Saturday, 31 May 2014

My first Shades of Phoenix post and a little bit of Smudge spam

Hullo all.
Today I decided to try on a creation by aussie indie polish makers Shades of Phoenix.  I recently came into possession of several Shades of Phoenix polishes and, from what I can see so far, they produce some really solid polish.

The one I'd like to share with you today is called "Mother is God 2.0", a dusty berry creme with what looks like very fine gold and pink glitter as well as small holographic hexes and squares. It's really interesting and quite hard to capture on film as different lighting changes it quite a lot.
I found that it appears more dusty in real life compared to the pictures I took, but this should give you some idea;

Mother is God 2.0
Apparently the name is in reference to this being a revamped version of the first polish Teneil (the woman behind SoP) ever made, which she gave to her mum. Hence "Mother is God" (smart girl).
I need my own daughter to take heed of this name, because I am actually all knowing, all seeing and fairly god-like and it would behoove her to remember this as she gets older ;)

Thankfully this was an easy polish to use, unlike some creme/crelly glitter polishes I have come across. All I needed was two thin coats and there was no dabbing or fishing required.
It did dry a little bumpy, but two coats of Seche Vite smoothed everything out and allowed the polish to really shimmer and shine.

I found that the dusty aspect of this polish really comes out in the shade, whereas direct light seems to bring out the berry side of it, but in any light it is a very pretty polish. I also like that it's a colour that suits any season, and would look just as good on tanned summer hands as on winter white.

Unfortunately this particular shade is no longer available, but Shades of Phoenix have some beautiful polishes that are well worth checking out on their site.

And now, on a completely unrelated note, my little boy Smudge went in to the vet's yesterday to get the snip and he's been super clingy all day, lying all over Sophia as she plays Minecraft.

Strangely enough, he wasn't sleepy or dopey at all yesterday when he came home- quite the opposite, I was up at 1.30 this morning giving him a very mild sedative because he was bouncing off the walls and making sleep for any of us impossible.

The nurse at my local vet was very taken by him and said he was a total cuddle baby the entire time he was there and very well behaved...I actually wondered for a moment if she had Smudge confused with another cat ;)
Naw, he really is a sweetheart and he adores his family, especially Sophia and Peanut (I just feed him and clean up his revolting poos, so obviously I'm not as important haha).
But it's nice to know he won't be getting any girly cats pregnant or start spraying or straying because of all that testosterone. It will be interesting to see if he changes much, but from what I've seen today he's still the same old adorable-but-naughty Smudge we all know and love.

Anyway, that's enough from me. I hope you're all having a great weekend and I'll be back with some more polish goodness in the next day or so :)
Em x

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Today I have the luscious "Liquid Lawn" by Celestial Cosmetics to share with you all

Hello to anyone who might be reading this. I hope your week is progressing nicely.
For those of us living in the Southern Hemisphere it certainly looks as though we are well and truly into winter now, every day is cold and overcast, with rolling showers and strong winds that manage to find their way past any defense you might make with scarves and wooly jumpers and what not.
So it probably looks extremely strange with me crouching in the back yard in my pj's and a knitted hat, holding one hand out and contorting it whilst feverishly taking photos with my iphone in between rain showers.
But such is the price you pay when you want to blog about nail polish *sighs dramatically*

Anyway, enough about the trials and tribulations of nail polish blogging; today I have the glorious Liquid Lawn by the ever lovely Celestial Cosmetics- this is a pretty amazing looking polish and I have had a lot of positive responses to the couple of pictures I posted earlier on facebook, which is hardly surprising when you look at how well it's come up in the photo's;

Celestial Cosmetics "Liquid Lawn"
 Now, I know it's called Liquid Lawn, but this polish makes me think of slowly shifting, deep sea kelp beds, with the sunlight filtering down through the green water. I can imagine this is what a sailor would see just before a mermaid steals him down into the deep forever.
I really, really love this polish... it's truly dreamy.

 As for application, the jelly base is on the thinner side, and because the circle glitter is large I found I did have to fish for it (and as I always like to point out- this is not a flaw, this is just physics). However, I have an older bottle and Nicki has tweaked the formula to resolve those very minor points (I won't call them issues because all glitters settle and larger glitters, especially circle glitter, tend to require a little bit of fishing).

