Rainbow Nails Using Glam Polish Truly Outrageous Collection

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Recently, the world was shocked by the horrible mass murder of people attending an Orlando nightclub, Pulse. Those who were there just wanted to have a fun night out in a place that accepted them for who they are. I decided to do rainbow nails, along with many other nail bloggers and instagrammers to show our support for the victims and their families. We all want a world where you can be who you are without the fear of judgement, ridicule and even death. All the nails in this collaboration are done to include a rainbow in some way to represent the rainbow pride flag and show support for the LGBT community.

Glam Polish Truly Outrageous Collection
Glam Polish Rainbow Nails

I decided to go with a black background and a rainbow paint splotch pattern on my nails for this mani. It is supposed to represent that darkness can be overcome by light. There are hate filled people in this world, but don't let them make you hate filled too. Spread love and acceptance wherever you can, and hopefully one day we will have a world that is full of love and acceptance.

Glam Polish Rainbow Nails

I used Pretty Serious Absence as the black base. Some people say it is a one coater but I needed two coats to make every area opaque. In saying that, this is the best formula for a black polish that I have ever tried, it is thick enough that it doesn't flood your cuticles but thin enough that it applies smoothly on the nail. If you have steady hands (meaning not me with my shakes) then you could easily do a manicure without clean up using this polish. I topped Absence with my fave fast dry top coat, KBShimmer Clearly On Top, and waited half an hour.

Glam Polish Truly Outrageous Collection
Glam Polish Rainbow Nails

I then used some very cute Whats Up Nails Splatters Stickers And Stencils to create the cute paint splotches. These nail vinyls were sent to me by What's Up Nails, along with the vinyls they donated to my giveaway. I use vinyls from Whats Up Nails all the time as they are easy to use, they don't let the polish seep under if you press them down well and they don't tear easily. I then used polishes from the Glam Polish Truly Outrageous Collection with the stencils to create the coloured splotches. I used 'Without Us, You're Nothing' (orange) on my thumb, 'Everyone Has A Secret Identity' (pink) on my index finger, 'Music Is Magic' (purple) on my middle finger, 'I Got My Eye On You' (blue) on my ring finger and 'Gimme! Gimmie! Gimmie!' (lime green - it looks more green in person than the swatch photos I've seen of it) on my little finger. I then used my KBShimmer top coat over the top of it all. The Glam colours are really beautiful. The lightbox unfortunately doesn't show the little glitters in them very well, but it's winter here in Melbourne so there's no natural light to make them sparkle. I accidentally smudged my thumb before I even got to the top coat but it still looks ok as long as you don't inspect it closely. I wasn't able to do my best clean up job as my skin is really sensitive so please excuse any stray polish. I really love the look of this mani, it might be my favourite one yet (hence the photo spam - I didn't know which photos to pick).

Glam Polish Truly Outrageous Collection 
Glam Polish Music Is Magic Macro

If you want to see more nails in this collaboration then you can search the hashtags #rainbownailsfororlando #supportorlando #loveislove on Instagram and Facebook. I will post mine on Instagram - @alintamcmurdo and Facebook - www.facebook.com/polishandpawsau. I am so saddened by the events that took place last weekend, but the pain of the victims and loved ones will be so much more. I just hope that this tragic event brings people together and creates more love and acceptance than we have ever had before.

New MooGoo Eczema And Psoriasis Cream Review

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Last time I spoke to you about the Australian cruelty free brand MooGoo, last November, I reviewed the older version of the MooGoo Eczema and Psoriasis Cream. As I said then, I really loved the Eczema Cream as well as the Soothing MSM Cream, but I have been slack about updating you about my new love. I am in love with the New Eczema and Psoriasis Cream from MooGoo.

New Eczema and Psoriasis Cream from MooGoo

My doctor was pleasantly surprised by how well the original worked for me to clear up the worst case of eczema he had seen (and it was on my eyelids too), but I still found myself needing to use the medicated cream now and then alongside the original to stop a flare up. Since changing over to the newer version (just after my last post about it), I haven't had to use my medicated cream once. If you are a long term eczema sufferer like me, then you will know how awesome that is. I think I've gone through 3 or 4 bottles of the newer version now. It can be sold out in my local store so I get them to order it in for me, but you can always buy it from the MooGoo website too. 

