ncu - gold snowflakes | @bulletnails
Image

gold snowflakes

okay. new year. i’m gonna try and do this nail thing again! the first prompt for nail crazies 2018 challenge was gold snowflakes. i learned this while watching the santa clause (1-3) over the holidays and it made me think of the snow-globes in those movies. so my nails are representing gold snowflakes in a just-turned-over snow globe :)

ncu - gold snowflakes | @bulletnails

colors used: sinful colors tokyo pearl, pop gold glitz, and sally hanson twinkle toes.

26gnai - red & pink | @bulletnails
Image

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.

ncu - gold & silver | @bulletnails
Image

ncu – gold & silver

really wanted to use some gold foil that i had laying around my house for this prompt. i’d never done it before so wasn’t sure how it would work. gold foil is sort of hard to work with but i really love the shiny real gold look that it creates. i’ve used it on multiple occasions for crafty stuff and really want to find a way to incorporate it into some of my furniture!

ncu - gold & silver | @bulletnails

for the mani i place the foil onto the slightly tacky silver layer. i had already cut the foil to the V shape and after it was stuck on just had to clean up the edges. because it’s so thin it ripped fairly easily, and even the simple act of pressing it into the polish caused tears and wrinkles. so i decided to cover the edges and create a design with some striping tape. it also adds a nice pop of color.

ncu - gold & silver | @bulletnails

once i put a top coat on over the design and foil it got really crinkly. i had a feeling this would happen and have read other similar reviews. but the striping tape peels off to easily if not topcoated. so i went with it. it doesn’t look bad but i really wanted the smooth “gold brick” look.

colors used: sally hansen celeb city & essie matte about you.

26gnai - new year | @bulletnails
Image

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
Image

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.

ncu - fall foliage | @bulletnails
Image

ncu – fall foliage

this was a simple fan brush manicure. i haven’t actually done one before but it ended up really nice. the gold really sets it off.

ncu - fall foliage | @bulletnails

there’s not much to say about this design… i don’t know why i’ve never done this style before but i will definitely do it again :)

ncu - fall foliage | @bulletnails

colors used: orly bring me her heart, opi green on the runway, essie partner in crime, sally hansen wedding glitters.

40gnai - mint green + leopard | @bulletnails
Image

Great Nail Art Ideas – mint green + leopard

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

40gnai - mint green + leopard | @bulletnails

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

40gnai - mint green + leopard | @bulletnails

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

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

40gnai - mint green + leopard | @bulletnails

40gnai - hot pink + mermaid scales | @bulletnails
Image

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
Image

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 S08E03 | ruco's empire inspired mani
Image

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
Image

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.

superbowl 50 | @bulletnails
Image

Superbowl 50!

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

superbowl 50 | @bulletnails

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

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

superbowl 50 | @bulletnails

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

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

Image

40 Great Nail Art Ideas – Hobbies

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

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

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

hobbies

Image

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!

6s

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.

Image

31dc: day twelve: stripes

31dc stripestoday i just needed a simple design and stripes was the perfect prompt for that. i used painters tape and striping tape to make the stripes different thicknesses.

i really like the gold and grey together. it seems very ritzy.

31dc stripes

if i were to do this manicure again i would make all the stripes go in the same direction. i think the design gets a little lost with all the changes.

31dc

Image

avengers unite!

oh man – this was such a fun manicure. i love comic book movies! i also love how much attention these got over the past few days. working in retail a lot of people see my hands and i got a lot of compliments and questions. one of my favorite things is when someone asks where i got my nails done and then the shock on their face when i tell them i did them myself.

avengers avengers

this is how each hand started. i had it planned out which avenger was going on which finger and painted a color that was representative of them.

avengers avengers

the logos were originally going to be done by hand. some of them would have been easy. but there are a few that were just never going to look good. so i went to my trusty temporary tattoo paper and printed them out. i sorta felt like it was cheating but i don’t even care because they turned out so well! not to brag, but my nails turned out just as awesome as the movie!

Image

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. (╯︵╰,)

Image

circus wedding

my best friend got married yesterday! and it was the cutest wedding to have ever happened! it was circus themed and everyone dressed up and had the most amazing time. i dressed up as a fortune teller. in the main picture you can see my giant ring crystal ball, my billions of bracelets and my sparkly nails.circus wedding

this was a really easy manicure. step one: base coat. step two: before base coat dries, dump a ton of glitter on your nail. step three: top coat. repeat step three until your nails stop snagging on your dress. done!

circus wedding

glitter!!!!

circus wedding

this is me and my mom in our outfits! i handmade the tarot card fan and mom handmade the snake that she’s wearing around her neck. so much fun crafting with her! i wish we lived closer so we could do it more often.

Image

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).

who

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.

Image

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.

 

Image

settled glitter

i wanted to do sort of the opposite gradient that i normally do – where the tip of my nails have the accent color. so i put all this chunky glitter near the beds of my nails. i like it. it sort of looks like the glitter just settled to the bottom which is kinda fun. i have really been in love with all the big glittery polishes. growing up i always hated those because i would get like, one dot on my finger. i didn’t realize that you had to kind of do the placement yourself. now i love them :)

Image

watermarbling

i watched a lot of youtube in the past few days and have decided to try my hand (haha) at water marbling. it always looks so cool and intricate. mine turned out all right. i struggled with time i think. by the time i got all the colors in and watermarble4was trying to swirl them together they were wanting to stick to the toothpick or not move at all. if i try this again i’m going to have to be more in fast-forward mode (i always thought those youtube vids were sped up but now i’m thinking you might actually have to go that fast!). my nails are really short right now, so i’m not a huge fan, but i do like this color combo. especially the way the gold pops! i think my two favorite nails are the ones in the picture on the left (taken with my new macro lens for my iphone). they have the most patterning to them.

Image

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).

Image

champagne

champagne2happy almost new years! this is my going-out polish. i have a few parties in the next few days and i’m really excited for 2014 :) to celebrate all the champagne that i plan on drinking i painted my nails to look like little bubbly drinks. i had to hunt around a bit to find a good champagne colored polish – all the ones that i own and found in stores were too gold. i think this ended up being a good color for it. i used two different glitters to make the bubbles, a small one for the bubbles up the center and a larger one just at the tip.

champagne glass midi ring

haha and here’s a little ring that i made for the occasion. (this is cute but the worst ring idea ever. it kept getting caught on everything!)