Friday, 13 December 2013

Imma Raid Your Indie Stash! Pretty and Polished - Newer Collections

Hello! Welcome to the second installment of 'Imma Raid Your Indie Stash!' where I show you some swatches of the cool indie polishes my friend Tegan back in Australia let me play with before I left! It's not everyday that we get left loose to purge our lemmings in someone elses collection, so of course I had to share!

Tegan loves Pretty & Polished which make up the bulk of her indies, last time I showed you some of their older releases and this time I've got some newer stuff, in their new bottle designs and everything!

The first one I'm going to show you is a total glitter bomb, this is 'Rainy Day Lady' which is a clear base with large red and silver hexes, large blue diamonds, and medium hexes in green, yellow and purple.
I probably should have worn this polish over a base colour, but it seemed so packed with glitter I wanted to show it on it's own, so there I go making things difficult for myself because trying to get good nail coverage with just glitter is difficult to say the least!

This is not my cup of tea due to the primary and clashing colours, and it was a bit tricky to position the glitter on my nails and had a long drying time.

Next is 'My Lumps' and this is a shimmery blurple jelly, with yellow glitter cut into glass shard type shapes of all sizes. This was quite an unusual polish and I did quite like the effect.

The polish itself looks pretty cool and I like the combination of colours, but the formula was a bit tricky. The polish itself was quite thick and pasty, and that combined with the irregular shaped glitter shards and needing 3 coats to get good coverage meant the end result was quite thick and lumpy. I didn't even put top coat on as I could see it would need 2 or 3 layers to really smooth it out, but it already looked so thick on my nail and I think the top coat would have just been too much.

This last one is my favourite of all my friends Pretty and Polished that I tried, and this is 'Peebles' a shimmery pink crelly with gold micro dots and small pink and yellow hexes.

The formula on this polish was much better than the other 2, it went on nice and smooth and gave good opacity in the usual 3 coats.

So this is the end of the Pretty and Polished raided from my friends stash, in the next 'Imma raid your Indie stash' post Ill be showing a couple of other different indie makers that I was fortunate enough to get to try out!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Multi - Coloured Neon Zebra Print!

So I had a craving for an animal print mani (if such a thing is even possible!) but I didn't just want to do your standard stuff, I wanted to mix it up a little and do something a bit different! Most of you all are into your winter colours by now, but I'm still down here in the southern hemisphere and my summer is just about to start, so while you guys are packing away your neons for the winter, I'm just dusting them off and preparing myself for a season of lots of fun colour! At least this way while your all miserable in your cold winters, I can bring some sunshine into yer life! :)

I decided to go for a Zebra print, and I wanted as many colours in there as possible, so I decided to do a neutral base with lots of different coloured stripes!

I did this mani in September hoping to post it in October, and since then a lot of these polishes have been posted home to my mum in the UK so I can't check the bottles for names anymore, so let's see what I can remember!
I do believe the base is Australis 'Sinfully Sweet'. The pink stripes are Duri 'Voodoo', The purple is Nfu - Oh 517, the blue is Mode 'Happy Snaps' and the orange is Sinful Colours 'Hazard'. The last 2 colours I'm a bit vague on, though I do at least remember the brands! The green is BC & Co and the name is actually a number so good luck remembering that! The yellow is Rimmel and I think (but don't hold me to it!) it might be called 'Lemon Drop' or something similar, it's definitely lemon something or other! I probably have used these colours in previous mani's already posted on the blog somewhere, so if you really want to know the names and can be bothered, you can take a trip down Nail Jems memory lane and have a look back through my older posts!

I painted the stripes on free hand with a fine striping brush, and I think it looks pretty damn nifty even if I do say so myself! 
If you guys have any links to interesting and unusual animal print nails, I would live to see them! Leave your links in the comments!

If you have enjoyed my blog post today why don't you become a follower? You will catch all my future posts and be supporting my work ensuring that I can keep on doing it! x
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Imma Raid Your Indie Stash! Pretty & Polished - Older Collections

Before I left Australia my nail besty Tegan came over for one last night of manicure madness together, and that lovely lady brought along her collection of Indies to leave with me for a week so I could play with them! Of course I did proper swatches to appreciate my short time with them properly, and I thought I would share them all with you, but as there are too many to show in one post I've decided to divide them up for a little post theme under the theme of ''Imma Raid Your Indie Stash!' (It probably won't be the last time I raid a friends stash anyway!).