I use it on a lot more than just eczema though. I have used it for general dry skin (as well as the MooGoo Full Cream), Perioral Dermatitis, itchy bug bites, various rashes I get from Bartonella and Lyme Disease, Angular Cheilitis, any scabs once they have fully dried out (when they tend to become itchy), on the skin around my eyebrows after threading to help reduce the irritation and redness and loads more. If the Eczema Cream doesn't fix it then the Soothing MSM Cream does. I prefer to use the Soothing MSM Cream on Keratosis Pilaris, the irritated, red and flaky skin I get around my nose when I blow my nose from allergies or a cold/flu virus, and I tend to use the Soothing Cream for post shaving rash - but I recently picked up the MooGoo Post Hair Removal Cream to see how that goes. I use the Eczema cream in both my morning and night skin routines and I often put the Soothing Cream over the top of the Eczema Cream on my eyelids. I find the New Eczema cream works well as an everyday moisturizer, as it has the base of the Full Cream, and I think it works well under makeup too.

Original and New Eczema and Psoriasis Cream from Moo Goo

To make it more cost effective for me, I buy the Full Cream, Soothing MSM Cream and Post Hair Removal Cream in the large 270g pump bottle version. The Eczema Cream doesn't come in this size as the cream is a lot thicker so it can't be put into a pump bottle. The original cream is white and the new version is a light tan colour, but both have a similar thick consistency. I have however spoken to MooGoo about this, and they have said that if you are going through a huge amount of the Eczema Cream, that you should email them and see if they can do a deal to help. If I was going through 5 bottles a month, then I would definitely email them and be buying from the website, thankfully my eczema is confined to my face, for now anyway. My local store sells both versions of the cream but I have seen some stores who only sell one type of it. Both versions sell for $18.50 for a 120g bottle, the older version has yellow accents and the newer version has blue accents on the tube. Both bottles state that they are anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, wound healing, and suitable for fungal and yeast conditions. They also state that they are 'for symptomatic relief of Eczema, Seborrheic Dermatitis and Psoriasis'. The new version however says that it is 'with Marshmallow Elderberry and More'. All the ingredients are listed on the website so you can see which version will suit you better. I was given the discount code JOINTHEHERD to pass on to my readers, it was supposed to finish at the end of June, but I checked and it still gives you a discount on the Moo Goo website, so you may as well try it if you buy something from them. They also have UK and USA warehouses to ship to those countries.

Soothing MSM Cream 270g pump bottle and New Eczema and Psoriasis Cream 120g tube

I went to a lovely blogger lunch at the end of April with the ladies from MooGoo. They also introduced me to their two sister brands Dusty Girls (their vegan makeup line), and Dr Zoo (their natural pet care line), so I will have reviews on those products coming soon. I recommend the MooGoo New Eczema and Psoriasis Cream to everyone I know and they have all loved it too. This is a holy grail product for me, I don't know how I ever lived without it, it makes such a big difference to my eyelid eczema. If you end up trying it, let me know how you go by leaving a comment below. 

Lyme Disease Awareness Month 2016

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Now that May is over, so too is Lyme Disease Awareness Month for 2016. I want to send a big thank you to everyone who entered my Lyme Disease Awareness Giveaways for this year and thank you to all the sponsors for donating something to help make the prize worthwhile. They are all amazing brands and I highly recommend you check them out if you haven't already. Also check out all the lovely green manis that people did for Lyme Disease Awareness this month under the hashtag #LymeAwarenessNails on Instagram.

What is Lyme? Source - lymestats

I focused on various facts with my Instagram posts throughout May but I never really explained just how bad the symptoms of this disease can be. I have decided to share a paragraph with you from my submission to the senate enquiry so that you can understand what I go through.

