/**/ July 2014 - Procrastinating Polishr

Tri Polish Tuesday - Leadlight Stamping

Greetings! It's been a busy 7 days since the last Tri Polish Tuesday, what with going to Splendour in the Grass over the weekend, seeing a whole bunch of amazing bands and escaping from the real world for a few days. 

It was extra nice to treat myself to a lovely self-manicure when I got home - even my husband commented on how dirty my nails were after the weekend camping!


I tried out some leadlight stamping decals using my so far untried Emily de Molly plate EDM03 which is full of the most amazing geometric patterns. I now want everything I own covered in them! I realised once I'd painted a clear base for the stamping decals that I only had enough space for 3 so I went for a double accent instead of a full mani. Oops!


Again this week I ended up using Face of Australia Ursula, it's such a perfect royal purple and an easy two coater. The pink is Rubi Purple Rain (yeah, figure that one out) and Finger Paints Scenery Greenery is the lovely forest green. Topped with some Fairy Dust from China Glaze, because why the hell not?

I'm gonna miss July!

Tri Polish Tuesday - Chevron Tape Mani

Just a quickie after yesterdays epic post - let's get straight to the pictures.



I've been itching to bust out some chevrons again - can't get enough of those right angles! I used Dead Set Babes small vinyl chevrons, I love the crisp lines I can get with them. 

Almost distracting enough that I don't notice the dent on my index finger I got when reaching for my camera - alllmost.


Polishes used were Shades of Phoenix Fatale Fenix (a Femme Fatale exclusive shade) and two from the Face of Australia Dark Side collection - Wicked Witch of the West and Ursula. I'll bet you can figure out which is which!


Review: Two Birds Lacquer Floral State-ment collection

Hello polish pals! Monday is here, and with it is a stunning new collection from one of my favourite indie brands: Two Birds Lacquer. If you have ever read this blog before you will likely already know my love for this brand, and this time around I was lucky enough to be provided the whole new collection to swatch and review.

The Floral State-ment collection is inspired by the floral emblems of each Australian state. This has led to a really unique collection of both soft feminine shades and bold reds and greens in the usual high quality formula you get from Two Birds Lacquer.

So let's check these beauties out!

Common Heath (Victoria)

Common Heath - Two Birds Lacquer

This squishy pink creme applies like a jelly and looks like some kind of delicious fairy floss creation. I used 3 coats to ensure it was opaque in the lightbox, but it definitely looked fine for normal day wear at 2. 

Common Heath is so delicate I think it comes with its own soft-lense setting - look how smooth and soft it is on the nail! There are several colours and shapes of pastel glitters that lend extra softness, and the fuschia stars give it some oomph. The formula was perfect, no fishing or shaking required. As with many shaped glitters I found
some of the stars were stacked together, but an extra layer of top coat will keep it smooth if you find them on your nail.


Cooktown Orchid (Queensland)

Cooktown Orchid - Two Birds Lacquer

I don't know whether it's bias as a Queenslander, but this is a definite favourite. This is a nice sheer crelly that builds up in 3 coats to complete opacity. It can be worn at just 1 or 2 coats if you prefer a sheer look as there is no streakiness at all, a small miracle for an almost-white pale pink!

I adore the mix of glitters in this, the fuchsia dots and secret iridescent white glitters really make this polish sing. Again, application was easy with the glitters practically leaping out of the bottle and onto the nail. Due to the glitter density you do need to wait that extra minute between coats to avoid dragging, but what's an extra minute for this kind of beauty?

Red and Green Kangaroo Paw (Western Australia)

Red and Green Kangaroo Paw - Two Birds Lacquer


I'm a green fanatic, so this was the first polish I tried. I was immediately impressed with the colour, a perfect grassy green that leans ever so slightly olive. This creme took only 2 coats to get a nice opacity, the formula ever so smooth with glitters that spread easily.

It's impressive to get a green polish with red and white glitters that doesn't immediately scream Christmas! This definitely captures the incredible lush greens you see in nature, and the hints of fiery red and scattered white hexes are lovely. 



