Monday, 30 September 2013

A New Adventure for Nail Jems

I have been absent from posting the last couple of days and I have good reason, but it's a complicated story! (They always are though, aren't they!?) This is a half and half nails / non nails related post, but there is a mani in there of course to represent the situation I am about to explain!

I don't want to bore you all for hours with the long ass story of drama that is my life, but the basic gist of it is that I am leaving Australia. Recent changes to immigration laws here have basically stripped my husband and I of all eligibility we had to stay here, and there are no more possibilitites for us to remain in Australia legally. (For those of you that maybe haven't read this blog before, I am English and my husband is Brazilian.)
It couldn't have happened at a worse time as our current visas are up for renewal in the next month, and now we are facing the cold truth that because of these new changes our visas will not be renewed as planned, and so most unexpectedly we find ourselves having to uproot our entire lives and move abroad, with less than a months notice!

So my friends, my days as a British blogger in Australia are numbered. But as they say, when one door closes another one opens, and I'm used to moving around anyway. It's inconvenient and sad, yes, my husband and I were settled here, we run a business here, we got married in the house we live in and it's literally a secluded haven in paradise, our home will be one of the hardest things to leave behind. We also have to start from scratch somewhere else but we really have no choice, so onwards and upwards we go. 

Next stop? Brazil! We already had a trip to Brazil planned in January anyway, (I still haven't met my inlaws!) so it made more sense to change the ticket we already had and bring the date forward. We don't plan to stay in Brazil long term, no more than 6 months, afterwhich we will go to the UK to visit my parents for a while. We can't stay in the UK though, as they just changed their immigration laws too and I can't take my husband home anymore, that's another long and complicated story (of course!) for another time maybe. So after visiting my parents we have to go live in Europe where it is much easier for everyone and no visas are required. At the moment our first choice is Holland for so many reasons that I wont get into, but May of 2014 we expect to be settled there. 

Obviously all these changes and moving around will have a significant impact on my blog, mostly causing time issues. I will try to prepare as much in advance as possible when I find the time to do my nails, but there may be occasions where I don't post anything for a few days, esepcially over the next couple of months until I am settled in Brazil. As you can imagine the hubby and I have a lot to do to prepare for the big move, and the sad truth is I just won't have as much time for my nails as I would like. I'm not going to have the nails for it either, we had a huge garage sale this weekend, and from all the heavy lifting I've had a couple of breaks that could not be repaired, so I have had to file them all down and I'm back to short nails. It was probably for the best, at the moment I still have a little length left but with all the lifting and sorting and moving around I will be doing in the next few weeks, if I kept my nails long I probably would have risked a really bad break all the way down to the skin on some of them anyway!
Especially as we decided that instead of paying the rent on the house for the last couple of weeks before we leave, we would vacate earlier and rent a camper van instead, and spend a couple of weeks driving up the coast of Queensland towards Cairns. Can you imagine what my nails will look like after 2 weeks of living in a van? I dread to think!

Luckily, before I broke my nails in the garage sale this weekend, I did at least manage to get a mani done for today's post while I still had long beauties!
Marking my next adventure, it could only be the Brazilian flag!

There are many things that I am looking forward to doing whilst in Brazil, I'll only be there on a tourist visa so I intend to make the most of it, but among those things there is of course..... all the amazing Brazilian brand polish I can get my hands on! HITS AND LUDURANA COME TO MAMMA!!!!!!

But this is great for you too, because while I'm hauling ass around the world from here to there, I at least get to show you all the awesome polishes I find in each place! I don't mind admitting that there are only 2 reasons I wish to even return to the UK, first being to see my family of course, second is to pick up all the awesome brands there that I miss so much! Once we settle in Holland I will still be moving around all over Europe, as this will be my husbands first time in the northen hemisphere and he cant wait to see it all! With most european countries being only a few short hours drive away, I will be able to show you polishes from all the place!
''Nail Jems the travelling blog, showing you the polishes of the world!''
 (The fact that you are even reading this blogs tells me that you are as excited about this as I am, and I am NOT crazy hahaha)

So there you have it, this is what's to come and the direction my blog will be taking! I am concerned mostly about not having enough time to post everything I want, and so I welcome any other nail bloggers to come and do guest posts for me. I have created a new page explaining eveything and how it will work as this will probably be an ongoing thing over the next few months, please check the tab at the top of the page!

I have just under 4 weeks until I leave Australia, after which I hope you will stay in touch with my blog and enjoy sharing my polish journey around the world!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Swatch and Review - Mode Pastels and Glitter Topper

More Mode for you today sent for review by Heritage Brands, and right on season with pretty pastel shades and a glitter topper just perfect for spring! (Yes, I rejoice in the fact that whilst my British counterparts are bracing themselves for a harsh winter, my mild and balmy, month long winter is already over and I have a long ass tropical summer to look forward to! There's a hint in there for you ladies - trave more!)

So yaaaaaaaaaaay lets embrace nice weather because I love the sun, and what better way to do it than with these perfect pastels, first up is 'Cool as' and its a lovely muted mint green creme polish, here I am wearing 2 layers over base coat.

