Monday, 31 December 2012

Top 12 of 2012

The end of yet another year is here. Where did the time go? This will be my last post for 2012, and I think it's a rather fitting one. These are my top 12 polishes in my stash that were released in 2012. I'll be listing these in no particular order, it would be impossible to pick a favourite. You'll notice that a large majority of them are indie polishes. I'd like to point out that I have plenty of favourites in my stash that are 'mainstream' polishes, but sadly most of them weren't released this year. Before I start, I just want to quickly mention that I'll have my New Year's mani up tomorrow, as well as an exciting announcement, so make sure to check back then!

1.  Winter Hyacinth - Femme Fatale Cosmetics

Original post here
Pictured mani is one coat of 'Winter Hyacinth' layered over China Glaze's 'For Audrey'

First of all, I want to explain why only one Femme Fatale Cosmetics polish made it into my top 12 list. It's because I've actually only used one of Sophie's polishes, the rest are still sitting in my untrieds pile *hangs head in shame*. I'll rectify that soon! 'Winter Hyacinth' is a teal crelly (creme/jelly) polish with white diamonds and hexes, as well as fuchsia and rose hexes both in metallic and holographic finishes. I love the colour combination of this polish, and to make the deal a little sweeter 'Winter Hyacinth' had the easiest removal I've ever experienced from a glitter polish.

2. Sakura Matsuri - Rainbow Honey

Original post here
Pictured mani is one coat of 'Sakura Matsuri' over China Glaze's 'Secret Peri-wink-le'

Sakura Matsuri was the first Rainbow Honey polish that I ever tried, and I'll admit that it started what is now a bit of an obsession with Rainbow Honey polishes. 'Sakura Matsuri' is the namesake polish of it's collection, and it means 'cherry blossom festival' in Japanese. It is packed with pink and white blossoms, as well as holographic and iridescent glitters. When those glitter catch the light - WOW!

3. Lunairetic - Rainbow Honey

Original post here
Pictured mani is one coat of 'Lunairetic' layered over OPI's 'Glitzerland'. Feature stripe is OPI's 'Plugged-In-Plum', adorned with 2mm gold studs

'Lunairetic' is from Rainbow Honey's 'Chrono Cross' Collection, and for anyone who has played the game it's inspired by Harle's Level 7 tech and the gorgeously bright moon she eclipses. 'Lunairetic' contains red, gold, purple and magenta glitters as well as holographic hex and diamond glitters. Stunning.

4. Witches Britches - Gloss 'n Sparkle

Original post here
Pictured mani is one coat of 'Witches Britches' over OPI's 'Do You Lilac It?'

'Witches Britches' is Gloss 'n Sparkle's limited edition Halloween 2012 polish. I love that this polish doesn't scream 'Halloween' like some of the other Halloween polishes released, I'd feel quite comfortable wearing this even when it's not October. 'Witches Britches' is a purple crelly polish and is packed with black, green (almost teal) and orange glitters in varying sizes.

5. Unicorn Droppings and Unicorn Spawn - Gloss 'n Sparkle

Original posts here and here
'Unicorn Droppings' is two coats over Essie's 'Blanc'
'Unicorn Spawn' is one coat over Essie's 'Blanc', with Revlon's 'Blue Lagoon' tips

Ok so I cheated. I couldn't pick between these two so I've included them both. I think of these two as sisters though, so hopefully they don't mind sharing. Both polishes share the same shimmery white base with micro holographic glitter. The elder sister, 'Unicorn Droppings', is packed with vibrantly coloured rainbow glitters (in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple). The little sister, 'Unicorn Spawn', has pastel blue, pink and yellow glitters. Both are beautiful in their own right and create a completely different look.

6. Ode To The Elite - Emily de Molly

Original post here
Pictured mani is one coat of 'Ode To The Elite' layered over China Glaze's 'Man Hunt'

Lovers of all things holographic rejoice! I think I nearly wet myself when I finally got this polish on my nails, I was so excited and completely mesmerised. 'Ode To The Elite' contains silver holo hexes (of at least 3 different sizes), micro glitter, squares, bar glitter, butterflies, and stars in a clear base. Layer it over dark colours to witness it's full effect.