This milky white creme with its periwinkle and lilac glitters is like a lullaby, so soft and smooth with a beautiful calm palette. I'll admit, in the bottle I wasn't overly excited, but on the nail I was enamoured. This is by far my favourite soft shade in the collection.

Royal Bluebell is another sheer creme that builds to opacity in 3 coats - but could be layered with one coat over white, or worn like a crelly. It is worth waiting between coats to avoid dragging the stars around. I didn't find any sticky stars in this bottle though - only one layer of topcoat sealed this up well, possibly because the stars are slightly smaller than those I've come across before.

Sturt's Desert Pea (South Australia)

Sturt's Desert Pea - Floral State-ment

Ooh I love me some red and black! Definitely a winning combination in my book. I love the mix of micro, hex and shard glitters and they are distributed well in the base. This is an easy two coater, but I did a very thin third for the camera.

Also worth noting that this is one of very few pearlescent polishes that I completely adore - having the blue tinged sheen when it catches the light brings a whole new dimension to the bold red and black and it works perfectly.

Sturt's Desert Rose (Northern Territory)

Sturt's Desert Rose - Floral State-ment



This one is sure to please those who like a really feminine french pink. I layered this with 4 coats to reach a solid opacity but, much like Cooktown Orchid, if you like it sheer this one can easily be worn that way.

I did find that the formula was a little thin, meaning I had to sit this one upside down for a bit before using - those lovely big hexes and triangles had to be coaxed out. It isn't so thin it makes application difficult, it actually applies really easily. Definitely a must have for pink fans.

Tasmanian Blue Gum (Tasmania)

Tasmanian Blue Gum - Floral State-ment

Green glitter bomb! What a perfect encapsulation of the mighty Tasmanian Blue Gum. Green and gold micro glitters swim in a green jelly base, with a healthy dose of green, white and gold hexes in varied sizes. Some of them pick up the light and flash hints of blue, much to my eternal delight. 

As a jelly fanatic and a green lover, this is a total dream polish for me. 3 coats - 2 regular, and a final dabbed one for optimum glitter - was perfection on my finger tips. Layer it over black for something slightly more subdued, or a matching vibrant green creme for a more solid look. 

Waratah (New South Wales)

Waratah - Floral State-ment

Red jelly. I die.

Nothing slays me like a well executed red jelly. The richness of the colour combined with the amazing gold flakes though - total sensory overload! There are red and gold glitters in there, but it's the flakes that get me. The way they shine through the jelly is magical, giving depth and vibrancy. What a truly phenomenal polish *applause!*

Oh yeah, 2 coats. TWO COATS!

One more, that you've seen before:

Golden Wattle (Australia)



Yes I am a very bad blogger, recycling my own photo. This was previously shown to you as a prototype glitter which has now been released in the Floral State-ment collection! Which is very good news for you all, because it's a beauty. This has those same golden flakes you see in Waratah, as well as gold micro glitter in a clear base.

The one I tried a little while ago I preferred as a glitter topper as it was slightly patchy at 3 coats alone. Honestly I think just because of those beautiful flakes it works better as a topper, as they stand out when the application is a bit more sparse. Stacey has noted in the product listing that this can be worn as a full coverage polish as well, so good news for those who want a golden glitter frenzy on their nails!

Whew, we're done!

TL;DR?

Unique, interesting collection with great formula and something for just about everyone.


My picks:
Soft shades - Royal Bluebell

Bright shades - Tasmanian Blue Gum + Waratah

Floral State-ment is available NOW at the Two Birds Lacquer Etsy store!

*The abovementioned products were provided by Two Birds Lacquer for review, which in no way affected my opinion of the product. Please refer to my Disclosure page for more information. 

Tri Polish Tuesday: Stamped & Marbled

I'm baaaacck! No, I haven't totally bailed on this challenge - my absence last week was hopefully a one time thing. So much life happened that I was a bit "Blog? What blog?" for a few days.

