Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas Has Come Early For Me

Actually, I need to be honest about the early Christmas I'm about to show you and say it came a week ago when I went to see Tasha. The mailman came at the right time and Tasha gifted me this beautiful little Essie bottle last Tuesday.

I present to you my four-month-old lemming, Essie's Penny Talk from their Mirror Metallics Collection. The expression 'Woohoo!!!' cannot express the excitement I feel when I'm holding this beautiful shade of rose gold. Not trying to get too deep here, but this polish has stopped me looking at other polishes. It has completed my collection. I love it that much. I don't want any other. I would marry it if it was a person (am I showing my excitement yet?)

I'm gonna stop drooling over it and show you my swatches.

This polish is a bit strange. In some lights, it looks like a gold loaded with lots of fine silver shimmer, sometimes it shows beautiful rose gold shade. Even when Tasha opened her bottle we were both confused as to whether it was the right colour or not. It was, it just changes a bit depending on light.

Now onto the formula, it is streaky, voiding the mirror effect of the collection name.It also drags if you aren't quick enough with the application. Quick meaning a couple of seconds. In the swatch above I used two thick-ish coats where I applied too much polish and then removed the excess with the brush. They are still not perfect but they are the best I could do. I didn't add any top coat either. I wanna see how long it will last on my fingers.

I usually don't buy Essie bottles because of their Australian $18.95 price tag, delay-of-season availability and thin brushes but this colour is fairly unique at the moment. This collection reminds me a lot of colours used on in the late 90's, early 00's. I remember catching the bus to school when I was twelve and I saw this girl, she must have been a couple of years older than me, wearing bright blue metallic lipstick and matching nails. At the time, I thought she was the epitome of coolness. Fourteen years later, I'm still loving the metallics.

A little while back, Tasha asked me what my favourite polish was. I had a couple but I couldn't really just select one. Now, I would say Penny Talk is the favourite, hands down.

Could you pick one out of your collection to be named favourite? Have you had a long time lemming that you've recently satisfied?

Til next time, 


Monday, 17 December 2012

Dry Marble with Face of Australia Pastels

 Browsing through YouTube I came across this video from MissJENFABULOUS. I had actually seen it when it first came out back in June but I was browsing through her channel. Yes, I'm a fan of hers and she has some cool ideas.

So as a good 'Monkey See, Money Do'-er that I am, I brought out my lightest coloured polishes and created this mani.

Excuse the lobster-coloured hands and shiny cuticles, the colours of the polishes are the best I've captured and my cuticles have been way too dry from work. 

Polishes used: 
White (as a base): Rimmel London I <3 Lasting Finish in London Clouds

From left to Right: All Faces Of Australia from their Pastels Collection. After Dinner Mint, Boys 'N' Berries, Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy and I'll Take You To The Candy Shop. 
Top Coat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri

I'm really happy with the result and the technique is super easy. Including drying time and clean up, this mani only took me about twenty minutes. I also need to say, even though the formula in Face Of Australia polishes isn't generally great, I'm really loving these polishes for their slow drying time. Basically, it means that I can play around with them to create nail art (like this marble) and if I stuff it up, I can take it off without too much trouble. I'm seeing the positive on these polishes... Plus they were $1.65 each when I bought them. :)

What do you reckon? Would you try this technique? Maybe other colours? Oooh, I might try this with some metallics...

There's something really exciting (for me, at least) that I wanna show you guys in the next couple of posts. It might involve a long time lemming... Stay tuned.

Til next time, 


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Glitter Skittle

Not sure if you guys have noticed but skittled manis rock my boat. In this occasion, I ended up with a heap of different coloured glitters thanks to Tasha's stash. I would say Tasha has a very different taste in polishes that I do. She tends to go for pastels and lighter colours while I usually go for bright colours and in your face finishes. It's actually quite refreshing to see (and use) someone else's stash to try something different and expand the my colour horizons. Or I could say I just got more lemmings.

Pointer finger: Mirenesse in Forever Pearls and DBP in Jane
Middle finger: Colour club in (I think) Harp On It
Ring finger: OPI in The Living Daylights
Pinkie: China Glaze in Sweet Hook and glequins from Born Pretty Store

I can't actually remember the name of the polish on the thumb so I'll get back to you guys soon with that one.

