Wednesday, 30 January 2013

1Q32 Instant Gellish

Hey guys, sorry if this post gets a little word heavy! I was approached by 1Q32 Instant Gellish recently to do a review of their gel polishes. I've been wanting to try gels for awhile, so this was just the push that I needed! Before I start this review, I just want to point out that this is the first time that I've tried gels, so I have nothing to compare this product to in terms of performance. However I can give my opinions as a first-time user, which I'm sure will be useful to others who are thinking of trying gels for the first time.

To give you a bit of background info, 1Q32 (one-Q-thirty-two or ichi-kyu-san-ni) are a Japanese company specialising in gel polish. The company name is a word-play on the Japanese pronunciation of the year 1932 (ichi-kyu-san-ni), the year that the first air dry nail polish was born. 1Q32 claim to be different from other gels because they don't require basegel or topgel (hooray for saving time!), and leave no sticky residue after curing. Once again, I can't compare this to other products on the market, but I will give my thoughts on these characteristics.

As there is no base or top gel required, you will only need 2 items to complete these gel nails, the coloured gel polish, and a UV or LED lamp (both types work with the 1Q32 polishes). The product I was sent for review was the BabyQ polish in colour QB51 which is a bright neon pink. I love pink, but wow this colour was so bright it was almost blinding! Better grab your sunglasses girls! I bought my LED lamp on ebay for about $10. It only does one finger at a time but since I wasn't sure if I was going to like doing gels I figured this was a good one to start out with.

LED lamp and 1Q32 Instant Gellish in QB51.

To start off, push back your cuticles and give your nails a swipe with nail polish remover to remove any dust and oils. Once you've prepped your nails, apply a thin first coat of 1Q32 colour onto your nail, being careful to avoid the skin. If you do get some on your skin remove it before curing the polish under the lamp. The bottle indicates to place your nails under the lamp for 20-30 seconds for an LED lamp, and 60-120 seconds for a UV lamp. I used an LED lamp, but mine had a very low wattage of 0.5 watts so I found I had to leave my nail under for about 40 seconds. I found that the colour had set after 30 seconds, but I had to leave it for 40 before the sticky residue disappeared.

Nail under the LED lamp for 40 seconds.

As you can see in my photo below, after one coat there is still obvious VNL and shrinkage at the tip. This is to be expected though as the first coat should be a thin one.

One coat of 1Q32.

Apply a second coat of 1Q32 and repeat the curing steps under the lamp. Although it's not terribly obvious in my photo below, after two coats there was still a definite VNL (and those of you who know me will know that I can't stand VNL).

Two coats of 1Q32.

Since there was still VNL, I decided to add a third coat of 1Q32 to my index and pinkie fingers. I wouldn't really suggest doing a third coat, as it starts to look a little thick which is never a good look. On my two middle fingers I added Emily de Molly's 'Violet Days' over the two coats of 1Q32 that I had cured in the previous steps. If you're going to use glitter polish I would recommend topping it with 1Q32's optional topgel.

Three coats of 1Q32 on index and pinkie fingers.

Overall I think this a good product, however if I was going to buy any more colours I would want to know that they were opaque in 2 coats as I hate VNL with a passion. As the product promised, there was no sticky residue after I cured it for long enough, and there was no need for base or top gel as it didn't stain my nails and it was super shiny on it's own. Application was very smooth despite the polish's thick appearance and I found the brush very managable. I'm not sure if I'm a lover of gels just yet, since I change my nail colour frequently I don't think I would really benefit from the long-lasting characteristics that gels possess, however if I was going to give gels a proper go I would definitely consider buying more 1Q32 polishes.

To purchase or read more about 1Q32 Gellish polish jump over to their website. Alternatively, you can check out more reviews/photos/videos on their facebook page. They currently have a promotion running as well which might be worth checking out if you've been considering setting yourself up with a lamp.

Disclosure note: The product/s in this post were provided for review. This did not affect my opinion of the product/s.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Slowly Growing Deaf

Eeeek! My nails are so short! Stubby little nubbins! For those of you who missed it in my last post, we had a black out recently and of course I went and smashed a nail on something in the dark. Let's hope they grow quickly!