So to make up for it, this week I thought "why don't I do the most difficult thing I can think of and hope like hell it works?". I lie, my actual thought process was "oh, I'll just do a quick water marble" completely ignoring the fact that it was 9pm on a Monday night and water marbling is a ridiculously time consuming technique.

My brain ain't that great on Mondays OK!

The results were... sub-optimal.

Tri Polish Tuesday - July #3
'Just a quick water marble'
Naturally I quick-dry top coated and went to bed to sleep on it. Then today I spied my new Emily de Molly plate and thought I'd give it a try. Except I changed my mind and used a completely different Emily de Molly plate. What I ended up with are, in the immortal words of Cher Horowitz, a real Monet.

Tri Polish Tuesday July #3
No really, take about 100 steps back - it will look amazing!
All the colours are from Ulta3, plus I used Celestial Cosmetics Anti-matter top coat which I'm growing to really love. It has a more waxy than true matte effect that I think photographs beautifully.

Now wanna see what everyone else did?


Unknown Pleasures

Hi!! I almost didn't think I'd make it here today - I started my nails yesterday and just couldn't make art happen. But first, Before I get carried away, over to Joy Division:




This week the iconic album art of Joy Divisions amazing debut Unknown Pleasures makes it to my nails!

Unknown Pleasures

Source: wikipedia.org
I'm sure most people are familiar with this album art, if not so much the actual album itself (because no, Love Will Tear Us Apart isn't on this one). You won't find tracks Unknown Pleasures gracing radio playlists and 'best songs of all time' lists - it's equal parts doomy, spacious and abrasive. Above all, it is a stunning piece of art.

Unknown Pleasures Nail Art

I used my beloved black Revlon Colorstay Stiletto, Ulta3 Lily White and finished it off with Celestial Cosmetics Anti-Matter matte top coat.

Swatched: What's In-die Box? July 2014 - Animals!

Beware, vast spoilers ahead! Swatches of the July What's In-die Box below!

If you're unfamiliar, What's In-die Box? (WIB) is a monthly Australian indie nail polish box that features five exclusive limited edition polishes each month, created to suit the monthly theme. This months theme was Animals, and the inspiration pictures left as clues suggested we were in for a colourful month.

Taken from the What's In-die Box Facebook page
I love bright colours so the clues had me excited. But I was truly not prepared for the rainbow I got delivered - prepare your eyeballs!



Glam Polish Tweetie Pie

Glam Polish - Tweetie Pie
Lightbox
This month Glam Polish give us this incredible neon yellow. Not only is is blinding sunshine on your nails, it only takes two coats to reach opacity. *applause!* In my dim house lighting I assumed this would be a straight up holo, but it's not quite. Indoors it's somewhat of a bright metallic yellow with a decent dose of shimmery goodness. Still on colour and formula alone, this gets a big eff yeah from me.

Glam Polish - Tweetie Pie
Direct sun
Take Tweetie Pie outside, and out comes the subtle scattered holo. I love that this isn't a straight linear holo because I think it would kill the incredible yellow. This polish is unlikely to work for everyone, but for me it's a lovely ray of sunshine.

Peita's Polish Clowning Around

Peita's Polish - Clowning Around
Lightbox
Another blinder that is likely to polarise people, Clowning Around is a shimmer packed orange full of matte black and white glitters in a few sizes of hex and circle varieties. The glitters applied easily and sat nicely in the base, meaning a regular top coat was all that was necessary. The base is a lovely workable jelly that builds to opacity in 3 coats. You can see a little free edge in my photo but it was far less apparent in real life.

I do want to try this out over orange undies as well. This is totally unique to my collection, and I quite love it.

Lilypad Lacquer Frogalicious

Lilypad Lacquer - Frogalicious
Lightbox
Unnfff now that is hot pink. I was pleasantly surprised to get something a little different from the traditional holo from Lilypad Lacquer, especially when it comes in hot pink. I think hot pink + holo would have just been too much for me to handle. What we did get is an almost neon base filled with delightful tiny colour shifting flakies. I thought this one deserved the daylight treatment as well.