Next up we have 'Gorg', and this lilac crelly really is just that, gorgeous! I'm wearing 3 layers over base coat, and the opacity is not bad at all!

As always I loved the formula, the consistency is just perfect for easy application, and despite being cream polishes there really is no streaking either.

Lastly I have a glitter topper, this is 'Pocket Rocket' and it's a transparent base with small silver holographic dots, and stars and hearts in silver, gold, pink and blue, all holographic too. Here I have it layered over Gorg.

The formula of this polsh wasn't as great as all the others I have tried so far, the clear base is quite thick and jelly like, and it's also difficult to get glitters on the nail becasue they are quite thick and heavy too, and even if you manage to pick one up on your brush, you will sweep the glitter off your nail again with the next stroke of the brush anyway.
I found the best way to apply this polish was to fish for the glitter I wanted, scrape the pieces on the mouth of the bottle to remove them from the brush but positioned so that you can easily pick them up again, then scrape off all excess polish from the brush too until it's as clean as you can get it. After that I picked up the glitter pieces left draining on the mouth of the bottle with the brush and placed them on my nail individually, that way  the glitter pieces are sticky enough to attach but I'm not actually applying any polish yet. Once all the glitters were in place I did one coat of the actual polish over the top of them, and the few glitters that were stuck to the brush came off much easier once there was already other glitter on the nail to stick to, and so gave a nicer random effect over the top of the glitter I had already positioned myself.

It did require a bit of patience and it took a long time to dry, but the holographic glitters they use are quite nice, there is no curling or bleeding and the colours are nice too, so I will probably just keep fishing the pieces out of this bottle for nail art and maybe use a different top coat for them.

Regardless of the glitter topper adventures, I still think Mode overall is a fantastic polish brand, and even if you do end up just fishing pretty glitter pieces out of one random polish, for a couple of dollars a bottle you still can't go wrong, can you!?

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Swatch and Review - Mode Neons and Glitter

Today I have more Mode polishes to show you that have been sent to me by Heritage Brands, I have 2 neons and a glitter polish to show you today, and 2 pastels and a glitter topper tomorrow!

Mode are a budget Australian brand and their polishes only cost $2.45 a bottle or even 2 bottles for $4 in some chemists. they are fantastic quality too and not what you would expect for such a cheap price at all. Bargain hunter that I am it makes me happy to bring to your attention great polishes that literally anyone with any size pocket can have, even the littlest budding nail artist with the tiniest of pocket money allowances!

The first polish I have for you is a fluro neon orange jelly, and this is called 'Rave'n' Im wearing four layers over base coat. As you can see even being a jelly it is not dfficult to get a decent opacity.

The second is this stunning neon barbie pink creme, that being actual barbie pink I never thought I would love, but I do, I absolutely love it! Funnily enough this polish is called 'love me', at first I thought it was a request but now I understand that it's an order you have no choice but to obey! This is 2 layers over base coat.

The last one for today is a purple jelly densly packed with silver and magenta glitter, 'Rock me Sweet', It didn't look much in the shade but out in the sun it was dazzling! This is 2 layers over base coat.

The formula on all of these polises are great and they apply so easy, drying time is decent and the finish is just perfect. They all have great opacity, and even the jelly is not bad on that front.

I really can't get enough of these polishes! They have such fun colours and I love that they do basic jellies without glitters. It's not that easy to find a big selection of colours in just jelly without glitters so that you can do your own jelly layering art, Mode really has a great selection.

Come back tomorrow as I have 2 beautiful pastel colours and a sparkly glitter topper to show you!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Guest Post for Polished Art

Hello lovelies, today you will find my post claiming a guest spot over at the nail blog Polished Art run by the lovely Samantha!

Make sure you check out some of her own great work while you are there, and you can join me back here tomorrow for the usual!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Nail Art Challenge, Inspired by an Artist - Monet

Hey all it's nail art challenge Tuesday again and this week is Monet, French Impressionist famous for landscapes inspired from many different places all over Europe.

I decided to chose a landscape that I could relate to, and as I have lived in Italy for 5 years it had to be his 'San Georgio Maggiore at Dusk' which is a coastal landscape of Venice.

For this mani I decided to do a gradient, but I kept it very rough and sponge marky for the paint brush effect, after which I painted the buildings free hand with brushes.

 For the gradient I used Duri 'Summer Peach', Sinful Colours 'Timbleberry', BYS 'Golden Shimmer Sands', and Jesses Girl 'mermaids Lagoon'. (In case you are wondering I have used mermaids lagoon in previous mani's, but I have always refered to it as L.A Girls and only recently noticed that it was actually Jesse's Girl, my bad!). To paint the sillhoutte of the buildings I used Five Star 'Bronzite'. (Five Star are actually the polish brand made especially for Aldi stores, and I got this one recently for just a dollar!)

There are only 3 more weeks left in this nail art challenge and I'm going to be very sad when it ends, so if you girls have any suggestions for nail art challenges starting in the next few weeks please let me know!

Monday, 23 September 2013


I've been meaning to show you this for a few days, I did a review of Mode polishes a couple of weeks ago and have been on the hunt for them ever since. I showed you a gorgeous teal shimmer I picked up last week and haven't had a chance to show you the matt top coat I got too!

