Sunday, 29 June 2014

The one that started it all; Emily De Molly's "Cosmic Forces"

Hullo hullo, how is everyone today? It is absolutely full on where I am at the moment, the weather is just wild! Gale force winds, torrential rain and hail... my beautiful poppies that I planted have really taken a beating and I'm worried they won't make it after the last couple of days ;_;
I'm no green thumb, but I planted those tiny seeds and watched them germinate (it took for freaking ever!) and I was so excited to have my own pain management centre growing in my back yard, but this bloody weather may have put paid to all of that. Luckily I have more seeds, but I can't even get out there to plant anything as things stand.
And I certainly can't get outside to take pretty pictures of nail polish, so all of my photos are currently taken in my kitchen under the delightful glow of our ~el crappo~ fluorescent light... it adds that special something, managing to both reduce exposure and leech out any colour at the same time, which is quite a feat really. I do my best to adjust the exposure without bleaching or over saturating the colour of the polish, but you'll have to excuse me if the pictures aren't as uniform as they normally are.

Anyhoo, today I decided to break out Emily De Molly's "Cosmic Forces", the polish that started it all in terms of my current nail polish obsession. I had never even heard of "indie nail polish" until that fateful day, and the images my googling produced had my lusting after that polish like nobody's business. So I went and had a look at Hayley's online store and that was that- I was lost, absolutely smitten and ran headfirst into becoming a polish hoarder post haste.
So, onto the pictures...

O.K, if you're at all familiar with Aussie indie polishes then chances are you've come across this polish before, and for good reason. Emily De Molly was one of the first to use large, holographic circle glitter in a polish like this and it really made people sit up and take notice. And you can see why- it has the most remarkable effect, as if there was something magical going on- a doorway into another dimension perhaps or the reflection of distant stars somehow trapped and held in a bottle of bright purple jelly... whatever the case, it was a significant development and you can now find large circle glitter in many polishes as people appreciated just how amazing it can look.

Cosmic Forces is part of a trio which includes "Oceanic Forces" (which I have reviewed here) and "Dark Forces", which is a blackened jelly containing the same striking combination of glitters. I am currently waiting on a bottle of Dark Forces that I have bought through a destash sale and will definitely be reviewing it as soon as I am able.


Formula wise this is a bright purple jelly that is filled with glitter of various types, the aforementioned holographic circle glitter clearly being the star of the show. The larger glitters do require fishing, but I find standing the bottle on its lid for 5 minutes or so before applying definitely helps in getting a hold of those pieces.
I did find this polish to be tricky to apply when I first used it, but that was primarily down to my inexperience with polishes of this kind. Now that I use glitter jellies all the time I find Cosmic Forces a lot easier to handle.
It has thickened up somewhat since I first bought it, but I just add some Seche Restore and it's all good to go. Please note that Seche Restore isn't 3-Free, but I'm sure you could find a 3-Free thinner if that's important to you, just don't use nail polish remover to thin things up as you will end up destroying the polish and then you'll be sad face and I'll be sad face and it's just not a good idea.
I also don't bother with undies as Cosmic Forces achieves opacity easily in three coats, plus you get that fabulous depth and complexity that comes with layering several coats of jelly if you skip the undies, and it's the depth and squishiness that I find so appealing about this polish.

Cosmic Forces is, without a doubt, one of my all time favourites. It holds a special place in my heart as being my first ever "must have" indie, as well as being part of my first ever online polish order.
And it's just so freaking beautiful, I love it. I feel as if there's some sort of sorcery going on here, as if someone's managed to capture something rare and wonderful and trapped it in this bottle, ready for me to re-expolore whenever I get the urge to wear the universe on the tips of my fingers.

Emily De Molly is currently taking some time off after the birth of her first child, a healthy bouncing baby boy (congratulations Hayley!) but you can still purchase her nail stamping plates and nail gems, and as for the polish just keep checking back.
Also, if you belong to any indie nail appreciation groups chances are you'll hear about any store re-openings as Emily De Molly is a much coveted polish, and I know a lot of people are waiting for her return.

For product info, shipping and so on there's Hayley's Big Cartel store as well as her Etsy store. My advice is to just keep checking in periodically and get in there if you get the chance- I already have my list of "must haves" that I will be ordering the minute her store goes live again ;)

Anyway, that's it from me today. I hope you enjoyed my review and the photos- as I said, they weren't taken under the best of conditions, but while the weather remains this revolting I will be taking all my pics inside until further notice.