Upon raiding Tegan's Indie stash it became quite apparent that she has a favourite Indie maker, and this is Pretty and Polished. Her collection included some of their earlier releases and some of their most recent, so I decided to split them us this way so I could compare new formula to old, and today I'm bring you the older releases first, so here we go!

As you usual I'm starting least favourite and finishing with the most favourite, (that's not to say that I don't like the least favourite!) first up is 'Pool Party' which is a bright sky blue crelly with a combination of different sizes of hexes in red, blue and yellow, medium silver hexes, medium green squares, and bar glitter in red, blue, yellow and silver.

I really love the colour of this polish, but for my personal taste the glitter kind of spoils it for me, I'm not a fan of bar glitter, or of combinations of primary or clashing colours, but there is absolutely no denying that the glitter in this polish really does give the idea of people and various inflatables having an awesome time in the pool! It might not be to my taste but for a pool party it is rather well done!
In this picture I am wearing 3 coats and as you can see the opacity is not bad, the formula was nice and smooth, and though you don't get much glitter on the nail with each brush stroke, by the time you've done 3 coats there is just the right amount for the pool party effect.

Next up is 'Jaw Breaker' which has so much different glitter in it I don't even know where to start! Its a slighty off white with a very subtle pink tone crelly, as for the glitters, let's just say that the majority are made of the primary colours red, yellow, and blue, in a variety of hexes, squares and bar glitters, and a spattering of tiny black dots. It certainly does remind me of those giant balls of sugar I used to spend weeks sucking on anyway!

Again this had a nice smooth formula, great opacity in 3 coats, and nice and easy to get a nice even coverage of glitter.

Last up is my favourite of the older releases, this is 'Elvis's Pink Cadillac' and much like Jaw Breaker is an off white pink tone crelly, but with matt black micro dots and medium hexes, the effect is really cool but doesn't much remind me of a pink cadillac!

Tegan mentioned this polish also looks amazing mattified, so of course I had to grab my matt top coat and see for myself, and she was right!

As with the other 2 this had great coverage with just 3 coats, nice smooth formula with glitter that spread on nice and evenly.

Watch out for the next installment of 'Imma Raid Your Indie Stash!' where I'll be bringing you some more recent, and very pretty polishes from Pretty and Polished!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Guest Post for Pish Posh and Polish

So I have only just realised that during my time off and whilst I have been way too preoccupied with the BS that is my life, I completely missed the publication of a guest post mani I did for the awesome Kerrie of British blog Pish Posh and Polish. I'm feeling like a bit of a douche because I totes forgot about it, she posted my mani almost 2 months ago, and lets face it, even one link to my guest post would have been better than the deep slumber my blog has been in while I was away! DOH!

So Ladies, head on over to Kerries blog and check out these nails that I did way back in September before I started packing my life up, when I still had long beautiful nails! Gah!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Playing catch up with 'October Week' - Nail Art Challenge, Inspired by an Artist (final challenge) Pick Your Favourite!

YESSSSS! I have been looking forward to doing this mani since before I started this nail art challenge in July! Life got in the way and I have had some time off, but there is absolutely no way on earth I was going to miss the last installment of this challenge. I had planned on doing a mani inspired by this artist even before I knew what the group had organised, and so when I decided to participate I chose to put my personal plans on hold and save it for the last week of the 'Inspired by an Artist' challenge. So I have been waiting a long ass time for this moment, and nothing was going to stop me from doing this final mani!

The last week of this challenge is 'Pick Your Favourite!' and there can only be one winner for me, this is the legendary Gustav Klimt. Though the name may not be familiar to you, there is one particular painting of his that probably will be as it is generally quite well known, I see it everywhere, and it's the painting here on the right called ' The Kiss'.

 Now before you read any further please know, I am a total nerd about this guy, this is as about as nerdy as I get for anything. I really really love his work and I really don't think I could live without it, so you are gonna have to forgive me for the lengthy post because this is an artist I'm quite passionate about! By the time I've told you why I love this guy, and then about the painting I chose for my nailspiration, we will have been here a while already, I just find everything about it so interesting! If you've got shit to do and just want to see the nails, scroll down to the bottom (you will see a second painting on the way down that my nails are inspired from), but if you've got 10 minutes and the patience for a bit of a read, there is at least a cool little story in it for you too!

