ncu - rainbow watermarble | @bulletnails
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rainbow water marble

this is not a rainbow water marble. i’m not amazing at them and didn’t have enough time to deal with one right now, so i thought i would see if i could do it without water. or nail polish for that matter…

i have had some really good luck using gel pens and i wondered if i could do a fake watermarble with them. (nope – but it’s still pretty)

ncu - rainbow watermarble | @bulletnails

i started with a white base coat and glossy topcoat. then i just started doing concentric flower / shamrock / watermarble-ish shapes. and it was SO ugly. i don’t have a picture of that, because it was so bad i expected to go wash it off right away. but when i was done and had spent so much time on it i decided to try one more thing. i used a silicone nail brush to blend / scrape the paint around. and this is what happened.

ncu - rainbow watermarble | @bulletnails

i like it. i think the pens didn’t dry because of the glossy topcoat so i had a lot of time to work with them. i did put a topcoat over the pens too, but it did smear it a bit. i think the key there is to just put it on really thick, so the brush never gets too close to the nail (and wet ink on top of it).

ncu - rainbow watermarble | @bulletnails

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

ncu - delicate print | @bulletnails
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ncu -delicate print

ncu - delicate print | @bulletnailsi love the way this mani turned out! i only wish i hadn’t used a peel off base coat – so it would have lasted longer!

i had originally tried to do a stamp. that’s the only way i can actually image something on my nails being a delicate print! i tried and failed. i can’t seem to get past the point of getting the polish from the stamp to my nail/silicone mat. i’ve tried with a ton of different polishes and it’s just too inconsistent. i’m super jealous of everyone who can do it, and because of them, i won’t give up! i’m sure after so many fails, i’ll eventually get the hang of it. right?

ncu - delicate print | @bulletnails

but out of my stamping failure came a glitter pen mandala to the rescue! i was inspired by sealemon’s mandala journal doodle and figured that was something i could handle.

i used my new favorite, useful-for-every-application pens from color technik and just started making patterns.

i really like the texture of the polish underneath. i’m always a fan of something a little different, and that texture is just enough to set this apart from the usual high-gloss.

ncu - delicate print | @bulletnailscolors used: sally hansen deluxecolor technik glitter gel pens.

26gnai - green freestyle | @bulletnails
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26gnai – green freestyle

for my green freestyle the first thing i thought of was a mermaid tail. so i gathered up all my green polishes and just started dotting away. that’s kinda all there is to this one…

26gnai - green freestyle | @bulletnails

i really like these nails close up!

26gnai - green freestyle | @bulletnails

colors used: blackheart beauty green/ylw shimmer, mentality pastillesourball, sally hansen sparkling water, kbshimmer pt young thing, opi green on the runway, sinful colors mint apple.

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.

ncu - gold & silver | @bulletnails
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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.

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.

ncu - coffee | @bulletnails
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ncu – coffee

i’ve decided to join another nail art challenge (since crumpets an every other week challenge this year) that will happen on opposite weeks. so now i will have a challenge every friday. as worried as i am about finding time for it, i think this new challenge (nail crazies unite) has some themes that speak to me a little more so hopefully will get my creative juices flowing.

ncu - coffee | @bulletnails

anyway this past friday was their first prompt. and having just been accepted i did one today! the theme is coffee. i can only drink decaf because caffeine gives me migraines and what really is the point of coffee if not caffeine. so i don’t really drink it. but when i do it’s such a light shade of brown that some people wonder if there’s actually any coffee in it.

ncu - coffee | @bulletnails

ncu - coffee | @bulletnails

so that’s where my design came from. the amounts of ingredients i use when having a cup of coffee. it kinda reminds me of an infographic – i’ve seen some really cool ones for cocktail ingredients done this way.

i think this is a really fun & funny way to make a coffee mani. i love that it’s super not obvious that it’s coffee :)

colors used: sinful colors tokyo pearl, essie partner in crime, sally hansen pearly whites, opi muppets world tour, and kiss spa10 silver glitter.