The reason I'm so keen to show you this matt top coat is because I thought it was amazing basically!
I bought this matte top coat for 2 dollars and it's better than anything else I have tried so far. I've done a matt and gloss french tip mani with a reverse accent nail to show how it works, for the base I used Ulta 3 'Enchanted'. 

The formula of this top coat is perfect, one thin coat applies smooth as silk and the finish is flawless and long lasting. There are a few different problems that I have experienced with other matte top coats before, mainly shrinkage, the matt top coat shrinks pulling the coloured base with it ruining the clean polish lines around the cuticle and leaving glossy parts of the base colour exposed, I have also seen a matt top coat dry with white powdery dots in it which completely ruins a dark mani. The most common problem I have come across with matt top coats is streaking, but due to the finish of matt polish they don't dry as streaks, but as lumps in the surface making it uneven. I didn't experience that at all with this matte top coat, it applies streak free and is self levelling so you get an even coat all over the nail, I don't get any white dots or shrinkage either and the nice visible matt effect doesn't regloss from the oils on your hands or whatever.

 It really is the most flawless matte top coat I have ever used, and if you're in Australia I strongly suggest you run out and find one of these immediately, I paid $2 for a whopping 15ml bottle, that's an awesome naily bargain in my book!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

100 posts and a Water Marble Miracle!

Welcome to the 100th post of Nail Jems! Whoop whoop! What a milestone! I can't believe I've made it this far, and what an enjoyable experience it's been! For my 100th post I wanted to do something special that I have never done before, and so despite having given up on it a long time ago, I decided to try just one more time at that bloody water marble technique! The most surprising bit? After 600+ completely failed attempts, it actually worked!!!!! I couldn't believe it!

I could only find 2 polishes in my collection that would even spread in the water (not that I sat there and tried all 300 of em but I tried a fair few!) and they were both Sally Hansen Lacquer Shine (note to self - buy ALL the Lacquer shine just for marbling!), so yeah, it's not the most colourful water marble mani in the world but I'm still very very proud of my first successful go! The black is 07 Lustrous, and unfortunately, the red has lost it's label, so it's a mystery!

It's not bad is it! I can't think of a better way to celebrate my 100th blog post than by finally succeeding at the most  elusive water marble technique that has had me in tears sooooo many times! Of course, I had to jazz up with some red swarovskis just to give it some extra sparkle, it is a celebration after all!

It's certainly not the most beautiful or exciting water marble I have ever seen, but it worked, and nothing can take that away from me!!! Water Marbling - you will be my bitch one day! (maybe by my 200th post?)

I want to thank you all for sticking with me through my 100 posts, your comments and feedback are what make it all worth while. Since starting this blog I have chatted to some lovely and talented girls and learnt so many wonderful new things about nail art, this blog wouldn't be anything without those who support it and those who inspire it. So thankyou to everyone for helping me come this far, here's to another 100 posts of gorgeous drool inducing nails!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Free Hand Paisley Print

Today I have some paisley nail art to show you, and I absolutely love this design! Paisley patterns are amongst some of my favourites and I love seeing all the paisley print manis that there are online. I did a paisey mani back in May with nail stamping that was simple but pretty gorgeous (you can see it HERE), but I wanted to try something free hand so I could use a lot more colour.

It's so pretty! I used Rimmel 'Lemon drop' for the base, and painted the patterns using Duri 'Summer Peach', Nfu-Oh 354, and Sinful Colours 'Timbleberry' and 'Forget Now'. I finished it off with a matt top coat to give it a softer more delicate sheen.

It is officially spring time here in Australia (and spring here is even nicer than a British summer!) so I think this is a really nice spring time mani, bringing some colour back into my life after a long cold hard winter. Hahahahaha what am I talking about this is Australia man! Winter lasts a month and it's 'mild' at best, I could wear this mani all year round!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Swatch & Review, Indie Selection from Femme Fatale Cosmetics.

Last month I was one of the lucky bloggers chosen by the lovely Sophie at Femme Fatale Cosmetics to receive one of her bloggers press kits, so I have some gorgeous Indies to show you today! At Femme Fatale cosmetics, you will find their own amazing selection of Indie produced polish and cosmetics, and as if that wasn't enough, they are also the Australian based go to stockist for a HUGE variety of international Indie polish brands.

So I have 3 different Indie polish brands to show you today, Alana Renee, Love Thy Polish, and Rainbow Honey.

Lets start with Australian based Alana Renee, this is 'Hedwig' from the Magical World Collection, a white crelly base with white bar glitters, black and white micro dots, and mini yellow hex glitter. In these pictures I am wearing too layers over base coat.

I have to be honest, when I first swatched a finger I wasn't very impressed, from a personal point of view I found this polish a bit dull, I love bright colours and shiny and sparkly things. I am the kind of girl who will be in the middle of a serious conversation and trail off because something sparkly caught my eye, I'm pretty terrible. But then I discovered that this polish was made for a different kind of girl! I showed it to my friend and she told me it is a Harry Potter themed polish, I would never have made the connection, I've never watched Harry Potter! I'm just not the nerd girl type, I've never watched Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings, or Game of Thrones, or even Doctor Who, I love nerd girls and I have lots of nerd girl friends, my nail bestie is a nerd, but I am way too fickle and easily distracted to be able to concentrate on anything long enough to become nerdy about it! 

