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.

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septemburton | @bulletnails
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SeptemBurton

for this mani i was inspired by the alamo drafthouse theater. they’re an amazing theater – showing new releases but also random older movies. this month’s theme was septemburton (combo of september and tim burton!).

tim burton is amazing and half of these movies are my childhood.

septemburton | @bulletnails

there’s beetlejuice (beetlejuice, beetlejuice) (1988), edward scissorhands (1990), peewee’s big adventure (1985), batman (1985) and corpse bride (2005).

it was so great getting to go to these movies in the theater – excluding the most recent movie (corpse bride) the oldest i would have been during their original theater run was 6 years old. so i would have never had the chance to see them like that.

septemburton | @bulletnails

besides having great movies – the drafthouse has great food (like truffle parmesan popcorn) and drinks (including boozy milkshakes!) that you order from your pre-reserved seats (& table). it’s a great experience and if there’s an alamo drafthouse in your city and you haven’t been there – go now!

septemburton | @bulletnails

about the mani – i tried to super-simplify the characters (like i previously did with my super heroine design) to 1. make it easier to paint and 2. give it more of an abstract feel. i think if you know they’re tim burton inspired the first two are super easy. the middle and ring got a few correct guesses (maybe people don’t know that they’re tim burton?) and nobody guessed the last one.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

40gnai - yellow, red & green | @bulletnails

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

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

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

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

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

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

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

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

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

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

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

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

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

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

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

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

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

anyway here’s one more closeup!

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

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

40gnai - inspiration | @bulletnails

40gnai - things in the water | @bulletnails
40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – festivals / hippie travels

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

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

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

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

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

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

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

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

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

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

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

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

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

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

40gnai - hippie travels | @bulletnails

40gnai - 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