The symptoms I have had, have changed over the years with some coming and going for what seems to be no reason. I have tried to write down all my symptoms but there are so many, so I know I have forgotten some. I have unrelenting fatigue that is not helped by sleep. I can have 18 hours of sleep and feel worse than I did before I went to sleep. I can also have insomnia for days in a row and suffer from post-exertional malaise. I have widespread pain that includes bone pain, muscle aches, burning pain when skin is touched, back pain and pins and needles. I am often left awake at night as the pain is so excruciating that I can’t sleep. My muscles are always knotted causing referred pain and tension headaches and I often suffer from migraines. Joint hypermobility causes a lot of pain in my joints, and has resulted in bursitis in both hips that is only made worse by cortisone injections. I have balance problems which means I fall over frequently and also have bouts of vertigo. My blood vessels have been thinned significantly by Bartonella meaning that I am always covered in bruises. TMJ causes a lot of pain in my jaw joint area but it also results in facial muscle spasms and pain across the whole face. One side of my face is drooping lower than the other at the moment. All the muscles in my body spasm, shake and jerk, when it is severe it seems like I am having a mild fit - this is very painful. I have had prescription lenses my whole life but since being ill, my eyesight has worsened without a known cause. When I’m feeling sicker or more tired, my vision becomes blurry and I am unable to read or focus on anything. My immune system struggles to deal with any sort of virus that I pick up and I often end up needing to take short term antibiotics to clear up infections. I have constant cold symptoms and my glands are always large and painful. I have frequent sweats and chills. Most nights I am kept up by a high temperature and I sweat through anything I am wearing. The shakes from the chills can be really violent if the sweating has been profuse. I have been treated for Grave’s Disease and diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome. I have also had cortisol testing which is lower than normal but not classified as Addison’s Disease yet. Sometimes I feel as though I can’t get enough air into my lungs. It is different from asthma and asthma medications don’t help relieve it. I can take deep breaths and inhale lots of air but the air hunger doesn’t go away. I have had a lot of tests on my cervix and bladder as they are both very painful. They are inflamed from unknown causes. I constantly need to go to the toilet. Medication for irritable bladders has not worked to relieve any of the symptoms. I also go through stages of hair loss. I have lost eyelashes, eyebrows and head hair at various times throughout this illness. The hair falls out in chunks which makes it noticeable and it grows back thinner than it was before. I always have some form of rash that can be itchy or sore and my eczema has worsened. Digestive upset was one of the first symptoms as a child. I would get excruciating stomach pain randomly and doctors weren’t able to help. As an adult I was diagnosed with Gastritis and IBS. I go through cycles of diarrhoea and constipation with strong intestinal pain. For a while my vomiting caused me to be underweight until I was prescribed Ondansetron but I am only able to get 4 of these wafers a week on the PBS so it is only able to just keep my weight stable as I still have days where I vomit, when I don’t have the wafers available. I still suffer from severe stomach pain and nausea which can stop me from eating anything. I have become intolerant to many foods that I was previously able to eat without issue. My cognitive function has been severely affected. I was a high achiever through school and found it really easy to learn and complete needed tasks but this is no longer the case. I am only able to concentrate for short periods of time now, I have short term memory loss and word finding difficulties. I can’t think properly as it’s like all my thoughts are in a fog, I know they’re there but I can’t access them. Bartonella is known to affect the emotional centre of the brain often resulting in higher rates of anger and rage. Doctors have commented on how well I manage the emotional aspects, especially with how bad my Bartonella infection is, but it's a constant struggle to do so and very draining. I currently have control of the anxiety and depression but it has taken many years, medications and techniques to get here. I own a wheelchair and used to use it to leave the house on sicker days for a while, but I had so many terrible experiences with cruel people that I now prefer to stay home than go out when I would need to use it. When my health isn't doing so well I have to allocate my energy to the most important tasks of the day. Sometimes I have had to choose between eating and having a shower. Food is usually the priority, but after a few days showering wins out. There have been times when I have needed help to just have a shower and those times are really hard to get through.

#Lyme is known as 'The Great Imitator' as the symptoms can be confused with many other illnesses out there. Many people get given the wrong diagnosis from doctors (especially in Australia) which delays treatment and let's the infection grow. I can't even tell you how many things I got diagnosed with before I found out I had Lyme. Many people still have CFS, Fibro, MS, ALS etc diagnoses when they actually have this bacteria destroying their system instead. Lyme even imitates the lesions on the brain that you see in MS. That's why we need to raise awareness - early diagnosis and treatment of Lyme Disease saves lives 💚 Don't forget to do your green #LymeAwarenessNails - I haven't seen many done this year yet, but I really appreciate those of you who have done them 💚💚 #LymeDiseaseAwareness #polishandpaws #polishandpawsblog
A photo posted by Alinta McMurdo (@alintamcmurdo) on

I don't really like talking about some of the more embarrassing symptoms, like the profuse sweating, where anything you are wearing ends up soaking wet, and the fact that I've had to be carried to the toilet when my legs won't hold my weight. But if I don't talk about the symptoms, then you won't know. You won't know that every single day my body fails me, and every time that it does I am upset and have to face the fact that no amount of will power will make my body do what I want it to. The one thing that is mine is my body, and it doesn't work day after day, no matter how hard I try. It's humiliating to admit, but this is my life.

