Friday, August 30, 2013

Optional Highlights: Why Can't We Choose The Face That Fits?

There's been a little flurry of discussion in the last week on the "makeup-free" and "natural beauty" movements in the last week - my blogging hero Autumn Whitefield-Madrano from The Beheld was over at HuffPost Live sharing some insightful thoughts on the matter, and my journalism hero Clementine Ford has been talking about the same issue over at Daily Life. I'm not really sure what's really blown it up on this particular occassion, but it's been an ongoing discussion in lots of feminist circles for a really, really long time now.

Makeup Free Mondays over on The Beauty Bean

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shades of Phoenix In A World Of My Own Collection - Part 2

Welcome back to the second part of my swatches posts for Shades of Phoenix's new Alice in Wonderland themed collection In A World Of My Own!

Before we get started on swatches, I wanted to reiterate all the nitty gritty buying details, and let you know about a great giveaway that's running over at Shades of Phoenix right now.

The In A World Of My Own Collection will be available for full set pre-order TONIGHT from 7PM at the Shades of Phoenix Etsy store - there are a very limited number of these sets available, and the purchase price includes free shipping, AND a free pair of handmade polish earrings. If you're looking to pick up individual bottles, they will be available from the Shades of Phoenix Etsy store from 7PM on September 3rd.

Shades of Phoenix are also running a birthday giveaway on their blog with THIRTEEN indie polishes up from grabs! Not only have Shades of Phoenix put up three polishes of their own, MckFresh, Sayuri Nail Lacquer, Loki's Lacquer, and newcomer Smudged Polish have also pitched in too, so I recommend you trundle on over and get your entries in for that.

ANYWAY, back to the pretty pictures! Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat is a clear based glitter topper filled with an explosion of teal and purple stars and aqua bars. Shades of Phoenix don't often do straight up glitter toppers, but this one is a lot of fun. It's inspired by the scene in the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland where the Dormouse recites a poem just before The Mad Hatter stuffs him in a teapot.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Shades of Phoenix In A World of My Own Collection - Part 1

The lovely Teneil of Autsralian indie polish label Shades of Phoenix was kind enough to give me some advance bottles of her new Alice In Wonderland themed collection, In A World Of My Own, to show you all. Teneil is a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland, and it really shows in this beautiful new collection.

Shades of Phoenix In A World Of My Own Collection

Isn't this a gorgeous lineup? They look so pretty all together I had to make the time to get a group shot of this delightful little rainbow. Each polish is inspired by particular characters or scenes, and I think Teneil has done an amazing job of translating these inspirations into polish form. Since there are seven polishes all up, and I have a great deal to say about the whole pop cultural influence of the original book in general, I'll be dividing this up into two parts.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Confessions of A Fat Girl

There is a book sitting somewhere in my lounge room right now - a friend kindly gave it to me because they remembered I'd been looking for it, and I took it home and promptly tried to forget I had it.

You see, it's a diet book.

The imprint from a wonderful badge made by the very talented Fancy Lady Industries
Yes, you read that right. I own a diet book. I was actively looking for a diet book. I have actually been expending time and effort researching different diets, and had decided the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet looked like it was worth a go. It's not really a DIET per se, I told myself. It's a healthy eating plan. It's not about losing weight, it's about feeling better and being healthier and maybe building my immune system up so I don't get every fucking cold going around. It's not about conforming to societal standards, I told myself. It's about helping my body work better. I mean, this diet is all scientific and shit! It's serious business, not like those trendy fad diets. It's a "smart person's" diet.

But still, the book remains in my loungeroom somewhere, untouched. You see, diet is a very complicated word for me. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Scaredy Cat Cosmetics Review - Subtlety is Overrated

On one of my trawls through Etsy for new and exciting indie cosmetics brands to show you, I came across American outfit Scaredy Cat Cosmetics. Compared to local creators like Femme Fatale Cosmetics and Eccentric Cosmetics, the range of colours available wasn't hugely inspiring - but I am a sucker for cute packaging, and thought it might be time to invest in some colours that aren't quite as...well, bold as the ones I already have.

I picked up a dark grey called Lir, a lighter grey called Nereid, and a lovely golden brown called Y So Sirius. The shipping for these three was around $10, which is kind of high, but relatively good for shipping from the US, especially considering how quickly it arrived.

I really love the little triangular bottles these came in - unfortunately after checking the shop it seems they've
discontinued these since I got my order. The new jars still have the same gorgeous illustrations though.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Antipodean Beauties - Glitter!

I've put my hand up to join a new makeup challenge blog hop, the brainchild of the lovely Omega from Fashion Adjacent. After my appallingly inadequate attempts to keep up with Aussie Nails Monday, I wondered if maybe this was such a good idea, but I'm really keen to stretch my boundaries with makeup as often as possible, and this seems like a good way.

