ncu - rainbow watermarble | @bulletnails
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rainbow water marble

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

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

ncu - rainbow watermarble | @bulletnails

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

ncu - rainbow watermarble | @bulletnails

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

ncu - rainbow watermarble | @bulletnails

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

ncu - anti-valentine hearts | @bulletnails
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red & black hobbies

i like this one. i did struggle a little bit – again i think the prompt is too constricting. but i think i worked it out ;)

ncu - anti-valentine hearts | @bulletnails

i don’t know that i’d consider playing cards a hobby of mine but i do really enjoy it. from super simple to super fast – i grew up playing cards with my family. and i still really enjoy a good game night!

ncu - anti-valentine hearts | @bulletnails

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

ncu - gold snowflakes | @bulletnails
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gold snowflakes

okay. new year. i’m gonna try and do this nail thing again! the first prompt for nail crazies 2018 challenge was gold snowflakes. i learned this while watching the santa clause (1-3) over the holidays and it made me think of the snow-globes in those movies. so my nails are representing gold snowflakes in a just-turned-over snow globe :)

ncu - gold snowflakes | @bulletnails

colors used: sinful colors tokyo pearl, pop gold glitz, and sally hanson twinkle toes.

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 S09E02 | cynthia lee fontaine "white party" mani
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RuPolished – She Done Already Done Brought It On

yay cynthia’s back! i told my friend last week that whoever the returning queen is will already have a huge advantage just because no one on this season so far stood out. and while that is true (and cynthia (and her cucu) is the biggest personality on the show now) i do think the other queens stepped it up this week.

i do think quite a few of the “white party” outfits were pretty great: i really liked aja’s with the mask (i wish she had kept it on the whole time though and stayed in the creepy hanibal lecter character through the entire runway), i liked farah’s showgirl-mirrored-feather ensemble, and i loved valentina’s wedding dress (even though it was a slightly obvious choice). i really think, even though everyone was clocking her for being a newbie, she’s the one to watch.

i’m also relieved that they’re back to the regular runway set – i would have died if they kept the high-school-gym-turned-pageant-show set they had last week.

rupaul's drag race S09E02 | cynthia lee fontaine "white party" mani

so my nail’s are painted for ms. fontaine’s white party look. 1: because it was gorgeous and sparkly and super classy and i’m glad she’s back (although it would have be the best if it was shangela again!) and 2: because i had no idea how i would paint some of these other plain white outfits onto my nails!

colors used: wet n wild french white crème, sinful colors tokyo pearl.

26gnai - spring animals | @bulletnails
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26gnai – spring animals

this week’s theme is spring animals. at a loss for something to paint i googled it. and ohmygoodness i died looking at all the super cute baby animals that popped up on my screen!!

unfortunately i knew i would never be able to do justice hand painting these cute little furry friends, and i’m assuming there will be a lot of stamping going on this week, but i neither have stamps that apply nor the skills to make it happen.

so i stuck with what i’m comfortable with – simplifying! each nail is a different baby animal. can you tell what they are?

Continue reading

ncu - blue & white | @bulletnails
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.

ncu - holiday movie | @bulletnails
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ncu – holiday movie

i’m a little late with this one because i went home for a week and a half over thanksgiving to see my family. it was a really nice vacation (cold – but i just stayed inside!).

this mani is inspired by i’ll be home for christmas. probably a not-so-famous christmas movie for most people. but i watched this so many times growing up, probably because i had a huge crush on jonathan taylor thomas! but now it’s part of my christmas tradition.

ncu - holiday movie | @bulletnails

i have always loved the scene with the santa 5k. as a kid that was such a wild idea, to see all these different santas running around the city. now that i live in sf, where there is an annual santacon, i miss the idyllic (and sober) version from the movie.

ncu - holiday movie | @bulletnails

since i ran out of time i decided that my nails would just be ten little santa hats – i guess sort of clustered like they are in the movie…

colors used: sally hansen red carpet, sinful colors  snow me white.

ncu - coffee | @bulletnails
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ncu – coffee

