Saturday, 10 October 2015

I've got another Aussie indie to intoduce to you... SM Polish :)

Hi guys, long time no post, how are you all? Well, I hope.
Ok, lets get down to business, today I want to share with you a new Aussie indie called SM Polish, which is handmade up in Queensland by a lovely lady by the name of Shakeela and has only been around for a few months.
They have quite a range of polishes already and today I am going to show you some lacquers from the Precious Gem Collection and the Farewell Winter, Hello Spring flakes collection.

First up lets have a look at the lovely precious gem polishes.
Application wise they all applied in a similar fashion- being packed with microglitter and shimmer they are a little thicker than a crelly or creme, so require a light touch and patience between coats, but they achieved opacity with only two coats and are very sparkly, especially in the sun.
You could wear them either as a textured polish or, as I prefer to wear them, with a couple of coats of topcoat for a smooth finish. However, I have swatched them here without topcoat to show you what they look like as is.

First up is one of my favourites, Tourmaline Crystal. This is a beautiful olive-leaning green lacquer that has sparks of true green, gold and bronze throughout. It's a very complex colour and really lovely both in the shade and outside;

Tourmaline Crystal

And here we have Shimmering Garnet, a silvery shimmering polish flecked throughout with red microglitter that adds a lovely flash of colour and sparkle in the sun;

Shimmering Garnet
This next one is probably my favourite, which took me by surprise actually as I've never really gravitated towards gold, but Tiger's Eye is just gorgeous- a soft gold polished filled with gold holo microglitter that flash green, red and copper. Really lovely;

Sky Blue Topaz is just that, a shimmery sky blue lacquer with scattered bright blue microglitter. Very soft and delicate;

Sky Blue Topaz
And finally this is Tantalising Tanzanite, a soft purple colour that has lots of shimmer and, like the others in this collection, has complimentary microglitter for that added sparkle;

Tantalising Tanzanite

I was also sent some of SM Polish's Farewell Winter, Hello Spring flakes collection, which consists of large, irregular shaped glittery flakes of colour in a clear base alongside smaller, matching coloured glitter. These polishes are meant to be worn as a topper, although I did apply them to one bare nail in both of my swatches, just to give you an idea of the sort of coverage you get with one coat.

The flake lacquers need to be applied a trifle carefully- I found if I used the usual painting-style brush stroke then the brush removed most of the large flakes as I moved down the nail. Instead I tried dabbing the polish onto the nail and was able to get a much better dispersal of both large and small pieces of glitter this way.

For the following swatches I applied "Get Lost Jack Frost" over FOA's Mystique and "Spring Comes Alive" over FOA's Wicked Witch of the West. I then applied a generous coat of Poshe for a smooth finish and was good to go.

Here's Get Lost, Jack Frost;

Get Lost, Jack frost
And here's Spring Comes Alive;

Spring Comes Alive

SM Polish also have a latex based skin protector called Spic and Span that is perfect for nail art clean up and they also have a latex based undercoat called Take It All Off that's designed to be used under glitter heavy polish for ease of removal.

Now, I usually use craft glue for a peel of base coat and have never used a latex based base coat before and I'm not sure how long it will hold up- I found I got a good day and a half's wear before moisture got under my polish and weakened the bond.
But I am also very hard on my nails and never wear gloves when doing the washing up and what have you.

The most important thing with any peel off base coat is to make sure you cap your tips and really seal the polish well with top coat, and if you do that and wear gloves when doing the dishes etc you may get several days out of a mani before the base loses its grip.

I also found that, unlike a glue-type peel off base coat Take It All Off dried very quickly as I was applying it, which could be great if you hate waiting for your peel of base coat to dry, but it might be an issue in the hotter weather as it may dry too quickly, resulting in pulling as you apply it- just something to keep in mind.
It did however remove really neatly and easily with no damage whatsoever to the nail and no polish left on the nail either, which is always a good thing when it comes to glitter removal ;)

All in all I was quite pleased with my first ever SM Polishes- their polishes are very pretty and also very reasonably priced for an indie at $9 a bottle. I definitely think they're off to a good start and I hope they have a promising future ahead of them.

You can find their etsy store here so go check them out and see if anything takes your fancy.