Until next time, love and polish for all,

Em xox

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Pretty basic, and basically very pretty (yeah, it's hard coming up with post titles)

Hullo from miserable cold, "gale force winds knocked down trees all over the joint" Melbourne, where you get to experience four seasons in one day on the regular.

Today I just have a super basic mani to share- another "dotticure" as they're known. I used a gorgeous polish called "Seas the Day" by Australian polish maker Sea Siren Cosmetics as the base and then used a Skin Foods gold polish for the dots.
I love how this turned out. In fact, I still have it on 4 days later. It reminds me very much of shot silk- I used to have a sarong that had very similar colours and this really captures that sense of opulence.

Isn't this pretty? I really love the vibrancy of the colours. Application-wise Seas The Day was great, with beautiful coverage after two thin coats (I probably could have used one coat but I was using a sample sized bottle so there wasn't much on the brush).
Then I popped on a coat of Seche Vite, waited for everything to dry and then used my el-cheapo dotting tools and the Skin Food "Nail Vita" gold polish for the dots, and voila! Instant mani that looks far more complex than it really is ;)

And there you have it, my pretty basic, and basically quite pretty, dotticure.
I'm waiting on several nail mail parcels to arrive over the next week or so, so there's going to be a heap of new polishes to swatch... woohoo! Not to mention all the untrieds I currently have sitting here, making me feel guilty for neglecting them... O.K guys, I promise, you'll all get a turn eventually, swear to god. Would I lie to you?  *shifty eyes*
Haha, seriously, I have so much polish at the moment, I'm actually feeling overwhelmed when it comes to choosing what to try next but I can't stop wanting more. It's a terrible affliction, to be sure.

Anyway, lots of happy thoughts to you all and I hope you're enjoying life and all that jazz. It's school holidays as of tomorrow, so I might even be allowed to give my daughter a mani! If she lets me- she's not nail polish mad, yet, but I'm working on it.

Until next time, love and polish for all
Em xox

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Giving it another go- Femme Fatale's "Sea Pony"

As some of you might remember, I acquired some Femme Fatale Cosmetics polishes awhile ago but was somewhat underwhelmed with them when they arrived- I bought several polishes at the time; a couple of international brands that they stock, and some that they produce themselves.
Now, Femme Fatale's service was excellent and I couldn't ask for more in that sense, but their polishes were quite different from what I was expecting, both visually and they were really quite difficult to apply when I decided to swatch them. It all left me feeling pretty ~sad face~ at the time, as I had high hopes having seen them swatched elsewhere.
Anyway, after some advice from the lovely Tara over at Loki's Lacquer I tried adding some thinner to the two polishes I was having trouble with, and also decided to layer them over  similar coloured undies, and thankfully both polishes look much better on now than they did the first time around.

What you see swatched here are Snapvine on my index and ring finger, and Sea Pony on my middle finger and pinkie. Both are "crelly" polishes- that is, not quite opaque or thick enough to be called a creme, yet not sheer and squishy enough to be classed as a jelly, hence the name crelly. And, as per usual with the nail polishes I chose, there's oodles of glitter in there too.

After adding the thinner and having a play with both polishes over various undies, I decided to do a full mani with Sea Pony, which I have layered here over Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure's "Good to Grape" (which is a great match colour wise).

This is a really pretty, cheerful mani and I only needed one coat of Sea Pony over the base colour for these swatches, which is awesome. The glitter pay off is excellent too- in fact, it can be a little overwhelming. I found the best way to apply this was to use a very thin coat and then dab the glitter around the nail until it's sitting how you want it. I then used three (yes, three!) very generous coats of Seche Vite over the lot to give it a smooth, glossy finish.