Gustav Klimt was from Vienna, Austria, and is also famous for being the founder and leader of the Vienna Secession along with a few other prominent Austrian artists. This group was created because Klimt and the other artists had grown tired of the original Association of Austrian Artists, who were more focused on a conservative, traditional style of historic art.

Klimts images are full of fantasy and imagination, at times even a touch of surrealism, and with a strong erotic undercurrent too it's no wonder that he tired of the conservatism of his previous group and moved on to establish his own. I am so glad he did as the result is a collection of some of the most beautiful and sensual paintings I have ever seen.

If you really only know the painting pictured here, I strongly recommend you go and do a google search on his other works, they truly are spectacular. His rich choice of colour is always absoultely perfect, his use of pattern is imaginative and enchanting, and the sensuality of a lot of his paintings just pours out the images and washes over you. What I really love about Gustav Klimt though, is that he really truly adored women. I am more than a bit of a feminist, I think women are godesses that should be worshipped not just respected, and that we have all failed to understand this for far too long. Despite modern movements for the freedom and equality of women, we are still undervalued, underappreciated, and underestimated, and it grates me that some people still refuse to accept that we are infact the superior sex. (hehehe :)

But Gustav Klimt got it. I look at many of his paintings and I just know that even then in the late 1800's he saw women just as I do now,  as ethereal Godesses to be adored and worshipped and venerated. Every image of a woman he has ever drawn or painted screams 'LOVE, RESPECT, AWE, WORSHIP'. Women were his inspiration, his muses, he understood their power and embraced their superiority, he valued their individual beauty and complex nature, and he appreciated those things. Every single brush strokes says 'I love you and I live for you'. Seriously, what is not to love about this guy?

So now you know why I am totally in love with this artist, and you will hopefully have googled some more of his images and understood what the hell I'm babbling on about, let's talk about my nailspiration!

I chose one particular image to work from, it's one of my absolute favourites, and the image is known as 'Judith 1'.

Judith's story is basically of a beautiful widow who tricked her way into the tent of Holofernes, (a general who was going to destroy her home) by manipulating him using the desire she already knew he held for her. After seducing her way into his tent, she gets the general so drunk that he passes out, at which point she draws his sword, decapitates him and carries the head away with her. There is still some debate today as to wether Judith may also have been a rape victim of the general too, and though the biblical version insists that no such violation took place, let's face it, it's pretty good motivation to go out and chop someone's head off!

The story of Judith has been depicted in literally hundreds of paintings throughout history. Earlier renditions show Judith as a kind of messenger of god, virgin like and chaste, fighting against evil. In more recent times however, modern artists started to explore the darker virtues within her, those that drove her to commit such a violent act. These modern images concentrated more on the seductress that gained access to the general with tempation, a ruthless woman who decapitates a man without a second thought, a fearless and rather aggressive femme fatale.

This image by Gustav Klimt is one of the most famous of those modern and more erotic depictions and I love absolutely everything about it, every last detail, every last significance. I love the use of colour, the bright but warm earthy green mixed with rich metallic golds and bronzes, I love the details and transparency in her robes and the patterns in the background, I love that it shows only half of the decapitated head as though to say to him ''This story is not about you'', and most of all, I love that Judith looks like a powerfully smug, elegantly aggressive, erotically supercharged yet classy as hell, mother fu*kin' Queen! She is flawless and the expression on her face just says it all.

An interesting fact about this painting is that the face of Judith is actually that of Klimts longest standing lover and muse, who's face you can actually recognise in a few of his paintings. I can't recall her name right now (My 50 books on Gustav Klimt are in a storage unit!) but it was reported by friends that Klimt did in fact adore her. I think the fact he chose to use the face of his most loved muse for the role of Judith in this stunning, powerful and fierce portrait, speaks volumes about his perception of her.
She was his Queen, and with this image he's basically saying ''You got my balls in the palm of your hand my Godess, and I love it!''

I have an enourmous copy of this painting waiting for me in my storage unit when I return to Europe, which alway takes pride of place in my house, It's kind of a little welcome note that lets people know who is the Ruler of my kingdom!