Until next time ~love and polish for all~

Em xox

Saturday, 11 July 2015

A bit of an insight into fear of change and why it can be so hard to make positive changes

This started out as a basic update and ended up being a post where I ended up thinking about the ways self doubt and fear trap you and why it can be so hard to "just do it". 
You can totally see where the post takes a sharp turn away from a casual "hey check this out" to "omg here is my secret shame". I hope someone out there can relate and can find some comfort knowing that they're not alone <3

So today I actually invested in one of those "As seen on T.V!" things when I was at the supermarket. I got the Ninja Bullet Slim, one of those bullet-style blenders;

My little bullet blender

Of course I wanted the more powerful version, but alas it was just too expensive so I went with the smaller, cheaper version. But even though it wasn't the model I wanted when Sophia and I gave it a whirl tonight it really did blend up the fruit and veggies well, so I'm pretty happy with my purchase so far.

Now, I already have a great blender but it weighs a ton, it's freaking huge and it's a total PITA to assemble then disassemble to clean etc. so I rarely use it. Hell, I can't even keep it out on the bench top because it's just too big.

And you better believe that I am not dealing with all of that just to make one glass of veggie juice, you know? (yes, I can be pretty damn lazy)
Thankfully the size of this little blender is wonderful, I have it sitting right next to the toaster and it takes up less room than my teapot!
Plus it was super easy to use and clean, and for me half the battle is getting things started, so having it right there means I am much more likely to use it.

So now I've got my bag of baby spinach, lots of carrots and apples, frozen berries, some Jalna bush honey pot-set yoghurt and all that sort of good stuff and my aim is to have some sort of veggie &/or fruit drink daily.
I honestly think I will see some benefits if I do this for myself, at least I hope so.

Because the reality is that I don't do nice things for myself very often, at all.

But I'm starting to realise that it's not a necessarily a bad thing to be kind to myself, that I don't need to always tough it out and that doing something good for myself isn't being conceited or, IDK, being "up myself" or what have you.

I don't know if it's still used, but when I was a kid one of the cruelest accusations you could cop was being told that "you love yourself".
It was always said with such scorn and contempt, as if loving yourself was one of the worst things you could do. 

So I went out of my way to make sure no one ever thought I was guilty of ~loving myself~ especially as I was one of those kids. 
I had a funny accent, having lived in London and New York and had traveled extensively, which also meant changing schools a lot, so I really struggled to fit in and make friends. 

If I had had a good home life that instability would probably have had a lot less impact than it did, but unfortunately my mum and her partners/husbands failed to provide a safe, stable environment which could have served as a counter balance to the constant moving. As a result I was a deeply angry and insecure child who craved acceptance but lacked the social skills to make and maintain healthy friendships. 

Now, I didn't encounter the whole "ewww you love yourself" mindset until I returned to Australia when I was around 11 years old as it wasn't something American's seemed to be too concerned about (IME us Aussies have a hard time dealing with things like confidence and success, it tends to be viewed with a lot of suspicion).

But being that kid meant that I was keenly aware of any and all actions that could result in being ostracised even further, so I took it to heart that loving yourself was a sign of being conceited, arrogant and "up yourself". 
I couldn't risk that on top of already being labeled a teachers pet, because I loved to read and did well at school and honestly enjoyed the company of some of my teachers.

Unfortunately, if you take that whole "loving yourself is bad" idea in for too long and you don't have good people (like family) around you who love and support you and counter the negative self talk, that mindset can take root and flourish.
And let me tell you, unlearning that type of thinking is freaking hard

But I have to try to make some changes to the way I view myself and how I treat myself, because the reality is that I feel so  thoroughly awful about who I am that it has resulted in a lifetime of self sabotage and self loathing and I just can't live like this anymore.
I am just flat out tired of waking up every morning feeling this debilitating sense of disappointment, of feeling like I am simply killing time until I can go back to sleep, because dreaming is the best part of my day. 

That's no way to live. That's just existing and I know life can be so much more than that. 

I want to live my life with happy anticipation rather than unhappy resignation, but I don't even know how to feel any other way- trying to understand what it's like to live a joyful life is like a blind person trying to understand the concept of the colour red- it is utterly foreign.

And when you don't know any other way of being it is daunting making even the smallest of changes in the hopes of getting better, because what if I can't fix the way my mind works? As ridiculous as it may sound, allowing myself to feel hope or motivation comes with a biiiig side of self doubt and crippling fear. 

