ncu - neon | @bulletnails
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ncu – neon

this past weekend was pride here in sf. it was very easy working some neon into my mani to fit in!

did one hand stripey, like the lgbtq flag. (you can see i added glitter from the first pic to this one. obviously it wasn’t done until there was glitter!)

ncu - neon | @bulletnails

 

and the other is a fun bubbly rainbow :)

ncu - neon | @bulletnails

colors used: sinful colors snow me white, wet n wild red a good book, pop ablaze, model’s own luis lemon, salon perfect loopy limebermuda baby, torrid purple irridecent, spoiled shaken snow globe.

rupaul's drag race S09E05 | night of 1000 mandonnas part two: valentina's "sex book" runway look
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RuPolished – Snatch Game

halleloo i’m back. i have had naked nails for the past two weeks while i’ve been on vacation and then working 14 hours days. sometimes you just don’t have time for the upkeep…

this week’s drag race was snatch game. something we do every season, and every season at least one girl still seems surprised she has to do an impression. anyway, there were definitely some stand-outs, both in the good category and the bad. obviously the best was alexis – girl had liza down pat!

on to the runway: “night of 1000 madonna’s, part II” – except we gotta minus a few because somehow there were still repeats!

how has no one done either of these classic 80’s looks? they’re still what i picture in my head when i think of madonna. maybe everyone figures someone else is going to do it so they pick something else? i feel like after the kimono-no-no that if i were told there was going to be a madonna challenge i would bring two outfits.

anyway, even though there were repeats there were some great looks. farrah’s was amazing and trinity looked great but when valentina walked out on stage i just died. i lived! and then i died. i thought it was a clever, beautiful, tongue-in-cheek choice and she was serving that body-ody-ody.

rupaul's drag race S09E05 | night of 1000 mandonnas part two: valentina's "sex book" runway look

so that’s the outfit i chose for my nails. one because it super simple and that is my favorite thing ever. two because it was so smart. and three because i’ve lived with naked nails for the past two weeks – of course they’d get censored sooner or later ;)

26gnai - pastel christmas | @bulletnails
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26gnai – pastel christmas

i think today is proof that i should give up on stamping. i just can’t seem to figure out the technique! i want to be able to do it so bad, but i never seem to have any success. plus this happened:

stamper woes @bulletnails

i don’t even know how! it happened before i even started stamping – so i can’t blame my she-hulk super strength on anger and frustration! this is also the first time i even used my cute clear stamper. womp womp.

anyway, i had the thought of doing christmas presents for my pastel theme. i wanted something matchey yet knew i was going to do skittles so nothing too complicated. i used one pastel color per nail. then did a silver stamp print to represent different wrapping papers. then added a matching neon color on top as ribbon.

26gnai - pastel christmas | @bulletnails

i like how they look. the only thing i would change if i could is my stamping skills ;) and to have mixed the yellow with white to make it more pastel. once i put the neon yellow on top as ribbon, it didn’t even show up so i had to paint over it with white :)

colors used: sally hansen mint sorbetmellow yellowbubblegum pinklacey lilacbabe blueceleb cityposh plum, salon perfect loopy limefired up fuschiabermuda baby, and sinful colors snow me white.

ncu - candy cane | @bulletnails
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ncu – candy cane

i did not go with my first instinct on this one. the first thing i think of when i hear the words candy cane is the movie joy ride. it’s such a great movie ;) and so freaking creepy! i really wanted to do something with that movie as my manicure today. but anything i could think of was way too complex for me to deal with right now (or ever). my ideas were the two-way radio, a guy missing his jaw, a semi-truck, a cornfield, paul walker and steve zahn’s butts…

but alas, without being able to do it justice, i decided to go with the more obvious interpretation of candy cane.

but to keep it weird – i tried to make it look like a candy cane that had been sucked on for a while. it’s not as clean as i would like, but i still think the concept is fun :) i painted stripes to match a giant 2lb. candy cane i have at home and then brushed and sponged on the base color again over the tips.

colors used: sinful colors bubbly, wet n wild red a good book, blackheart green yellow shimmer.

septemburton | @bulletnails
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SeptemBurton

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

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

septemburton | @bulletnails

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

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

septemburton | @bulletnails

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

septemburton | @bulletnails

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

40gnai - yellow, red & green | @bulletnails

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

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

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

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

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

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

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

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

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

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

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

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

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

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

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

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

anyway here’s one more closeup!