I always thought that this painting had some beautiful patterns and colours that might be simple to replicate onto the nails, and as much as I love that Queen, I could never paint her onto my nails with the skill that she deserves, she would end up looking like a cartoon if left to me, so I decided to just leave well alone and stick to the finer details.

My sister in law Taisa is modelling for me again and I am sooooooooo jealous it's not even funny, she's been wearing it for a couple of days now and everytime I see them I wish my nails were in a good enough condition to have done it on me, I guess I'll just have to give it another go on myself when mine are better and hope it comes out as nice!

I used way too many polishes to get into it really, there were like 3 different shades of gold, 5 of green, most of which have mixed or blended, the detailing polish, a flaky (It's an orange and yellow flaky as leaves of the tree on the ring finger but it wouldn't even come up in the pic), a whole bunch of different brushes, I am sure you have heard enough of me going on today already, I guess one day I'm gonna have to start doing videos of all this stuff!

Though certainly not anywhere near Klimts standards, I really like this mani! I was never going to be able to convey all the crazy stuff I see and feel when I look at this painting on my little nails, attempting it would just be setting myself up for disaster, but I still think I've managed to create quite a striking, unusual but elegant design, and considering I painted it all free hand and strictly with polish, I've managed a pretty good job of the small details, which is unusual for me! Regardless of how I feel about this mani, I already know that I will be attempting many more klimt inspired designs in the future!

If you made it this far through my long ass post then I thank you for your attention and patience, I hope you at least found it all as interesting as I do, and that the nails at the end were worth it!

I'll be back next week with a bunch of cool nail designs and swatches that I managed to prepare before I made my big move!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Playing catch up with 'October Week' - Nail Art Challenge, Inspired by an Artist - Jackson Pollock

So as you will have gathered by now, I've spent some time off from my blog due to personal circumstances and now that I am finally back to it I'm trying to catch up on some mani's I've missed out on. 

For several weeks before I  was forced to take time off from my blog, I was taking part in a weekly 'Iinspired by Artists' nail art challenge, organised by the lovely girls in the facebook group ''Llama Nails'.
I've always been interested in art, I am an artist in my own right as I do many other creative things as well as nails, and this was a challenge I just really wanted to particpate in. It was a 13 week challenge and I kept up with it every week so it really sucks to have missed the last 2 weeks just cos life gets in the way. So the last half of October Week is me catching up with my last 2 nail art challenge mani's, and today's artist is Jackson Pollock. 

Pollock is famous for his abstract expressionism using unique 'dripping' techniques. Honestly, I personally don't think much of his work, it's nothing personal against Pollock or his work, I actually don't think much of any of this modern abstract impressionism, I fail to see what's great about it.

Say what you will, but I just don't think there is much talent or skill in randomly splattering paint onto a canvas. It must be very therapuetic yes, I can even understand how fun it must be just going wild and throwing paint everywhere, and yes, I will even admit that sometimes it can be half interesting to look at, but I do not think that the end results even come close to justifying the value placed on some of these paintings, especially not when a four year old is capable of coming up with something very similar! So as interesting as the technique may be, in my opinion it just does not require much talent. I would even go so far as to say that this abstract impressionism is just a bit of a cop out, and I find it a little unjust that someone who basically just paintballs a white screen could come under the same description and title as real amazing talent like Michelangelo, Van Gogh or Picasso, now these guys got talent!

So anyways, now you know how I feel about abstract impressionism, let's move on to the nails! I decided not to take inspiration from any partiular painting of pollocks, I find his choice of colours a little bland actually, so I just decided to stick with the style and do my own thing, and as I'm offiicially entering into the southern hemisphere summer I went for bright neon colours. For this mani I used my sister in law Taisa's nails as my own are not great at the moment, and I didn't realise until after she had already removed the paint job and I saw the picture, that there was something dodgy going on with my camera settings when I took the picture. So the pic wasn't great quality, and I've had to photoshop the shit out of it to get the colours right. 