Today I have another polish from Gloss 'n Sparkle's Discord Collection to show you. Little nails call for little glitters, so this is 'Slowly Growing Deaf'.

Lamp light

Lamp light

'Slowly Growing Deaf' has a baby blue creme base packed with tiny red and silver glitters (although the silver glitters tend to appear more white in the creme base). In the above photos I've done 2 coats with no undies. Despite being packed with glitter, application is nice and smooth and there's no glitter placement required.

Bottle shot

The Discord Collection along with other Gloss 'n Sparkle polishes are available from the etsy store for those living in Australia. Angela is currently having a sale (until 5pm AEST today - RUN!), use the code MOVING at checkout for 20% off. After this time the store will be closed for a few weeks while Angela moves house. For those of you who live internationally Shoppe Eclecticco will be stocking the collection shortly.

Monday, 28 January 2013

King Of Carat Flowers

Hey guys, I've been posting almost daily lately haven't I? I clearly have too much free time on my hands with all this rain :p Unfortunately the rain is forecast to stick around until Thursday, so you might just have to put up with my lamp light photos until then. I also need to explain why my nails and cuticles look so haggard (and broken) in today's photos. Just as I was about to take photos yesterday the power went out and we only just got it back (22 hours later). Living in the dark just isn't nail-friendly! So I apologise, and sadly I'll be sporting shorter nails in my next post :(

Today I'm going to show you my first HARE polish *jiggles excitedly*. I bought 3 HARE polishes before Christmas, but due to all the Christmas challenges I never got around to wearing them and then I kept buying more new polish and these ones somehow got lost in my untrieds. Anyway I'm sure I'll get to the other 2 that I bought eventually, but first up I have 'King of Carat Flowers' to show you.

Lamp light

Lamp light

This is one coat of 'King of Carat Flowers' layered over Zoya's 'Dove'. 'King of Carat Flowers' is part of the 2012 Finder's Keepers collection, and has a light grey base with a mixture of gold and lilac glitter in both squares and hexes. I'm a sucker for anything lilac these days. There's also iridescent blue glitter scattered throughout and delicate gold flecks. This is one very pretty polish, and it's perfect if you're after something soft and subdued but still sparkly.

Bottle shot

As far as I'm aware, Shoppe Eclecticco and Llarowe are currently the only HARE stockists (and both are low in stock as HARE is one of those brands that you need to pounce on whenever there's a restock), but if you know of another stockist please leave a comment below because I'll definitely be buying more of these babies soon! To keep up to date with restocks and new collections jump over to the HARE polish facebook page.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Australia Day

It's Australia Day! Today marks 225 years since the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove, New South Wales, and the proclamation of British sovereignty over the eastern seaboard of Australia (history lesson over). Put simply, a bunch of British convicts arrived and called this place home :p

Normally Australia Day celebrations would involve the beach, barbeques, fireworks and beer (eww), but thanks to Cyclone Oswald (what a stupid name) where I live in Brisbane is currently being battered by a torrential downpour. Celebration dampener? I think so.

I've done a very simple Australia Day mani due to lack of time (and yes I got impatient and streaked my stamping a tiny bit). My mani was inspired by the Australian flag, but I didn't want to just paint the boring Union Jack and Southern Cross (not that I have anything against the Australian flag, I just don't find flags very stimulating haha). So here's my take on the flag:

Lamp light

All the polishes I used in this mani are China Glaze. The red polish is 'Ruby Deer' followed by a coat of 'Ruby Pumps', and the blue is 'Man Hunt' followed by 'Dorothy Who?'. I then stamped over my tips using Konad plate Q1.

ALSO! I have some very exciting news. Today a bunch of Aussie nail addicts (myself included) launched a blog attempting to create a resource on everything nail related. As far as we know, nothing of this scale has been attempted before. To check it out jump over to Lacquerheads of Oz, or check out the facebook page.

Friday, 25 January 2013


Today I have a polish to show you from another new Aussie indie label. This is 'Tartarus' by Shades of Phoenix. Teneil from Shades of Phoenix released her first collection named 'Olympus' last week, and it's already proving to be popular with bloggers.