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

ncu - coffee | @bulletnails

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

ncu - coffee | @bulletnails

ncu - coffee | @bulletnails

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

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

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

26gnai - halloween | @bulletnails
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26gnai – halloween in the wrong colors

i’m struggling with feeling excited about any of the prompts this round. they’re just not speaking to me. they’re not inspiring me. like this one. “halloween in the wrong colors.” what are the wrong colors? i feel like halloween is the holiday with the least strict color code to start with (sure orange and black, but yellow, purple, green, dark blue etc are all typical too). it’s not like christmas (red green and maybe white), valentine’s day (red/pink) or fourth of july (red white and blue) etc.

so instead of exploding my brain trying to think of what to do, i decided to choose a recognizable halloween character and do my typical simplification to it. oh and make it the wrong colors. in this case – the opposite colors…

26gnai - halloween | @bulletnails

i chose the bride of frankenstein. i love her hair! i’ve wanted to be bride of frankenstein for halloween for a white, but i haven’t done it because i want to do it right! and lately i tend to procrastinate around halloween time. maybe next year…

26gnai - halloween | @bulletnails

i did my other hand in the correct colors – so that people at work or whatever might have a chance to actually guess what the design is.

SIA | @bulletnails
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SIA concert

 

so i missed the last prompt of the year long crumpet’s challenge. i was planning on doing it, even alluded to it in my last post. but something cooler came up and my nails had to honor that instead!

on saturday i got to go to a sia concert (with miguel – swoon!). it was amazing. it was just like you would think it would be – sia standing at the back of the stage, bangs-covered face, belting out all her amazing songs with maddie and a few other dancers dressed in nude leotards jumping around the stage. it was really beautiful actually.

i found out i was going to the concert on tuesday – which is why i didn’t have time for the last crumpet’s prompt (earth tones with fan brush). it was understandably usurped!

SIA | @bulletnails

so i tried two different things with my nails – one hand i did half and half like sia’s current iconic wig and the other i used a nude base to mimic the leotard. then each has a little sia face with big bow accent nail :)

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

so this week and next week (stay tuned!) are very similar prompts. so while thinking about autumn i tried to think what else signified the season besides the beautiful colors of leaves changing. the next thing that popped into my mind was pumpkin spice. i love the flavor, but i have come to loathe it because for some reason EVERY. DAMN. THING. is pumpkin spice flavored right now. literally why?! (fun fact: all but one of those links is a real pumpkin spice product!)

but anyway, that’s what i based this manicure on. who says you have to be inspired by things you like?!

40gnai - autumn | @bulletnails

i tried my hand at watermarbling again (i was going for a latte look). i’ve struggled a bit with it in the past but i also haven’t tried it enough to get very good at it. one thing that bothers me is how much polish i’m wasting so this time around i used a shot glass! that definitely helped, but i was only able to put in a few drops of each color – meaning it wouldn’t work with something very colorful – but for this was great. i also just tried to use a really light touch when drawing through the circles. i noticed the more i just skimmed the surface the better my lines were. so maybe i won’t give up on watermarbling after all…

colors used: sinful colors snow me white, models own copper pot, spoiled orange you glad.

40gnai - autumn | @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 - coral/white + ikat | @bulletnails
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Great Nail Art Ideas – coral & white + ikat

another color plus design week. i’ve done ikat once before and i really liked it – it was easy to do, hard to mess up and looks fancy/complicated. i realized after doing this one that it also has a lot to do with color choices. i like the coral and white combo but i needed another color. i debated between silver, gold and navy. as you can see i went with the silver. which i’m happy with. i think i would have liked the navy better but i was worried that it would overshadow the actual colors i was supposed to use this week.

the white i used is a very shimmery pretty color. but super translucent. i thought starting with a base coat of that would be enough, but as my design started taking shape i realized i was going to have to go in for some touch-ups and a bit of added white in the middles. ugh. i had to use an opaque white then cover it with the shimmery white. the middle of each diamond is sitting like three inches off my nail – there’s so much polish!