With this manicure I did use an undie, but I don't think it's necessary, so play around with what works for you. Personally, I wouldn't use this over too dark a base because I think you're likely to lose a lot of the little nuances that make this nail polish so beautiful, but again, see what you like and go with that.
That's one of the cool things about jellies- you can change the whole character of a polish simply by layering the polish over different undies or leaving it as is.... there's so much flexibility, so many ways to work with it.
For these photos I applied three thin coats of Liquid Lawn over Rimmel's 60 Seconds "Camouflage" and after that I threw on two coats of Seche Vite to seal the deal and make everything smooth and glassy and that was it. Not much work to have something that looks like it's from a Sea God's photo album sitting on the ends of my fingers...

Honestly, I don't know what else to say about this polish that isn't already obvious in the photos- it is absolutely beautiful, it is deep and dark and mysterious and I love it.
And luckily this polish is still available to buy either through Celestial Cosmetics' shop on bigcartel, or through one of the nail polish stockists for those of you living outside Australia (they are listed on her site).
I can't recommend Celestial Cosmetics enough- Nicki is a lovely woman with a fantastic eye for what looks good and I haven't encountered a polish of hers that didn't hit the mark yet, nor do I think I'm likely to. She really does work hard to provide a beautiful product, with great customer service too, so if you're in the market for a new polish and you haven't tried Celestial they are well worth a look.
 And Nicki, like many indie polish makers, is also happy to work with you if you're looking for something specific, which is just another reason to love indie nail polish. Can you imagine hitting Revlon up for a polish to match your bridesmaid's dresses?

I really don't want to take this manicure off, so I might leave it a few days before I post again, but I am also terrible at leaving well enough alone, so who knows, I could be back tonight with something new ;)

I hope you like the photos as much as I do, I'm definitely getting the hang of it all, even if my light box fails completely to do any of the things light boxes are supposed to. I guess that just means more running around out in the back yard, for now at least :)

Em xox

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

A quick post today featuring Powder Perfect's "Elation"

Well, I just couldn't leave well enough alone and ended up changing my polish again today, because why the hell not.
I also attempted to make a light box so I could take nice photos inside as it's winter here and the weather is pretty gloomy. It looks right, but i doesn't do what I was hoping it would. So I ended up going out and taking pictures of my hand in the rain again, most likely cementing the neighbour's view that I'm a crazy lady along the way.

Pictured; failure
I honestly have no idea why the damn thing doesn't do what it's supposed to, after all, it's a pretty basic concept. But it really doesn't help with my picture taking, at all. I suspect I'm just really crap at crafty stuff.
I also decided to attempt a little stamping along with my basic manicure, and again it didn't quite work out how I pictured it in my head. But it's still better than the bloody light box ;)

Powder Perfect's "Elation"

Thankfully Jacinta, from Powder Perfect, is a lot better at this home made business than I am and she's created yet another stunning, keep-your-eyes-on-the-road, OMG sparkles! microglitter polish.

Elation, part of the Euphoria Collection, is a teal jelly microglitter that is very similar in formula to yesterday's polish, Kevin!.
It's really easy to apply and I only needed two thin coats to get full coverage, with no dragging or balding along the way. It dried super fast and, while I guess it could be worn as a textured polish, I think it really comes into its own with several good coats of Seche Vite or similar.
Sure, it requires a fairly generous couple of coats of top coat to get a totally smooth finish, but really, when something looks this good I don't care about using three coats instead of one.

The colour itself is simply gorgous- really rich and complex. There's a few different coloured microglitters in there- although it gets a little hard to know what's what as it's all in a teal jelly base- but from what I could see there's blue, teal, holographic and maybe even a little bit of very pale gold. Whatever the combination, it all comes together on the nail and looks fabulous.

So, it's another win from Powder Perfect and, unlike most of my reviews, this one is still available (the other two polishes in the Euphoria Collection are also stunning and well worth a gander).

And because I figure there's no harm in sharing my total crafty failure, have a look at the pictures my light box managed to create... oh, and these are after I stuffed around with contrast and exposure. Before I tweaked the settings it looked like I had taken the photos in a shadow box, designed specifically to hide any beauty and mask the true colour of anything.
I think they speak for themselves really ;)

I guess I'm going to have to buy one of those ebay cheapie light box kits, even though this should have been ridiculously easy to do myself. At least I only managed to injure one finger with the box cutter whilst making it. That's gotta count for something, right?

