him to be more prominent – yay!) and yesterday was their grand (re)opening. i’ve been over there helping them paint and move stuff (and mostly just chatting) so i knew the color scheme and decided to match my nails to their new shop for last nights party. the main picture is of my nails in the tea shop. you can see where i got the inspiration! what you can’t see in the pic is they have large black columns that bookend either side of this display (hence the black accent nail).