Wednesday, July 31, 2013

If You Go Down To The Woods Today - Pretty Serious Grimm Demise review

It's time for another Polish+ Post! Today I have the stunning teal glitter Grimm Demise from Pretty Serious to show you, and some neat Scandinavian fairytales to tell you, so grab a cup of tea and get comfy.

Pretty Serious are one of my favourite indie polish brands to recommend when newcomers to indie polish ask me where to start. While the company itself is totally indie (Kaz, the owner, is also the sole full time employee) their polishes are professionally manufactured. This means they can't do quite as big a range of crazy glitters as some of the hand mixed indies, it does mean all their polishes are absolutely consistent, every single time. It also means Pretty Serious are able to keep 99 per cent of their range available at all times, which is a big plus for me. I hate hate HATE getting something amazing and wanting to put it up here to show you all, only to find it's sold out. But because of how Pretty Serious stock their inventory, I know I can pull out any of my (ever growing) stash and write it up, and if you like it you can go and get it too without drama.

Grimm Demise is one of a little mini collection that came out a little while ago called Seriously Random, which unlike their usual themed collections was a sampling of several really pretty polishes. I wore Purple Monkey Dishwasher from the same collection on my nails for my Catwoman cosplay, and absolutely loved it, so I went back and got Grimm Demise because it's basically a teal version of PMD. The formula of Grimm Demise, like all Pretty Serious polishes, is just perfect. Not too thick, not too thin, and it self levels beautifully - not to mention it's sparkly as FUCK.

Pretty Serious Grimm Demise Swatch
Three coats alone, full sunlight

Monday, July 29, 2013

piCture pOlish Blog Fest 2013 - Celebrating the Year Of The Blogger

I'm pretty darn excited to be a part of the piCture pOlish Blog Fest 2013! If you haven't heard of it before, the Blog Fest is where Australian polish makers piCture pOlish collaborate with a whole load of bloggers to create a big day of celebration of all things piCture pOlish. Sometimes they launch new shades during this Fest, but this year they've decided to get bloggers to use their mad manicure skills to celebrate their already impressive lineup.

As a participant in the Blog Fest, piCture pOlish sent me three shades of polish, with the request that I let my imagination run wild in creating a manicure that would show off all three colours.

Picture Polish Camo Marine Tango

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ulta3 Ultrapost!

There is a little known secret hiding in great, sparkling piles in chemists all over Australia - these little bottles are usually sold for between two and three dollars, and since they're so cheap they're hardly ever presented well or organised, or paid any attention at all by staff. But they wait, in their cluttered bins, waiting for someone who knows their worth to haul them out into the light...

Ulta3 Polish Bin
Ulta3 in their natural habitat
That's right, I'm talking about Ulta3 polishes!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Meditations on Manicures

I mentioned to a friend the other day that I painted, and almost immediately felt the need to qualify that statement - like my relationship to my love of things femme, I've always had an uneasy relationship with the idea of myself as any kind of artist. I've been sculpting and painting for years - probably as long as I've been writing, when I really think about it, and I've finally conceded that I could possibly be called a writer. But an artist? The idea makes me squirm. Art is certainly a thing that I do - but I've never considered myself an artist. Not really. Nowadays the vast majority of my artistic efforts go into my nail art, and I haven't actually thought about my discomfort at being called an "artist" for a while because of this. See, nail art isn't "real" art. When I painted, I always felt like I SHOULD be calling myself an artist, or at least a painter. But now it's not even a question - even though I'm utilising exactly the same skills creating nail art as I did every painting I ever made. I'm just into nail art - it's a much less challenging, much more comfortable title.

This might sound like a massive leap, but thinking about my paintings and my nail art and my motivations for both these hobbies has really crystallised a lot of things about how my brain works now compared to how it used to work, and my relationship to art in general.

( I'm going somewhere with this, I promise)

Monday, July 22, 2013

I Want Candy - Sweet Sugar Polish review

Today will be a total change in tone from last post - I have only pretty things to show you, and happy things to say.

I'm a little bit exhausted from various things in the last week or so, which means the tone around here will probably be a lot lighter for at least the next couple of posts. Apologies if you started following this blog expecting activism all the time - I'd love to write about Big Important Stuff all the time, but I just can't keep it up. And on the same note, thank you to the people who followed me expecting All Pretty Stuff and get slammed in the face with activism every now and then - I really love that you guys deal with me careening back and forth so well. You, my readers, rock my fucking socks, you really do.

ANYWAY, let's get to the pretty things!

