Monday, December 23, 2013

Polish Swapping Sisters Letter Of The Week.... F

As I have spoken about before I am admin to a gorgeous group of girls in a polish swapping group and each week we have a little theme for our monday mani, currently we are working our way through the alphabet (im still looking for suggestions on a polish starting with Z) and this week is the letter F.
Where possible we are trying to use untried polishes and today mine was First Light from Mckfresh Nail Attire 

First light is an in your face attitude packed neon orange that will glow under a UV light. I dont have a UV light but that doesnt take away from this gorgeous polish, as you can see you can fully apprciate it UV-lessly

For the mani I used a white base but Ive also showed a pic of my thumb where I did not use a base so you can see how it looks both ways.
With the base coat Ive used 2 coats of first light, without the white base Ive used 3 coats on my thumb. 
The best part about this is the formula, weve almost become use to the standard of neons being streaky and horrible (think half the CG Sunsational collection) but this applies like a dream. No streaks or uneven application, from the first coat it is smooth and lovely. 

I tried to do a sunrise on my ring finger with the gradient and then some purple clouds, it hasnt worked that well but its still pretty and a nice break from Christmas manis.

Mckfresh First Lighta

Mckfresh First Light

Mckfresh First Light, No base coat

Sunday, December 22, 2013

#anxmas2013 Family Traditions

Yesterdays theme for the #anxmas2013 nail art challenge on IG was Family we have so many but picking one I could translate into nail art is a whole other story. 

First I tried to do some water marbling with red and white swirls to represent the red and white short bread swirl cookies I make every year, but all I ended up with was pink blob nails...and fingers...and knuckles and palms, so after bathing in acetone I started over and this year I actually took inspiration from one of my Mothers traditions. 
Every year the grandchildren take turns in picking the colour theme for her Christmas tree. Now she has 7 grandchildren so you have to wait a while for your turn to come around again and its quite likely that just as the cycle is about to restart one of my sisters is going to pop out another child and add an extra year on to the waiting but this year it was one of my daughters turn and she choose white. 

(its a home grown tree cut from Mums backyard)

All 7 grand kids sitting proud (well sitting) in front of the tree

So here is what I ended up with. 
The base is two coats of OPIs Thanks So Muchness and the white is White On from Sally Hansen. 
The plate used is Festive Plate Collection 01 from MoYou

MoYou Festive Collection 01 Plate.
Photo credit MoYou website.

OPI Thanks So Muchness and Sally Hansen White On

Im really happy with how it turned out, bit of an issue with clean up but red is a pain in the butt like that sometimes.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Whos got Moxie??

This girl!
Ive got Moxie!!

Whats Moxie?? Oh only the hottest freshest indie. So hot so fresh they aren't even for sale to the public good luck to the rest of you :P

My bestest sister friend Tami over at The Manicured Mermaid has been tinkering around with her own indie line for a while now and for Christmas she sent me two beautiful polishes that she had made. 
The first one is called One Year Old in honor of our swap group celebrating its first birthday. 

The second, and the one I am wearing today, is named Oceans Apart and is a gorgeous white base flecked with oceanic blue green glitters. 

As you can see from the bottle shot she hasn't skimped at all with the glitters and there's no digging or fishing required. 
As soon as I said I was going to wear one of her polishes first (she sent me a massive package full of polishes which I will post another day) she started twiddling her thumbs and bouncing in her seat giddy with nerves, worried about the base formula, would it be too thick, would it be streaky, opaque, argh...shut up I told her I'll try it and of course Id always be honest with her.

And I would always be honest with my readers...all 3 of you....She needn't have been so anxious. 
The formula works beautifully. It applied full of glitter without streaks or any issues and was opaque in two coats and is honestly up there with the other quality indies I own. 
I used the Essie all in one base as I'm taking a break from Duri at the moment and Peitas Polish Quick! Gloss Me Up! top coat to give it a shine.