I'm definitely glad that I gave this a second shot, and using 4 drops of Seche Restore really did make a huge difference as to how this went on. Truth be told I was at a total loss with what to do with it as it was and thought I might even have to toss it. So I'm stoked that it hasn't gone to waste, and that I have such a cute, usable polish in my collection.
However, although the application was made much easier, I still think this is a tricky polish to use, and here's my thoughts as to why;
Crellies and glitter are a delicate combination- you want the base to be opaque enough that you get decent coverage and nice colour vibrancy, but you need it sheer enough that it won't completely cover up your glitter, and that is a difficult balance to strike.
You also want your glitter to spread out easily and evenly onto the nail, and that wasn't quite the case here. I found the glitter tended to clump together which made getting a little bit of everything- without going overboard- somewhat difficult. I suspect matte glitter probably clumps a little easier, simply by virtue of the surface being matte and not glossy, so that might have been a contributing factor.
But, and this is the reason I have made such an effort with this polish, Sea Pony is soooo pretty! The colours are just lovely and the combination of bright orange and pink against that gorgeous purple is really eye catching. It reminds me of long, languid summer sunsets where the sky is a riot of colours and the clouds are stained deep pink and tangerine.
Sea Pony is also a particularly feminine polish... I'm not sure what it is exactly that makes it feel that way to me, but it does and I like that very much.

Overall I am glad that I bought both Sea Pony and Snapvine, but I do think you will need to fiddle with them to get the application down pat and have it looking good on the nail. However, I also think it's well worth the effort, as they look fabulous on, so there's no regrets here.
Femme Fatale Cosmetics have a wide range of products, including makeup, and they also stock quite a few international  brands which can be hard to get a hold of otherwise (I ordered my two Dance Legend polishes through Femme Fatale). Plus their customer service is excellent.
So, I would definitely recommend having a look at what they have to offer as they have a great range, and you should find something to suit just about anyone.

Anyway, that's it from me for today- I've been so tired, it's kinda ridiculous. I was in bed before 7pm yesterday and didn't wake up until 8.15 this morning... I hate being this tired, it's not a nice feeling and it makes getting things done hard too. I saw a doctor today and I'm seeing my normal GP next week, but I suspect it's just a combination of the blues and this cold, dreary winter weather making me want to hibernate ;)
And it really is wild out there today- trees down all over the place, power outages, howling winds and driving rain... definitely a good day for snuggling on the couch with my kid and my cats, watching Horrible Histories and eating toasted cheese sangas.

Until next time, love and polish for all <3
Em xox

Sunday, 22 June 2014

In anticipation of Emily de Molly reopening her store, here is "Oceanic Forces"

Today I want to share one of my favourite polishes, Emily De Molly's "Oceanic Forces"- there are two other "forces" polishes in her store- Cosmic Forces and Dark Forces, and I will get around to reviewing both of them soon because they are all really beautiful.
Now, Emily De Molly was the first ever indie polish I heard about and bought, so her polishes will always have a special place in my heart. Of course, it doesn't hurt that her polishes are a-freaking-mazing; the formulas are superb, the colours sublime and Hayley's customer service is, like most indies, also fantastic.
She currently has two stores, an Etsy store and her main Big Cartel store, which has a list of international stockists for buyers outside Australia (her Big Cartel store also stocks the Emily De Molly nail stamping plates and some nail art gems).
Now, I have titled this post "in anticipation of Emily De Molly reopening her store" as Hayley is currently on maternity leave, but truth be told I honestly have no idea when her stores will reopen. So this is more of a "I really hope her stuff is up for sale again soon!" post as I missed out on a few of her polishes last time around and am dying to get my grubby little hands on them ;)
Anyway, onto the pictures!

Oceanic Forces is a teal coloured jelly polish filled with small holo hex glitter, microglitter and large circle glitter, with the circle glitter being the star of the show as you can see from the photos.
Now, in my opinion, this is a polish that requires some effort to use- you need to fish for the circle glitter and the jelly can get a bit thick as you get further down the jar, but I've found a couple of drops of Seche Restore gets the jelly base back to the right consistency and standing the polish on its lid for 5 minutes before use helps make the larger sized glitters easier to get to.
However, it's certainly not a hard polish to use- it doesn't flood the cuticles, it's not lumpy or bumpy and opacity is easy to achieve in two or three coats. It's more that you need to take your time using it and take care with the application.
But I'm also a bit pedantic about glitter placement and so on, so if you don't mind having some nails without the circle glitter then you're not going to be spending quite as much time getting things "just so". Personally I have to have those things looking how I visualise them or I'll have to start over again, but I'm kinda neurotic so I'm probably not the best example to go by ;)

With this mani I did things a little bit differently as I wanted to see how this would look layered over a teal microglitter (Powder Perfect's "Elation" which I have reviewed here), so the thumb, index and middle finger are two coats of Oceanic Forces over Elation, and the ring finger and pinkie are three coats of Oceanic Forces by themselves, all of them topped off with two generous coats of Seche viche.
I thought I would prefer it over the microglitter base, because glitter! But I actually prefer it as it's supposed to be worn- I think you get more of that fabulous squishiness and depth without any undies. So sometimes less is more, even with glitter (something I never thought I would say, that's for sure haha).

