rupaul's drag race S09E03 | trinity taylor "princess aquapussy" inspired mani
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RuPolished – Draggily Ever After

i knew the second trinity taylor walked out onto the stage what my mani this week was going to be. her princess name was very james bond, but her outfit was all me! i love mermaids so much – and that crown! ugh heaven.

rupaul's drag race S09E03 | trinity taylor "princess aquapussy"

just look at it. amazing.

rupaul's drag race S09E03 | trinity taylor "princess aquapussy"

she did a reveal – going from a mermaid dress to a swimsuit. i have mixed feelings about reveals on the runway. i feel like they’re on stage for 10 seconds in their first outfit then rip it off and are in something else the rest of the time. why even bother. but i did like both of her looks. i would wear the gown, well anywhere. and i’m going on vacation soon and really want the swimsuit for my lazy days on the beach!

so for my nails i played with some sculpey and created a few stars. i tried to make them starfish (longer points) but at the size i needed i just couldn’t stretch them out without pulling off one or more points. i think it’s because i typically run hot and so my warm hands were making the clay super malleable. i think i need one of those frozen tables they have at coldstone if i’m going to continue working with tiny intricate clay sculptures ;)

rupaul's drag race S09E03 | trinity taylor "princess aquapussy" inspired mani

i painted my nails in a vertical gradient (which i’m not sure i’ve done before) in three shades of green/blue to mimic trinity’s shimmery fabric. i did my thumbnail pink to represent her sassy starfish companion.

rupaul's drag race S09E03 | trinity taylor "princess aquapussy" inspired mani

lastly i glued on all the clay pieces and painted them with a glittery top coat and called it a day!

the only thing i wish was different about this mani is the middle color in the gradient. i liked it at the time but now that i compare my pictures to trinity’s outfit i realize there was a lot bigger contrast between the light and the dark colors. that doesn’t make me like it any less though :)

colors used: nicole iceberg lotus, femme fatale jasmine, salon perfect loopy lime, rimmel london (pink – no label). 

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

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 - winter | @bulletnails
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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – Winter

this week’s crumpets nail tarts prompt was winter. living in california i don’t get much winter (which is why i moved out here) but one thing i do miss is the gorgeous icicles that would form every year.

40gnai - winter | @bulletnails

i’ve also been really wanting to try the shattered glass manicure that i’ve seen around a few times. so i figured what better time to try it out!

40gnai - winter | @bulletnailsi looked up a bunch of tutorials and decided i needed cellophane. but everywhere that i found it it was just clear – none of the iridescence that makes this such a cool look. finally i found some small gift bags that had the right look, even if they were a little opaque for my needs. after cutting them into shards, i used essie garden variety as a base with spoiled black mamba as an accent on my ring finger. i used my clear gel topcoat as a glue to lay the cut pieces in. i repeated this one more time for variation and finished with like 10 more layers of gel to get rid of the roughness and sharp points that i knew would catch on everything!

40gnai - winter | @bulletnails

someone at work mentioned that these looked like the movie frozen. i have such a love/hate relationship with that movie (it was a good movie – i will 100% give it that, but i can’t stand how crazy everyone is about it – it was just a movie after all), but it is supposed to look wintery and frozen is all about winter – so i’d say that’s a win ;)

40gnai - winter | @bulletnailsif i were to do this again i would cut the pieces into smaller triangles. one of the difficulties i had was, on all but my thumb, my fingernails are very curved so the long strips of “glass” wouldn’t wrap around the nail. they wanted to be flat. i kept having to use tweezers while curing to hold down the ends so they would harden correctly.

take a look at all the other wonderfully cold manicures here:

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birthday mani | @bulletnails
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happy birthday to me!

yesterday was my birthday :) i had the day off and i slept in, ate super delicious pie and painted my nails!! the perfect day (oh and went out to dinner with some friends and then drinks with more friends – even more perfect!!)

birthday pennantsso for my nails i decided that since i don’t do birthday parties, my nails could. so i hung up some cute pennant banners ;)

birthday pennantsi used some scotch washi tape that i got at target for the triangles. they’re super cute and sparkly – but stick up a lot. after i took my pictures and before i went out i decided to top off with a (pretty thick) gel coat so they wouldn’t get stuck on anything or just fall off.

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peace

just a quick mani today. i took off my polish last night and was going to go naked for a while. but it felt too weird! so i went with my trusty spoiled distant memory (a fave because it matches my hair). i was going to leave it as is, but worried what people might think (oh the scandal! one color? “are you feeling alright?”). so i looked up some nail challenges and came across the “oh mon dieu” challenge on craftynails.com. now, i’ve missed most of the challenge (and am definitely not ready to dive into another everyday challenge) but they recently did the prompt “peace”.

peacei liked that idea so here’s my piece (haha get it?!). i used kbshimmer pt. young thing for the accent nails.

check out some of the other awesome peace manicures through this nifty “inlink” button below :)


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31dc: day eleven: dots

today was dots. once again i’ve struggled with this prompt. i want something cool – but dots doesn’t inspire me.

31dc dots

at first i just had a jumble of dots – i was trying to make it look like they were close together and grew further apart. but with such a little canvas this didn’t really work. for the final look i ended up just painting in half of the nail. if i was going to be wearing this mani for more than a day i would have gone on the side that i painted in and put in dots of the lighter blue. i think that would have made me happy with this design. but oh well – on to the next ;

colors used: essie saltwater happy and garden variety

31dc

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neon marble

more watermarbling. this is one of my favorite looks but one that i’ve had the hardest time nailing down (haha puns!). i can’t decide if it’s the polishes that i use or if it’s user error or what.neon marblei did really like my thumb nail. but that was about it. i can’t seem to get the patterns that everyone else does. it might also be because i usually try to dip at least two fingers at a time – i hate wasting polish!

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all the ombre

i just dyed half of my hair green/teal/turquoise! i’ve had “loud” colored hair for a long time but it’s always been the underneath part. or the tips. but i decided i needed something more dramatic. and it is :)ombreso in honor of my new hair, i colored my nails to match. teal/blue ombre. now if only i could figure out how to dye my hair with glitter!

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butterfly

butterfly1

this was a fun experiment. in the stamping kit that i got a while ago there was a great print that looks like butterfly wings. my original thought was to go for the obvious and do a yellow and orange monarch look but i just got this great silver holographic polish in the mail and really wanted to use it. overall i think the colors are great but i am still struggling with stamping! all these tutorials i watch everyone seems so proficient. maybe i’m trying to hard, or using the wrong polish or expecting too much. butterfly2

the stamp on these nails looks clean and a rich dark black but don’t be fooled – it’s sharpied! the stamp was originally so translucent and in some places almost non-existent that i would have either had to take all the polish off and do it again, or (as i decided to do) just trace over all the stamp with a fine tip sharpie. it was a lot more work than i planned on for this manicure but the result is good and i guess any practice with stamping can only make me better. butterfly3

the process for this manicure started out with a really unique polish that i got from claire’s/the icing. its called liquid metal and it’s very solid and shiny – i thought it would make a good base coat. the thing that’s unusual with this polish is that it dries almost immediately and is more like a paint pen than nail polish. i still haven’t decided if i like it or not, but a good buy nonetheless. next was my pretty new “pt young thing” holographic polish from kbshimmer on etsy. so pretty! lastly came the stamp in black with a whole bunch of colors sponged on top.

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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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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.