So anyway, once I found out that it's a nerd girl polish, I decided to go and find out what the hell a 'Hedwig' even is, and everything made so much more sense! Credit where credit is due, the theme of this polish might be totally lost on a girl like me and not to my taste, but it is in fact a really accurate and wonderful interpretation of the white snowy owl, Alana Renee really hit the nail on the head with this themed polish, and I'm sure there are tons of awesome nerdy chicks that will have a whole different kind of appreciation for this creation.


For a white crelly it had really good opacity, and the formula applied nicely too with the glitter spreading really evenly, what with the micro dots it has a slightly gritty finish though, so you are going to need a couple of layers of top coat if you want a super smooth glossy finish,

The next polish I have to show you is another great Aussie indie, Love Thy Polish, and this is a stunning dark green holo! This is 'Green Eyed Monster' and I am wearing 2 coats over base coat, these first pics were taken in direct sunlight.

Look at this crazy holo flair!


This last picture was taken indoors in artificial light and the holo effect is still really strong!

I loved the colour of this polish, the formula was great and applied perfectly over a normal base coat, but most importantly it has amazing holo strength! The holo effect was so strong infact, that it was really difficult to even capture the original colour of the polish because there were just too many rainbowy highlights in it!

The last polish is an American Indie, from New Jersey I believe, and it's Rainbow Honey 'Lumine Hall'. This is a gorgeous blurple in a silvery shimmer glitter base with irridescent lilac/aqua square glitters. I have seen swatches of this polish online too, but they all look quite blue, but my bottle definitely had a tinge of the purple!

The formula on this polish was a little thick and pasty and it was difficult to do thin coats, but it still applied very smoothly with a nice even distribution of glitter. 

This polish really is a stunner, my photos don't do it any real justice! 

I have one last product that I received to review for you also, and that is the Rainbow Honey Cuticle balm. A solidified cuticle butter in a retractable stick. In the picture it is stood next to a 12ml Alana Renee bottle so you can get an idea of the size of it. 
I LOVE THIS STUFF! Ermahgerd I cannot say enough good things about this little miracle stick!
I put this on for the first time and my cuticles were instantly revitalised! I also tried it on my toes, I like to take as much care of my feet as I do my hands, but I don't keep up too much in the winter as my tootsies are always hiding away in slippers anyway. But now summer is coming and it's time for pretty sandals again, so I have been paying a bit more attention to my feet now, but my cuticles on my toes were soooo dry, they were literally white and crispy and there was little I could do short of ripping them off completely. Then Rainbow Honey cuticle balm came into my life! I put it on my toes three times throughout the day, and when I woke up the day after it was like the cuticle fairy had been and swapped them all out for fresh pretty soft ones! A complete transformation I tell you! I really wish I had taken before and after pictures, but I was just not expecting such a dramatic effect from this product, if you don't own it already, go and get one right now!

Other things I love about this product:
It's in this cute and convenient little stick that I can throw in my handbag and take anywhere.
The stick of balm actually runs all the way down the length of the tube, so there is actually a lot of product stuffed in that tiny little tube.
Because it's a balm and not an oil, it doesn't run everywhere giving me greasy hands that leaves stains on everything I touch!

The only thing I didn't like about this product is that it's unfragranced, as I am a dirty smoker I prefer hand products that have a strong perfume to cover the nasty smell my hands usually have, but after a bit of research I discovered that they also do a fragranced range so I will be hunting down one of those pretty soon!

If you want to get your hands on this amazing cuticle balm and the gorgeous polishes I have shown you today, be sure to visit Femme Fatale Cosmetics for your indie fix!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Nail Art Challenge, Inspired by an Artist - Andy Warhol

I have been so ridiculously busy this last week that not only did I not have time to post my nail art challenge mani on nail art challnge Tuesday, I didn't have to time to write any post at all! So I am sorry if you missed me, but today's mani will totally make up for it I promise!

This week is Andy Warhol pop art extraordinaire, and the first British artist of the challenge so you know I had to go all out for this one and do old Andy some real justice! (since posting this I have since learnt that Andy Warhol is actually American, and for whatever reason I always believed he was from London, I know, I know, I'm an idiot! *facepalm)

If you are not familiar with Andy Warhols work - then you must be living under a rock, haha no seriously, here is a pic to refresh your memory cos I am sure that everyone has seen his work at some point. 

Now I know you have all seen images like this before!

For my own mani I decided not to use the face of some celebrity, but my own face! I took four photographs of myself pulling 4 different silly faces, and then fixed them in photoshop so I would just have the main features visible in 1 colour, like this:

I printed these faces out on transparent decal paper so that only the coloured areas were actually printed.

To do the mani I painted a different base colour on each nail, the colours that I wanted my skin to be. After the base colours were dry, I applied the decals, and then painted around my face and hair with different colours than the base to give the contrasting back ground.
Are you ready to see the final result and have your mind blown? hahaha OKGO!