So, what do you think? I love this polish. It's very much a ~stare and admire~ lacquer, watching how the light hits those big, beautiful circle glitters. They're like amazing doorways into another world, a magical vortex that just happens to be on my fingernails... how awesome is that?!

I really hope that Emily De Molly opens up for business again soon (although you can still buy her nail stamping plates and nail gems through her Big Cartel store) as there are so many more polishes of hers that I am eager to try.
Luckily you can still browse her polishes on her Big Cartel site, they're just not available for purchase right now, but if you want to go and have a look I'd definitely recommend doing so- you can write out a list of polishes to buy when she is back up and running. Having something to look forward to is always fun imho :)

Anyway, that's it for me today. I have swatched and uploaded a couple of polishes over the last few days that I need to blog about, I've just been a little flat and finding it hard to be enthusiastic about blogging- in fact, I've found it hard to be enthusiastic about anything right now. I'll be seeing a different GP on Tuesday as my doctor is away on leave, but hopefully there won't be any issues refilling my pain meds (they can hardly just stop them- I'd be a very sick puppy if they did that). But I don't know what, if anything, can be done about my current mental state. I guess time will tell.

Until next time, love and polish for all <3
Em xox

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

An open letter to Clive Palmer and Tony Abbott

Get Up! is an Australian grassroots political movement, and one of their current campaigns is regarding a charity auction where the highest bidder wins a dinner with either our P.M, Tony Abbott, or the powerful businessman and politician, Clive Palmer.
Obviously I'm not in a position to pitch in towards the auction, but Get Up! also asked us to write down what we would want to say if we were in the position to talk to either of these powerful men over dinner. This is my letter;

"Dear Clive Palmer and Tony Abbott,

Thanks to the budget my 10 year old daughter and I face the prospect of homelessness next July. We don't have a financial safety net to help cover the $100 dollars a fortnight that we will be losing when you axe Family Tax Benefit B.
We also live in a small coastal community, which means there are more people than jobs. And obviously, if the loss of $100 a fortnight is enough to bring down the prospect of homelessness on our heads, I don't have the sort of money to simply up and move to a larger town where there are more employment opportunities.
In fact, my daughter is home from school today, because I don't have enough money to cover the petrol to get her to school until my pension comes through tomorrow.
Now, I am intelligent and articulate and come from a nice middle class family, but I also spent most of my life living with misdiagnosed bipolar II and, as a result, I turned to very self destructive coping mechanisms- the sorts of things that see people falling through the cracks of so called "normal" society and scrounging to survive in the underbelly.
Fortunately it seemed as if my life had turned the corner a few years ago- I finally got a proper diagnosis and was placed on medication that actually worked. I started helping my Auntie and her husband with their house flipping business and discovered that I was actually really good at house painting, so I decided to get an ABN and start up my own little house painting business- a 40 year old single mum just trying to make it on my own, but trying nonetheless.
And then I had major surgery on my pelvis in 2012 that, unfortunately, failed.
So, instead of painting and building my business, I have spent the last 2 years having additional surgeries, dealing with nerve damage and significant pain issues... and I won't be able to go back to house painting now that my left leg no longer works properly.
So here I am, 42 years old, no partner, mum to a bright and sweet 10 year old and I don't even know how to begin to put things back together.
My mother died last year at 62 from preventable cancer, my daughter's father committed suicide when I was pregnant because of lack of appropriate mental health resources, so he isn't around to help. So I'm having to do most of this alone, and that's pretty scary.
I live in a small town with very little employment opportunities and I have ongoing medical issues, both physical and psychological, that make finding appropriate work nigh on impossible without someone giving me a break, and you are taking away money that is the only thing standing between us and utter destitution.
My rent alone is over 50% of what I live on per year, but there is no affordable housing to be had anywhere. You say "move to where the jobs are", how? I don't even have $5 in my bank account at the moment. Who will help me relocate?
Will you give me the opportunity to earn a decent living? I'm smart, I have talent, I am a good writer and do well with things like online research and promoting businesses (for example, I blog to keep my mind sharp, and I like to help highlight some of the amazing Aussie indie makeup businesses and bring them to the attention of international consumers).
If you cut Family Tax Benefit B you are dooming my child to a life of poverty and lack of opportunities that we might otherwise manage to scrimp and save for.
$100 might not seem like much to you- hell, you probably spend more on a nice bottle of wine or a business lunch- but it really is the difference between life and death for us.
I struggle to remain hopeful, I strive to raise my child to believe that she can be whatever she puts her mind to and that the world is hers for the taking if she so chooses, but you are crushing my spirit with every funding cut, with every assumption that people like me are lazy, good for nothings who are simply trying to rort the system.
If you honestly believe that then please, try raising a good kid on my budget and see how easy it is to "bludge" then.
If you honestly believe that I just need to get off my bum and do something then give me an opportunity to use my skills- give me some work so I can raise my child well, so I can manage my physical and psychological disabilities and still earn enough that we can stop living hand to mouth and start saving instead.
Surely there's some sort of copy-writing work or research that you could have me do? Or is it all about the rhetoric with nothing to back it up?
And finally, why is it that you are asking those of us with the least to give to give up so much? Why not reduce the diesel fuel rebates for mining instead of taking $100 away from families like mine? Families that are incredibly vulnerable and only one payment away from utter ruin?
Please Mr Abbott, you say that you are a Christian, so where is your compassion? Poverty and vulnerability are not moral failings, so please don't punish us as if they were.
And Mr Palmer, you talk about people pulling their weight and of the opportunities that are out there for people willing to make the effort, well here I am- have you any sort of work that I could do? I'm obviously a smart gal, I would be an asset, but I need someone to give me a break.