***I have to apologise for the photos in this post, it's been pouring rain outside for a few days now so I've had to rely on my desk lamp for photos. Sadly my camera just doesn't cope as well with the lamp light as it does with natural sunlight :(

The 'Olympus' collection is inspired by Greek mythology, and Teneil lists the inspiration behind 'Tartarus' as follows:

Tartarus (the Abyss) - It is a deep, gloomy place, a pit, or an abyss used as a dungeon of torment and suffering that resides beneath the underworld. In the Gorgias, Plato (c. 400 BC) wrote that souls were judged after death and those who received punishment were sent to Tartarus.

After that explanation it just didn't seem right to layer 'Tartarus' over a bright happy colour, so I've layered it over Zoya's 'Dove' followed by OPI's 'Happy Anniversary!'.

'Tartarus' has a clear base and is PACKED with black, pink, purple, blue and silver glitters. When I say packed, I mean packed. I have to admit that for me personally I didn't love the formula of this one. I've heard of glitter bombs but I felt that the glitter:liquid ratio of this one wasn't quite right. If you like to dab your glitter you probably won't have any problem with this polish, but when I apply glitter polishes I tend to put a blob on my nail and then sort of push it around and there just wasn't enough liquid to do that, the glitter just sort of clumped. But like I said, that's personal preference, and my method of glitter polish application may be different to others. All that being said though, once I worked out that I had to dab the end effect was really worth the effort, it's a really interesting combination of glitters!

I have another Shades of Phoenix polish that I'll review shortly, but in the mean time you can check out the facebook page where Teneil has been posting reviews as they appear. Unfortunately Shades of Phoenix isn't currently available internationally due to strict shipping laws, but those of you in Australia can buy Shades of Phoenix polishes from the etsy store (I believe the sold out shades will be restocked in the next couple of days). 'Tartarus' is a limited edition launch shade so you'd better grab it fast!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Sweet Charity

Hey kids! Today I have one of the polishes from Gloss 'n Sparkle's first real collection to show you. Sure Angela from Gloss 'n Sparkle has released plenty of awesome polishes in the past, but never as a full collection.

Overcast lighting

Overcast lighting

Lamp light

This is 'Sweet Charity' from the Discord Collection. This collection of 9 polishes is inspired and named after the songs of Mr Bungle. Now I have to admit that until a couple of weeks back I had no idea who (or what) a Mr Bungle was. I think I'm just too young to remember as my research shows me that they were a band formed in 1985 (and I was born in '88). All things aside, I might not know the musical stylings of Mr Bungle, but I sure do like nail polish so that's enough for me!

The Discord Collection polishes are all about clashing colours, and 'Sweet Charity' is no exception. I have to hand it to Angela for pulling this off, anyone who has done some sort of design work will know how hard it is to make things that clash work together. 'Sweet Charity' has a peachy orange base that appears darker in some lighting, and is packed with small fuchsia and turquoise glitters. In my photos above I've done one (yes, ONE) coat of 'Sweet Charity'. I was shocked. I have so few one-coaters in my collection I never expected that this would be one of them.

I'll admit that I was slightly apprehensive about this one at first, I loved the colours but wasn't sure whether this particular shade of orange would work on me. I'm still not too sure, so I'll let you guys be the judge of whether it works for me or not.

Bottle shot (the glitters shine a lot more when the sun isn't hidden by clouds!)

The Discord Collection along with other Gloss 'n Sparkle polishes are available from the etsy store for those living in Australia. For those of you who live internationally Shoppe Eclecticco will be stocking the collection shortly. Don't forget to use the code NO2PC at Shoppe Eclecticco checkout for a discount on every order.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

OMG Nail Strips

I was recently approached by OMG Nail Strips to review their products, so of course I said yes. OMG Nail Strips' goal is to bring the latest styles and trends in nail art and turn them into an easy to apply nail strip. At the moment I find their design range somewhat limited as I'm not a massive fan of animal print, but if the company grows as much as they claim to be then they could have a rather extensive range of designs in the future.