40gnai - inspiration (stranger things) | @bulletnails

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

40gnai - inspiration | @bulletnails

40gnai - nude & color + half & half | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – nude & color + 1/2 & 1/2

these two prompts seemed made for each other! the first part is “nude plus color” and the second part is “half & half.” so i did nude on half and (all the) color on the other half :)

40gnai - nude & color + half & half | @bulletnails

40gnai - nude & color + half & half | @bulletnailsthis was a fun mani – i was inspired by this beautiful design by didoline and knew this was going to be my half & half. i didn’t live up to the comparison, but for having done this freehand (versus stamping) i think i did a pretty good job!

as you can see above, i started by drawing a squiggly line on my silicone mat (it’s pink and is normally fine but made the colors on this one seem off) and then placed random swatches of lots of different colors underneath. this was my half color. after letting it dry and peeling it up (besides wanting to wear it) i cut it up into nail sized pieces and stuck them to my nails.

40gnai - nude & color + half & half | @bulletnails

my only regret is not being able to use more of the colored part! (if you notice as i worked my way down my hand the colored part started to take over more and more of my nail – i just couldn’t help myself!)

40gnai - nude & color + half & half | @bulletnails

i ended up putting a matte top coat on because i thought it pronounced the “nude” part of my nail better – with the shiny it looked a little uneven. it did mute the colors a little bit. if i had more time (read: energy) i might have gone over the colorful part again with a glossy topcoat. but i don’t have more time. or energy.

colors used: models own luis lemon, salon perfect fired up fuchsia, essie sunday funday, torrid purple irridecent, sinful colors love nails, heaven power up green, blackheart beauty  green yellow shimmer.

40gnai - nude & color | @bulletnails

40gnai - music | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – music

this weeks theme brought a lot of inspiration into this little brain of mine! i had three different ideas and wasn’t sure how to narrow it down. two of the designs were similar so i figured i could eliminate one of those pretty easy. and then i decided i had two hands so would do both of the others!

40gnai - music | @bulletnails

my first inspiration was playing music. i took piano lessons as a child. i was in band in middle and high school (played french horn, clarinet and trumpet). and have tried picking up the guitar a dozen or so times – little hands and long nails haven’t been very helpful here.

40gnai - music | @bulletnails

so i made guitar nails :) i had glittery nails from the crown mani i did earlier in the week and was reticent to remove it. so i worked it in to the new design as the strings. if i were to do this design again my accent nail would have been more of a circle of black with brown around it rather than being all black (to be more obviously the hole in the guitar).

40gnai - music | @bulletnails

my second design is all about the experience of listening to music. i’ve always been a fan of the visualizers on stereos and the computer and this is supposed to mimic the waveforms of music.

40gnai - music | @bulletnails

on this one too i kept the super glitter from my last mani and added the waveforms with a nail art pen. i like the pen a lot because i’m so used to drawing with a pen but it’s super liquidy, it spreads and stains (last time i used it, it was in the crack between my nail and finger for over a week!). so this time i made sure to keep it away from my skin.