It took more talent to do the adjustments in photoshop than it did to achieve this effect anyway :)

To do this mani I first painted a base coat of Sinful Colours 'Snow Me White'. I then filled a plastic cup with water, dropped a couple of drops of one colour polish onto the surface of the water, and then sprayed the polish covered water with hairspray to break it up into interesting patterns, and then my girl dunked her nails in to pick up the patterns. Then we picked the next colour and repeated the process. I just used 3 colours in the water, the blue (which came out green on top of other colours) is Jesse's Girl 'Mermaids Lagoon', the pink is Mode 'Love Me', and the orange is a new Brazilian polish that was given to me as a gift by my other sister in law, Thats in another house across the street and I can't be bothered to go get it and see the name right now (lolz) but I'm gonna swatch it for you all in the next couple of weeks anyways, so no worries! 

Of course, I finished everything off with a nice layer of top coat, here I tried another brazilian brand Risque 'Gloss and Shine' I haven't put it to the real test yet, so I will let you know how I feel about it later!

So this is my Pollock mani, I like the colours I used, I think the effect looks pretty darn funky, but I still insist that it really didn't take any skill or talent to do! :)

Tomorrow I will be finishing my October themed week before resuming normal activities, with the last of the nail art challenge series, and this time it's pick your favourite artist! A lot of girls in the group struggled with this one as they found it really hard to choose, I however, had no difficulty at all as there is one artist in particular who always wins for me, and in my opinion is responsible for some of the most beautiful paintings in existence. I love his style, I love his use of colour and pattern, I love his choice of subjects and I love what he expresses in his images, so be sure to catch up with me tomorrow so I can share this amazing artist with you all, and finally complete this challenge!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Playing catch up with ''October Week'' - Halloween Nails!

Hey everyone welcome to my belated naily Oktoberfest, where I am catching up with all the nail occasions I missed that month because that annoying thing called life got in the way!

Now who the hell would want to miss Halloween? I certainly didn't and I wasn't going to let a silly little thing like moving to another country get in my way, so today you get a halloween mani! (Come ooon, who the hell wouldn't want 2 halloweens!?)

I didn't get this mani done in advance before all the madness of my move started, I thought I had plenty of time, and was so so wrong. I also did not take into account that emptying a house of furniture, living in a van for 2 weeks and lugging around tons of suitcases would totally wreck my nails, and at the moment they are not fit to be shown on a blog! I broke most of them during all the stuff that was going and had to file them all right down to tiny little nubs, and have been trying to get them to grow back fast ever since. They have actually done really well and and most of them have grown back nicely, but for some frustrating reason the middle finger nails on both hands just keep breaking and breaking, I've already filed them all down twice, and I refuse to sacrifice all the nice nails yet again just because these 2 little fu*kers refuse to co-operate!

But as luck would have it, I've moved in with the inlaws here in Brazil, and it turns out my sister in law has really nice nails! (The bitch has got those lovely long nails beds that I would kill for, so even when she has nubs they are still long, Gah!) So, she has been employed as my nail model for the rest of this weeks mani's, and then afterwards I have some mani's I prepared on my own nails a couple of months ago before I broke them all to show you too. Hopefully a middle finger nail on at least one of my hands will be fine again soon, because it's so much harder to get good photographs of someone elses nails than it is of my own! 
So let me introduce my guest hands for the week, my sister inlaw Taisa, sporting my halloween design!

I'm sorry that the picture is not as good as they usually are, but Taisa is not used to posing her hands the same way I usually do and had a really hard time with it, this is the best picture I could get in this position.

To do this mani I used my new ILNP Ultra Chromes 'Birefringence' and 'Mutagen' which were delivered to my door just as I started all my packing to leave, so I didn't even get a chance to swatch them for you all before my nails all broke. :( I will do that as soon as my nails grow back, I promise.
If you haven't seen these polishes yet, they are AHHH-MAZING and full of multicoloured shifty awesomeness, but they were totally the wrong polishes to use on a model to show you the awesomeness, as it was too uncomfortable for her to pose her hands in all the various positions required to catch all the colours, so you are going to have to wait until I can swatch them to see how awesome they really are, but at least purple and green are still good halloween colours! 