40gnai - coral/white + ikat | @bulletnails

it’s cute though. i think they colors make it look very dainty, which is nice because i don’t typically do dainty. i like the nails that have a diamond on the top and bottom of the nail rather than the ones with it in the middle. you see more of the coral and the overall pattern on those.

i hate that i forget about this design until it pops up in a challenge. it’s so quick and easy – i should be doing it more often!

colors used: sinful colors social ladder, wet n wild dreamy poppy, sally hansen celeb city.

40gnai - coral/white | @bulletnails

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

this week’s prompt is weddings. i haven’t attended too many weddings in my life and i’m not one for super girly things. but i really like this manicure. it’s simple and sparkly – like me ;)

40gnai - weddings | @bulletnails

i used a nice pearly white for the base because… well it’s classic! then i have a nice glitter that i sponged on near the nail beds. i was originally going to put it on the edges like a french manicure – but i just bought a bottle of liquid latex and wanted to try it out!

40gnai - weddings | @bulletnails

it worked great :) i paid like $8 for 4 oz. tub of liquid latex body paint. i used a wand from an old lipgloss and am trying to figure out if i want a smaller container so that it doesn’t dry up while applying.

40gnai - weddings | @bulletnails

colors used: sinful colors tokyo pearl, essie hors d’oeuvres.

40gnai - weddings | @bulletnails

here’s the other man-i do’s ;)

40gnai - weddings | @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).

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

animal is a hard prompt – the first things that pop into my mind are the myriad of “animal print” manicures that i’ve seen. they’re fairly simple, which is why they’ve been done so many times. but they’ve also been done so many times!

40gnai - animal | @bulletnails

so i tried to think of something unusual. when i had this prompt during my 31-day challenge i modeled my nails after a green rose chafer beetle. that was fun and different. and i wanted to be fun and different again.

40gnai - animal | @bulletnails

then it hit me – use your spirit animal! which is a unicorn. they bleed glitter and fart rainbows. and impale their enemies with a giant sparkly shaft on their faces. what more could anyone ask for?

i started with a shimmery white basecoat and topped it off with iridescent flakies. my accent nail is a beautiful sparkly unicorn braid.

i’m a little sad about the pictures – it was tough getting a shot of these nails. the sparkles and flakies on the white base almost always showed up as solid white. :( and it’s been cloudy since i painted them so can’t try any sunshine photography…

40gnai - animal | @bulletnails

colors used: sinful colors snow me white, sinful colors social ladder, sally hansen pearly whites, models own luis lemon, models own toxic apple, models own beach hut, salon perfect fired up fuchsia, models own pukka purple, spoiled plenty of fish in the sea, and torrid purple iridescent.

click below to view the mani zoo :)

40gnai - animal | @bulletnails

rupaul's drag race 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 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 ;)

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.

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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dia de los muertos

my second favorite holiday of the year comes just two days after my first. dia de los muertos is such a rich, spiritual, fun holiday. there’s parties, face painting and booze, but also remembrance, honor and respect.

muertos

as if all that weren’t enough, this is also the origin of the sugar skull – one of my favorite things (my house is full of them!). i typically attend the festivities, and usually paint my face. this year my nails are also in the spirit (haha get it – spirit – because of the spirits).

muertos

this year i have a skull half mask that i’m probably going to wear to the parade because i have to work and won’t have time to paint my face. :( my friend and her hubby and baby will be going with me though – so i’m excited to see if they paint their faces – especially the little one. he’s just old enough that he might sit still for it.

muertos

colors used: spoiled visually slimming, wet n wild french white crème, pop ablaze, spoiled plenty of fish in the sea, spoiled kickin’ the habit, maybelline pink shock, and spoiled distant memory.