At the moment they offer 2 different types of strips, polish strips and foil strips, and I have one of each to show you. To put a twist on this review, I'll sum up the pros and cons of each and put the 2 up against each other in a nail strip battle. Both strip types apply like most other strips that I've used. Simply clean the nail, place the strip on, fold the excess under the free edge of the nail, file off the excess, and secure with a clear top coat. The packaging comes with instructions on the back, and while the English on them isn't great it's easy enough to understand.

L - R: Nail foil strips and nail polish strips


The nail foil strips that I received were the Butterfly design (code OMG7001). The pattern on these ones is very pretty and girly, and the print doesn't look as spotty to the naked eye as my camera makes out. My only dislike about this design is the size of the butterflies. It would be nice if they were smaller so that you could fit more onto your nail.

Nail Foil Strip PROS:
  • More designs. OMG foil strips currently have a slightly more extensive range of designs than the polish strips.
  • Easy removal. Simply apply nail polish remover and then peel them off once they have loosened.
  • 16 strips in the pack to allow for different nail sizes (or mistakes!).
Nail Foil Strip CONS:
  • Don't mold to the nail as well as the polish strips (see the slight bubbling at the side of my nails). This is possibly because they are slightly thicker than the polish strips.
  • Curl slightly once you remove the backing paper making them a little harder to apply than if they didn't curl.
  • Because of the thickness of the strip the filed edge was a bit rough.
  • Too wide and poorly shaped curve at cuticle edge. This is possibly because I have small nails that I had this problem, but I had to trim all of them down to size except the thumb which was somewhat time consuming.


When I was offered the chance to review these strips I was asked which designs I wanted. I nominated the cloud design (code OMGB1003) but somehow ended up with this lip design (code OMGB2001). For me personally, the lip design is a bit tacky, so I cut them into strips and applied them on top of black polish (OPI's 'Black Onyx') to soften the look a little. I can confirm that these strips apply just as well on top of polish as they do on your bare nail.

Nail Polish Strip PROS:
  • Much more manageable than the nail foil strips. There was no curling once the backing paper was removed and they molded well to the nail.
  • Thinner than the foil strips, and the filed edges weren't jagged or rough.
  • 14 strips in the pack to allow for different nail sizes.
  • Shape of the curve at the cuticle edge suited my nail shape better than the nail foil strips. I liked that the ones designed for the thumbs were more squared at the corners than the ones designed for fingers.
Nail Polish Strip CONS:
  • Too wide. Similar to the nail foil strips, these were too wide for me and I had to trim some off the sides.
  • Easy removal, however slightly messier than the nail foil strips. The polish strips tended to disintegrate rather than come away in one piece.

The final verdict?
While both types of strips are wearable if you have a bit of patience, if I was ordering these again I would definitely go with the nail polish strips over the foil strips. While the foil strips currently offer a larger range of designs the nail polish strips were much more manageable.

You can buy OMG Nail Strips from their website for $4.29 each (with free worldwide shipping), which is very affordable when you compare them with other brands such as Nail Rock or OPI. You can also visit them on their facebook page.

Disclosure note: The product/s in this post were provided for review. This did not affect my opinion of the product/s.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Morning, Moneypenny: Update

Hey guys, sorry it's been nearly a week since my last post, I was super busy and then just as I stopped being busy I came down with a cold (trust me, it takes a special person to catch a cold in the middle of Summer). I'll have a better post than this up as soon as I'm feeling a bit better. But in the meantime, I want to show you an update of OPI's 'Morning, Moneypenny'.

Lamp light

Some of you might remember that when I originally tried using 'Morning, Moneypenny' (post here) I had some difficulties getting the pattern to show up using the OPI magnet. This time I've used the China Glaze magnet. I found that the chevron design still didn't really work for me, but the stripes worked well and the star (on my middle finger) *sort of* worked. I found that it was more pronounced before I applied my top coat.

Here's some trouble shooting tips that I've put together for anyone who's having trouble using the magnetic polishes:
  • Apply a thin first coat, and a thick second coat.
  • No matter how long the magnet packaging tells you you should apply the magnet for, always do it for at least 20 seconds.