This mani is so frickin awesome I totally love it! This may even be my favourite mani from the nail art challenge so far, I wish Warhol was still around so I could send him the picture hahahahaha!

The polishes I used are:
Index: Face - Rimmel 'Lemon Drop' Background - Mode 'Happy Snaps'
Middle: Face - BC Co. Shade 16 Background - Nfu-Oh 354
Ring: Face - YSNY Shade 12 Background - NFU-Oh 517
Little: Face - Duri 'Summer Peach'  Background - Sinful Colours 'Timbleberry'

I may have had a total Brain Lapse for this mani, but it's still a 100% win. :)

Monday, 16 September 2013

Mode and Mylar

After my review of Australian brand 'Mode' polishes last week I was convinced to keep an eye out for colours that I like, and  by chance I came across the gorgeous colour I'm showing you today and a Matte top coat that I will show you later. 

If you haven't figured it out already, I'm a sucker for blue/green/teal polishes, they make the bulk of my collection and I can never resist buying them when I see them, 'Jaded' by Mode was no exception!

It's a beautiful petrol blue with a minty green shimmer that was just begging for some bling, so I applied some loose aqua green mylar flakes that flash in red and gold, in a mosaic pattern.

I like this nail art, it was pretty quick and simple to do which I needed this week as I have been mad busy with a whole bunch of stuff I won't even get into, but despite the speed and simplicity it was still a really funky and sparkly design that got a lot of attention! Yay for great polish finds and fun easy nail art! 

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Foil Patterns from Painting with Foil Glue

As you may have noticed I am really getting into my nail foils, and I've been trying out some stuff this week to figure out what else we can do with them besides a full nail cover! I decided to paint a free hand pattern over my base colour using foil glue so that only the pattern would be transfered on the nail. 

For the base I used Cover Girl 'Wine to Five' a dark burgandy creme leaning slightly pink in the light, and the foils I used are called 'teal' and are just a simple plain coloured chrome finish. 

This wasn't as easy to do as I expected, mostly because I thought the foil would only stick to the glued area but instead patches of foil came off on the nail where I hadn't even put any glue, ruining the design. I had to resort to trying to rub off the extra foil with a nail brush dipped in polish remover, which wasn't an easy task as the foil did not rub off so easily even though it wasn't even glued on. I'm going to have to get a bit of  practice with this and try rubbing the foil with less pressure in future.

I still really like how it turned out though, the foil contrasting with the polish finish looks really cool and I think these colours go great together!

 I'm also getting a lot of enjoyment from the improved macro settings on my new camera too, as you can tell!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Pink and Gold Glitter Mani

I keep seeing swatches of pink and gold polishes all over the place, and they just make me drool, pink and gold is my favourite colour combination ever but I don't have any polishes like this! I have been keeping an eye out for a while but haven't come across any anywhere. I don't really shop online until I've got a nice princely some to go mad with, so most of my purchases are collected bit by bit in retail. (This is also how I trick my husband into thinking I don't spend that much on polish lol).

If you've been following me for a while, you will know that I'm the impatient type and always resort to improvisation when I don't find what I want! So I dug out my pink and gold polishes to see what I cold come up with.

I started with a light pink base using Nfu-Oh 354 and using the saran wrap / cling film technique I dabbed a warm light gold from BC Co. in shade 23. Then I finished it off with a BYS gold glitter topper 'Million Dollar Baby' which has light gold hexes in 3 different sizes, and I did 4 coats of it on the ring finger to get a heavy glitter accent nail.

Normally I prefer a darker dusky antique rose pink, but this pale pastel pink is not bad either, it look's really feminine, lively yet elegant. 

Imma still be on the search for an antique rose and gold polish, so if you guys have any suggestions for retail brands that I can stumble across fairly easily then lemme hear it please!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Cherry O's Nail Foils

I am slowly but surely working my way through the huge stock of untried nail foils I have, and the practice is certainly paying off  because my application of the foil I'm going to show you today was practically flawless!

The foil I want to show you is called Cherry O's, and is a stunning cherry red full of little holographic circles of yellow orange and violet, it is SO gorgeous!

The best news is that my husband and I purchased a new camera recently, and it has a much better macro setting than the camera I have been using, and now that I have thd new machine all figured out, I can take gorgeous close up shots like this one!

Now I can take photo's that help everyone else appreciate ny nail awesomeness as much as I do! Now you can all see what I mean when I usually say 'it was so sparkly and gorgeous, trust me on this one!' No more trust ladies, just see for yourselves, how frickin awesome is this nail foil???!!!!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Band of Jewels Glitter Topper Art

I've been playing with the new polishes again and I was really keen to try the Australis 'Rio Riot' green and purple glitter with an absolutely stunning Cover Girl polish (Caribbean) I bought recently. These 2 polishes were just made for each other!

First  of all, how gorgeous is this Cover Girl base colour? I found it in my local supermarket and had to have it the moment I laid eyes on it! I painted a stripe in the center of each nail, I didn't really know were I was going with it, I was just messing around. I know it doesn't look much in the pictures because my camera hates glitter, but the glitter was so sparkly and bright, and with all those complimentary colours put together with this polish, it looked like I had a jewel encrusted band across my nails, it was quite spectacular!