Moxie, One Year Old

Moxie, One Year Old

Moxie, Oceans Apart

Moxie, Oceans Apart

Moxie, Oceans Apart

Moxie, Oceans Apart

As I said Moxie is not yet available to the public, Tami is still tinkering and perfecting but keep an eye on her blog for when these hit the market as they are sure to be a popular brand.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

#anxmas2013 Festive Lights and a bit of foot stomping

I'm a day behind in the IG instagram challenge but that happens and I'm already trying to think of what to do for tomorrows theme of Santas Helpers....hmm and green stripes....Rudolph with his shiny red nose....Mrs Claus.....Any suggestions??

But yesterday was Festive Lights and I had so much fun doing the reverse stamping last week I wanted to do it again with this one. It didn't turn out as well as last weeks though, I don't know why. 

For the base I used Laser Pointers from Mckfresh Nail Attire, I hold no qualms about telling you this brand is one of my favourite Aussie Indies. 

Laser Pointers is one of those polishes that if someone describes it to you, you instantly think eww gross. Its silver foil and bar glitter, two things I really do not like when it comes to nail polish, foil glitter is like little hairy ickyness and foil polishes tend to just be a nightmare and I'm not a fan of the finish.....So why did I buy it? well you know how it goes, you're ordering a few things from the store for a friend and you've already bought everything else that seller has made that you like so on a whim you buy this silver bottle citing well it will be good for Christmas manis as your excuse....and IT IS. I'm so glad I got this, I don't know why or how (I'm fairly certain it involves some sort of magic fairy voodoo on Kates part) but this not only works its gorgeous.

The formula is smooth and easy, no digging for glitter or having to worry about placing it or moving the glitter around, this only took two coats and its beautiful.

The sun hits those holographic bars and they sparkle and shimmer and your hypnotised. 

Laser Pointers Mckfresh Nail Attire

Mckfresh Nail Attire Laser Pointers

Mckfresh Nail Attire Laser Pointers

Foot stamping you ask?
YES. Much foot stamping!
Yesterday Moyou released a new collection of stamping plates and while their order turn around time is horrendously slow and their customer service makes you want to crawl in to the computer through the usb port and bitch slap someone, their plates, well their plates are just divine.
I try to buy from them as little as possible until they get their act together but you know at the end of the day no matter how crappy the service you just need to buy what they are selling. 

They have released 10 plates based around the theme of various fairy tales and I NEED THEM ALL. I need them like the desert needs rain, I need them like a hooker needs her crack, I need them like a hug needs a kiss, I need them like a donut needs a get the idea. 

But I cant buy them because someone needs to learn self control and so Im just going to sit in a corner and eat red and green M&Ms.

Below is just a section of the plates so you can see what Im talking about.

Moyou plates retail for 4.99 Pounds (around $9AU) and can be purchased from their website
Use the code Sammy20 for a 20% discount on your order. 
You're welcome

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Who wants to know about some sales??....and give aways....

Powder Perfect is having a buy 2 get your 3rd polish free sale until FRIDAY so get on that quick sticks.

Another quick spree you need to throw some money at is Shades of Phoenix who is having both a sale AND offering free shipping with the code XMAS13 until Friday

Petal Polish is also having a moving house sale with polishes reduced to $6.50

Off the indie track, Ozsale once again has Butter London polishes on their site. They may be slow but their prices are good and it is the only place I've bought Butter London. 

Or if you're more of an instant gratification kind of gal, Priceline stores currently have buy 3 for the price of 2 sale on their Triple Shine Sally Hansen range. I don't like the look of the bottles but I've been told they are good quality lovely polishes

Arcane Lacquer is having an awesome give away contest....which I wont tell you about because then you'll enter and decrease my chances of winning

Ok so its not a sale but Sayuri Nail Lacquer has introduced something which I think is a fantastic idea, a loyalty program for their most loyal customers. I'm not an indie seller so I don't know but I imagine that indies would rely heavily on repeat customers and this is a fantastic way of not only encouraging those repeat buys but saying thank you to their loyal customers who have really helped build their brand.

You can read more about it on her blog, but it basically works that with your 3rd, 5th and 10th purchase you get an increasing discount from 10 to 30% off your purchase AND orders over $50 (and we all know if you're not spending over $50 its just not worth it) you get a 10% voucher for your next purchase. 