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halloween part 4

hocus-pocus-movie-poster-1619i’m back with another halloween manicure (also the theme this week for crumpets 40). this one is based on my favorite halloween movie: hocus pocus. besides being an awesome halloween movie, this was the first movie i ever saw in the theaters without my parents! that was 22 years ago! i kinda don’t even believe that. (imdb won’t let me live in denial thought).

so my manicure is the wonderful sandersen sisters: sarah, winifred and mary as well as their spell book and the full moon / movie cover.

as much as i love this manicure – this is the only picture i have of it. unfortunately when i put the top coat on it completely smeared the paint. i don’t ever do this, but the photo above had to have some extensive photoshopping to save it. luckily most of the streaks were on their faces which were plain anyway and could easily be removed. a lot of it was from their lips – i don’t know if it’s the red i used or what.

imgresalso the words hocus pocus were definitely not on my nails – that’s just a little embellishment i did while editing the photo. i had wanted to write it on but there was no way i could do it small enough. and i’m too picky to not have had it in the correct typeface anyway!

colors used: most were mixtures (ie all their lips used the same base with another mixed in to give similarity but not sameness), essie cocktails & coconuts, sally hansen mellow yellow, essie partners in crime, essie lots of lux, and wet n wild red red.

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halloween part 2

so i’ve moved on from my rant about women’s halloween costumes. i’m not over it, i’m just over thinking about it. i found my costume for this year and it’s really fun. i found a super cool demon mask online and have based my costume around that. i was just researching colored contacts – i would love to do the black out ones. two problems arose: 1: price. the regular black out lenses are $28 and the ones that black out the entire eye are $256!!!!! dang. they’re so cool though. problem 2: i already wear contacts. i had a pair in my cart before i realized that i couldn’t even were them! unless i wore glasses. i don’t think a demon with glasses is a very scary thought ;)

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halloween part 1

halloween is my favorite holiday. when i was little my mom always made my sister and my costumes. there were some good ones in there. there were some that went all the way through my nieces and if my mom has her way will probably go to my grand-niece too! our costumes were always so cute and wholesome. i’ve been raggedy anne, a clown. one year i was catwoman. that one was awesome – i had really long press on nails / claws and i was all in black with a mask. nevermind that the all black outfit was probably a sweatsuit and the stitching on it was done in fabric marker. i felt awesome.

now as an adult i try to continue in the tradition of hand-made costumes. both for nostalgia (and my wallet)’s sake as well as the fact that all (most) of the pre-packaged costumes for ladies are disgusting. examples: sexy nurse, sexy dorothy, sexy toto (okay i don’t know if that’s a real thing but scooby doo is), sexy pig, sexy shark attack victimsexy squirrel, and sexy pizza rat.

anyway, there will be more halloween posts so i’ll continue my rants later on – let’s get to the nails!

mummies

for my first halloween manicure of the season i decided to try one of the new techniques i learned during the year. sugar spun nails are fun and quirky and fairly easy. this manicure in my head was a little different than it turned out on my nails. i was hoping to get the strings thicker to look more like gauze wrapping but i got a lot of really thin strings. i still think it turned out okay – i just ended up going over my nails more times to make up for it.

mummiescolors used: spoiled visually slimming, wet n wild french white crème, revlon matte top coat, pop ablaze, and wet n wild glo’ money, glo’ problems.

the problem with thick sugar spun polish is that it takes for-eh-ver to dry. and you end up with the photo below…

mummies

i had to repaint these two nails because when i hopped in the shower a few hours after doing my mummies the paint just smeared all over. heading for bed and working in the morning, i didn’t have much choice other than to clean off the polish and just do two accent nails (but only on one hand!).

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40 Great Nail Art Ideas – Hobbies

I’m starting a new nail challenge with the group from crumpets nail tarts. it’s a very interesting way to form the challenge – each week there is a prompt, but some people are doing odd weeks (themes) and some are doing even (colors+style). i went with the odd weeks (because i’m slightly odd and) because i thought the themes would give me the most inspiration.