7. Blue Moon - Emily de Molly

Original post here
Pictured mani is one coat of 'Blue Moon' over China Glaze's 'Liquid Leather'

'Blue Moon' is an exclusive polish that Hayley created for a group of Aussie nail polish addicts, and I was extremely lucky to get my hands on it. 'Blue Moon' contains several different sizes of vibrant blue hexes, along with silver holo moons and stars, and tiny blue and pink glitters in a clear base. Those blue glitters are so eye-catching, I had plenty of comments when I wore this one.

8. Flutterby Garden - Emily de Molly

Original post here
Pictured mani is one coat of  'Flutterby Garden' over China Glaze's 'Light As Air' and topped with Essie's 'Matte About You'

'Flutterby Garden' was my first Emily de Molly love, I was lemming this one for ages before I finally gave in and bought it. Now I have a rapidly growing collection of Emily de Mollys. 'Flutterby Garden' has green, lime, lavender and pink hex glitters, along with pink squares and some delicate green bar glitters all in a clear base. To top off this lovely glitter combo there are holographic butterflies thrown into the mix too. I absolutely love the combination of colours and glitter shapes in this one.

9. Man Hunt - China Glaze

Original post here
Pictured mani is two coats of 'Man Hunt' topped with Emily de Molly's 'Ode To The Elite'

I'll admit that I never really loved blue polish until I came across 'Man Hunt'. Now my blue polish collection has doubled in the last month alone. 'Man Hunt' was released as part of the On Safari Collection, and is a bold navy/cobalt blue creme polish, although it does lean slightly towards being a Jelly. You'll need two thick coats, or three thin coats to create opacity. This is the perfect blue in my opinion.

10. Pirouette My Whistle - OPI

Original post here
Pictured mani is one coat of 'Pirouette My Whistle' layered over OPI's 'Barre My Soul' and Essie's 'Blanc'

'Pirouette My Whistle' was probably my first real lemming. This was released before I discovered indie polishes, and at the time I was sure it was the only glitter that I would be able to tolerate. Boy was I wrong! 'Pirouette My Whistle' is from the New York City Ballet Collection, and has matte white hexes and tiny silver glitters in a clear base. Looks amazing topped with a matte top coat too.

11. Don't Pretzel My Buttons - OPI

Original post here
Pictured mani is two coats of 'Don't Pretzel My Buttons' with stamping in China Glaze's 'Custom Kicks' and OPI's 'You're A Pisa Work' using Konad stamping plate Q1

OPI's 'Don't Pretzel My Buttons' was released as part of the Germany Collection. It's a honey-beige coloured creme polish, opaque in 2 coats. A perfect neutral shade and it's now a staple item in my stash.

12. The Spy Who Loved Me - OPI

Original post here
Pictured mani is two coats of 'The Spy Who Loved Me' with gold leaf detailing

'The Spy Who Loved Me' is part of the Skyfall 007 Collection (aka the James Bond Collection). There were at least 4 polishes that I wanted from this collection, but somehow this is the one only one I ended up with. I'm sure I'll acquire more over time. 'The Spy Who Loved Me' is a beautiful fiery red polish with a stunning gold shimmer through it. Two coats create opacity and it has a lovely fluid formula. Easily my favourite red in my stash.

So that's it kids! My top 12 of 2012. Enjoy New Year's Eve and I'll see you in 2013! Already it's looking to be a promising year, I have a few things in the works that I'm quite excited to share with you ;)

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Morning, Moneypenny

Sorry I've been a bit absent lately, all the post-Christmas sales have kept me working long hours once again. I've taken today off though due to my bad back so I'm using this opportunity to catch up on a few blog related things :)

Today I have one of the polishes that my boyfriend gave me for Christmas to show you. This is OPI's 'Morning, Moneypenny' and it's one of the magnetic lacquers from the James Bond Skyfall Collection. I have quite a few thoughts about this polish, so I hope you'll bear with me for a bit.