There are people my age with Lyme Disease in elderly care facilities as they are unable to feed themselves and need help with every little task in life. There is no measure that accurately identifies the level of health of a patient with Lyme Disease. In the early stages of the illness, most people can work and study and look after their family but struggle to complete the tasks in the same way as if they were healthy. I was able to pretend that I had some sort of a normal life in the beginning but it didn't take long for everything to become overwhelming. I am now classed as a Late Stage Neurological Lyme Disease patient where the bacteria has infected every organ in my body including the brain. I got a CD57 test to see how much my immune system had been affected by such a long term infection and my results came back as 4. Yes, you read that right - 4. The healthy range for a CD57 NK count is 60 to 360 cells per microlitre of blood. So you can see by that measure alone that my body is really struggling.

People are dying. Submissions for the senate enquiry for Lyme-like disease mistreatment finished on the 31st of March - since then, two Aus Lyme patients who wrote submissions have died. It is heartbreaking to read about the suffering they went through knowing now that they died. Their deaths could have been prevented by our government. I know one of them received one month of oral antibiotics but was refused any more - one month or oral antibiotics won't even scratch the surface of an infection that has been in the body for years and infected every organ. I can't even imagine how many people have died world wide. This is why I need your help. Lives are literally at stake. People are dying because they can't access the treatment they need. Please share both my giveaways #LymeGiveawayBeauty #LymeGiveawayPolish and get your friends on board too. I love seeing the #LymeAwarenessNails - thanks so much to those of you who have done them. #LymeDisease #Polishandpaws #Polishandpawsblog
A photo posted by Alinta McMurdo (@alintamcmurdo) on

That's why I run these giveaways every year in May. I hope to spread the word about Lyme Disease and stop others from suffering in the way that I have. The election is coming up (on my birthday in fact) and I hope that after that, the Lyme-like illness senate enquiry will be reinstated. There is no doubt that they will say that more research is needed but the vast majority of Lyme patients in Australia need a lot more than that from this enquiry. They need to legalise treatment of this disease and allow doctors to use long term intravenous antibiotics on patients as well as experimental treatments. I have acquired life threatening reactions to many antibiotics since I have been sick, so I need access to a wide range of treatment options, like what is provided in clinics in Germany, Sweden and USA. The research will help a lot of people in future but we need recognition of this illness in Australia right now, there are far too many lives on the line now.

Borrelia Takes Many Forms Source - lymestats

Most people with Lyme Disease are too sick to advocate for themselves and this disease so they rely on the help of healthy people to do so. There are a lot of things that you can to do help Lyme Disease sufferers. You can research this disease and raise awareness by telling everyone you know and posting online about it. Things you should know and pass on are the symptoms of this disease, the lack of access to treatment and that the government can change that, and that preventing tick bites is very important. You can contact your local MP and explain to them how badly Lyme Disease patients have been treated in Australia and that we need change immediately. You can donate to tick-borne disease charities like the Karl McManus Foundation and the Lyme Disease Association of Australia (LDAA). Last but not least, you can help a Lyme Disease sufferer that you know. You can help by providing food (but check their diet first as there are lots of food lymies can't eat), you can help them with cleaning or help by driving them to appointments. Just remember to be understanding with them as health can go up and down all the time. You can also fundraise for a Lymie in need. The costs of Lyme Disease treatment are huge and very few people will ask for donations even when they really need it. As a side note, for those who might ask in the comments, I am only in the early stages of looking into fundraising for me to be able to attend an overseas clinic as that is probably the only chance at recovery for me, but raising $50,000 will be a huge effort with a lot of planning needed, so it may not happen. Anyway, if you know someone suffering with Lyme Disease, there are lots of ways to help. Just checking in with them and letting them know that you're thinking of them can also be a huge help as this illness is very isolating for many people. I hope you learnt something throughout the month of May and now understand why it is so important to raise awareness for Lyme Disease. I appreciate everyone who helped spread the word during the month of May, but please keep going, lives are at stake. I believe change is coming, I have to to be able to keep going every day. If you are also suffering, please remember that there is always hope. Hope will get you through the darkest days. 