This is a simple but very flashy mani, if only you could see it in real life to appreciate it's true beauty! 
Now that I think about it, I actually have a pair of boots in my European storage unit that would match this mani perfectly! *Sigh

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Nail Art Challenge, Inspired by an Artist - Degas

Nail art challenge Tuesday is a quick one today, as I was just feeling totally blah about this weeks artist, Degas. He's mostly known for his impressionist paintings of ballerinas, and I'm just not the frills and bows ballerina kind of girl to be honest! 

I picked the following image to work from as I liked the colours in this dress.

My mani is a bit rubbish to be fair, nothing awesome came to mind looking at Degas's images so I just tried to imitate the dress a little, I did a yellow base with Sinful Colours 'Unicorn', and then with a brush I attempted to add some white frills and some brush strokey flowers, the thrills turned out a bit too subtle though.

I still think Im doing pretty well though, this is only the second artist that has made me feel 'meh' which is not bad considering how many there have been, so I think I can forgive a couple of boring mani's out of the whole challenge!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Glitter Gal Holo Gradient

I've been a lucky girl last week and received some lovely polishes for review, you may have seen the glitter gal holos that were beautiful!

Well in the polishes I received a lilac (Frappe) and a dark purple (Crushed Ego) holo, and I just couldn't resist doing a holo gradient!

There's not much to say about this mani, it's simple enough, but it was a great opportunity to see how the glitter gal holo's got on with a top coat. Unless a polish really needs it because that's when it's at it's best, I don't usually do swatches with a top coat so you can see the polish as is, especially with special effects polishes like holo's and such (you may have seen nail art I did with Nfu - Oh holos and the holo effect just wasn't the same with a top coat). But after doing a gradient with a sponge the surface of the nail was all bobbly and uneven and top coat was a must. As you can see a top coat doesn't effect the holo at all! (I used 2 coats of Loreal Jet Set). 

How gorgeous are these colours together!?

Saturday, 7 September 2013

I've Been Nominated for a Liebster Award!

I am very happy to report to you all that I have been nominated for the Liebster award by the lovely Ana over at Magnifique Nails!

For those of you that don't know, the point of a Liebster award is to raise awareness and give recognition to new and upcoming blogs, and to win the award you must be nominated by one of your peers in the blogging community (in my case by Ana!). The way a Liebster award works is:
  1. You must link back to the blogger who nominated you. 
  2. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you. 
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
  4. Go to the blogs you nominated and notify them of your nomination.
  5. Give your nominees 11 questions to answer.
 By following these rules we all help each other as new bloggers to gain recognition in our community, and to get to know the person behind the blog a little too!

So here goes! These are the questions from Ana and my answers:

What made you want to start blogging?

I've always been interested in nail art and as the years go by I've become more and more obsessed. I started doing mani's that I was proud enough to actually take pictures of, but eventually I realised that it was pointless taking pictures if I didn't share them with anyone, and so a blog seemed like a natural progression. I'm really happy I started my blog, I admit that it's much more time consuming than I would ever have imagined, but has turned out to be the most satisfying and rewarding hobby I have ever had and a great experience so far. I have really enjoyed being a part of the nail addicts community and getting to know other great artists out there as well as getting some great feed back on my own work. I'm kicking myself for not having started this blog much sooner actually!

Who/What inspired you to do nail art?

There wasn't really any one person or thing that set me off. I've always really loved nail polish since I was a kid, but probably the reason I'm so much more into it now is because I finally have the nails for it. I used to be a chronic nail biter and once I finally managed to kick the habit it still took many years and a lot of hard work to get my nails as good as they are now, and they are still not the best that they could be. But I've worked hard for what I've got and it seems silly not to make the most of my reward for kicking a shitty habit! I'm an artistic person anyway and I have always been into painting and drawing, crafts, DIY and a bunch of other stuff, so it just makes sense to decorate my now lovely nails!

Stuck on an island...What actor or actress would you bring with you?

So I'm assuming that in this case I couldn't bring my Husband and whoever I choose will also serve as my company on this lonely island, but it still doesn't really matter because all the actors I like the most die. No really they do, all the ones I love get cancer and die. It sucks. First there was Patrick Swayze my all time favourite who will be my eternal love. Cancer stole him from me. Or more recently Andy Whitfield, the delicious little Spartacus, cancer stole him from me too. I won't bore you with the rest of my list, but the sad truth is that there is no one left that I would take with me, in fact I may even have to stop liking actors as I seem to be cursing them :(

What is your favorite top coat?

There are many acclaimed fabulous top coats out there that I am yet to even try, but my rock steady 'I can always turn to you' top coat is Revlon quick dry. I like that it applies nice and thick and you get a nice solid layer of protection over your handy work. It's also the perfect consistency top coat for painting onto freezer bags to make decals.

What is your top tip for someone wanting to start a blog?