Full sunlight

Full sunlight

Full sunlight - out of focus to show that amazing holo

So, I said I had a few things to say about this polish. To make this less painful for you guys I'm going to break it up into dot points.
  • First of all I want to say something positive, so I'll talk about the polish itself. It's beautiful. I'm not usually a fan of deep plum/maroon colours, but this one commands my attention. I think what sets this apart from similar colours for me is the fine holo glitter scattered through it. This is one that I'll be wearing even without using the magnets. It's even a one coater!
  • Unfortunately, the next thing I have to say isn't so positive.  As you can see in my photos, the pattern left by the magnet isn't very obvious. Yes, there are definite light and dark patches, but they just look like random blotches. The instructions that come with the set say to leave your nail under the magnet for 5-6 seconds. I left mine for aboout 7-8 but I would suggest for anyone else trying this to leave it for about 20. I'll be giving this another go sometime soon, I'm determined to make it work!

  • I have to give credit to OPI, they really put alot of thought into the design of the magnet. Unlike some other magnets that I've seen where you need to pick the magnet up to use it (hello smudged nails!) the OPI one just sits on the desk, no need to pick it up. You simply place your nail under the magnet and use your other hand to gently press the top section down until it rests on your cuticle. Here's a photo:

  • My only other gripe is that the polish streaked a bit when I applied my top coat. The sections of the polish that are lighter after using the magnet are frostier than the darker sections, and I ended up with frostiness streaked over my whole nail. This time I used my 'Out The Door' topcoat (which I don't usually have problems with), but I might try something else next time.

So all in all, I really do love this polish and I'm so glad that my boyfriend got it for me, I just wish that OPI had been a bit more realistic when writing their instructions for use, as 5-6 seconds of magnet exposure clearly isn't enough. But like I said, I'll be giving this another go sometime soon, and I'll try leaving the magnet on for about 20 seconds. I've seen other bloggers have success with this polish, so it's clearly just something I've done. This was my first time using a magnetic polish, maybe it just takes some practice :)

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas Obsession

MERRY CHRISTMAS! I must admit that some Christmases (is that a word?) I feel rather Grinchy. Not this year! I think this is partly due to the Aussie Nails group keeping my spirits up with talk of Christmas manis (thanks girls), and partly due to the fact that work wasn't anywhere near as busy this year as it has been in the past (thank YOU online shopping!). For anyone who works in retail, you'll know that Christmas time can easily become hellish.

Anyway, on to my special Christmas Day mani. Those of you who entered my giveaway earlier in the month will recognise this polish.

Full sunlight

Full sunlight

Full sunlight

Bottle shot

This is 'Christmas Obsession', a custom polish that I had Angela from Gloss 'n Sparkle make for me. I love it! I provided Angela with a big pile of word vomit trying to tell her what I wanted, and she managed to decipher it and delivered exactly what I imagined it would look like. She's a genius! 'Christmas Obsession' has fine gold glitter, small silver hexes, larger red and green hexes of varying sizes, and holo silver stars. Here I've layered 'Christmas Obsession' over Essie's 'Blanc'.

Speaking of the Aussie Nails group, we had a Secret Santa. The lovely Teneil from Shades of Phoenix was my Santa, and I LOVE what she gifted me with. The polishes from left to right are: 'Strawberry Smoothie', 'Pom Pom', 'Glitter All The Way', 'Techno', and 'Hello Gorgeous!' (plus a bunch of other fun goodies).

Also a special mention to my wonderful boyfriend who did an excellent (if not somewhat fluked) job of picking my present. 'Morning, Money Penny' and 'Swimsuit...Nailed It!'. I'm so proud of his taste in polish. I even got a massage voucher! This definitely beats last year's present of cake mix.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. Don't worry about the diets, they can recommence on the 26th!