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 - 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.

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 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 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)

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!).

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

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

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

take a look at all the other featured film manis:

40gnai - films | preview

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

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

40gnai - wibbly wobbly new years | @bulletnails

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

Continue reading

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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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 – cartoons / comics

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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).

tinctures

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!

mummies

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…

mummies

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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fall leaves

i live in california. there are no seasons here. trees, flowers, grass, all grow all year long. so i decided the only way i was going to see the changing leaves was to put them on my fingers!

falli was originally going to paint on the veins of the leaves but i decided to try imprinting them instead. i’m sure there’s some technical term for it but i don’t know what it is…

fallanyway i started out with a makeup sponge and put dabs of autumnal colors on it, then transferred to my nails. i tried to mix it up as i was applying to my nails so that the pattern on each would be slightly different and you’d see more of some colors pop out.

fallas you can see in the pic on the left, when i put on the top coat it really filled in the grooves that i had dug into the polish and makes the leaves a lot more subtle. i think in most of these pictures i like the before top coat versions better because it’s more dramatic. but in real life i like that my nails are a little smoother.

fall

colors used: opi bogotá blackberry, homemade brown, mentality taffy, heaven power up green, and wet n wild sunny side up.

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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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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 thirty: inspired by a tutorial

i accidentally mixed up my last two days. so while the calendar may say today is the 29th, my nails say it is the 30th. that means tomorrow i will go back in time. did i just invent time travel?

31dc tutoriali may not have invented time travel but i did manage to do a pretty cute manicure. a while back my niece posted this sugar spun tutorial on my facebook page. and i thought today was a great day to try it for myself.

31dc tutoriali started out using sally hansen gunmetal as a base with kbshimmer shade shifter and nicole by opi iceberg lotus as the sugar on top. i really like the way it looks – subtle and a nice texture (that i couldn’t stop touching all day).

31dc tutorial

before i took it off for the night i wanted to try a little bit more just as practice. so i added some strands of kbshimmer pt young thing and spoiled plastic flamingo. i got some big blobby bits with the pink but i actually kinda like that. overall this was definitely a success – i will do this technique again – i already have some ideas for it!

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31dc: day twenty eight: inspired by a flag

good morning!! boy, am i ahead of my time! i’ve had these nails done for a little while now (i went to vegas for a few days and cheated on my nail challenge – did multiple mani’s for a few days to get ahead). my real purpose was to have my rainbow flag for PRIDE this weekend. and lo and behold – the supreme court ruling came out while i was wearing these. i let everyone think that i had done it especially for that ;)

31dc flagbut luck just happened to give me the flag prompt during pride month, and on the same day as the san francisco pride parade. and now with gay marriage legal this is the most perfect manicure EVAR!

so as i said i went to vegas with these bad boys – i love how they look in the sun – so sparkly! they did struggle to keep up with my hours in the swimming pool though. i thought the temporary tattoo paper with a gel top coat would be enough to keep them in tip top shape for a while. but sadly that is not the case.

31dc flag

this picture (yay sun and palm trees) was taken only two days after application. womp womp. today looks even worse (i won’t subject you to a picture of them now). but this is my constant struggle with my nails, when not doing a manicure a day challenge i want the designs that i do to last a while. the gel top coat definitely helps but i wish it was more like at the salon. my friends who get their nails did don’t seem to have to mess with them for weeks and they still look good (besides the signs of growth).

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31dc: day twenty seven: inspired by artwork

this was a really fun one. the artwork i chose is dr. seuss. his books are so whimsical and happy. they immediately bring you back to a simpler time, when all you had to worry about was why would a fox need to wear socks.

31dc artwork

i decided to pay homage to a few different books through my nails. one fish two fish, green eggs and ham, cat in the hat, horton hears a who and the lorax. the cat in the hat nail gives away the theme but i think horton is my favorite.