40gnai - hobbiesso week one is hobbies. this sounds depressing but i couldn’t think of any hobbies i have. besides painting my nails (obvs). i do do stuff. it just all seems to be computer based and that didn’t give me much inspiration. i tried to think of what else i do for fun. well, i drink. so there you have it – a beer inspired manicure ;)

colors used: sally hansen wedding glitters and sinful colors snow me white.

hobbies

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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 eighteen: half moons

once again i’ve gone literal. i’ve never really done a traditional half moon manicure – but for some reason i didn’t want to start now. this may also have something to do with my idea for tomorrow’s manicure – no spoilers ;)

31dc half moons

this is supposed to be the moon – half full. it sorta looks like it… and the night sky – some clouds – whatever. eh. the moon is glow in the dark though which is pretty fun but also scary when you forget and walk around in the dark.

colors used: covergirl nailslicks deep blue sea, sinfulcolors snow me white, sally hansen lacey lilac, spoiled black mamba.

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 8: (glam) metal

okay so this prompt originally called for metallic but i just couldn’t get metal out of my mind. at first i was going to do diamond plate, but i couldn’t get the music genre out of my mind. as my mind wandered i eventually ended up with kiss. they’re very iconic and would be easy to recognize (and not super hard to draw).

31dc metal

kiss striping polishescolors used: spoiled visually slimming, sinful colors snow me white, wet n wild red a good book and the kiss (haha fitting!) nail art kit with black, white and silver glitter (left).

31dc

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avengers unite!

oh man – this was such a fun manicure. i love comic book movies! i also love how much attention these got over the past few days. working in retail a lot of people see my hands and i got a lot of compliments and questions. one of my favorite things is when someone asks where i got my nails done and then the shock on their face when i tell them i did them myself.

avengers avengers

this is how each hand started. i had it planned out which avenger was going on which finger and painted a color that was representative of them.

avengers avengers

the logos were originally going to be done by hand. some of them would have been easy. but there are a few that were just never going to look good. so i went to my trusty temporary tattoo paper and printed them out. i sorta felt like it was cheating but i don’t even care because they turned out so well! not to brag, but my nails turned out just as awesome as the movie!

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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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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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hohoho

merry christmas. i’m really into the holiday designs right now! there are so many i want to try out, but i don’t have much time to paint them. so my secret trick (shh don’t tell anyone) is that i’m painting both hands different designs! genius. this way i get to admire my handiwork for at least a few days and i can try out all the fun looks that i want.

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bigger on the inside

i have been waiting SO long to do these nails!! i love love love doctor who and wanted to do these for the beginning of the new series but i missed it.who1

i just finished watching the last episode of this season and i think that’s as good a time as any to pay tribute (i volunteer as tribute. wait. sorry. wrong fandom).

who

if you can’t tell, the nails are (thumb) cyberman, (index) dalek, (middle) tardis, (ring) the silence, (pinkie) all of time and space.

my original inspiration came from a buzzfeed article which featured this awesome dalek artwork.

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halloween

it may be a little early (or maybe not), but halloween is one of my favorite holidays. to get a jump start on the halloween season, and hopefully get inspired for a costume and decorations, i did my nails in a halloween theme tonight. there were a few different designs i wanted to try out so i just decided to do all of them!

halloween_2

this is the base coat for each nail. you’ll notice the index finger changed for the final pic – i had originally painted this with glow in the dark cat eyes on top. i had to do too many layers for the orange/yellow to show up and it just smeared all over the place. so i redid those two.

halloween_3speaking of smearing: this pic is what happens when you don’t use the bathroom before you start a nail project. manicures are like long road trips with little kids: you need to make sure everyone has used the potty before starting that journey!

halloween_4this one is probably my favorite. i was hesitant about how it was going to work out (or if it will stay for very long) but i like the end result. frankenstein’s monster is so iconic i knew i could get away with just the color, hair and bolts. the boltsare what caught me though. i started out just painting them on, but they didn’t stand out (literally!). so i went into my crafty supplies and found some clear/silver seed beads. i broke them in half with wire cutters (some just shattered into dust) and stuck it into the uncured gel polish. i set that, then painted over with the silver to make it really stand out and did one more gel coat – hopefully locking the beads in for at least a few days.

halloween_5lastly here’s another look at the results. i painted the pumpkin face onto one of my nail stamps so i could have a bit more control, especially with my left hand. and that made it a lot easier. if i messed up i could just scrape it off and not worry too much. yay.

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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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(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.