Lyme Disease Awareness Giveaway 2016

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Welcome to my third annual Lyme Disease Awareness Giveaway. In previous years, it has been a nail polish giveaway but due to postage changes, I have had to change the setup of the giveaway this year. There are two separate giveaways, one Australian only nail polish giveaway and one beauty giveaway that is open internationally, as long as I can post to you. Aussies can enter both giveaways as long as they repost both of the Instagram repost photos.

Before I get into the nitty gritty of the giveaway, I want to explain why this means so much to me. When I was 10, I was bitten by a tick on the top of my head in Mallacoota, Victoria, Australia. My parents were able to remove the engorged tick from my head, and we thought nothing more of it after that. We didn't see any rash as the area was covered by hair, and we didn't know to look as we had no idea that Australian ticks carried any sort of health risk. It has been 16 years since I got bitten and I am now severely ill. I spent so many years looking for a diagnosis but I was handballed from one specialist to the next, with no one knowing what to do with me. A couple of years ago, I found a doctor who knew what was causing all my symptoms, he told me that I had Lyme and Bartonella infections. Unfortunately, the Australian government doesn't believe that Lyme Disease exists here, so there are no government funded treatments. Some sufferers are able to travel to clinics in Germany to get better, but that is far too expensive for most patients.

Some individuals in government recently listened to our pleas for help and started a senate enquiry into the mis-treatment of Lyme-like illness patients in Australia. The enquiry looked promising with over 1000 submissions, many from people suffering. Unfortunately, the dissolution of parliament means that the committee has ceased to exist and that the enquiry is no more. When the new government is formed, they will be able to restart the enquiry but that will only happen if there is pressure from the public to do so. Many people are living lives full of suffering because they cannot access needed treatment, and some have died because of it. I was healthy and full of life, I had big dreams and the will to get me there, but that didn't matter when my body began to collapse. Now I have various autoimmune illnesses and far too many debilitating symptoms to list. I spend my days in excruciating pain. I am always suffering from relentless fatigue and many neurological and cognitive problems. I desperately want a chance at life but the only way that will happen is if the government allow me to access treatment. My hope is that this giveaway will educate more people about Lyme Disease which will result in more pressure on the government to change. I also hope that with more awareness, people will get earlier diagnosis and not suffer for as long as I have.

Now to the giveaway - it is an image repost giveaway on instagram but I will explain it all here. I have had some lovely brands donate some amazing items to the giveaway. To thank them, a rule within the giveaway will be to follow their instagram accounts. The first giveaway is the Australian only nail polish giveaway.

Emily de Molly donated Twilight's Flight, Goodie Two Shoes? and Enchanted Isle. Glam Polish donated Happy Birthday Mr President, All About Eve, and The Prince And The Showgirl. I am including a bottle of Glam Polish Bad Hair Day. Celestial Cosmetics have donated Bodhi, a beautiful custom green polish, made just for this giveaway. Hit The Bottle have donated three stamping polishes, Snowed In, To Have And To Gold (Improved) and As Black As Night. Hit The Bottle have also donated a stamping plate, hehe042 and a clear jelly stamper with scraper. Loki's Vinyls donated a huge variety of nail vinyls/stencils/decals and a Lyme ribbon decal that you can put somewhere to raise awareness.

Emily de Molly
Glam Polish
Celestial Cosmetics
Hit The Bottle
Loki's Nail Vinyls
Lyme Disease Awareness Nail Polish Giveaway Rules:

1) You must regram the nail polish giveaway photo and hashtag #LymeGiveawayPolish
2) You need to follow all the donors, including myself - @alintamcmurdo @emilydemolly @glampolish_ @celestialcosmetics @hit_the_bottle @lokimadeit
3) Don't tag the donors in your repost photo and please don't unfollow them after the giveaway as they're great brands.
4) One entry per person. You may repost the photo more than once to help me promote the giveaway but please only use the entry hashtag on one photo.
5) Your account must be public. No giveaway accounts. Must be 18 to enter.
6) Winner will be drawn randomly. Winner has 48 hours to respond to my Instagram message. If the 48 hours expires, then a new winner will be chosen.
7) Giveaway ends 31st May 5pm AEST (Melbourne time).

Open to Australian residents only. Items will be sent via tracked postage and I will bubble wrap well but I can't control what Australia post do with the parcel. I reserve the right to change the giveaway rules if necessary. Australians can enter both giveaways but they must repost both photos and follow the rules of each giveaway.