31dc artwork

31dc artworkgreen eggs and ham is fun too – this is the second time i’ve done eggs for this challenge! interesting.

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31dc: day twenty one: inspired by a tv show

31dc tv showthis is the challenge that i changed. the original was “inspired by a color.” well, i did an entire week of colors and figured i could do something better with a different prompt. there’s quite a few media prompts coming up – but no tv. i thought that was strange. there’s such a wealth of entertainment (good and bad) on the television. actually, i could probably do this whole month with just tv shows! but that’s definitely not going to happen!

31dc tv show

if you can’t tell, the tv show i chose was orphan black if you don’t watch this already, start. like now. it’s okay i’ll wait…

oh good, you’re back. great show right!

31dc tv showtatiana maslany is an amazing actress – i really believe she is all those different people. like sometimes i think, there’s got to be at least two of her. like the olsen twins on full house. but instead of two people playing one, i31dc tv showt’s two people playing ten (or however many there are). that’s the only way my brain can make sense of it.

i think the alison and rachel drawings are the hardest – they look to generic in nail polish form. but the others, sarah, cosima and helena work great, if i do say so myself.

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31dc: day twenty: water marble

i tried a few different methods of water marbling this time. i really like water marbling and again, it’s just one of those things i haven’t quite mastered. my colors don’t ever disperse as nice as they do in the youtube tutorials.

31dc watermarblei used my kbshimmer pt young thing for the base coat and sally hansen fuchsia power, gunmetal and invisible for the water marble. on my ring finger i tried the marble without the invisible because when i dropped that in the water it spread out sooo much – reducing the other colors to super thin lines. but when i did it without it completely covered up the holo.

31dc watermarble

i really like my middle finger. this actually came about after i started creating a pattern and it was all sticking to my needle. i gave up and was just swooshing it all around trying to get the needle to pick everything up and thought, hey that’s a better pattern than i get when i’m trying. so maybe not trying is my key to success here ;)

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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 ;)

31dc geometric

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 fourteen: flowers

i went very straightforward on this design. i wanted to make something with flour instead of flower (one of my favorite movies is stranger than fiction – and if you don’t know what i’m talking about go watch it!) but i couldn’t think of something that would translate well. i thought of things made with flour – like cookies or toast (which would fit my earlier breakfast theme). but i have neither the colors nor the skill to figure out how to paint my nails to look like toast. and i don’t want to resort to my nail tattoos for everything. so i went super simple with sunflowers.

31dc flower

i like my thumb the best. it looks cute off to the corner. i used a dotting tool for the brown/seeds (essie partners in crime) and i also like how some of the yellow (sally hansen mellow yellow) shines through there.

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31dc: day thirteen: animal print

31dc animal printyay! this manicure was the first one i thought of when i looked over this challenge. i was inspired by this beautiful green rose chafer beetle that i’ve owned for quite a while now. i love showing it off because it’s so cool and unusual, but because it’s so tiny people tend to not see it. and it’s a little weird inviting guests over just to see my dead bug.

31dc animal print

this manicure started with opi green on the runway. i then sponged on some rimmel mania and finished with kiss black. i did a few different coats to get the right kind of green and blue layering.

31dc animal printhere you can kind of see the multiple layers of paint. both of these polishes have great color changing qualities when viewed from different light sources. unfortunately that’s really hard to photograph.

this turned out as close as i could hope for. the colors could’ve been brighter but they have just the right color-changing-ness for me!

31dc animal print

31dc animal print

one last picture of my cute dead bug ;)

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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!

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christmas lights

this was another inspired manicure. this one came from copy cat claws. she definitely found better “lights” than i did – mine sort of took over my entire finger after only a few were attached. they also feel really weird. i haven’t really done anything more than polish before so the fact that they stick out and are bumpy is strange to get used to. i superglued the colored stones down and then gel top-coated my nails a few times to make sure they will stick. we’ll see how well they hold up.

lights2  lights4  lights3  lights

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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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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.