40gnai - music | @bulletnails

rupaul's drag race S08E09 | top 4 avant garde inspired looks
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RuPolished – the realness

this week was down to the top 4 queens. for the first time maybe ever, i actually like all of them. i wouldn’t be upset if any of them won, and i don’t know that i can choose a favorite. they’re all so good in such different ways!

rupaul's drag race S08E09 | top 4 avant garde inspired looks

kim chi is so creative and out of the box. bob is funny and charismatic. naomi is a literal supermodel. and chichi is loveable and improving more than any girl who’s come before her.

rupaul's drag race S08E09 | top 4 avant garde inspired looks

sadly chichi went home this week. i saw it coming, she’s amazing but not quite up to par with the other girls, but that didn’t make it any easier. i don’t know what’s going to happen next week. well i do – next week is the recap episode, so i guess i mean i don’t know what’s going to happen two weeks from now. but whoever is crowned will be very deserving of the title.

rupaul's drag race S08E09 | top 4 avant garde inspired looks

on to the nails. these were fun – they don’t match each other at all but were all good to do in a creative / problem solving kind of way. i think the hardest design to mimic was chichi’s lace number. so much small detail! i think i pulled it off though :)

rupaul's drag race S08E07 | bob the drag queen black and white realness runway inspired mani
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RuPolished – Election Year

i really liked this week’s challenge. i liked the pairings (i was worried about bob and derrick – way to werk it out!). i liked the runway looks.

rupaul's drag race S08E07 | black and white realness runway inspirationthe runway was black and white realness – inspired by this amazing look from detox during her season’s finale episode. i remember when i first saw a picture of her in this outfit/makeup – i just assumed i was looking at a black and white photo. then the episode came out and i was blown away!

so i’m really glad they used this as a challenge. not everyone did very good with it (why was naomi so blue – and did derrick put any makeup on?

rupaul's drag race S08E07 | bob the drag queen black and white realness runway inspired mani

the most surprising thing to me was how beautiful bob looked. i don’t know why – she’s dressed up as a clown – but i think she looks so feminine and soft. and super fun! i only wish her hair was a little more extremely white – rather than just really light blonde.

rupaul's drag race S08E07 | bob the drag queen black and white realness runway inspired mani

so i started by painting my nails white. then on three fingers i painted half black then went to town with my dotting tools. i tried to make the dots line up (index) but that was too much hassle so i gave up. i actually like them not lining up better anyway.

rupaul's drag race S08E07 | bob the drag queen black and white realness runway inspired mani

i painted the silver accent to match bob’s makeup (looked a little more silvery than just flat grey). and then came the hard nail. the diamonds. i used a striping brush and did the outlines in black, then filled them in. but with that technique the white parts were disproportionate. any other time i would have left it – but since i was trying to match i went back in with a striping brush, dotting tools and other small brushes. let’s just say there is a lot of polish on my middle finger!

rupaul's drag race S08E07 | bob the drag queen black and white realness runway inspired mani

eventually though – it got to what i was imagining and i am very happy with it :)

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.

rupaul's drag race S08E05 | madonna inspired runway challenge
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RuPolished – Snatch Game

oh snatch game, you bitch. when it comes to rupaul’s drag race, snatch game is a certain. and yet these girls aren’t prepared. chi-chi acted like a cat because ertha kit played cat woman and chi-chi has a cat. gurl. you have to be at the top of your game here!

rupaul's drag race S08E05 | bob the drag queen as uzo aduba (aka crazy eyes on orange is the new black)

derrick barry was good at britney – but then again he better be! bob was my favorite. his uzo aduba (crazy eyes from orange is the new black) was so perfect – in action and looks. and then his switch to carol channing was a risk but totally paid off – his carol was hilarious.

the  runway look this week was inspired by madonna. i hadn’t though about it until this week (out of how many seasons?!) but the girls must get notified ahead of time about what the challenges are going to be. they have to. it’s the only way there could be 4 queens who went out on the runway in a kimono. they must have known there would be a madonna challenge and packed one thing for it. otherwise at least 3 of them should have been wearing something else.