P.S. This was also the last challenge for the Aussie Christmas Nail Challenge. The theme was 'your choice', so this was my choice ;)

Friday, 21 December 2012

Aussie Christmas Nail Challenge: Gold

Let me just start by saying I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THIS MANI! I can't stop staring at it. When I saw that 'Gold' was one of the themes for this challenge I knew immediately what I would be doing.

Lamp light (most colour-accurate)

Full sunlight


Bottle shot to show you that amazing gold shimmer (please excuse the lamp reflection)

I previously did this mani using silver leaf and Rainbow Honey's 'Kawako' (see here). This time I've used gold leaf and OPI's 'The Spy Who Loved Me'. Really all I can saw is WOW. I've tried my best to capture this on camera but clearly a photo can't do this justice (hence the multitude of photos, sorry!). 'The Spy Who Loved Me' has an absolutely stunning gold shimmer in it which perfectly matches the gold leaf. When I first tried this colour on my swatch sticks I was disappointed, it appeared to be very sheer and I even toyed with the idea of layering it over something because I hate VNL. However, this is 2 coats and it's completely opaque. I'M IN LOVE! I don't normally rave about 'mainstream' (i.e. not indie) polishes, but if you're a person who loves red make sure you get your hands on this one.

I bought my gold leaf on ebay for about $5 for 25 sheets. The brand is Mont Marte and it's also available in silver and copper. To break it up I put a small amount of it in a container and used 2 toothpicks to pull it apart. MAKE SURE YOU TURN THE FAN OFF AND CLOSE THE WINDOWS OR IT WILL FLY ALL OVER THE ROOM. I didn't break my pieces down as much as I did when I did this previously with the silver leaf, as I wanted a more dramatic effect this time.

Sorry for all the yelling in this post, I felt it was necessary in order to show my love for this mani. In the lead up to Christmas I've been dragging myself through 11 hour shifts at work, so I'm not sure if I'll have the strength to do another post before Christmas, but I'll try and squeeze one in!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Aussie Christmas Nail Challenge: Candy Cane

To be completely honest, I was dreading this challenge. I knew that there were going to be stripes involved, and they've never been a strong point of mine because I'm a perfectionist. Anyway, this is what I came up with for 'Candy Cane':

Full sunlight

Full sunlight

I've used China Glaze's 'Ruby Pumps' and Essie's 'Blanc'. Great minds must think alike, as Elissa from Lissa's Polish Addiction chose to use 'Ruby Pumps' in her Candy Cane design too. I'm going to admit that I'm not entirely happy with this, the lines aren't clean and on my right hand (the one not photographed) 'Ruby Pumps' smudged all over 'Blanc' when I applied my top coat. Sigh. Anyway here's a tutorial for you.

Step 1: Apply your protective base coat and then apply your red polish.

Step 2: Once your red polish is dry, use tape to mask off the sections that you want to remain red (I suggest cutting your tape to size before you start painting your nails!). Make sure you press the tape down firmly so that the white polish won't leak underneath. I've used 2 widths of tape, generic striping tape that can be found on ebay (search 'striping tape'), and painter's tape which I've cut to size. I choose to use painter's tape as I find it doesn't rip up the polish underneath when I take it off. I bought mine from Bunnings, but any hardware store should stock it.

Step 3: Once you've applied your tape, take your white polish and paint your whole nail.

Step 4: 10 to 20 seconds after you've painted your nail white, gently remove the tape. I found I got the best result when peeling the tape from the end at the tip of the nail towards the end at the base.

Step 5: Use a small brush and your polish to carefully fix any imperfections. Apply your clear top coat and you're finished!

So there you go, very straight forward but placing the tape on your nails can require patience, especially when trying to apply it with your non-dominant hand. I got my boyfriend to help me so a big thank you to him. I'll be back on the 21st for the 'Gold' challenge.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Let It Snow!