I used to always wear the same makeup simply because it was all I knew how to do - but since I've started blogging and researching and really diving into this whole femme thing, I've gotten a lot more knowledge about how to make cosmetics work for me. But I still find myself wearing the same things the same way over and over, out of complacency. BORING. Enough of that, let's brush the dust off the stuff I keep in the "Maybe Later" drawer and get this challenge started!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Animation Celebration - Love Thy Polish review

Maybe it's just rose coloured nostalgia, but I really do feel that there was something special about the cartoons of the 80's. I have what some would consider an embarrassingly large collection of them at home - Duck Tales, Batman: The Animated Series, X-Men, Rainbow Brite, I've got them all. I can't even explain to you how excited I was to finally track down a cartoon I hadn't seen since I'd hit Primary School, with only the vague memory that it was some sort of Ulysses in space story with a really annoying robot and a character that looked like a pixie. (In case you're curious, the show in question was Ulysses 31) So needless to say when I saw Love Thy Polish was doing an Animation Celebration collection, I was ALL OVER IT.

Yes, alright, it took me a while to blog this. I'm a bad blogger.
Because unfortunately I can't afford to buy ALL the polish, I picked out the three I couldn't possibly pass up - East Australian Current (inspired by Finding Nemo), No Ordinary Teddy (inspired by Superted), and How Do You Spell F.B.I? (inspired by Toy Story)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Beginners Guide to Indie Polish Part 2

Last time I had good long ramble about the things I think you should know before you get into the woinderful, sparkly world of indie nail polish. Today I want to go through what to do when good polish turns out to be, in fact, bad.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Beginners Guide to Indie Nail Polish Part 1

If you're here and reading my blog, I'm going to go ahead and assume you're aware that there is such a thing as indie nail polish, if only because I refuse to shut up about them. I'm obviously hugely in favour of supporting the indie nail polish community - I love helping people make their own businesses a success, I love the creativity and geekery in a lot of indie polishes, and I love the sense of community that comes from getting into a hobby so many other people hold so dear. It's kind of staggering to realise the industry is only about two years old - Lynderella was the first indie brand to go public in July 2011, and Hare Polish followed soon after. But since then the number of creators has expanded exponentially - what used to be a microscopic little corner of the cosmetics market is getting more and more crowded, and a broader customer base can bring with it exponentially more drama. I've been seeing a lot of customers flying off the handle on various Facebook pages and forums over the most nonsensical of complaints, and it drives me nuts.

I think that there are a few things that newcomers to the "scene" need to know, and a few tips and tricks I find myself repeating over and over, that will help you get the most out of the world of indie polish.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Snow Day! Glittering Elements Glacier and Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen

Glittering Elements are yet another new Australian indie polish maker I've stumbled across, and despite not knowing they existed three weeks ago, I now currently have four of their polishes with three more on the way. Needless to say, I'm a fan.
Today I wanted to go with a sort of ice theme, and show you Glacier from Glittering Elements, as well as a retelling of The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson. For the short of attention span, I'll start with the pretty pictures!

Glacier is a remarkably sparkly clear based polish, that works best as a topcoat over another colour. Theoretically you could probably make it opaque with four coats or so, but I think you'd lose a lot of the twinkliness, and that's what I dig about it. These swatches are two thin coats over a navy base, out in the sunshine to catch all the sparkle.

Glittering Elements Glacier Swatch

Glittering Elements Glacier Swatch

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Manic Pixie Dream Girls: Not So Fun Actually

Just a note before we begin - it's been pointed out to me that not everyone inhales pop culture commentary like I do, and many of you haven't actually heard of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope before. It's an old stereotype, but the name is relatively recent, so if you want to read more about what I mean when I use it there are good introductions on both Wikipedia and TV Tropes.

The stereotype of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is one that annoys the fuck out of me. This single trope has completely ruined Before Sunrise, and countless other films like it for me. My boyfriend watches Before Sunrise, and all he sees is an incredibly romantic movie. I watch it, and all I can see is a magical girl who shows up with no history and no future, and helps the male protagonist realise what’s truly important to him in life over the course of a night, only to conveniently disappear the next day. And then I start ranting, and things go kind of red tinted, and then I wake up and my boyfriend is suggesting we never watch Before Sunrise again.
"Tell me your problems scruffy man, and I shall solve them in a sultry French accent!"
I’m sure it comes as no surprise then that  I was very interested to read Laurie Penny’s essay I Was A Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and enjoyed it thoroughly. She brilliantly summarises one of the things that bothers me about this stereotype the most; the prevailing assumption that all Manic Pixie Dream Girl’s only exist in order to help a poor, lost man discover something wonderful about life and love, without any goals or ambitions of their own. I absolutely agree with Penny that this trope encourages women to put their male partner’s dreams and ambitions before theirs, and I know that I’ve done this myself. To be honest though, it’s not what really gets under my skin and fires up my fury at this stereotype. I’ve never felt particularly compelled to be a hero, of anyone’s story. I like to help – it’s what I like to do, and what I do best, but I’m not a leader. There are women that could be leaders though, and SHOULD be leaders, that are being held back by this idea that quirky, interesting women only exist to make men more interesting, and I think THAT is fucking bullshit.