Having a mind that works like mine is tricky enough, but getting your hopes up with the aim of getting better only to find that you can't get better.. well, that is pretty fucking terrifying and makes the task of trying that much more daunting. There have been many times where I found myself not trying because the thought of failing on top of all the other stuff was simply too much... 
it's better not to hope at all than to give in to hope and have that hope dashed.

And that's where my little entry about my new blender took me, it was certainly a lot deeper than I was expecting or intending, but I've decided to publish this anyway because I know so many others out there live with anxiety and depression and fear of failure and I know it's comforting to me when I find something that makes me go "Yes! I totally understand where you're coming from!". 
Knowing there are others out there going through similar stuff can help me feel a little less alone, a little less of a utter failure. 
So maybe this entry can do the same for someone else, because feeling as if you're battling this all by yourself, feeling as if no one could possibly understand how debilitating all this can be, well, that's a pretty lonely place and I want you to know that you're not alone.

But seriously, who would have thought that buying a little bullet blender could be symbolic of so many deeply personal things...

Much love, as always,
Em xox

P.S. I have some exciting polishes arriving any day now, and I'm even going to try a water marble, so expect some bright fun swatches and nail art very soon :)

Monday, 22 June 2015

Hellooooo there

Well hello there, strangers :) I am back (ish) trying to be a better blogger and you know, just trying to get some structure into my days.
Things are pretty much the same as they have been for a while now, still working on regaining strength back in my left leg after all those surgeries and trying to lose the 10+ kg I stacked on as a result of sitting on my bum for 3 years. Thankfully it looks like I might not have any surgeries for a while now, so yay!
I am planning on going back to Uni next year, I'm considering studying nursing or paramedics (although paramedics might be a bit gruesome... I don't need PTSD on top of my other atuff, I have more than enough "quirks" to keep my mind fully occupied as it is haha).
I also invested in an X-Pole to try and improve my fitness and flexibility so am trying to train every day or so on that- it's a lot of fun but holy crap is it hard work! Still, I'm getting stronger by the day.
As for my nail polish buying, well, I have been too broke to buy anything recently, so it's a lot of rehashing. I just bought my first neon collection which should make it's way from the States soon, which I am super excited about (love neons so much) and I have a heap of Grace-Full polish on my "to buy" list too.
 So instead of swatching new polish I'm mainly doing lots of nail stamping and I figured I'd share some of my recent mani's with you;
First up is Sizzle by Picture Polish stamped using an Emily De Molly Plate (EDM13) and Moonshine by Aussie indie stamping polish Hit the Bottle.

This next one is Fruit of the Poisonous Tree by Glam Polish stamped with an unnamed pink, again using plate EDM 13 (my current favourite stamping plate).

 And finally we have Seeing Red by Emily De Molly stamped using Hit the Bottle white and, yet again, my EDM13 stamping plate

I love how stamping can take a lovely mani to the next level and I find that manis with no adornment feel unfinished to me now- whether it me glitter, studs or stamping, I just need something extra (I'm subtle like that haha).

I hope you enjoyed these swatches and I intend to post again soon (I have close to a thousand pics on my phone that need to be uploaded onto my computer, which is a total PITA but it's gotta get done eventually).
Also, I post swatches on my Instagram account almost daily if you would rather just look at pretty pictures than read my ramblings ;)

Until next time, as always, ~love and polish for all~

Em xox

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Oh boy, I really *am* smitten with Smitten Polish

Hello all, after so long I just had to post about one of my new favourite polishes, although I have absolutely no idea if anyone is bothering to follow my blog any more because of the shockingly sporadic posting, and for that I apologise. 

I have been struggling with some significant depression- this latest episode has been going on for at least a year- I know this because I remember I didn't go outside at all summer 2013/14 and I didn't go outside this summer either. So it's been pretty damn debilitating, hence the radio silence here at Attempting Fantastic.

Mind you, I do post to my IG account on an almost daily basis, and it's 99% polish with the odd cat post and even rarer kid pic, so if you want to see lots of pretty polishes you can always follow me there (@attemptingfantastic).