For the top coat, I used Tasha's Seche Vite. It was my first experience with this top coat and I can see why it is so popular. All the glitters that I used are completely smooth and I wanna see how long they last. I guess I'll keep you posted on that one too.

Till next time, 


Monday, 10 December 2012

Polish Binge Pt. 1

A couple of weeks back, I went on a massive nail polish shopping binge, mostly on Beauty Bay as they had 20% off everything and free international shipping as a part of their Black Friday sales.

I got the first out of two packages on Friday. I got a heap of mini polish sets and the first one I'm going to show you is one by Orly. It's called Mani Minis Hot Shots and it has four brightly coloured polishes.

From left to right: Hottie, Hook Up, Holla, Blue Collar. All two coats except for my middle finger, in which I needed 3 coats to make Hook up opaque.
I added an accent with Bundle Monster's BM-225 plate motif of what I believe is a Christmas bauble with essence's Silver twister.

These are my first Orly polishes and I was amazed. This spread like butter and dried fairly quickly. Even Hook Up, the yellow one, was a dream to apply. I find any yellow polish takes a bit of work to make it look good but not this one.

I'm so happy with these purchase and I'm really looking forward to showing you the rest of my (new) stash.

Till next time, 


Saturday, 8 December 2012

Bow Tie Nail Art

Here's some nail art I did a few days ago. I got the design from a Wah Nails nail art book that Laura gave me. It's a bit messy for my liking, but that's when I need to remind myself that I'm a hobbyist, not a professional, and that I'll improve with time!

Pretty bows!

I used Natio Azure and OPI Rumple's Wiggin'. I painted the bows using  black and white BYS stripers.

Natio Azure is part of the Natio Little Treasures collection. The collection has 23 colours, in 9ml bottles. I picked this one up at David Jones for $5.95, and I was really impressed with the formula and colour. The collection has a few too many pinks for my liking, but I plan on buying quite a few more bottles. The bottles are adorable, I'd totally recommend this one. 

Friday, 7 December 2012


I had a horrible week of VERY short nails after going back to work. I had to cut and file them right down since I managed to break two of my nails... *cringe*. Now they've grown a little but but my skin and cuticles are a little bit dry. Please excuse them in the photo below, I was just happy that I have a normal length again. Yay!

Polishes used:
Coral: L'Oreal Color Riche in 305 Dating Coral
Green: L'Oreal Color Riche in 618 Santorini Lagoon 
Black: Konad Special Nail Polish in Black
Top Coat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri
Stamping plate used: Bundle Monster BM-203

I applied three coats of the coral polish to get it opaque and then sponged on the green with some foam. It then took me forever to choose what pattern I wanted to put on the top as the gradient looked a bit strange. I think the pattern above still shows the gradient  but hides my terrible craftsmanship.

Now, onto the L'Oreal mini polishes. I'm always out for a bargain and for some reason I thought this polishes were on special when I was in Target (maybe a big '25% of L'Oreal' sign gave me that idea...) but I ended up paying the full $6.95 for each 5 ml bottle. I had use them by the time I noticed the price so I couldn't really return them, could I? I don't think any of their colours are extremely unique the two above were different enough from what I have in my stash to *cough* justify my purchase.

Unfortunately, the formula isn't great. The coral was sheer and the green is a stainer, and even with thin coats for both, it took them a long time to dry. I wouldn't recommend them or buy them again. If I want a little bottle I'll just buy an essence polish for cheaper.

Have you guys tried any of the mini bottles? Any shades that are worth the price? Or have you had a better experience with these polishes?

Til next time, 


Saturday, 1 December 2012

What Will They Think Of Next?

* Edit *Check out my DIY version here*

Quick post. I just saw the news that Nails Inc is coming up with a new nail polish that feels and looks like leather. This has me very intrigued and I really wanna see what leather nails would look like. For those that are curious, this is what the bottle (and packaging) will look like.
Nails Inc. Leather Effect. (www.nailsinc.com)
Unfortunately, Nails Inc is a hard brand to come across in Australia even though they officially launched their product in Aussie retailers in July this year. They generally, like every other brand, take a season or two to send their new collections and Google only gave me a NSW number to call for the stockists. A number really? 

