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.

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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