I've abandoned the Aussie Christmas Nail Challenge for today to do some non-challenge related Christmas nails. This is a design that I saw on Instagram, and the designer Brie was nice enough to let me recreate it and do a tutorial for you. Brie's designs are consistently awesome, I strongly suggest you check her out on Instagram (@Strawbrie).

Full sunlight

Full sunlight

Full sunlight

Ok. Tutorial time! This one is simple yet effective, with only 4 steps :)

Step 1: Apply your protective base coat and then apply a nude polish. I've used OPI's 'Barre My Soul'.

Step 2: Using a sponge (I've used an eyeshadow applicator this time) dab some white polish on to your tips to create the look of snow. I've used Essie's 'Blanc'.

Step 3: Find a glitter polish that resembles falling snow, so something with white glitters in it. I've used OPI's 'Pirouette My Whistle' which has matte white glitters as well as fine silver glitters. Do a coat on each nail.

Step 4: Apply your clear top coat. While the top coat is still wet on your ring fingers, use a dotting tool dipped in clear polish to pick up and place 3 red round rhinestones and 2 green teardrop rhinestones on the nail to form holly. Do a second layer of top coat on these nails to secure the rhinestones in place.

And you're done! Once again, I really recommend you go check out Brie's Instagram, this design looks so much better on her lovely long nails than my slow growing nubbins. And just in case you missed it, I joined Instagram about a month ago so you can now follow me too (@Anthea_NailedObsession).

Friday, 14 December 2012

Aussie Christmas Nail Challenge: Christmas Tree

It's the 15th, only 10 days til Christmas guys! Today's theme for the Aussie Christmas Nail Challenge is 'Christmas Tree'.

Lamp light

Lamp light

Unfortunately it was a dreary rainy day when I did these so both photos were taken under a lamp. The light is a bit harsh on my skin, but the polish looks the right colour!

These nails are very easy to do, and I'm so sorry because I was planning to do a tutorial and then forgot to take photos half way through! But I'll give you a step by step guide anyway.

Step 1: Apply your protective base coat and then paint all your nails green, except your ring fingers which will be painted silver/white. I've used Revlon's 'Emerald City' and OPI's 'Happy Anniversary!'.

Step 2: Once the silver/white polish on your ring finger is dry, use some tape to mask off both sides of the nail, leaving only a triangle visible (I use painter's tape because it's not as tacky).

Step 3: Paint the visible triangle with your green polish, and 10-20 seconds later gently remove the tape. You should be left with a green triangle on a silver/white background.

Step 4: Use a gold glitter polish and paint a coat over all the green surfaces to create the appearance of twinkling lights. I've used Essie's 'Golden Nuggets'.

Step 5: Taking a red polish and a dotting tool, dot some lines diagonally across the green surfaces to form tinsel. I've use OPI's 'Wocka Wocka!'.

Step 6: Apply your clear top coat. While it's still wet, use a dotting tool dipped in clear polish to place a gold glitter star at the top of your Christmas trees. Do a second layer of top coat on these nails to secure the star in place.

Ta-da! Simple Christmas tree nails. What do you think? I must say, as much as I'm loving having themed nails I'm itching to wear something pretty and pink. The 26th can't come soon enough! ;)

Holly Jolly Holiday

I've been tagged by Elissa at Lissa's Polish Addiction to partake in a new Christmas tag questionnaire. The idea was inspired by some youtubers that Elissa has been following. I love questionnaires for some bizarre reason, so I'm more than willing to get in to the Christmas spirit and give this a go!

1. Do you start your Christmas Shopping on Black Friday or wait until the last minute?
We don't have Black Friday sales in Australia, so I can't really say that I start my Christmas shopping then. (On a side note, why is it called Black Friday?). Christmas tends to have a habit of sneaking up on me, so I usually leave my shopping until about a week before Christmas (although I'm on top of it this year for once!). Apparently working in retail for years has taught me nothing of the values of doing my Christmas shopping in advance lol.

2. If you could be in any Christmas move what would it be?
Oh boy...maybe How The Grinch Stole Christmas? I'd love to have an awesome hairstyle like Cindy!