Lilypad Lacquer - Frogalicious
Direct sun
The predominantly gold flakies also shift to a gorgeous lilac, softening the look of the megawatt pink perfectly. I used 3 coats to get to a good opacity. Frogalicious is beyond what I ever could have imagined, which is why I stick with wearing polish rather than creating it.

Smudged Shake Your Tail Feathers

Smudged - Shake Your Tail Feathers
Lightbox
I am on such a huge blue jelly kick at the moment, and with being on a no-buy low-buy this month I was super excited to get this! This is actually my first polish from Smudged so, uh, way to make an amazing first impression. This is another 3 coater, but with the right undies you could easily do one dabbed coat.

The blue jelly base is thin, but not runny. I didn't have any trouble with pooling - it was really well behaved. The glitters are well dispersed and spread easily, no fishing or bottle shaking needed. The glitters are a stunning mix of green, silver, blue and copper, and there is some ultra fine shimmer in there too. This polish is heavenly - if you're a blue lover it's a must-have. So I guess, keep your eye on blog sales?

Shades of Phoenix Bad Kitty

Shades of Phoenix - Bad Kitty
Lightbox
So while the first four were in no particular order, I have absolutely saved the best for last. Meet Bad Kitty, possibly the most phenomenal green glitter polish I've ever worn.

I first wore this as 3 coats alone - the glitter concentration in this polish is incredible, but the base is a fairly sheer black, so if you're going it alone prepare for careful application. I found it was worth it - look at that depth! It's just stunning. I'll be quite honest though - I didn't even discover the hidden surprise that was waiting for me until I went to work the next day.

Shades of Phoenix - Bad Kitty
Such glitter. So sparkle. Wow.
LOOK AT THE SHINY!!! Waahhhhh there are surprise holo glitters in there that refuse to stop sparkling. It's like Xmas only better! 

This photo is a little different to the first because I went with undies (Models Prefer Money Money) to get a good sparkle shot, as the sheer base is a bit more evident in sunlight. I definitely didn't lose much depth with undies, so I'd recommend using them to get the most wear out of this one.

Shades of Phoenix - Bad Kitty
MY EYES! 
I'm sorry. I had to. You could play name the colours with this and fill a page. It's just so incredible. 

In summary: amazing box of nail polish is amazing.

Did you get this months box? Tell me your favourite! 

Next months theme is favourite cartoons - order via Peita's Polish here. The usual lineup of Peita's Polish, Glam Polish and Lilypad Lacquer are joined his month by Gloss n Sparkle and Hollish, orders close midday July 31st.





In Our Heads

Oooooooohh boy am I ever excited I pulled this one off! Since the inception of Music Mani Monday I've been terrified of really making a mess of this one, but I think I did it!

But first, a song. I think this video is hilarious - it's so utterly dorky.


You guessed it, this week I have tackled the cover of Hot Chip's album In Our Heads.

Actually the title of the post probably spoiled that right? Anyway less text, more photo!


See why I was so terrified? I'm ecstatic I somehow did this. For reference:

Source: hotchip.co.uk
Yes it took a ridiculous amount of hours and approximately 10 polishes, but damn if it doesn't look amazing! Oh yes, this ain't acrylic paint. It was in another room. Sometimes my laziness knows no bounds.



Listen to In Our Heads via Spotify!

Glitter Fades

Having had several glitter (or at least glitter heavy) polishes arrive in the last few weeks I've been playing around with one of my favourite simple nail art techniques - the dry brush gradient. I love a good gradient, but more often than not find the cleanup so tedious I avoid them completely.

A dry brush gradient is achievable by just about anyone, and a dense glitter like a micro glitter or glitter topper is the perfect addition to a plain mani. Here are some looks I've worn in the last week.