Hope everyone is well and go check out Powder Perfect if you're in the market for a new polish, I promise you won't be disappointed.

Em xox

Monday, 26 May 2014

Say hello to Kevin! by Powder Perfect, I just know you're gonna get along

Well I'm finally home and oh my gawd did I come home to a lot of nail mail! So of course I had to share some of them with you.

Twenty eight bottles, the vast majority of which are Australian indie polishes... to be honest I have no idea where to start, it's a little overwhelming.
And then this morning my postie brought a package I have been very keen to get my grubby little hands on, my first ever Powder Perfect polishes. I now have Decorate a Palm Tree, Elation and Kevin! and immediately had to try on Kevin! because it's absolutely, jaw-droppingly stunning.

Powder Perfect's Kevin!
Kevin! is a Xmas release based on the Home Alone movies, hence the name. I also have Decorate a Palm Tree from the same collection which I will swatch over the next week, and I promise that is well worth waiting for... it was really hard to chose between the two, but at the end of the day red won out.

What a great way to beat the winter blues
Kevin! is a bright, true red jelly that is absolutely packed with red microglitter and, from what I could tell in the dim, overcast light, some holographic microglitter also.
But, as full of glitter as it is, this polish applied like a dream. All I needed to achieve full opacity was two thin coats and there were absolutely no issues with the polish at all. Again, like with all glitter dense polishes Kevin! dried a tad gritty, but I just added a couple of coats of Seche Vite and my nails were on point- beautiful, sparkly, red and glossy. Perfect really.

Unfortunately, being winter in Melbourne, it was hard to find enough light to bring out the sparkle in Kevin! And the light dimmed a little further with each moment, hence why some of my photos look as if I am standing in shadow... and I was, the vast, cold and dreary shadow of winter (dramatic, no?).
Here's some more pictures because, really, it's just so pretty I can't help myself.

And here's a couple I took trying to get that glitter to light up (not too successful, I'm sorry to say).

As with so many of the polishes I get a chance to get my hands on, this one isn't available anymore, but Powder Perfect do make custom orders if you've got a case of the lemmings ;)
They also have a range of absolutely stunning polishes that are still well worth a look regardless, with several polishes in the same style as Kevin! including Elation, a gorgeous deep teal microglitter that is to die for (I'll be swatching that any day now).

I hope everyone is doing well and I'm really excited to have so many beautiful polishes to show you over the coming weeks. I've even been asked to review a cuticle oil by the lovely Two Birds lacquer creator, Stacey Meldrum. It's my first ever review where I have been contacted by a polish maker and I'm thrilled that Stacey has asked me to do this- I am definitely hoping to acquire some of her polishes soon.
It's kinda cool that my blog is nice enough to warrant someone approaching me in this way, so I'm feeling pretty chuffed.

Anyway, time to get the kid into bed before Supernatural ;)
Em xox

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Almost home

I feel so negligent,  I haven't swatched or blogged or done anything for over a week.
But, I've had a good excuse as I was back in ol' St Vincent's hospital having another operation. Thankfully it's all over and it looks like its gone really well (that's a first!) so I'm hoping that I won't be going back in for at least another couple of years. Fingers crossed and all that.
Obviously, being in hospital means no nail polish, but I am going home to a fairly gigantic haul of nail mail, so there should be lots of swatches and reviews coming up over the next couple of weeks... yay!
I did manage to throw on a couple of coats of Zoya's Dahlia, a black and silver textured polish, the night before I was discharged, and I even took a couple of really crappy pics :D So here ya go;

Hospital lighting just adds that something special, doesn't it

Stunning eh? Hehe

I'm still at my dad's until the last couple of tubes come out, so I'm hoping to be home either tomorrow or Monday- I miss my cats and my own place terribly, although I'm lucky to have my little girl staying with me in the meantime, which certainly helps with the homesickness.

Anyway, hope anyone who stumbles across this is well and I promise to be thrilling you all with numerous nail polish related posts in the very near future :D

Em xox