I have yet another new Australian indie polish brand to introduce to you today - Sweet Sugar Polish, based in Sydney. As you might have guessed from the name, all their polishes are candy themed and suitably sweetly coloured. I don't even really wear pastel colors very much, but they were just so cute I couldn't resist!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

It's time for justice: violence against sex workers needs to stop

This post is going to be about some grim, violent, and possibly triggering stuff. I'm also going to be talking about the sex industry, but I promise not to put in any NSFW pictures.

Some horrible shit has gone down in the last fortnight or so, but today I want to talk about the recent spate of violence against sex workers that has sparked an International Day of Protests set for the 19th of July. These protests are attempting to at least draw attention to, if not change, a culture of stigma and silence that still hangs over sex work; a culture that makes sex workers ideal targets for violence, because even if caught the perpetrators are unlikely to be prosecuted as severely as if they hurt someone who isn't a sex worker.

Image courtesy of Gender Across Borders

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Eccentric Cosmetics presents The Fall - Indie Loose Eyeshadow Review

Browsing Etsy the other day looking for new (to me) Australian indie cosmetics makers, as I am won't to do, I came across Eccentric Cosmetics in Victoria. The gorgeous array of loose eyeshadows on offer was enough to convince me to make a purchase. But then I noticed that the maker behind Eccentric Cosmetics happened to be one of a very small group of people other than me that have seen the criminally overlooked 2006 film The Fall. Tarsem made his name (and money) doing projects like The Cell and a slew of TV ads for companies like Coke, but The Fall was his pet project, his labour of love, and I think it's magnificent. If there's something I love just as much as giving exposure to overlooked indie cosmetics creators, it's babbling to people about films they haven't seen but they should!

Firstly, let's look at the wonderful products that Eccentric Cosmetics have created in tribute to this fantastic film. The formula of all the shadows I received were just perfect - really pigmented, great staying power, and stunning colours. None of them were dusty OR clumpy, and because they're slightly less sparkly than some of the others I've been playing with recently they were really easy to blend smoothly and perfectly.

Red Bandit is named for the lead character in the story within a story in The Fall, played by Lee Pace.

This character is way hotter than a man in this much gold braid has any right to be.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Delicious Delights - Indee Polish Co Review

Today's review subject is two polishes I picked up from brand new indie polish maker, Indee Polish Co. I'd seen some pictures floating around Instagram of late that piqued my interest, and being the dedicated indie supporter I am I made some room in the budget to try them out.

Indee Polish Co have been recruiting a fair few bloggers lately to try and get their name out there a bit more, so I wanted to choose some polishes that didn't already have awesome swatches (I'm not even going to try and compete with Nail Guns XS for attention). This meant I ended up with two that are kind of palette swapped versions of each other - Cerise Clafoutis and True Blue Aussie, both from her Distorted Reflections collection. They're relatively sheer jelly bases in cherry red and primary blue respectively, with lots and lots of holographic sparkle in each.

Indee Polish
I'm sure you can go ahead and guess which is which.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Time and Relative Dimensions In Polish

Today I've decided to mix it up a little bit and show you an American indie polish. My devotion to the Australian indie polish industry usually takes up what disposable income I have, but once in a while something from our cultural neighbours catches my eye. When I noticed Lyn B Designs on Etsy, I decided I needed to make a little room in the budget. Her collections cover all sorts of nerdy fandoms - Sherlock, Land Before Time, Princess Bride and Dr. Seuss, but it was the Doctor Who polishes that I just couldn't go past. 

I used to be an enormous Doctor Who fan - I remember loving Tom Baker as a wee little proto Cassie, and even knitted myself a couple of different versions of his scarf. I was over the moon when the series was rebooted, and (some) of the hoky special effects updated. I loved Eccleston's initial incarnation of the The Doctor, and got deeply obsessed during David Tennant's run. But slowly, over time, my enthusiasm faded. Martha annoyed me so much I nearly jumped off, but then Donna brought me back. The last two seasons however? I haven't even finished watching them. I've watched bits here and there, and every bit I watch reminds me why I stopped watching. But more about my feels later - first I was to show you these pretty, pretty polishes that in every way live up to the show I loved.

Time and Relative Dimensions In Space is a navy blue jelly with scattered silver glitters, that goes on remarkably easily for a jelly. These pictures are actually two coats alone - no undies!

