ncu - watercolor | @bulletnails
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ncu – watercolor

i’m getting back into painting my nails. i don’t know what it is, but i have just been uninspired the past few weeks. i have been very busy and i did go on vacation, but i’ve just been dreading the thought of having to paint my nails. i that’s part of the problem, that i feel i have to do it. but i also think i’m just uninspired by a lot of the prompts this year. when i read through the list i just wasn’t that excited about any of them… but i’m going to challenge myself to find a way to make them exciting. either by trying new stuff or being weird or whatever. we’ll see if that works ;)

this week’s prompt was watercolor nails. i have seen this technique done quite a few times and it’s always pretty nice, but i’ve never tried it myself. it’s not hard, but it definitely took me a bit to get the hang of it.

if you don’t know, to do this style, all you do is put a drop of paint on your nail then use nail polish remover / acetone on a brush to thin in out and spread it around. here’s a good video to see what i mean. i found that the more liquid you use the better it works. i was worried that the acetone would just take all the color off and i would be left with nothing on my nail so i didn’t use much at first. but the dryer my brush was, the more i was just daubing the paint around rather than it spreading out on it’s own like watercolor.

ncu - watercolor | @bulletnails

notice the purple in the above photo – that was the first color i did. i feel like you can see that i sort of just pushed the color around (look at the middle finger and thumb especially). you’ll also notice how bright and vivid the colors are. that does not say watercolor (to me at least). i used bright colors thinking that a lot of the color was going to disappear once i added the acetone. well, yes and no. the purple we’ve already mentioned, but even the pink and yellow, as i started to get the way of it, still didn’t lighten up that much. i don’t know if i still wasn’t doing it right or if it’s the colors of the polish i used are too bright or too pigmented. but don’t worry – i had a solution!

ncu - watercolor | @bulletnails

i just painted over them with a fairly transparent sparkly white. and voilà! watercolor colors ;)

colors used: models own pukka purplepink punch, luis lemon, sinful colors social ladder.

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.

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 - fall foliage | @bulletnails
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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 - books | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – books

i have been waiting for this one for ages! i’m a big reader – i have a 3-4 hour a day commute and, while not a fast reader, i go through a lot of books. which made this prompt both easy and hard. easy because i have so much inspiration. hard because how do i narrow it down?!

so i went with freshest in my mind. i just finished reading the second book in victoria aveyard’s red queen series glass sword. i have a bad habit of starting a book and then finding out it’s part of a series. that was the case with this series. i flew through the first book – such an interesting yet familiar concept. then found out it was part of a trilogy. a trilogy not yet finished! ugh! those are the worst. all i want to do is finish the story but now i have to wait until february to find out what happens.

here’s a synopsis of the red queen (book one in the series):

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

i think that describes my mani better than i could! the characters are divided by blood – red and silver. so with my design i tried to make it look from one direction like red blood dripping and from the other like silver blood dripping.

40gnai - books | @bulletnails

i think it turned out pretty close to what i was imagining. since there’s no actual thing as silver blood i think it’s hard to think of the silver part as the drippy part – the red bloodiness just stands out so much.

40gnai - books | @bulletnails

i also got to use my new chrome powder on this mani! i have been searching what feels like my whole life for an actual chrome polish. while this isn’t perfect (might be my technique) it’s so much closer than anything i’ve encountered before. i will definitely be trying to work it in to more designs!

40gnai - books | @bulletnails

colors used: wet n wild red a good book, chrome powder.

take a look at the other biblio-cures:

40gnai - books | @bulletnails

40gnai - lemon/peach + fluid lines | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – peach or lemon + fluid lines

i don’t know what “fluid lines” means. i should’ve been paying more attention to the other participants in weeks past to see what they did. but i didn’t. so last night as i was painting my nails i decided that i’m going to put a lot of fluid (aka nail polish) on my nails and draw lines through it!

i know that this is technically a needle drag or dry marble but i think it also works as “fluid lines.” there’s not much to this mani – it’s a pretty simple process (with lot’s of tuts around if you don’t know how).

