Friday, 30 November 2012

Australis Rose Tattoo: an Essie Penny Talk dupe?

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

Essie Penny Talk (

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

Australis Rose Tattoo

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

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


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Cheaper manicure? Show Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time,


piCture pOlish Kryptonite by More Nail Polish

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

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

 Showing off the flakies.

A shiny swatch of this polish can be found here

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

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

Til next time, 


Monday, 26 November 2012

Striping tape not only for striping

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

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

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

A close up of the nail.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Til next time,


Friday, 23 November 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time,


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

theBalm's You're So Hot and Gold

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

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

One blurry photo to show the holo effect...

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

This is without top coat.

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

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

Till next time, 


Thursday, 15 November 2012

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

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

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

And they look like this on the nails.

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

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

essence A Piece Of Forever

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

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

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

This was my little haul for the day.

And this is the mani I came up with:

Polishes used: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time, 


Monday, 12 November 2012

essence Marble Mania's Silver Twister

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Till next time, 


Saturday, 10 November 2012

Australis Aqua

As we all may know, Pinterest can be such an inspiration for cooking, decorating, art, nail polish... So i jumped on it to get some sort of colour inspiration and long story short, I ended up checking out these shoes from Sole Society. I am a bit of an impulse buyer and almost, almost bought them but decided to wear the colours on my nails. After all that's the reason I jumped on Pinterest.

Aren't they pretty? I really wish I had lots of places to go to so I could justify spending money on beautiful shoes. So here's my interpretation.

I know, really straight forward but after all my failed attempts last week, this is rather enjoyable. The blue is actually an aqua colour but I don't seem to get the colours right with my camera sometimes. This polish is the happy medium between green and blue. 

Polishes used:
Blue: Australis Nail Colour in Aqua. If this isn't an original name, I don't know what is.
Top Coat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri

The striping tape I got on eBay from this seller. I got 18 rolls of different colours for $2.60 ages ago. At the time of posting, the seller had similar offers for purchase. Mine came from China and took a little over two weeks to get here but the wait was worth the quality, quantity and price.

I'm gonna check out some more Pinterest pictures for future inspiration. 

Till next time, 


Friday, 9 November 2012

Too Random Skittle

I've had a few terrible manicures in the last couple of days that were not even worth photographing. I'm talking about extremely flooded cuticles that couldn't be fixed, crooked stamping, smudging of such said stamping, terrible colour combinations and bad gradients. 

This is the first one that looked sort of OK, even though I'm not completely satisfied with the result. I tried using differents textures ( a cream, a metallic and a glitter) in blue, green and pink that I thought would look good together as a skittle mani. Tried tying it all up by having a striped middle finger but the job was kinda dodgy and there's a piece of stray glitter on my ring finger that I couldn't remove!!!!

Anyway, I'll do and learn but here are the pictures.

The obliged matte top coat, which in my opinion, makes polish look a million times better. 

Polishes used:
Pink: B Collection by Bloom in Cologne 
Blue Glitter: Essence in Blue Addicted
Metallic Duochrome: Topshop in Eclipse
Top Coat:   1st pic: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri
                 2nd pic: Rimmel Pro Matte Finish

There you have it. I'm gonna Google Colour Theory and maybe learn a little about what looks good together and keep practicing with that tape.

Till next time, 


Saturday, 3 November 2012

Not So Afraid Of The Marble Anymore

I went to Big W yesterday in search of a new foundation but stumbled upon their massive beauty sale. I found Max Factor's mini bottles for 72 cents. Yeah, that's right. When have I seen such prices for ANY brand of polish on Australia? Never! There were only three colours left so I picked them up and turn around to start running to the checkouts. 

However, in my way, I came across the Face of Australia stand. I'm not a massive fan of their formula as it takes a while to dry but every so often they come up with decent collections and fairly nice colours. Their last one is called Pastels (innovative, right?) and each bottle was $1.94. Woohoo!! I grabbed 6 out f the 7 colours of the collection and ran off to pay. 

When I got home, I took my little $14.52 stash of nail polish and then realised I didn't really like pastels. There was a reason why I never had any before!!! So I had to think of how to use them all at once and the idea of a marble popped up. I brought out my plastic cup of water and started playing with the colours and come up with something I'm actually proud of.

Look at my ring finger. Yeah, I like it.

And some more detail of my index and middle finger (excuse the bubble).

Polishes used:
All Face of Australia
Pink: I'll Take You To The Candy Shop
Purple: Boys 'N' Berries
Blue/Green: After Dinner Mint

I applied the pink polish as a base and added the three colours to the water. The beauty I found with these three polishes is that they took about a minute or so to dry up on the surface of the water so there was quite a bit time to play around with the shapes. I was also really easy to clean up. I didn't use sticky tape or Vaseline to protect my fingers but I managed to just wipe the polish off my skin with some cotton. I found some tiny bubbles from not drying my fingers quickly enough but they're barely noticeable in real life.

I originally intended to use all all six colours for the marble but the yellow and orange polishes from the collection would dissolve in the water by themselves but wouldn't let the other polishes dissolve and dry out really quickly. Really strange considering when when I combined only the yellow and orange, they would play nice and actually create a marble. 

 So, Face of Australia polishes have shown me the beauty of the marble and how I shouldn't be so afraid. Hmm... I wonder what other colours I can try.

Till next time, 


Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Gold Crackle

I'm sure I'm not the only one that got caught in the crackle fad and bought a heap of different colours because the black one was so cool and innovative. Well, now that phase has well and truly passed and I have don't-want-to-count-how-many bottles of crackle, I thought I start getting creative with them. 

I saw this video a few weeks ago and this is what prompted me to get the crackles out and work with them in a different way. I really loved how shiny the glitter in OPI Gold Crackle and decided to work with that one. First I tried to paint it on sticky tape a la The Beauty Department but I found, once dry, the polish was inflexible and would come off the tape. I tried cutting this dried polish into shapes but my hands and scissors were too big for the strip, so I just ended up crushing it and throwing it in the bin.

I also tried stamping with it but it was a major fail. Lesson learnt.

Today I came across this other blog, Konad Addict, where the crackle polish is sponged onto the nail with some rather amazing results. Yes, I am using other people's ideas but I really have no practical creativity, which I guess this blog may help me out with( I hope).

So here it is, my sponged-on crackle over pink. It is so sparkly and shiny in real life I can't stop looking at it. The combination of colours also reminded me of a Disney princess or Barbie colours. It is sooooo cool even though it looks like a normal glitter gradient. I didn't really crack either. There's only two minor ones on my index finger.

Polishes used:

Gold: OPI in Gold Crackle
Pink: OPI in If You Moust You Moust
Top Coat: Essence XXXL Shine Gel-Look and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri

The photos don't do the glitter justice on how sparkly it is and that pink, that pink is  impossible for me to photograph. I've tried every setting and light possible but to no avail. The middle photo would be the closest I managed to get it to the actual colour.

That's all from me today.

Till next time, 



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