Celestial Cosmetics - Monocerous + Two Birds Lacquer - silver glitter
Celestial Cosmetics 'Monocerous' + unnamed Two Birds Lacquer glitter
I recently picked up Monocerous, a beautiful blue creme from Celestial Cosmetics and I don't think it even lasted 24 hours in my untried basket. I was feeling like some sparkle though and added a silver glitter fade using a prototype silver glitter* sent to me by Two Birds Lacquer. This is a fairly dense silver glitter (think a slightly less dense version of the uber thick Maybelline Color Show Silver Gleam from the Sequins collection) that easily works as a full coverage polish in 2-3 coats, so I simply wiped the bulk of the polish off the brush and did some careful dabbing starting at the tips working my way down.

OPI - Vant to Bite My Neck + Two Birds Lacquer - gold glitter prototype

In the same order from Celestial I picked up a bottle of OPI Vant To Bite My Neck, this delicious deep purple creme. It lasted in the untried basket 24 hours longer than Monocerous did, because I knew this gold glitter* from Two Birds Lacquer would look amazing in a gradient with it. The gold glitter isn't as dense as the silver was, and works best as a glitter topper. I needed to double up at the tips, but I used the same method as with the previous mani. I really like how the flakes in the glitter stand out a bit more when used this way.


Finally, the mani I wore for a whole two days (!!!), done for the weekly AIPAS theme of summer. This beachy gradient was done using Mckfresh Splice of Life and Water. Because Water is a jelly base it's a bit trickier to get a smooth transition, but as I was going for a beachy shoreline look I didn't worry about perfection.

With this mani the blue doesn't come from total glitter coverage I was careful to wait until the first blue layer was completely dry to avoid any glitter pulling, but it didn't take too long.

Have you ever tried a dry brush gradient? Feel free to link away in the comments!


*Products marked with * were provided by Two Birds Lacquer for review, which in no way affected my opinion of the product. Please refer to my Disclosure page for more information. 

Two Birds Lacquer Cuticle Oil

A little while ago the lovely Stacey from Two Birds Lacquer contacted me to ask if I would be interested in reviewing her new cuticle oils. Naturally I jumped at the opportunity as I love all the polishes I own from this brand, and as a fan of OPI Avoplex (but not the price) I was really excited to try another oil with a pen style brush applicator.


I absolutely love the packaging of the oils - the twist & click end dispenses the product slowly through the brush tip so you have total control over application.

Two scents are available - Lavender or Ylang Ylang - as well as unscented if you prefer. I received one of each scent. The scents are light and fresh, which I found to be a relief with the lavender as I'm not really fond of the smell. You really only smell it if you have your hands near your face and it's not at all overpowering.
The active oils are jojoba and almond oil, both well known for their skin softening and easy absorption properties.

Now before I start showing naked photos I will warn you - yes, my nails are stained! No, my natural nails are not fantastic. I wear polish every day so it doesn't matter one way or the other to me.

Brace yourselves for a nudie shot!


So what have I got here? This is my nails after removing polish. I use a homemade acetone+glycerin mix which is effective while not stripping my nails and skin of too much moisture.

So you can see my index is dry, suffering from a recent episode of peeling and a breakage. General dryness is my biggest issue with my hands - I have dry skin all over plus I work in an air conditioned office all week. My middle finger is not quite as dry but there are hardened spots along the side of the nail bed - future hangnails! My ring finger has a past hangnail all torn up on one side and a big hard formation on the other side. Then my sad little pinky is dry as hell and in need of some care.


After a few twists to get going, I started the slathering. I applied a generous coat around the nail, the used the fine tip of the brush to massage right down in all the crevices. This is why I love the brush tip so much - you don't have to get your fingertips all oiled up to get the product in where it needs to be!

The oil feels quite light and absorbs really quickly, leaving you with beautifully soft skin for hours after application. My routine while trying this out included moisturising approx. 4 times daily (usually 3 times at work, and once with a good heavy moisturiser before bed), and applying the oil 2-3 times a day whenever I felt I needed it, and absolutely always after doing my nails. I always made an effort to properly massage it in at least once a day as I've heard that massaging the nail matrix stimulates growth (and who doesn't enjoy a nice hand massage?).