Nails Inc is available from their website but only deliver to the UK, so that e-tailer doesn't really work for us Down Under. The only other two e-tailers that I know sell Nails Inc and deliver to Australia are BeautyBay.com and adorebeauty.com.au. Then again, they don't keep up with the latest but sometimes you can get pretty good deals, especially from Beauty Bay.

Going back to the purpose of this post, I wondered what texture will be created and put into a polish bottle. We've had the crackle, magnetics, matte top coats, gold leaf (what am i missing?) and let's not forget the caviar and velvet manicures. I'm sure the possibilities are endless. I'm sure someone will come up with something crazy that we can stick to our nails and put it in a bottle and we'll be drooling over it.

What is your favourite texture-in-a-bottle manicure? Personally, I really like the magnetic polishes now that I've worked them out. I only own three but I think they will be used to the last drop.

Till next time, 


Friday, 30 November 2012

Australis Rose Tattoo: an Essie Penny Talk dupe?

I have a bit of a crush on rose gold. I recently bought myself a rose gold Mimco pouch and a pair of rose gold heart earrings. So when Laura showed me a picture of Essie Penny Talk, I fell in love.

Essie Penny Talk (beautezine.com)

That's not my swatch because 1. my swatch pictures aren't that smashing, and 2. I don't own Penny Talk yet.  I came across Australis Rose Tattoo on one of my many visits to Priceline, and at $4.95, I had to buy it. Don't look to closely at my cuticles, my hands get pretty beat up at work. They were actually a lot worse a few days ago, but I've started massaging rose hip oil into them. That stuff is magical!

Australis Rose Tattoo

Australis Rose Tattoo is a shimmery metallic. The colour is definitely more of a bronzey rose gold than Penny Talk, which looks more pink in the countless swatch pictures I've seen. The finish of this one reminds me OPI Goldeneye. It's a shimmery, glittery metallic, and streak-free! I was skeptical when I read 'streak free' on the bottle, because I think we all know that cheap metallic polish can look awful when it dries. In this case, the bottle is not lying.

So is this a dupe for Essie Penny Talk? I don't think it's an exact dupe, but it's pretty close. It's a gorgeous colour on it's own, and great value.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Cheaper manicure? Show Me

Since there's a minor achievement to celebrate, I wanted to show you a manicure with all my favourite things in a mani; gold, foil finish, bright cremes and the use of tape.

Polishes used: 
Gold: Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish in Ivory (isn't ivory usually off white?)
Orange: Ulta3 in Carrot Top
Top Coat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri

I used three coats of Ivory for full opacity but I could have gotten away with two. The Carrot Top is a fairly good one coater, if it is carefully applied. I was inspired by Nailside's tape mani, which I'm sure a lot of us are familiar with. I swear this would have to be one of the quickest manicures I've done in a while.

The best thing about this mani, however, would have to be the price. 

The bottle of the left I managed to snap up for 72 cents at Big W a few weeks back and the Ulta3 I purchased about six months ago at Coles for a whole 95 cents. The grand total for both bottles comes up to $1.67. Not too bad for Australia.

Now, if there's someone out there with cheap manis, let me know. I would love to see them.

Till next time,


piCture pOlish Kryptonite by More Nail Polish

About a month ago, Cathy from More Nail Polish hosted a giveaway and I was lucky enough to get the fourth out of four prizes. As you may have imagined from the title of this post, the prize was a bottle from piCture pOlish's Collaboration Shades in Kryptonite.

This bottle is my first piCture pOlish lacquer and I will tell you it is amazing!!! The dark green jelly with large flakies has no fault in my eyes. It dries relatively quickly, it is opaque in two coats, it is super shiny by itself and the combination of flakies and jelly gives this polish so much depth. I wanted to do some nail art with it but my limited imagination and the richness of colour/sparkle of the polish didn't give me a lot of options. A swatch wasn't going to be enough, mostly because there are tons of them on the net. So, I just added a coat of my trustworthy Rimmel Pro Matte Finish top coat. We all love matte flakies, right? Or am I too late for that trend?