Ummm so I guess I only had 2 tips. But both of them worked for me so hopefully they'll help some of you out too! If anyone has any other tips feel free to leave them in the comments section below :)

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Into The Land Of The Unicorns

You'll notice that today there is not a single indie polish or slither of glitter in sight. Pretty unusual of late huh? But I'm really excited about this mani! One of the polishes I've used is Models Own 'Indian Ocean', and I actually received this polish through a random act of kindness (well I thought it was random when it showed up on my doorstep anyway). The lovely Natalia from Cats-n-Nails knew that I was lemming this polish, and even though my birthday isn't until next month she sent me an early birthday present. How sweet is she? Go check out her blog if you haven't already :)

*Photo spam ahead*

Partial sunlight

Full sunlight


Full sunlight

Full sunlight

This is one coat of 'Indian Ocean' layered over China Glaze's 'Secret Peri-wink-le'. I've then stamped over the top using Nailz Craze plate NC02 (available here) and Essie's 'No Place Like Chrome'. A tip for those of you who like stamping, the polishes from both Essie's 'Mirror Metallics' collection and China Glaze's 'Romantique' collection make great stamping polishes.

I absolutely love 'Indian Ocean', and I have to thank Natalia once again for gifting it! 'Indian Ocean' has a light blue base with a pink duochrome shimmer. It has a really magical effect. This one requires 4 coats for opacity, so I recommend using it as a layering polish, which I suspect is what it was designed for anyway.

So what do you guys think? Are you a fan of duochromes? Personally I love them, but I only own about 3. I'm starting to see an obvious gap in my collection which needs filling ASAP!

Saturday, 12 January 2013


Children of the 90's, I have a childhood flashback for you! Today I have a tape mani for you using 'Reptar' by Alanna Renee layered over China Glaze's 'Sweet Hook'.

Full sunlight


Full sunlight

For those of you whose memories need a bit of a jolt (or for those of you who weren't children of the 90's), Reptar was a toy dinosaur on the Nickelodeon show 'Rugrats'.

Meet Reptar

It's easy to see the resemblance between the character and the nail polish. 'Reptar' has orange and lavender hex glitter along with smaller black, white and neon green glitters in a lime green base. This one dries a little gritty, but it really suits the polish (who knew that a gritty polish could look good?). If you want to smooth it out though all it takes is 2 applications of top coat.

Bottle shot

Alanna Renee is a new Aussie indie label, and already I can tell that her polishes are going to be consistently well executed.  She's one to watch out for. Unfortunately due to strict shipping laws her polishes are only available in Australia at the moment, but I believe she's working on an international solution. Those of you in Australia can buy Alanna Renee polishes on her website here, and she'll be restocking sold out shades in 2-3 weeks time.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Split Personality

Sometimes I think I have a split personality. One version of me is great at painting nails, the other is not so great. Unfortunately, last night the clumsy me was doing all the work. You'll have to excuse the lumpy polish (that's my fault, because both polishes I've used have great application), my wonky clean up job, and tipwear. It just wasn't happening for me when I did this design and I kept knocking my wet nails on everything around me.

Full sunlight

Full sunlight

Coincidentally, I've used 'Split Personality' by Emily de Molly. I'm having a hard time trying to describe this polish. It's almost a duochrome? But not quite? It's a beautiful royal purple/blue (blurple?) colour that flashes gold/bronze in the light. Bronze flakies make this polish extra special. The gold I've used here is OPI's 'GoldenEye'. I've put together a quick tutorial for you on how to create this simple tape mani.

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

Step 2: Once your gold has dried, take some striping tape (available from ebay or Born Pretty Store) and using tweezers place two strips on each nail. I suggest pre-cutting these to make it easier. Press them down well so that your purple polish won't leak underneath.

Step 3: Apply your purple polish. It's best if your polish is a one-coater, a two-coater at most. This is so that you don't get massive ridges once you pull the tape off.

Step 4: About 10 seconds after applying your final coat of purple polish, use tweezers to gently remove the tape.

Step 5: Apply your clear top coat and you're finished. If you've had to use a purple polish that's a two-coater you will probably have ridges where the tape was as you can see in my previous photo. Your top coat will help smooth these out a little.