and really? a kimono – that’s the look that you chose? ew. she’s had so many fashion rebirths during her career and you all chose the same. exact. one. so this week instead of copying one of the queens looks i decided to do my own madonna recreation. (although bob’s was my favorite – she won it for me this week)

rupaul's drag race S08E05 | madonna inspired runway challenge

when i think of madonna it’s 80’s madonna. bleach blonde hair with jet black roots, lace, bracelets on bracelets and necklaces on necklaces, crosses, pearls, bows. so this is my attempt at hand-drawn lace. i like it – if you were to look at it without knowing the challenge i don’t think you’d get it, but that’s okay it’s still cute without knowing the theme.

spoiler warning: do not continue reading if you haven’t seen this episode (and care what happens in it): i am really upset that acid betty went home. yes she was bad in snatch game, but so were robbie, nina and chi-chi. and her runway was cute and creative (and not a kimono). she was always so out-of-the-box creative and over-the-top on the runway – this is one of only a small number of times i have disagreed with someone leaving the show (i may not always agree, but usually don’t think they were actually wrong in their decisions). i think we lost a lot by not getting to see more from her.

colors used: essie cocktails and coconuts, spoiled visually slimming, sally hansen wedding glitters, sinful colors snow me white, sally hansen celeb city.

rupaul's drag race S08E04 | naysha lopez runway inspired mani
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RuPolished – New Wave Queens

i really enjoyed this episode. the music was fun(ny) and i absolutely loved the runway theme – neon!

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i was floored by most of the runway looks – bob (was that nail polish on her head?), betty (so fishy! & where can i get that wig?!), naysha (one of the top looks, like ever), robbie turner (1800’s realness) & nina (a pointy bra and legs for days) were my favorites!

IMG_9976so much inspiration! but when i saw naysha’s i knew it was all over. the only thing left was to figure out how to do this outfit justice. and there was SO much more i wanted to do. this outfit was crazy – airbrushed to death, spikes, gems, neon, spandex – i wanted to include it all. but as i was working i found out that simpler might be better.

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i did this hand first – i was really wanting to go for it! i got all the colors in there, the vertical gradient, the horizontal stripes (i wish i had an airbrush machine!) and the dots. i don’t have any spikes (neon or otherwise) and all my gems are too big and would have taken over the whole nail. but i got the base of the outfit.

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then it was almost time for bed. what to do. i was just going to leave my other hand as it was – primed with white but unadorned – but decided i had enough time to make it match. as long as it was simple. i did the vertical gradient, then decided i had enough time to do the orange stripes – then time for bed young lady! i actually really like this hand too. it’s much simpler / less busy. i think it works better as a manicure because it’s not overwhelming. but the other bring out more of the outfit.

overall, i’m glad i have both versions!

colors used: sinful colors snow me white, model’s own luis lemon, beach hut, pink punch, toxic apple & pukka purple.

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)

rupaul's drag race S08E01 | laila mcqueen entrance outfit inspired mani
metal fishtail | @bulletnails
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metallic fishtail

i really liked my last fishtail, so i decided to try another one this week. i got a shipment of model’s own polish a while back and still hadn’t used this coppery color that i had been most excited about. unfortunately the color didn’t turn out as awesome as i had hoped. next time i use it i’ll have to do more layers (hopefully to make it more copper than gold) and/or do more of a basecoat (white or maybe brown?).

i also ended up doing 5 colors in my fishtail, but this was solely to break up the monotone that i had going once my first three colors were down (the copper, gold and silver). i liked the pink splash so ended up changing the solid color on my other three fingers to match that instead.

metal fishtail | @bulletnails

overall i like this technique – i’ve gotten a lot of compliments (because it looks complicated) and is still easy to do. it just takes a long time for all those layers to dry!

colors used: models own copper pot, sally hansen wedding glitter, sally hansen celeb city, sally hansen hot magenta, orly in ageless sleep.

superbowl 50 | @bulletnails
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Superbowl 50!