3. Which do you like better? Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
When I was little, I used to love Christmas Eve just as much as I loved Christmas Day. There was something about the suspense on Christmas Eve that was special. These days Christmas Eve isn't such a big deal, so I'm going to have to say Christmas Day, that's when all the action happens :)

4. When does your family put up your Christmas Tree and who decorates it?
These days it's just me and Dad living at home, and I'm not home half the time so the tree is lucky to even be put up. When we do put it up it's more for the sake of my 6 year old brother who stays over every second weekend. It's a little sad really since the Christmas tree used to be one of my favourite parts of Christmas, but we're both so busy it would probably stay up until July!

5. White lights or coloured lights?
Coloured. Definitely. Although white can have a clean, classic look. Hmmmm....

6. Are you guilty of peeking at your presents or do you like a surprise?
I don't peek, but I have a habit of guessing what my presents are, spoiling any surprises haha.

7. Would you rather live in a gingerbread house or in Santa's workshop?
Santa's workshop! Think of all the fun toys there, maybe he even has nail polish!

8. Tell us your favourite Christmas Eve traditions.
I don't have any. Is that bad? Working in retail I usually end up working Christmas Eve, so I don't get home until dinner time and then I just try and relax!

9. If you could be under the mistletoe with anyone, who would it be?
I'm going to have to say my boyfriend. Might get in trouble for suggesting famous movie stars haha.

10. What tops your tree?
Urrrr...well when the tree goes up I think it's a star? When we were little we used to have an angel that Mum made that went on top of the tree. I used to love that angel.

11. Can you name the 12 days of Christmas?
.......dum dum dum dum......dum dum dum dum...
Four calling birds
Three french hens
Two turtle doves
And a partridge in a pear tree!

5 out of's not that bad right? Haha. Oh wait. I just googled it...turns out they're 'colly birds', not 'calling birds'. Fail. What the hell is a 'colly bird'?

12. Have you ever gone Christmas carolling?
I can't say I have. This questionnaire is making me sound extra Grinchy...

13. Do you count down to Christmas? If so, how many days are left?
As a kid I used to count down, mainly because I had one of those chocolate advent calendars every year haha. These days I tend to count down just the last week or so.

14. What are some foods and treats you can count on having every holiday season?
Plum pudding and brandy custard. Although I hate plum pudding so I usually just have a bowl of custard haha.

15. How has Christmas kept it's magic for you as you've grown older?
It's hard to stay a happy person over Christmas when you work in retail. Admittedly, it's the presents that keep me going *cringes*. That and the spectacular feast my Aunty and Uncle supply on Christmas day! This year the Aussie Nails Secret Santa has kept my spirit in check ;) Although I've vowed not to open my present until Christmas Eve!

Finally, the bloggers I tag are:
Tammy from Jibber Jabber
Jas from Jas's Blingtastic Nail Blog
Katie from Pretty Polish Please
Chantelle at A Polished Prance
Emma from Nails In The Desert

Let's keep the Christmas spirit going!


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Aussie Christmas Nail Challenge: BBQ

Today's theme for the Aussie Christmas Nail Challenge is BBQ. I had no idea what to do with this one, so I started thinking of the different foods eaten at a BBQ and settled on Pavlova.

Lamp light

I wish that I had made this so that I could eat it, but sadly this photo came from this source.

For anyone who isn't familiar with what a pavlova is, it's a dessert that originated in Australia or New Zealand (there's a heated debate over this apparently). But who cares where it came from, it tastes delightful! A pavlova is a meringue based cake with fruit and cream topping. On my nails I've used Essie's 'Blanc' as a base and used strawberry, kiwi fruit, passion fruit, grape, and orange fimo slices. I don't think oranges and grapes are too common as a topping, but I've had pavlovas with both. Strawberries, kiwi fruit, passion fruit, and blueberries seem to be the most common toppings.

So that was my bit of silly fun for the week. I'm suddenly starving so I'm off to raid the fridge...