So there you have it, easy! An alternative to using the striping tape as a mask is to use the striping tape as part of the actual design. Start by painting your nails purple and then place gold tape on top and cut the excess off with cuticle nippers. However, be warned that using striping tape as part of your design is not long lasting, it will start to peel after a day or two.

Emily de Molly polishes are available directly from the etsy store for those of you in Australia, and they're available internationally from Shoppe Eclecticco. Remember to use the code NO2PC at Shoppe Eclecticco checkout for a discount on every order. If ordering striping tape from Born Pretty Store use the code MLE10W21 for 10% off.

Saturday, 5 January 2013


Hey guys, I know I always carry on about indie polishes that I'm enthralled with...but WOW this one I'm showing you today is a stunner! I'm just going to go ahead and show you photos right now, not that my photos do this polish justice AT ALL.

Partial sunlight

Partial sunlight

Full sunlight

Partial sunlight - awkward thumb shot (sorry!)

This is 'XX' (twenty) by Cirque. This was my first order from Cirque (which I had been putting off for far too long), and I can safely say that it won't be my last. Everything was beautifully packaged, I love it when a seller takes the time to do a little something extra like use tissue paper, or add a promotional postcard. It really makes my day (maybe I'm strange).

Moving on. As I said, 'XX' is an absolute stunner and I knew the second I opened my package that it would be the first one that I used. 'XX' is from the Objet d'Art collection, and is a rainbow glitter polish made with over 20 different types of holographic glitters in a clear base. It's so pretty! *swoons* I really wish my photos had done it justice. I probably didn't pick the best base for it. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to use black as a base (the obvious, safe option), or layer it over a colour. So I decided to be arty farty and did black on my pointer and pinkie, purple on my thumb, and half/half on my middle and ring fingers. The black is OPI's 'Black Onyx' and the purple is China Glaze's 'Sweet Hook'. I really wish I'd just chosen one colour and stuck with it! There's so much going on with this glitter that the half and half nails look a bit of a mess. But what's done is done and I'll know better for next time.

'XX' bottle shot

One last thing I want to mention, Cirque polishes are lightly scented, and I love it! Each polish has lavender and sage oils added, and it's such a relaxing smell that it made painting my nails even more enjoyable than usual. However, I know that some people are allergic to lavender, and it makes me sad that you won't be able to try Cirque polishes :(

Cirque polishes are available directly from the website and they ship internationally, but alternatively you can buy them from Mei Mei's Signatures (Singapore) and Pshiiit Boutique (France).

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Lacy Snowcap

After doing a month's worth of Christmas nails I desperately wanted to do something pretty and girly, but I had no idea what to do. Should I attack one of my many untried indies? Do some nail art? I was torn, so figured why not do both?

Full sunlight

Full sunlight

Full sunlight

Although it's not overly obvious in my photos, my first mani of 2013 didn't quite go according to plan (I'm talking to YOU fat pink nails!). Here I used China Glaze's 'Something Sweet' with Femme Fatale's 'Shimmering Snowcap' on top, and did some stamping over Essie's 'Bikini So Teeny' with plate QA36. Unfortunately, 'Something Sweet' wasn't being so sweet. It was very thick, but runny at the same time, and just completely unmanageable resulting in fat pink nails. Not ideal. The polish is so thick that it's actually hurting my fingers :(

'Shimmering Snowcap' on the other hand is amazing! It's packed with various shapes and sizes of white glitter in both matte and satin finishes. I can see hexes, squares, diamonds, and bar glitters. There's also iridescent squares which reflect a different colour depending what they're layered over. Over the pink they appear to be a pretty blue/purple colour. This is one that every polish lover needs to own, it's extremely versatile and will look good layered over just about any base colour. Even those who aren't fans of bar glitter shouldn't despair, these ones are very manageable :)

'Shimmering Snowcap' bottle shot

'Shimmering Snowcap' can be purchased directly from Femme Fatale Cosmetics for those of you living in Australia. For those of you outside of Australia 'Shimmering Snowcap' is available from Shoppe Eclecticco. The lovely Annette from Shoppe Eclecticco has even given me a code that you can use for a discount on all purchases made from the store. Enter the code NO2PC at checkout.