Lyme Disease Awareness Nail Polish Giveaway Instagram Repost Photo

The second giveaway is open internationally. It is a beauty product giveaway that is run the same way as the nail polish giveaway but with a different repost photo and different sponsors, so you need to read the rules carefully.

Furless Cosmetics have donated a Purple Powder Makeup Brush and three of the new Furless pigments, Humiliate, Shady and Depraved. Eye Of Horus Cosmetics have donated an Essential Goddess Gift Pack which contains a Goddess Mascara, Goddess Pencil and a Cosmetic Sharpener. What's Up Nails donated six of their vinyl stencil sheets which can be used for nails or makeup. I have put in a bunch of Colourpop Cosmetics products. There is the limited edition Puppy Love eyeshadow that is no longer available and a Weenie eyeshadow. I have also put in a Bound lippie stix and lippie pencil, Dopey Ultra Satin and Lippie Pencil, Lyin' King Ultra Satin and Lippie Pencil, Echo Park Ultra Satin and More Better Ultra Matte. I have also included a Too Faced Soul Mates Blushing Bronzer in Ross and Rachel. MooGoo Skincare are donating a Skin Milk Udder Cream and Fresh Cream Deodorant but they haven't arrived yet.

Eye Of Horus Cosmetics
Eye Of Horus Cosmetics
What's Up Nails
Colourpop Cosmetics
Too Faced Cosmetics

Lyme Disease Awareness Beauty Giveaway Rules: 

1) You must regram the beauty giveaway photo hashtag #LymeGiveawayBeauty
2) You need to follow the donors including myself, @alintamcmurdo @furlesscosmetics @eyeofhoruscosmetics @whatsupnails @moogooskincare
3) Don't tag the donors in your repost photo and please don't unfollow them after the giveaway as they're great brands.
4) One entry per person. You may repost the photo more than once to help me promote the giveaway but please only use the entry hashtag on one photo.
5) Your account must be public. No giveaway accounts. Must be 18 to enter.
6) Winner will be drawn randomly. Winner has 48 hours to respond to my Instagram message. If the 48 hours expires, then a new winner will be chosen.
7) The beauty giveaway is open internationally, as long as I can send the parcel via registered mail to you. If the postage costs more the $25 aud then I may ask for you to contribute the extra.
8) Giveaway ends 31st May 5pm AEST (Melbourne time).

I reserve the right to change the giveaway rules if necessary. Australians can enter both giveaways but they must repost both photos and follow the rules of each giveaway.

Lyme Disease Awareness Beauty Giveaway Instagram Repost Photo

The Lyme ribbons I have used in my repost photos are from the lovely etsy shop TwistOfLymeDecals. You can buy them to stick on anything to help raise awareness.

So please go to my Instagram to enter this giveaway and tell all of your friends to do so too. All prizes are brand new, I just had to take some items out of their box for the photos. Thanks again to all the amazing donors, I really appreciate your support. 

Lyme Disease Awareness Nails With ILNP

Monday, 9 May 2016

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and as in previous years, I will be posting information about Lyme Disease and the problems with getting recognition of any Lyme-like illness in Australia. The Australian government refuse to admit the existence of Lyme Disease or a Lyme-like Illness in Australia, so many severely ill people, like me, have been forced to suffer terribly because we are unable to access any form of treatment. There is currently a senate enquiry happening to look into the mistreatment of these patients, so this year, it is even more important than ever to spread awareness about the existence of Lyme Disease in Australia, so that we can put pressure on the government to allow these patients to access treatment.

I will be posting my annual Lyme Disease Awareness giveaway on Instagram in a few days so please go and check it out, I hope that this year it will be even bigger than the last. I decided to use ILNP, a cruelty free american indie polish brand for my first green mani this month.

ILNP Limelight and Juliette

For this mani I used ILNP Limelight and Juliette, which are both a part of the Ultra Metallics range. The ILNP Ultra Metallics are polishes with "ultra-thin metallic flakes" in sheer tinted holographic base. Juliette is a beautiful rose gold colour that seems to be a favourite among many. The base of Juliette is quite sheer so I needed to do three coats for there to be enough flakies to cover my nail line. Limelight is more opaque than Juliette so it only required two coats, but that results in the holographic effect not being as strong in this lovely lime green polish. Both polishes end up with a smooth surface, there are certainly no hard shards like I thought might occur with so many flakies in the polishes. 