 Showing off the flakies.

A shiny swatch of this polish can be found here

I loved this polish so much I might go to the piCture pOlish website and get some more.

Ooh, I just checked and they have polishes for as little as $6.50. good thing it's payday today. Or is that bad?

Til next time, 


Monday, 26 November 2012

Striping tape not only for striping

Every so often I have this idea that it would be great to create a nude mani to have a palette cleanser, sort of thing. The only problem is I only own two nude shades, one being essence in Toffee to Go (see here) and OPI in Barefoot in Barcelona. Toffee to Go takes forever to dry and Barefoot in Barcelona makes my skin look dirty, I think. So I figured if I wanted a nude mani, I would have to get creative with what I had.

This originally was going to be a post about lace nails (my scissors weren't sharp/small enough, ended up too fluffy), then went onto neon/nude stamping (no neon polish of mine was showing enough on the nude polish), after that turned to create half moons with foils (my sticker guides didn't hold up with the foil glue) and ended up, as a last resort, with my 18 pack of striping tape.

After all those attempts, the polish I had on had to come off as there was no rescuing from all the dents left from all the stuff I tried to stick to the nails. I ended up using Barefoot In Barcelona on all my nails. I chose two striping tapes from my lot (from eBay from this seller), one purple and one blue. I almost went for a third one but remembered this was going to be a palette cleanser. I started with a blue stripe along my ring finger and decided to put one purple stripe on each side. For some reason, I decided to keep going and do the whole nail. So it looks like this:   

A close up of the nail.

I applied two coats of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri to make sure my work didn't fall out within the hour, after all, it took me about 45 minutes of patient work to finish the one nail.

Once the top coat started drying, the blue striping tape started fading and heaps of bubbles formed. You can see a how it started below.

 The photo below was after about half an hour and you can see the difference.

I carried on with my activities and after about three hours and a gym class, there was major colour fade on the blue striping tape but not the purple, and pretty bad tip wear. I also noticed my dodgy clean up job. Oops.

It basically looked like a simple nail wrap but I knew the work behind it. Would I do it again? Yeah, it was so much fun, even if it only lasted a couple of hours. I might try it with more colours and combine it with bright, non-nude polishes and see what I can come up with. I think striping tape and I have just become best friends.

What do you think? Would you try it? Or do you have any suggestions?

Til next time,


Friday, 23 November 2012

Saran Wrap? Sugar Spun Nails? Not quite...

I watched this video a little while ago and really liked the effect it created. It reminded me of sugar spun nails without too much of the mess. I set off to try it it today with colours different  from below but I turned into a grey, green mess. So the polish came off my ring finger and tried again.

This is what I turned up with. You can see the lines from the fan brush but they're not too defined so it looks like I tried to take some of the polish off rather than put it on.

Polishes used:
Gold: Topshop in Gilted (2 coats)
Ring Finger: Base: American Apparel in T-Shirt (1 coat)
                  Purple: American Apparel Metallic in Violet Panache (3 coats)
                  Pink: Ulta3 in Tahiti
Top Coat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri

For the ring finger, I had to use a base as the American Apparel metallic polishes are on the very sheer side and would have taken a lot of coats to get it opaque. 

I'm leaving short and sweet today. Going back to work has left me really nappy...

Till next time,


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

theBalm's You're So Hot and Gold

In the last post, I wondered how many other brands didn't capitalise their names. I didn't go out looking for them but I came across theBalm at David Jones, which I guess is half way there. I'm not a grammar Nazi or anything of the sort, but it makes me think brands are overusing the lack of capitals just to give their name an edge. Anyway, we're all here for polish so I'm gonna show you theBalm's polish I purchased on the weekend.

This one is called You're So Hot and Gold from the brand theBalm. It's basically small glitter (small, not fine) suspended in a clear base with a scattered holographic effect. It is soooo pretty and sparkly, even in low light. It can be used for layering but I like the way it looked on its own better. The formula was amazing and there was an even coverage of of the glitter without having to dab the brush on the nail. The swatches above and below are done with three coats. It dried rather gritty, which could be expected from a glitter polish, and needed two coats of top coat to give it a completely smooth finish. 