40gnai - lemon/peach + fluid lines | @bulletnails

here’s one thing i haven’t seen anyone doing that really helped me: TIP: use a small brush and put a little polish on it before you start. that really helped me because by the end of my nail the colors were flowing really well together but at my starting point the brush/needle would pull up the polish as it was pulling it along and i had to go in and fill it later (or redo it on a few).

colors used: sally hansen mellow yellow, wet n wild sunny side up, essie sunday funday.

40gnai - lemon/peach | @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 S08E08 | kim-chi book ball runway inspired manicure
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RuPolished – Book Ball

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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 - 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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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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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.

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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 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!

31dc

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31dc: day six: violet

for my violet day i thought i would try a new technique. i have a lot of polishes in the purple / violet / pink realm and thought this would be a good day to try a dry marble – since it uses quite a few shades.

31dc violet

sorry about all the macros lately – i just made a homemade lightbox and all the macros turn out so well when it’s nicely lit!

31dc violet

colors used in this design: spoiled kickin’ the habit went on as an overall color base, sinful colors frenzy was used as my wet base to which kbshimmer shade shifter and nicole by opi show you care were added before swirling the all together.

31dc

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where there’s smoke

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

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

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fancy stripes

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

stripes

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

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

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snakeskin

tried something new today and i think it worked out really well!

snakeskini started out with an orange and green gradient. weird right?

snakeskinafter the polish was completely dry i applied a temporary tattoo to each nail. i had purchased this printable tattoo paper for my friends circus wedding – my original idea was to be the tattooed lady. i ended up being their fortune teller and my mom went as the snake charmer. i had printed this snake skin for her nails but we ran out of time.

snakeskinhere’s a close up of the tattoo applied to the nail. the hard thing about this paper is that once it’s applied it’s like a sticker – not like a traditional temporary tattoo that you buy in vending machines or whatever. it’s still like a piece of paper. so once i got to this point i had to take an exacto knife and cut off the paper that was outside my nail. tedious to say the least.

snakeskinbut i’m not upset about it because they turned out really well. this is definitely something i will try again.

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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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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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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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(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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pink + yellow

so, apparently i’ve been doing gradients wrong. well, maybe not wrong but the hard way. up until this point, i’ve been taking a makeup sponge and dipping it in a single color and blotting it from the edge of my fingernail down. as i go in, sunset1the sponge loses most of the paint and that’s how it fades. it’s worked out well for me – i’ve had some nice gradients. but every time i want to do more than one color it turns into a bit of a production. so, i’ve been watching a lot of videos and looking at a bunch of blogs and stuff and it seems that everyone and their dog do gradients with all their colors on a single sponge (see pic). huh. i tried it out and it IS easier. i was worried about how much polish was going to be wasted this way but i was able to do one strip of each color on the sponge and do an entire hand. i had to do this three times to get the colors vibrant, but that’s one less swipe of color per hand than if i had painted them each a single color (with two coats). so that definitely made me feel better about it – i hate wasting polish! the cool thing about this gradient too is that, as you can see in the photo above, i only used three colors but with the overlaps it looks like at least 4 (thats a really pretty orange!).

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diamond sunrise

i got this really cool new diamond glitter the other day. i’m going to use it as an all-over glitter someday but today i decided to make it an accent. i did a little sunrise gradient. i can never seem to get the sponge all the way to the edges of my fingernails – which in this case, left a white fade on the sides. hmmm. i’ll have to figure out a way to get in there more. this was my first time doing glitter placement. it is time consuming! even just for one little diamond on each finger…

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swirly stickers

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

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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.

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shiny

i really loved the pink and purple gradient i did a little while ago. but it chipped SO FAST! argh. it’s frustrating spending so much time to do something so cool looking, and it to be ruined in only a few days. so, i bought a cute little gel mani kit. it’s from target and it’s a single finger LED but that’s really all i need. so i’m trying my pink and purple gradient again. i used the same colors as last time (i put more purple in it) and did a gel top coat. it made it SUPER shiny! but i like it – it looks liquid. it’s been a few days and everything is seeming to hold up pretty well. as you can see there’s a few chips but this would have been way worse if not for the gel top coat.