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

superbowl 50 | @bulletnails

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

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

superbowl 50 | @bulletnails

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

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

40gnai - things that fly - hot air balloons | @bulletnails
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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – things that fly

i’m gonna keep this one pretty brief. once again the idea in my head and the design on my fingers are two drastically different things. i do like how these turned out but the theme isn’t obvious (like I think it always should be).

40gnai - things that fly - hot air balloons | @bulletnails
the theme was “things that fly” and my design is hot air balloons. in my mind i was seeing all these fantastical, colorful designs but when I googled it a lot of the designs are very simple – likes stripes, maybe a chevron or two. so i did what i could with what i had.

colors used: sally hansen babe blue, sinful colors snow me white, kbshimmer pt. young thing, salon perfect fired up fuschia, haute pink, yowza yellow, loopy lime and bermuda baby.

40gnai - things that fly - hot air balloons | @bulletnails

40gnai - star wars christmas | @bulletnails
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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – Christmas

merry christmas from a galaxy far far away. today’s crumpets prompt is christmas. but it’s also the release of one of the galaxy’s most awaited movies: star wars! now, don’t get mad, but i have never seen any of these movies. at first it was just an i-didn’t-grow-up-in-a-household-that-watched-that-kind-of-thing thing. but after a while it was a the-series-is-too-far-in-to-get-started-now sort of thing. now it’s a i-like-seeing-the-look-on-people’s-faces-when-i-tell-them kind of thing. people have tried to make me watch them, some have even tried trickery. it’s not that i think they’re gonna be bad (although i do worry about the hype!) it’s just that i don’t really care…

40gnai - star wars christmas | @bulletnails

but all that aside, i do know a lot of people do care. the fact that every movie theater around me’s opening night showing has been sold out for over a month now, is quite an indicator of the obsession. and it’s a little contagious. i was almost a stormtrooper for halloween. and now this.

40gnai - star wars christmas | @bulletnailsi’ve seen a few star wars manicures (the stormtrooper is inspired by this cute one) but i thought it would be so cute to have them all dressed up for the holidays! so i have the opening crawl (you know, the words going off into space that starts each movie) on my thumb, c3po, a stormtrooper, r2d2 and some lightsabers.

the only finger that turned out how i imagined it is r2d2. i like the straight lines – those i can handle. the others are messier than i would like. i guess i still haven’t gotten the hang of painting small details with nail polish. i know a lot of people use acrylics and stuff, but that 1. seems kinda like cheating and 2. means a whole extra set of supplies that i would have to find a home for. so i guess that means i’m going to keep fighting with the polish until i can conquer it, so maybe forever!

40gnai - star wars christmas | @bulletnails

if you notice on my right hand the santa hat is just polish, but on my left (in the second pic) i used a little bit of cotton to make the hat fluffy. it’s a fun 3d addition, but i have a feeling it’s going to drive me crazy and get removed pretty fast!

take a look at all the other great christmas ideas:

40GNAI - christmas

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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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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pastel gradient (plus some ranting)

so i’ve been a little sad about how few likes and followers i have on instagram. it’s not a huge deal but it bothers me when Ii’m looking through nail photos and there are blurry / badly painted / etc photos that have hundreds or thousands of likes. i do a lot of work on my nails and i may be a little biased but i think they (and my photography of them) look pretty darn good.

well, i am sad no longer. i was just in the App Store looking for an instagram poster (an alternate app that would allow me to post so that i could have two different apps for my two different accounts), and when you type instagram there are 3 types of apps: instagram itself, cropping/sizing/collaging apps and, get this, likes/followers apps. there are at least a dozen apps that claim to give you more followers and likes. this explains how certain photos / people can be so popular when there is no outward reasoning for it. which makes me feel better. i may not have a lot of likes or followers but i have my dignity (might be a bit harsh but i really feel like paying / downloading followers and likes is cheating).

all i can do is press on. continue to paint my nails in a way that i like and continue to post them. maybe it’ll turn into something, maybe not. either way here is my manicure this week.

pastel gradient

very simple – i wanted something that didn’t take much time (i’m still worn out from 31dc). gradient is done with essie sunday funday, cocktails and coconuts, sally hansen lacey lilac, and the dots with revlon snow bunny.