Once Mckfresh Nail Attire hits 750 'likes' on their facebook page there's going to be a celebration sale so head over and like her page and check out the Christmas collection that is selling strong.

Oh come on ofcourse I was going to share Arcanes give away...there are 4 winners after all...... Check it out here on instagram

Indee Polish Co is holding a great giveaway on instagram

And finally Glam Polish is holding a give away to celebrate their anniversary which you can enter here on their facebook page

All of these giveaways are open internationally so go nuts people!
well not too much, help a no buy sister out and leave some prizes for me :)

oooo a sneak peek....While I was half way through writing this blog my favourite person in the world, the delivery man, knocked on the door with a MASSIVE package for me.
I am admin of a gift swap group on facebook, we have a close group of 30 friendly girls and each month we get a partner in the group and we send each other a little package of love based on their likes and wish lists.
December being Christmas we went ALL OUT, gave everyone 2 months to put together an amazing package and get it sent off on time. 

Now its sitting under the tree waiting patiently (it is waiting patiently I am not) as we've all agreed to open our package on the same day closer to Christmas. 
tick tock tick tock

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Its like sex but nail polish which is so much better! words....this polish.....every woman needs a good red creme and this one is beyond perfection.

You put it on and its...well as the title says its like someone painted your nails with sex....but not because the reality of that would be pretty gross....

The formula is delicious, smooth and applies perfectly.....without further delay I give you..... 

Hell On Wheels from Pretty Serious

See, perfection right!

Then because its Christmas and I can I added some snowflake stickers

And just because I love you and want to share all the pretties here is another one from Pretty Serious, BSOD

A gorgeous sparkly blue


I had to brave the malls today (polish with drawl aside its Christmas and people are insane!) and I was very good, I stayed strong but honestly it felt weird walking past the beauty section of target without even doing a walk by to see what was new.....what if there is something new and I missed it???....or walking past Priceline without even looking at the catalogue to see whats on sale....I have a $10 points voucher screaming for attention....They probably have some awesome buy 1 get 5 free sale going on right now and I don't even know about it.
So I walked out of target with the exact 2 items I went in there for....a skin tone singlet and a pair of stockings....where is the fun in that I ask you??

So to distract myself I thought Id post some BEFORE pics of my stash. I'm currently going through all my drawers, weeding out the colours I don't like/have dupes of and swatching the newer polishes that haven't yet been swatched.
Ive just finished the yellow/orange drawer but I'll post pics when they are all done....and throw a blog sale party. 

Now if you're sensitive to the cruelty of polish please look away, these photos may offend or upset...poor polishes.
First a shot of my little desk was taken while I was in the middle of decorating my helmers and I ran out of glitter lol

One of my helmers all finished and ready to fill.

The current state of my please note they don't usually look THIS bad, a lot of bottles fell over as I was lifting them from the helmer onto my bed.

Monday, December 9, 2013

My last haul for a while....and #anxmas2013

Today it arrived, my last big spend since before this no buy challenge started.

Recently to celebrate the launch of her charity polish Rae's Rainbow, Pretty Serious had a 40% off one day sale and you can bet I made the most of that deal!

While the 40% off has sadly ended they are still taking orders for Rae's Rainbow for the entire month of December with $4 going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Read about the polish and the special girl behind it here on her blog.

I can not tell you the excitement when the delivery man knocked on my door, (he was rewarded for his hard work with a dip into my box of chocolates...not a euphemism ) part of me wanted to rip into the box and embrace the sparkly pretties inside, the other half couldn't bring myself to open it at all, knowing this is the last box I will open until June I wanted to savour the moment and hold onto it as long as possible.
So for a few moments I sat there just stroking the box like a well loved cat, then I tore into it and the beauties inside did not disappoint...

There it is, my last box of love!
Hell On Wheels
Party By The Pool
Rae's Rainbow
Purple Monkey Dishwasher
Arent they all utterly fabulous!
Below is my mani for day 9 of the #anxmas2013 Christmas mani challenge on instagram based on decorating the tree. Yes, my free hand needs work but thankfully the beauty of Shades Of Phoenix No time for Hello/Goodbye saves my car crash art work.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care

Welcome to my first blog post...yippee...And I'm really happy that this will be my first post, I gave reverse stamping a shot and I'm really proud of how it turned out. 