Lyn B Designs Time And Relative Dimensions In Space

Saturday, July 6, 2013

10 Questions This Poly Person Is Happy To Answer

After yesterday's snarktacular bitchfest, I decided to follow up with a less snarky, more helpful set of answers to poly questions that people often ask. I don't actually mind respectful questions about poly - it's an unusual lifestyle choice, and I'm always happy to do my best to help people understand. So with that in mind, let's get into the Top Ten Questions This Poly Person is Happy To Answer. As with yesterday's post, I can't claim to speak for all non-monogamous people. I can only speak from my own experience, so my answers might be very different from other people in poly, open, or non-monogamous relationships.

1. How do you share your emotional energy with different partners? What skills help?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Top Ten Questions Poly People Are Sick Of Being Asked

There are a couple of things about me that I don’t talk about as much as I used to, just because they’re not really a part of my day to day lifestyle anymore. They’re still a part of me, they just…well, they don’t come up nearly as often as they used to. One of these things is my queerness, and I’ve talked a little about that here. But not only am I queer, I’m also polyamorous.

This means simply that I prefer non-monogamous relationships. Currently, I’m only involved with Mr. Reluctant Femme, and he’s only involved with me. However, just as not having touched any boobs this week doesn’t make me less queer, our lack of other partners currently doesn’t make us less polyamorous. I saw a call over on Poly Means Many for posts about assumptions, and I thought a fun way to broach this aspect of my life would be to write up two 101 type posts on the subject. Usual disclaimer applies - I can only speak for my own experience with polyamory, and don't want to speak for every poly person, everywhere.

Tomorrow I’ll be answering Ten GOOD Questions About Poly, because it’s something that people are often curious about, and I’m happy to answer interesting, respectful questions.

But today I’ll be going through the Top Ten Questions Poly People Are Sick Of – stupid, assumptive and sometimes outright offensive questions that people in non monogamous relationships get ALL THE TIME and that we really, REALLY wish we could never hear again. These are all questions I've either been asked myself, or been told about by friends, so these are all real things that people have ACTUALLY said. You might be surprised by just how rude some people can be about how you choose to run your relationships - or hey, maybe you won't be surprised at all. So get comfortable while I get into my ranty pants!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Agents of Chaos - Eris from Shades of Phoenix Review

Today I have another beautiful polish from local indie polish label Shades of Phoenix to show you, and by now I’m sure most of you know what that means – impromptu mythology lesson time!

First – the polish! Eris is lovely dark blue/black jelly based glitter polish from Shades of Phoenix's second collection, Let’s Hear It For The Girls. The base is full of a veritable cornucopia of colours – large iridescent greeny gold glitters give it a peacock tail sheen, and under that a scattering of tiny glitters in all shapes and sizes round the palette out. 

Shades of Phoenix Eris

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Don't Owe You A Thang

This is one of those super serious posts I do every once in a while - if you're triggered by mentions of sexual violence, or violence in general, especially against trans people, you're probably going to want to give this one a miss. I try to stay away from topics that I think will be too upsetting for too many people, but in this instance it's precisely because the whole thing is so upsetting that I feel the need to write it.

I want to talk about trans* people, and how cisgendered people treat them.

You might not be familiar with these terms, so let me do some quick definitions for you. I like to use the term trans*, because the asterisk indicates it refers to a wide variety of identities under the "trans umbrella".


Monday, July 1, 2013

Playing To Win - Game of Thrones Collection from Loki's Lacquer

Welcome to my very last LAST post in what turned out to be a fortnight of Geek!

Thanks to all the less geeky readers who have hung around anyway while I geeked out all over the place! I hope you still had a good time looking at all the pretty pictures, even if the text was gibberish. Today's post will unfortunately probably still be gibberish to those who don't watch Game of Thrones - but I promise lots of pictures to make up for it!

As you may have guessed, I'm a huge fan of the Game of Thrones show, and honestly, I'm a little lost now waiting what seems like an eternity for the next season. Luckily, Loki's Lacquer have released an amazing collection of eight indie polishes inspired by Game of Thrones to help tide us over, and they were kind enough to give me four to show you all. I'm going to try and keep the explanations of context to a minimum, just so I don't COMPLETELY alienate all my non-geeky readers. If you're into Game of Thrones, you'll already know about House Baratheon and the rest, and if you're not, I'm sure you don't really care to know the details.

First up is Ours Is The Fury, inspired by House Baratheon. It's a bright yellow crelly (creamy polish with glitters in it) full of large black hexes, itty bitty black and red hexes, and a handful of red squares and gold micro glitter thrown in for good measure. Like pretty much every Loki's Lacquer I've ever tried, the formula is great - no fishing for the good bits required, it self levels really nicely, and the colour is actually quite opaque in only three coats, which I wasn't expecting for such a bright colour.