Eight days later, this is the result:


Again pictured straight after removing polish. My dryness issues are really clearing up - I can't see anywhere near as many nasty white flecks around the sides of my nail. The hardened proto-hangnails are still visible but have softened enough that they haven't split away and become a full blown hangnail. Prevention is better than the cure! 

And that nasty tear on my ring finger?

 

Gone. Completely repaired. My mind, it is blown.

Tl;dr?
I am well and truly sold on these oils. I now keep one in my handbag and one at my nail desk, and I will be straight back to the Two Birds Lacquer Etsy store for more as soon as I'm out.

Two Birds Lacquer cuticle oils retail for $6.50 each, with $1.50 shipping within Australia if you're not getting polish (but you really should get some polish, you know you want to!).

*The abovementioned products were provided by Two Birds Lacquer for review, which in no way affected my opinion of the product. Please refer to my Disclosure page for more information. 

Go Planet! Part 2

Woohoo, back again with part 2 of the Planeteers collection from Mckfresh

On Monday I hinted that my favourite of the set would be here today, but it isn't the one I was expecting it to be - there was a dark horse that came and snatched victory away from all the other gorgeous polishes.

Prepare yourselves, because today is going to get colourful!


Well let's get this out of the way - I would have sworn black and blue that Water would be my number one. Sorry Water, you beautiful blue bottle of glory It's a stunningly bright yet rich blue, packed with glitter and flashes of iridescent beauty, impossible to fault. 

Gi, the other female planeteer held the power of water, and I feel she like was a kind of forgettable character with an awesome power. Creating tidal waves and water tornadoes is probably the power I would have wanted as a kid.


This wonderful green creation is Earth, a superb shade of spearmint goodness. I feel like this was the most subdued of the core 5 element based polishes. As a green fan I really don't need any more - this is totally unique to my collection which is a feat in itself given the number of greens I own.

Earth is the power of Kwame, leader of the five planeteers. Kwame is a pretty chill guy, despite having the responsibility of being the one to get the ball rolling to call in Captain Planet. 


I Am Captain Pollution is a base of gold and yellow glitters with a sprinkle of red. There are some holo green and blue flashes from time to time that give this a bit of spark. I feel like this would be a great subtle festive polish, and I really want to try it out over undies to see if any other colors show themselves. 

Captain Pollution is, you guessed it, Captain Planet's rival and opposite. He thrives on pollution and is hurt by the natural world. Spoilers - Captain Planet and the Planeteers defeat him. Sucker.



Aaaaand here it is, my surprise favourite of the collection! Fire is a wildly shimmering reddened orange that completely blew me away once I got it on my nails. My picture has not done it justice. The jelly base is fiery (duh) and full of an incredible orange/yellow shimmer that positively glows. I don't think I've ever loved and orange polish so much, and to stand out in a collection of colours I was going wild for says a whole lot about how fabulous this shade is.

Funnily enough the character with the power of fire, Wheeler, was always my least favourite. He's American, he's kind of a bro and he's always hitting on Linka. What a douche-canoe.

So, what's your favourite of the collection? Or should I say - How many are you planning on buying? Get your grabby hands ready because the collection is now available via Mckfresh Nail Attire on Etsy, for $10 a bottle. Gooooo Planet!

Green, Pink and Purple

New month means new colours for Tri Polish Tuesday, and this one should be fun - green, pink, and purple!

Green and purple are probably the two colours I have the most of because I just can't get enough. Pink on the other hand - I'm not a lover of pink polish, but I still somehow have about 20 pinks so at least some will get a workout this month.

Tri Polish Tuesday - Green, Pink & Purple

I took my inspiration from this stunning mani by Didoline that has been in the back of my mind waiting to be recreated somehow.

Tri Polish Tuesday - Green, Pink & Purple

I actually did the opposite of her tutorial - I had the green base of Model's Own Emerald Black on already, then taped off the half moon and mid stripe, and added the accents of Cult Nails Charming and BYS Orchid Ice (shhhhh it's pink OK!!)

As always, the rest of the gang can be found below!