I really hope someone takes the time to read this- right now I am scared I'm on my way to joining the statistics surrounding poverty and suicide. Give me and my child a chance to have a life that is more than constant fear of the future.

Emma Marks"

"It's like the Love Boat decided to host a disco on my nails"

That's how I described my current mani- oh my gawd, the glitter, the bling, the sheer joy and happiness this polish brings is simply fabulous. Seriously. It makes me laugh because it's so OTT yet so beautiful... I'm talking about Peita's Polish "Labels or Love".

This is an amazing polish, a sheer hot pink jelly filled to the brim with holographic glitter, silver hearts, red hearts, circles, hexes, squares and probably more types of glitter than I ever knew existed.

I layered this over a hot pink undie, but next time I want to see what I get using it solo. It is so bright, so vivid... it doesn't just jump off the nail, it chases you down and makes you gaze at its glory until you cry "uncle".

Nothing I can do can truly capture this polish, it's just too much, but in the best possible way. I've had it on for 3 days and counting, which is a long time for me, simply because it makes me feel freaking awesome wearing it. How can you feel blue with this riot of colour and sparkle flashing on the tips of your fingers?

Ok, I guess I should actually review this polish rather than just posting numerous pics and fangirling all over the place.
For these pics I did three coats of "Labels or Love" over Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear "Hot Magenta" and had no issues with application whatsoever. Because it is so glitter dense there is no fishing required, although I did find myself placing some of the larger pieces such as the hearts just to balance thing nicely on the nail, but the formula was so easy to work with this wasn't an issue at all.

I don't know whether this polish can achieve opacity on its own, and I am going to have a play with that next time I try it, but it looks brilliant over a hot pink undie. I reckon it would look good over a paler undie too, even black if you want to tone down the brightness (but why would you? that defeats the whole reason for this polish existing imho).
After applying three coats I then whacked on two generous coats of Seche Vite and my nails were perfect. I love that the glitter sits so well against the nail too, there were no problems with edges poking up out of the top coat or anything like that, just a smooth and glossy finish.

Peanut "helping" me take my photos

So, there you have it; "Labels or Love" by the Aussie indie brand Peita's Polish.
I feel like a cigarette, we've just shared such an intense moment. Seriously though, I think this is a brilliant polish- it's fun, bright, blingy and completely unapologetic in it's girlie-ness.
This is definitely going to be one that I try to find a second bottle of because it's also completely unlike anything else I own, and that makes it super special in my books as there's only so many combinations of colours and glitters, so for something to be this different is quite an achievement.

I hope you enjoyed checking this polish out as much as I'm enjoying wearing it- and I know it's full on, but if you manage to find a bottle don't be shy, give it a go. I think you might just find your heart floating alongside all those others in the bottle if you do ;)