One blurry photo to show the holo effect...

I'm not a fan of just swatches so I stamped what I think is an abstract leaf pattern on my ring finger for an accent, excuse the dodgy stamping skills.

If I must show the holo effect properly, I need to show sun photos

Sunny, extra blurry photo to show the beautiful colours of the holo...


Polishes used:
Gold glitter: theBalm Hot ticket Nail Polish in You're So Hot and Gold (what a mouthful...)
White stamping: Konad Special Nail Polish in White 
Top coat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri
Stamping plate: Bundle Monster in BM-204

And just in case you are wondering what the bottle looks like.

Now for some low-down on the brand. TheBalm is made in the USA, designed, distributed and marketed by a team in San Francisco, California. I'm not sure how long the company has been around but there it seems a most of the people working behind the brand have been working on the make-up industry for more or less a decade.

In Australia, theBalm has been exclusively sold by David Jones (not sure about e-tailers) from the beginning of August this year. I only came across it on the weekend and unfortunately their range didn't seem that catchy. It doesn't feel like there's too much to tell this brand apart from all the other million that pop up every week. I mean, I didn't really look at their lipsticks, foundations, etc., but the nail colour range seemed very safe. There were only six or seven polishes that were nudes, taupes, black, a base or top coat and this holo glitter. They also go for $13.95, which for me at least is a bit high for colours I can get somewhere else for cheaper. 

If you were to jump on theBalm website, you can see the range is a lot bigger and out there than what is offered at David Jones. Which is really a shame because I guess what give them the edge (apart from the lack of capital at the beginning of their name) is the quality. I'm glad I was in a impulse shopping spree and grabbed this colour. I'm so in love. 

I'm just gonna show you one last thing. When I started applying the polish, I really liked the way it looked with only one coat, as it was very subtle, everyday sparkle. The second coat still subtle but was way but sparklier. The third coat gave it almost full opacity. Check it out.

This is without top coat.

This is with top coat on. I felt the top coat brought out the sparkle on the glitter and didn't dull it at all, like it can happen with holo effect polishes, scattered and linear.

What do you reckon? Would you give it a go?

Till next time, 


Thursday, 15 November 2012

kit's Time To Shine... Ooh, yeah!

I looooooooove nail wraps. I suck at free-hand nail art and can be pretty impatient, so when nail wraps started popping out I tried every brand I could get my hands on... and my budget would allow me. I've tried lots of Sally Hansen's wraps, eBay, random Asian brands from the two-dollar shop, I even ventured into full nail water decals. I'm generally happy with the quality, design and time these wraps have stayed on. They have been a life saver when I'm frustrated from dodgy attempts at nail art. 

As you may have guessed, this particular post is about kit's Nail Strips. If you haven't seen them around here's a photo. This design is called Time To Shine.

And they look like this on the nails.

I'm gonna insert a break here because the post is rather long but please keep reading because these strips are awesome.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

essence A Piece Of Forever

This post is full of cheap goodness. Firstly, we may all know that essence is amazing at keeping up with trends at a very low price. In this occasion, essence has released a collection to coincide with the release of the latest Twilight movie, Breaking Dawn Part 2 (according to iMDb.com, the movie comes out on this Thursday, 15th of Nov. I'm not a fan so I'm not keeping up with release dates for these movies).

The collection has four polishes but the only one that really caught my attention was the yellow gold one that looked thick enough to be a one coater. To tell you the truth, I didn't even pay attention how much it cost when I first bought yesterday. However, I went to Target in the city today and bought another bottle because it's so good for stamping. I just checked my receipt and it turned out to be $3.95. Not too bad.

My other awesome purchase was a Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish from Big W for $.72. Yep, that is seventy two cents. There weren't that many colours available but I liked the blue enough. 

This was my little haul for the day.

And this is the mani I came up with:

Polishes used: 

Blue: Max Factor Mini in Candy Blue
Gold: Essence The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 2 in A Piece Of Forever
Top Coat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri
Plate: Bundle Monster BM-218

It seemed a little to plain to have the same pattern on all my fingers so added an accent on my ring finger with the gold polish.