ILNP Limelight and Juliette
ILNP Limelight and Juliette

I added the green Lyme Awareness Ribbon by using a ribbon nail vinyl stencil and sponging Limelight on top of it. The sheer base of Limelight means that it isn't as opaque as I would like but it still worked well. I tried to get photos in the sun to show the holographic sparkle, but Melbourne weather hasn't been cooperating with me. In most lighting, the shine of the metallic flakies is most prominent but sunlight or direct artificial light will bring out the scattered holographic effect.

ILNP Limelight and Juliette macro

I would really appreciate it if you could join me in raising awareness for Lyme Disease and Lyme-like Illnesses in Australia this month by doing your own green mani and hash tagging #LymeAwarenessNails on Instagram. I hope that together, we can make a difference in the lives of those suffering needlessly. 

Powder Perfect Nail Care Review

Sunday, 1 May 2016

*Press Sample

Powder Perfect just launched 4 new nail care items. They are the Smooth Sailing Base Coat, Presto Peel Off Base Coat, Mattificent Top Coat and a Crystal Glass Nail File. I have all but the Glass Nail File to share with you today, but I have tried many files in my time and the glass ones have been much better for my nails, I get a lot less nail splitting when using them. The other three items I have had since they were prototypes so I have had a lot of time to use them. The bottles that I have aren't labeled like the pretty Powder Perfect bottles that you will buy from the site but the formulas remain the same, and that's the important part. I have learnt from this experience that Jacinta is very thorough with her prototype and testing phase, which is great to see.

Powder Perfect New Nail Care

When I first got the Smooth Sailing Base Coat, I fell in love. I am a ridge filling base coat lover as my nails can have a lot of ridges in them. Ridge filling base coats make polish apply better for me as the base is smooth, and they make the nail polish look a lot better - holos and ridges just don't look good together. I have tried a lot of ridge filling base coats in my time trying to find my favourite, and this one sits in equal first place. This base coat in conjunction with my normal top coat (KBShimmer Clearly On Top) gets me 5 or so days without chipping from most polishes. This is a huge deal for me as for a long time I couldn't get more than 24 hours of wear out of most nail polishes. The product has a slight cream to yellow tinge to it which does make my nails look ever so slightly yellow when applied, but it is barely noticeable and it doesn't matter as I put coloured polish over the top of it anyway. I have used some polishes that I know are stainers with this base coat and it works well to prevent staining. If it's a very bright or pigmented polish then I use two coats just to make sure my natural nails stay looking nice. The Smooth Sailing Base Coat has hydrolized wheat proteins that are supposed to nourish the nail. I haven't really noticed any of the nourishing effect but my nails feel good when I remove this base coat.

Presto Peel Off Base Coat, Smooth Sailing Base Coat and Mattificent Top Coat

The Presto Peel Off Base Coat is a standard peel off base coat that makes glitter polish removal easier. I have reviewed two other peel off base coats on this blog previously, OPI Glitter Off (not cruelty free) and Cherry Poppin Nails Peel It Off. I like the Powder Perfect peel off base coat better than the others I have tried. The Presto Peel Off Base Coat is a milky white colour and can be applied like any other base coat. My prototype has a different brush to the one that you will get if you buy one, the one from the store will make application easier. As with all peel off base coats, you want to make sure you use a very thin layer of product. As it dries, it will become transparent and have a semi matte finish. Don't apply your next coat until the peel off base coat is completely dry - it won't have any tacky texture once it is dry. I usually use the Presto Peel Off Base Coat in conjunction with the Smooth Sailing Base Coat, as in my experience peel off base coats don't protect the nail bed from staining. The base coats have worked well together for me, but you can try any other base coat with it, as long as the peel off base coat is the one applied first - the base coat won't peel off properly if it isn't placed directly on the nail surface. I have had some problems with other peel off base coats like them bunching up when I apply the coloured polish, the base coat leaving residue when peeled off and the base coat popping off within the first 24 hours of use - I haven't had any of these problems with the Powder Perfect one. I do get a shorter wear time when using the peel off base coat but I can prolong it by also using the ridge filling base coat and by ensuring I coat the tips of my nails with top coat. When it is time to remove the polish, I just get a cuticle pusher and start lifting the polish at the cuticle line, then I can easily pull the polish off without any damage to the nail bed. If you have seen many of my other blog posts, then you will have realised that I am a glitter lover, so having a peel off base coat that works well is very useful for me. I will upload a short video to my Instagram showing how easy it is to peel off polish when using the Presto Peel Off Base Coat - I used Powder Perfect Thebes as it is a dense microglitter that is the ideal polish to use a peel off base coat with.