Be prepared for the amount of work involved - it's not as easy as we are led to believe! Just publicising your blog through links and social networks and the million different profiles we have to take care of is a huge daily chore already, and that's before you have even painted your nails! Nail art is a time consuming affair already, add to that the photography and post production editing, then writing the post, then the publicity... what starts out as a fun little hobby soon becomes a big daily responsibility and a large chunk of your life. Of course that depends on what you want out of your blog, but if you're looking for the successful blog with lots of readers and followers and everything else that comes with it, you will have to put the work in. You will need to be prepared and organised to make sure you always have enough material to post on your blog, and just that task alone is challenging enough! The best advice I can give you is try not to bite off more than you can chew, if it all gets too much you will get frustrated and give up on it, so set yourself reasonable goals that can work with your existing schedule.

Favorite polish ever?

Impossible! There is no such thing when there are so many amazing collections and trends coming out every 5 minutes, what was my favourite polish last year is now in the middle of the list somehwere, and my favourite polish right now will be a distant memory in a couple of months time! I guess I'm fickle like that! I can tell you that my next favourite will be arriving in the post within the next couple of weeks as I got in on the preorder for ILNP's Ultra Chromes, and if you've seen the swatches you know they are going to knock the socks of anything I have already!

What's your favorite to least favorite nail art trend?

My Favourite and least favourite nail art trends are actually the same one -  I have a serious love/hate relationship with water marbling! I absolutely LOVE water marble designs, and everytime I see them I think they are sofa king amazing! Water marbling hates me though, as much as I love it and am always blown away by the pics I see online, I have still never done a succesful water marble mani despite many, many, many attempts. And as much as it makes me squee to think of finally doing a water marble mani, I think of all the times that I have thrown a cup of water across the room accompanied by anguished screams because it has failed me yet again, and I wish water marbling never existed!

Where would you like to travel?

It's got to be said, as far as travel is concerned I have been more fortunate than most and the list of countries and cities I have lived in or travelled to is extensive. My mum's ex partner encouraged me to leave my country and 'see the world' when I was 20, and with the offer of a safety net - a guaranteed ticket for a flight home within 24 hours with just one phone call if I got into any trouble, I was off on my merry way! I started off in Barcelona and I haven't stopped moving around the world since then, now I'm nearly 30! Seasoned traveller I may be but there are still a few dream destinations on my list, Egypt is number one top of the list, closely followed by South Africa, and I recently discovered the Rainbow mountains of China, which I will see before I die!

Other than nail polish/beauty products, do you have any obsessions or collections?

High heel shoes, ridiculous amounts of high heel shoes. I cannot get enough of them and I would die without them. I have over 200 pairs of shoes and boots in a storage unit with the rest of my belongings waiting for me in Europe, I only brought a couple of pairs with me to Australia last year, and right now in my Aussie bedroom there are 40 more pairs. I swear this is not even an exaggeration!

What is your favorite all time food/drink?

It's difficult to choose really, I'm a real foody and love to eat, and a bit like the nail polish - my favourite foods are always changing. I have a ridiculous sweet tooth though, and the fat arse to match, so I probably shouldn't say cake, but it's cake... Baked goods of any kind actually, epecially if they have cinnamon.  NOM NOM NOM.

These are the blogs I nominate for the Liebster Award, and being a bit of an international jetsetter it seemed only fair to have a nice international mix of talented nail blog ladies from around the world!:


Dorothy, Alice, Nails
Lazy Lacquerista


 Life In lacquer
Bite No More
Little Tip Off
Never Ending Nail Polish


Getting Nailed Weekly
Get Nailed Here


Nail Jazzed Up


Eli Singing Nails


Passions De Fourmis

And my 11 questions to those bloggers are:

What made you want to start blogging?

Who/What inspired you to do nail art?

 Stuck on an can take one nail polish, one manicure tool, one nail treatment, and one kind of nail art decoration... which?

 Who are your favourite nail artists and why?

Which nail art technique do you have most difficulty with?

What other hobbies do you have after nail art?

Other than nail polish whats the one thing in your life that you can't live without? (thing not person!)

What is your dream job?

What would your dream house be like?

What would you advise for someone wanting to start a blog?

Thanks again to Ana over at Magnifique Nails for the nomination, I hope you have all enjoyed reading my answers as much as I have enjoyed answering her questions, and I look forward to hearing from the bloggers I have nominatied and seeing their answers to my questions too!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Swatch and Review - Australis

I have 2 more gorgeous Aussie brand polishes to show you today, they are Australis polishes sent to me for review by Heritage Brands

This first polish is 'Sinfully Sweet' and is a neutral beigy pink creme polish, and I am lucky as it suits my skin tone which can be a bit hit and miss with neutral polsihes. This picture was taken in direct sunlight, and I am wearing 2 coats of the polish over a base coat.

The bottle claims a 'streak free finish' and did not disappoint! It went on smoothly and by the second coat was flawless, this would be a nice base for a french tip for me too, I prefer solid colours to sheer bases for a classic french mani and I look forward to trying it out!

The next polish I have for you is 'Rio Riot' and is a super sparkly glitter in a transparent base. The glitters are small hexes in blue, green, purple and magenta, and there are also larger gold hexes. In these pictures I am wearing one coat as a topper over A Spanish Brand YSNY shade 12, and 3 coats of just the glitter polish as the ring finger accent nail. This first picture was taken in direct sunlight, but it was very bright and difficult to capture the colours well.