I didn't like how it looked so I stamped the blue onto the gold for this result.

I think I like it but I'm not sure. I'll let it grow on me, if not, there's always good ol' nail polish remover and endless combinations of polish colours and finishes!

Just a few notes on the polishes, Max Factor's Candy Blue was a dream to apply with a non-streaky, almost one-coater formula that dried fairly quickly and it worked well for stamping. In the above photos, I have two coats on but I could have gotten away with one carefully applied coat. Love it. The only bad thing I can come up with is that Big W's sale finishes tomorrow and they weren't great at stocking up their shelves with this awesome offer. Oh well. I guess I can do without those extra bottles of polish.

Now, the gold polish. To start with, the colour seems a bit odd, and even though I'm a sucker for gold polishes, the yellow gold hue that it has put me off a little bit. Yes, it is great for stamping and that's basically why I got it... Plus it's essence. Essence = Cheap. 

The other problem I have with it is that the application on the nail is S T R E A K Y. Every single hair of the brush can be seen on the nail, even when dry. You can't see it in the photos above (or can you?). I came across this post from Spektor's Nails, which in turn borrowed the idea from Polish Art Addiction, to avoid those streaks on metallic/shimmer polishes. So I applied a first coat, which would have been enough if not for the streaks, then sponged a second coat on. You couldn't see the streaks but because I used a new makeup sponge, bits of it got stuck to my nail. :(

What do you like better, gold over blue or blue over gold? 

Till next time, 


Monday, 12 November 2012

essence Marble Mania's Silver Twister

I've had this terrible lemming for two metallic stamping polishes for quite a while. I know Essie's Metallics collection has had some good reviews on their own and as stamping polishes and they have a variety of colours that go beyond the usual gold and silver. Unfortunately, living in Australia means that they won't be available in stores for a few more months at least, if at all. I've also tried eBay, e-tailers, forwarding services from the USA. It's all either too expensive or they've sold out.

I also looked for Barry M Foil Effects and found them in stock at Ninja Polish at a fairly good price but the shipping cost was the same as the polish. So I kept looking and I've  bought  about three pharmacy gold and silver polishes but they're all too sheer for stamping properly.

In one last bout of hope, I went to Target to see if there was anything new. When I came across the essence stand, there was a display of polishes for their Marble Mania collection and saw this little beauty:

From what I see in the Essence website, this collection is mostly about nail art rather than just marbling. There's even a kit with two sponges (for gradients), orange sticks, a striper brush and a booklet with nail art ideas for sale. I didn't see the kit in Target but it doesn't really surprise me as it can be a bonus just having a few of the polishes available. 

I do this thing with bottles to see how sheer they are where I turned them a few times  while on its side and see how well they coat the glass bottle.With all the other polishes that I had bought for stamping (that didn't work out), you could see the polish in the bottle through the glass but not with this one. I had hope again and as I turned the corner I saw the essence Twilight Collection polishes. This collection has a very streaky, one-coater, gold polish that is amazing for stamping. It deserves a post of its own. There was only one bottle of each, so I snapped them up and run to pay for them.

After my little adventure, I started trying a few colour combinations and found out the best ones for the silver polish was a dark, matte base, at least for my skin anyway.

Polishes used:
Purple: B Collection by Bloom in Dubai
Silver: essence in Silver Twister
Top Coat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri and Rimmel Pro Matte Finish

I did two coats of Dubai followed by Sally Hansen Insta-Dri so it would dry quicker and I could get on with the stamping. Then I applied the Matte top coat before stamping with the silver using Bundle Monster's BM-207 plate. I didn't add any top coat after that and I'm regretting it as there is already some tip wear on the stamping on my thumb.

I don't know if you've noticed but the angle of the hand is different to the way I usually do it. Turns out, I did a terrible job with my stamping and there were bumps and non-stamped edges so I had to turn my hand a little to hide the imperfections.

What do you reckon? Am I overdoing the matte top coat? Should venture into the shiny side?

Till next time, 



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