Powder Perfect Thebes

The last product is the Mattificent (Matte) Top Coat. I have stayed away from matte top coats as the ones I have tried previously haven't worked well, or have left a white residue which ruins the manicure. The Powder Perfect matte top coat doesn't have these problems and it is a thicker formula than the ones I have tried previously, which I like as it helps to cover up the texture on glitter polishes. I have swatched some Powder Perfect Polishes on a nail wheel so that you can see the difference that this matte top coat makes compared to a shiny top coat. In these swatches I put Mattificent straight over the coloured polish, but when I'm doing a mani I use my quick dry top coat (KB Shimmer Clearly On Top) first and then Mattificent as the polish dries quicker that way. I get the same wear time with or without Mattificent which is good, so I plan on playing around with more matte manicures in future.

Shiny vs Matte L-R Recollection and Horse-Lords
Shiny vs Matte L-R Glided Beauty and The Sublime

I am an indie lover through and through, so I love that more indies are bringing out nail care items. I really love the Powder Perfect Smooth Sailing Base Coat but I will also get a lot of use out of the Presto Peel Off Base Coat and Matttificent Top Coat. Do any of these products appeal to you? I can't wait to see what Jacinta/Powder Perfect comes up with next. 

Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm Review

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

*Press Sample

A while ago I was sent Trilogy's new Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm. I was interested in trying this product because I love the values that the company stands by. Trilogy are a New Zealand based brand that concentrate on making natural skincare products. They are cruelty free (Choose Cruelty Free Certified), environmentally conscious and have the NATRUE Natural Cosmetics Certification. I have been using and loving the Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil for a long time now, so I had high hopes for this product.

Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm

The cleansing balm is a semi-solid balm-like product in a pot with a screw top lid. I use it by rubbing my fingers around on the surface which melts the product and makes it more like an oil. This is then easy to spread across the face with my fingers. I rub it into my face, concentrating on areas with more makeup, like my eyes and lips. Then I use a damp face washer to wipe all the makeup off. It easily takes off all my mascara, eyeliner and lipsticks (including liquid lipsticks) with one application. Trilogy say that you can then just apply a moisturiser and be done with it, but I use my normal cleanser to get the balm off as it has coconut oil and my pores clog with the smallest amount of coconut oil. If your skin is fine with coconut oil then makeup removal will be an even shorter process for you. Most makeup removal products are too harsh for my sensitive skin and I end up with dry areas or red patches, but that doesn't happen with this product. It has a slight, but nice natural smell to it, and it contains lots of plant based oils that are good for your skin. As I mentioned earlier, Trilogy are cruelty free, so they do not test on animals at all, but this product has beeswax in it, so it won't be suitable for my vegan readers.

Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm

I have the 10ml sample size but the full size product is 80ml and comes with its own 'sustainably produced, unbleached, organic cotton cloth'. The RRP is $36.90 but both Target and Priceline often have sales on the whole Trilogy skincare line. Trilogy is more expensive than other affordable/drugstore brands out there but the products seem to be great quality and don't irritate my skin which is really important. I use the Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil day and night and I think my skin has had much less irritation and redness since I started using it regularly. The oil soaks into the skin quickly and has a good quality dropper. It contains 100% Rosehip Oil so you're not getting any fillers in your bottle and it is supposed to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scars and stretch marks. I don't have many fine lines but I do feel like it plumps up the skin and keeps it moisturised which will help prevent wrinkles in future.

Trilogy Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm

My experience with these products makes me want to try more from this brand. The sensitive skin line looks appealing to me, especially the very calming serum. I also like the look of the Hydrating Mist Toner and the Age Proof CoQ10 Eye Recovery Concentrate - I actually purchased the eye roll on but I broke the bottle before I even got it home, so I have to get another one to try and review. If you have tried any of the Trilogy products, please let me know what you think in the comments as I will save up to add some more to my collection. Does this new Make-Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm appeal to you? Makeup removal and skin cleansing in one easy to use product could mean this balm becomes a favourite in many households.