 This second picture was taken outside in the shade and you can distinguish the colours a little better, but I think I need some tips on photographing glitter, so if anyone has any please feel free to share!.

I loved the colour combination of the glitters but truth be told this polish is a little difficult to apply. All the glitters in this polish are slightly curled and so tend to clump together in little groups rather than spreading out evenly over the nail, but if you have the patience it's nothing that can't be fixed with a bit of manipulation and manouvering. If you're one of those ladies obsessed with a super smooth flawless finish this one might drive you a bit nuts, it will take several layers of top coat to smooth those curly glitters out. I'm wearing 2 layers of top coat in this pic, which over the sparse glitter topper nails is not bad, but on the pure glitter accent nail it would take another 2 or 3 coats to be completely smooth. If you can live with slightly bumpy nails though, you will enjoy the beautiful selection of colours in the polish, I haven't successfully captured it in these pictures but in real life it's really quite lovely.

I love the name of this polish 'Rio Riot', it does remind me of a carnival, and I will actually be having my belated Honeymoon in January in Rio so this will have to come with me! (I was married in April so the honeymoon is well overdue!)

I hope you enjoyed the gorgeous Aussie polishes I brought you this week! If you want to get any of these yourself be sure to check out the great selection at Heritage Brands!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Swatch and Review - Mode

I have more Australian brand polishes to review for you all this week that were kindly sent to me by HERITAGE BRANDS, a cruelty free beauty stockist based in Australia. Today's brand is 'Mode' and it's a great budget polish that you can find for between 2 - 3 dollars a bottle, with a really huge variety of colours and finishes.

Today I have 2 fun neons to show you, this first polish is 'Happy Snap's' and is a bright cyan blue creme polish that is very heavily pigmented and opaque in just one coat.

If you think my middle finger looks slightly dodgy, it does! About an hour before I had to swatch these polishes my nail broke clean off (perfect timing as usual) so I had to stick it back on with a teabag and the surface is not so smooth anymore! ( I ended up filing and shaping that nail a million times throughout the rest of the day!) Anyways, I have 2 coats of the polish over a base coat in this pic and it was taken outdoors in direct sun. This polish had a really smooth consistency and went on so easy, I usually find that the best of creme polishes streak a little, so go figure a cheap brand, but this was surprisingly great quality.

This next polish is 'Whatev' and is a really bright lime green jelly. Honestly, I'm not a fan of lime green at all, it's probably one of my least favourite colours and I have never been tempted to buy lime green polish, even when I've seen something on offer at a dollar a bottle, but I weirdly like this! I'm not sure I could wear it on it's own without jazzing it up a bit with something, but I enjoyed looking at it much more than I ever thought I would! I'm glad that it's a jelly too as I love Jelly Sandwhiches and layering and I will be able to do something really fun with this. 

Obviously what with being a jelly polish it's a bit on the sheer side, in this pic that was taken in direct sunlight  I am wearing 4 layers over a base coat and  it's still not fully opaque, but jellys aren't meant to be and I still think it looks really cool.

Overall I was really impressed by the quality of these polishes, not what I expected at all for the price, I didn't have any Mode polishes until now because whenever I have seen them on sale there have never been any colours that I was that bothered about, but after seeing how good they are I'll be keeping a closer look out for something that I like. Until I do find something I like in retail stores, I might have to head on over to Heritage Brands and see what other colours they have!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Messy Mansion Stamping Plate MM09

A couple of weeks ago I won my first ever giveaway, yaaaaaaay finally! God knows I've entered enough of them! I entered a giveaway on the facebook of Messy Mansion and won 3 stamping plates of my choice! 

So today I am going to show you a mani I created with one of them, the plate is MM09 and has Japanese and oriental themed designs.

To do these nails I painted a pale blue base which is a no name polish I got in a christmas gift set, and I did the ring finger accent nail with OPI 'Golden Eye'. Then using the saran wrap / cling film technique, I dabbed the middle finger with Sinful Colours 'Snow Me White' and on the index and little fingers Cover Girl 'Caribbean'. I used the same white polish to paint the water ripples with a striping brush. The red Koi fishes on the middle finger are from the Messy Mansion stamping plate and are stamped with Sinful Colours 'Timbleberry', and I used the same polish with a dotting tool on the gold accent nail to create a Koi fish skin effect.

Here on the thumb I used the same pale blue base with saran wrap and cover girl, and then stamped another image from the MM plate with Snow Me White. The image is taken from famous Japanese paintings of waves on the ocean, it's a really great image but I think the background I have chosen may be a bit too busy to appreciate the stamped image properly.

All the stamping plates I have are Bundle Monster, and I haven't really bought anymore because it seems unjustifiable when I haven't even taken the blue protection off of most of my 3 collections of BM plates yet, but after seeing these MM ones I might have to buy new ones anyway. What I really appreciated about the MM plates was the extra large images, I always have trouble finding images on the BM plates that will fit on my long nails!
I  have 2 more plates and can't wait to try them!

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