Everything that I wanted to do for this mani went wrong! On the index finger there are 2 bats and the little finger a spider web, I wanted to do nail stamping for this but when I came to do it, I realised I couldn't find my book of nail stamping plates anywhere! Things have been so mental I don't know where they could be, I don't know if I accidently put them in some boxes of stuff I posted home to my mum in the UK, or if I stupidly left them in Australia somewhere, or if I left them at my husbands other house 800 kms away when we were visiting in the last few weeks, or of they are even around here somewhere and I have just misplaced them, either way I can't find them, and I'm pretty gutted about that as my folder contains my ENTIRE collection of plates, and there is more than a hundred dollars worth in there. :( So pray that it turns up for me please ladies!

So yeah, I free handed the spider web and the bats and they look pretty meh, I could not even get the bats to show up in the picture over that nail polish!

On the middle finger I was trying to do a cool water marble design, but of course that wasn't co-operating either, and after several attempts and watching the level in my expensive and gorgeous ILNP bottles drastically drop, I gave up and went for a beetlejuice type striped design instead. I couldn't cotinue throwing that gorgeous nail polish down the drain!

The ring finger nail turned out OK I guess, I like the green and purple gradient, but my haunted house is not looking very creepy. But hey, at least I actually got to do a halloween mani and didn't have to wait a full year to get the opportunity again! Right?

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Playing catch up with ''October Week'' - Breast Cancer Awareness Mani

Ohhhhmyyyygoooood it's been so so long since I was last here sharing with you all! I just read my last post and had to laugh, go on read it, it's a favourite mani's from September recap posted on the second of October, a post in which I bang on about how I hope my October mani's are as good as Septembers, HA! What October Mani's!? Wishful thinking much?

If you're out of the loop - I just had a huge change in my life. I was living in Australia, but new (and unexpected!) changes to the immigration rules meant that I couldn't stay in the country legally anymore. Bring on the mad rush to basically shut down the life I had built for myself there, and prepare for a huge move to some other part of the world. As you can imagine that whole process has been soooo much more than time consuming, and stressful to stay the least, so my blog had to take a back burner for a while. Worst timing ever, story of my life!

So anyway, Welcome! This is the first post I am writing to you from my new (for a few months) home, with my Husbands family in Brazil! Apologies for taking so long to get back to it, but you know what it's like, you go to your husbands home country to meet your latino inlaws for the first time, and it's all ''heeey, come here and meet this family member, and that family member, eat some barbeque, drink a caipirinha, don't forget to go meet grandma on this side of the country, and the uncle on the other side of the country, and more barbeque, and more caipirinha, and the second cousin twice removed in that other place, and another caipirinha'', and so on and so forth...
I've been here a month and until last week I have basically been dragged around the south of Brazil in a hurricane of introductions, kisses, welcomes and food. Lots and lots of food. And cocktails. Whew! I've basically been eating like I'm on holiday for 6 weeks now because I also had a 2 week road trip in Australia before I got on the plane too, (one last good bye!) and quite tragically I have reached the 'Can't deny that I need to go on a diet anymore' stage, HA! Wish me luck with that one in a months time at christmas! But despite the excess junk in the trunk, it's been wonderful, and a tad overwhelming, and I have officially been approved and accepted into the family, and formally released to return to normal life again!

So here I am back with my lovely little blog (oh how I have missed thee!) and I have a lot of catching up to do! I am sad to have missed October, there were several naily occasions that I really wanted to mark with a nice mani that month, and not only did I miss them all, I didn't get time to post a damn thing! The frustrating part is that I actually had a bunch of mani's prepared for October in advance because I knew it was going to be madness, but I didn't realise that there would be so much madness I wouldn't even get time to write posts for the poor little mani's gathering dust in in my photo vault! I was most sad about the October specific occasions though, so I thought screw it, when I finally get back to the blog I'm just going to have ''October week'' so I can do the mani's I wanted to! And here we are, at my very own belated nail themed Oktoberfest!