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independence day

happy 4th of July! i thought after my 31dc month that i wouldn’t do my nails again for a minute. i was wrong ;) it was too hard to pass up a simple and relative manicure.

colors: revlon snow bunny, essie no more film, and wet n wild red red.

july4ththe stars and stripes with some fireworks. easy and patriotic. a-mur-ica! okay well off to bed now! i work at 7am tomorrow and then have a big day of bbqs and sparkly sky explosions :)

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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 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).

31dc

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31dc: day seventeen: glitter

i love glitter. anytime someone asks what my favorite color is, i say glitter. unfortunately i learned a hard lesson about glitter today. it does not like coloring within the lines. i did a tape manicure with glitter and i’ve figured out that the glitter should always be the base coat.

31dc glitter

anytime i pulled the tape up, there was either glitter poking out over the line or peeling up with the tape. i pushed it around enough as it was drying for it to turn out okay, but i definitely learned my lesson today.

colors used: essie coctails & coconut & hors d’oeuvres.

31dc

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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.

31dc

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31dc: day twelve: stripes

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

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

31dc stripes

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

31dc

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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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halloween stripes

these didn’t turn out as well as i had pictured them in my mind. i was thinking they could be a generic halloween manicure and double as giants colors (because they’re making some kind of run or something. i don’t know but everyone’s really excited about it). eh. oh well. at least i have candy corn to bring up my spirits (haha – puns!)

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pink stripes

i just ordered a nail stamping kit! i’m so excited. but in the meantime my nails are chipped like nobody’s business. so i decided to do an inbetween. at first i just had it pink with glitter at the bottom. but the glitter barely shows up in real life so it was too boring. yesterday i added the stripes just to give it more fun. i’ve gotten so many compliments on this! it’s so funny how some of the harder, more time consuming designs nobody notices. then i slap some polish on (this probably took me 10 minutes) and everyone loves it. i mean, it is cute.

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t-we

twe2my good friend owns a tea shop. it’s the cutest thing to ever exist. the galleria that he’s located in asked him to move into a bigger shop (because he’s doing so well and they wanted him to be more prominent – yay!) and yesterday was their grand (re)opening. i’ve been over there helping them paint and move stuff (and mostly just chatting) so i knew the color scheme and decided to match my nails to their new shop for last nights party. the main picture is of my nails in the tea shop. you can see where i got the inspiration! what you can’t see in the pic is they have large black columns that bookend either side of this display (hence the black accent nail).

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rainbow

apple2i work at apple. it’s a really interesting place to work. for many reasons. right now is their 30th anniversary / birthday of the mac. every employee is wearing these special 30 shirts to commemorate. i love the rainbow (and miss the old rainbow logo). so i thought i’d get in on the rainbow train and paint my nails to match. i wanted lots of colors on my nails. i picked 5 different polishes and ended up with about 15 different colors. what i did was start with a base coat of each color per nail. once those were dry i took the base from each finger and appleadded to the top of the one next to it. and i did the opposite to the other hand. so in the pic on the right my index got a yellow base and the the middle got the yellow as the accent. the pic on the left my middle got yellow base with the index getting the yellow accent. it seems a little complicated but it was pretty quick and easy. and i love how the different layerings came out with such different colors. i like the left picture the best (except for the index). the color layers on the right are too subtle.

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candy canes

i tried to do something christmasy without being super obvious. but i wish i had been more literal with this one. i wanted it to look like the candy cane stripes were continuing from finger to finger but they’re just too big. i probably needed 3 stripes per finger for it to easily read as candy canes. oh well, there’s always next year.