O.K, lets post some goddamn polish! w00t!
Today I am going to show you a U.S based indie polish brand called Smitten Polish. And I must say, their name is very apt, as I am absolutely smitten and am on a slow, but determined mission to acquire as many of their polishes as I can without declaring bankruptcy in the process (damn you AUD to USD conversion rate ;_;).
Date Night inside under fluorescent lighting
This gorgeous baby is called Date Night and it is the most vibrant holo polish I own. Date Night is a crelly/jelly polish that is incredibly saturated- it's almost a one coater- and it looks as beautiful inside under normal lighting conditions as it does under holo friendly lighting, which isn't something I can say for most other holos.
In fact, it's that underwhelming "inside look" that most holos have that has stopped me from really getting into them, but now that I have discovered that you really can have the best of both worlds- pretty holo flame and intense pigmentation- I am starting to find myself looking at holos over almost every other finish, and Smitten Polish has played a big part in that.

Date Night inside under fluro lighting

Application-wise I used two thin coats of Date Night and one coat of Poshe top coat (which didn't appear to dull the holo) over a double layer of base coat, just to be on the safe side; I find when a polish is super pigmented you run the risk of staining, so taking the time to apply a decent base coat is always a good idea.
Mind you, I could have easily gone without top coat as Date Night is quite glossy on its own, but I'm impatient and like how fast Poshe and Seche Vite dry my polish.
The polish dries super smooth too, and I found it has amazing wear- I am very rough on my manis as I don't use rubber gloves when doing the dishes and housework (naughty naughty), so they usually require touch ups or complete removal after a couple of days, but Date Night didn't even have tip wear 3 days in.


Date Night in direct sunlight
Oh, and it makes a great base for nail stamping too :)

Date Night inside under fluro lighting
At the moment I also own Nose So Bright- a true red linear holo, which is a bit of a rarity in the world of holos. Like Date Night, Nose So Bright has a brilliant formula and is a real stunner... in fact, I think I might wear it tomorrow :)

And, because I'm in love, I have a couple more of their polishes coming and will absolutely share pics with you all when I swatch them.

In the meantime you can buy Smitten Polish over on their site, as well as at various stockists listed on Smitten's website. 

Oh, and I can also say that their customer service is excellent too, with the owner being really helpful and accommodating, with inquiries being answered in a super friendly and prompt manner. 

Smitten Polish are, IME, a great, customer focused small business that make amazing polish, and it's these sorts of indies that I love to support and share with other polish lovers- it's such an over saturated market that great indies can sometimes get lost in the noise, you know?  So lets support the good indies out there, share the word and look fabulous while we do it :)

Until next time, as always, ~love and polish for all~

Em xox

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Hey all, just a quick update

Hey guys, I'm really sorry for the radio silence with regards to this blog.

Unfortunately I am one of the many people who live with mental illness and I have been pretty freaking depressed for quite a few months now.

I know I have good reasons to feel down- my mum's pointless and drawn out death, being the only one with her when she passed away (and it was not peaceful in any way, shape or form), the 3 major surgeries that have left me scarred and with pain and mobility issues, losing my little house painting business as I can no longer climb ladders etc, trying to get back into school and being unable to afford it and having my beautiful Big Cat getting hit by a car and dying shortly after my mum did... there's been a LOT of awful events since 2012 and I think it's really taken a toll.

So, unfortunately, I have been incredibly apathetic and completely unmotivated. Hence no blog entries.

But I am still around and I do care about this blog, so I am going to try really hard to start blogging again, even if I do so simply to break up the monotony of my day, which currently consists of dragging myself out of bed 10 minutes before I need to get my daughter to school, returning home and lying on the couch watching Buffy reruns and then picking up my kid from school, lying down again, maybe getting it together enough to cook dinner and off to bed at 8.30 to sleep 12 hours. 

Fun right? 

I feel like I am trying to move through some thick, viscous syrup whenever I walk, I can hardly talk let alone keep up a conversation and I only leave the house on school runs and to buy food.

NEGL, it's pretty bad. My GP is concerned, my family is concerned, hell, even I'm concerned. This is not living, it's simply existing and it's pretty damn bleak.
So yeah, maybe making myself write about polish and show off my swatches will be a way of giving my days a little more structure while I try to get better.

And I am grateful to any of you who still read this blog and I'm sorry for not taking care of it like I should.

I hope all of you are faring much better than I am and I promise to blog in the very near future... I have so many amazing polishes to share and I'm even getting into stamping and getting much better.

Anyway, until next time ~love and polish for all~ 
Em xox