First up in my Oktoberfest catch up week is my Breast Cancer Awareness mani. This mani is the main reason I decided to do October week, and I'm sorry that this post is turning into such a long one, but this is a really important one to me because my own mum has literally just had breast cancer. She came off the chemo end of last year and is still going through a multitude of rigourous and invasive tests that keep us in constant fear.
Let me tell you about my mum, she is wonder woman. No really! Not only can I talk to her about anything and she still always accepts me for who I am 100% all the time, (and I got some pretty craaayzee shit going on let me tell ya), she is also the strongest, toughest, craziest bitch I know, she handles everything like a boss and she pulls it off with mad style and elegance. My mum is the last person on earth you would expect to be struck down with something as silly as cancer, and yet, at just 46 years young she was diagnosed with a breast tumor, and chop chop, kissed goodbye to her left tit. (You may be shocked about the way I refer to it, but you should hear how my mum talks about it, cracking sense of humour that woman!) Even the cancer didn't get to her though, during everything with the tests and surgerys and chemo and tit chopping and what not, she still remained the strongest and toughest bitch I know, but more so. So you know this post is dedicated to my mammina! (Thats Italian for little mum, she's fierce, but comes in a tiny, tiny pixie like package!)

 When she was diagnosed with cancer I was soooooo pissed off. My mum has not had an easy life, I have watched her struggle through like a trooper for many, many years in the face of all kinds of stuff that one woman alone should never have to go through. I have grown up longing for the day when she would finally get everything she ever wanted and deserved from life. That day finally came, mammina was bestowed with everything she had ever wanted to make her happy, and at that very same moment the cancer reared it's ugly head threatening to take her away from it all. You cannot begin to imagine how angry I was, she is an amazing person and deserves so much more from her life, it's so unfair that this should happen to her now when her happiness is already so long overdue. I hated whatever cosmic force it was that would deliver such a blow like that to my mum, of all people. So fucking unfair. But mum didn't think so...

She said she was happy with her life, that she had four beautiful children that all turned out way better than she could ever have hoped and prayed for, children that she loves and that love her. She said that even though she had not been with her current partner for very long (it was a couple of years at the time of her diagnosis), she still considered herself most fortunate to have met him and to have finally experienced real love and respect from someone who truly wanted to make her happy, even if only for a short time.
''Some people never get to have what I have had even in a full lifetime, never mind a half'' she said...
''I have been so lucky, and I'm ready to go'' she said...

2 years and an ''all clear'' later, I still can't see things the way she does, I'm still pissed off and angry and think it's unfair, so nobody can tell me that she's not wonder woman, or that she doesn't deserve this dedication, and so much more besides.

In the end it all just goes to show, it doesn't matter how tough and invincible you know you are, nobody, and I mean nobody, is immune to the clutches of the big 'C'. Breast cancer in particular is so ridiculously common, the statistics are insane, and how many of us actually even know how to examine our boobs properly? Or what the hell we are even supposed to feel in there?
If you are not all already fondling your breasts on a regular basis ladies, you bloody well should be. You all need to be at the same point I am, fondling your breasts so often that it becomes second nature and random stangers keep catching you absent mindedly molesting yourself in innappropriate places. You may laugh, but that is how vigilant you need to be! Call me paranoid (though it is in my family now and I think I'm justified in being so) everytime I go to the Doctor for something whatever it is, I always make a point of getting my bewbs checked by a professional too seen as I'm already there, you can never be too careful. For some strange reason the male Doctors are always overly nice to me... :) (I'm just joking of course, all very professional!)

So before I allow you all to finally see my breast cancer mani, I INSIST that you click on this link below and learn how to give yourself a proper breast exam, then you can see the mani as a reward :)
Seriously though, click it bitches. Breast cancer doesn't have to be a killer anymore, but you have to know your body well to make sure you catch it in time, so you can show the cancer who the real bitch is, and not the other way around! If you don't know how to examine yourself, or what your even looking for, then take advantage of this opportunity because you really should know this stuff, regardless of how young you might still be.

OK now you can see my mani haha.

I'm not going to talk about how I did this mani or what I used, this post is already long enough and frankly, how I painted my bloody nails seems so unimportant in light of the real message behind them, we're obsessed with nails yeah but lets at least get our priorities straight! ''Stop painting your nails when you should be stroking your boobs woman!''
If you do have any questions about the nails though, feel free to ask.

I hate to keep you all much longer but I have one last thing to say, or to ask rather, from all of you.