This mani had to tick two boxes, one the base polish had to start with D for a Letter of the alphabet a week challenge we are doing in a facebook gift swap group I admin, Lacquered With Love, it also had to fit the theme for yesterdays (I'm a day behind) christmas theme nail art challenge on Instagram, follow me @briemmara and check out the hashtag #anxmas2013 Dec 7th theme was "family time" and this week the girls and I spent our time decorating the tree and the house so that's what I wanted to convey on my nails.

I also wanted to try out the reverse stamping technique Id heard about in the Aussie Nails facebook group, shown to me by Sarah at Shatter Me this is what I came up with...

Using OPI Designer...De Better as the base

I started my reverse stamping with plate MM21 from Messy Mansion

Now I cant say this is the 'right' way or the best way to do this technique but this is how I did it and it worked for me.

I started with one coat of clear polish on a sheet of plastic, a lot of people use baking paper/parchment paper but I use zip lock bags just because that's what I tend to have more of and it works just as well. 

Once that's dry stamp normally onto the clear dried polish.

Then using polishes and a thin nail art brush, I 'coloured' in the parts I wanted to, the bows and the light bulbs

Once the coloured polishes were dry, you simply peel off the sheet of clear polish. Cut out the designs to place on your nail.

Using a clear polish I applied a thin layer to give the decal something to stick to and placed it on. Once that was dry I simply cleaned up the edges and filed around the edge of the nail.

To finish on the index and pinkie finger I painted a line of gold polish and covered it with some gold bar glitter, brushed off the excess and applied a top coat to keep it in place.

voila, Christmas nails based on family time spent decorating the house.

Saturday, December 7, 2013


Welcome to my little space of the internet.
So what is this blog all about? 
Well these past few weeks I've been slapped into the reality of my daughter starting high school....honestly I know they say kids are expensive but its like that old analogy of a frog sitting in a pot of cold water that is slowly brought to the know your spending money on them but you never really feel it until BANG high school looms and its like someones thrown a can of petrol on the bon fire and you're going down in flames...uniforms, book lists, shoes, fees, administration costs....IT NEVER ENDS! I'm pretty sure its the universes way of distracting me from the heart ache of my baby girl growing up and starting high school....look she'll never notice if we stress her out with all these fees.

It all sounds very negative and really I'm not that down on it all, I'm happy to fork out $700 for uniforms...ok I'm not, but she needs it and I chose the school so I have no cause to complain...but it has made me sit back and think, ok I need to get my financial life sorted out and while I'm not under any real financial duress, this will be a lot easier if I stop buying nail polish for a while

I'm what you'd call a polish enthusiast....not addict...not hoarder...EN-THUS-IAST...and while my collection is not even close to being large in the eyes of the average nail blogger it is larger than anyone girl could ever need and it needs to be sorted out. This is also about weeding my collection out a little, finding those dupe colours I've got more that one of, or those colours I've never worn or dont even like. At the same time I want to go trough all my untrieds which have slowly crept up in numbers and give them some love while also rediscovering some long lost loves, things I've bought long ago and used once and have since been hidden at the back of the drawers, like OPIs Absolutely Alice one of the first polishes I ever bought and I cant remember the last time I used it and its such a gorgeous polish it needs some love, they all do.

So whats the plan? Well I've always said Go hard or go home, so how does 6 months sound? Bloody insane? Stupidly impossible? Asking for failure? Yes all those things...and more but my birthday is June 18th so I figure if I can last till June 1st, putting away a few dollars reward each week I last, I can have one epic birthday present with ALL THE POLISH.

I invite you all to come along for the ride, its going to be bumpy, there will be tears and swearing and trowing things but it will be a heck of a lot of fun. I'll share my trials and tribulations, give you the scoop on all the new indie releases and any specials or savings codes going on that I wont be able to use but will get some enjoyment from enabling others and of course I will be doing a lot of manis to both distract me and use those forgotten loves in my polish collection.

You can also follow the fun on Instagram @briemmara