My mum's battle with cancer is still not over. Only one year ago was she given the all clear after her course of chemotherapy, and she still has to have monthly tests to make sure it really is all clear and that it doesn't come back, but the lastest tests have been great cause for concern. Basically the lastest test results have worried the doctors enough to put my mum through yet another rather lengthy series of additonal tests to the ones she usually has, the doctors won't discuss 'potential' problems with her when there may be nothing wrong at all. She will only know what's going on once the confirmed results of their medical exams come in, and in the meantime all the doctors say for now is 'we're just being precautious', but that doesn't change the fact that more tests means more possibilities for negative outcomes. My mammina, trooper that she is, is refusing to worry about it. Until the doctors say there is a problem - there is no problem, and she believes that the postive energy being sent to her from all the wonderful family and friends she has dicsovered are surrounding her during this hard time, will be the biggest influence over what happens next.

So this is what I ask of you my lovely readers and fans, send my mammina some positive vibes, all the positive vibes you can muster, leave that positive energy in a comment below or simply send it from your heart via the airwaves, it really doesn't matter. Just keeping sending your love so I can keep my mum, because she's too young to go, and I'm too young to be without her....

I love you mum XXX

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Favourite September Mani's!

I should have posted this yesterday, but yesterday was nail art challenge Tuesday so September favourites were bumped to today! As usual I had difficulty narrowing it down, though there were less awesome nail art designs to choose from than the previous month, which can't be a good thing!

Here's hoping that whilst I'm hauling ass around the world during October, the few nail art mani's I do manage to get done will be awesome at least! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Nail Art Challenge, Inspired by an Artist - Salvador Dali

Nail art challenge Tuesday yaaaaaaaay, and this week was certainly a challenge! This week's artist is one of my absolute favourites, Salvador Dali, spanish artist famous for surrealism, and if you have ever seen his work you will agree that it certainly is surreal, weird as hell even! Which is why he is one of my favourites!

If you don't know Salvador Dali's work, please google him right now, because you will never understand how much of an actual challenge doing a mani inspired by his work actually was, until you see how INSANE some of his stuff is. Not only done this guy have the most outrageous imagination and amazing perception of space and dimensions, he also paints in incredible detail, there was no way I was ever going to be able to create something that even comes close to doing this awesome talent some justice. As I looked over his paintings my mind literally boggled at where to even start.

And then I remembered that my favourite work of Dali, isn't even a painting, it's an animation! 

This animation was only completed and released to the public 10 years ago, after it sat in a dusty archive for over 50 years waiting to be completed, it's a spectacular collaboration between Dali and Disney with the most beautiful sound track!
Think Disney princess dreams Dali landscapes, and you can imagine just how awesome this animation is. It's 6 and a half minutes, but I promise you that they will be some of the most wonderful minutes of your life, this is Salvador Dali and Walt Disney's ''Destino''....


(The following statement is taken from the description of this video on youtube:)

The film tells the story of Chronos, the personification of time and the inability to realize his desire to love a mortal. The scenes blend a series of surreal paintings of Dali with dancing and metamorphosis. The target production began in 1945, 58 years before its completion and was a collaboration between Walt Disney and the Spanish surrealist painter, Salvador Dalí. Salvador Dali and Walt Disney Destiny was produced by Dali and John Hench for 8 months between 1945 and 1946. Dali, at the time, Hench described as a "ghostly figure" who knew better than Dali or the secrets of the Disney film. For some time, the project remained a secret. The work of painter Salvador Dali was to prepare a six-minute sequence combining animation with live dancers and special effects for a movie in the same format of "Fantasia." Dali in the studio working on The Disney characters are fighting against time, the giant sundial that emerges from the great stone face of Jupiter and that determines the fate of all human novels. Dalí and Hench were creating a new animation technique, the cinematic equivalent of "paranoid critique" of Dali. Method inspired by the work of Freud on the subconscious and the inclusion of hidden and double images.
Dalí said: "Entertainment highlights the art, its possibilities are endless." The plot of the film was described by. Dalí as "A magical display of the problem of life in the labyrinth of time."
Walt Disney said it was "A simple story about a young girl in search of true love."

The index finger is the shadow of the bell in the sand, then there is the princess with a swallow, and on the little finger are the dandelion fairies.

I'd like to say that my inspired mani is just as amazing as this animation, but sadly it is not. I broke my nails and now they look short and stubby and I am hating them, and my painting looks cartoonish and child like, to be honest, I should just be thankful that I managed to come up with anything at all, and that I at least got to share this great little film with you all!

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. :)
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