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. 

Chicken Egg Easter Nails

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

I hope you had a lovely Easter. I did some nails for the occasion but I really struggled to get them done. My body jerks, shakes and blurry vision all combined to make nail painting, cleaning up and my attempt at nail art very difficult, but I wanted to share it with you anyway - things don't always go as planned.

Easter nails with Pretty Serious
Easter nails with Pretty Serious

Every Easter I see lots of chicken in an egg nail art and I have always wanted to try my hand at it. I used Pretty Serious Cosmetics Honey Puff as the yellow on all my nails. The first coat was streaky but it evened out on the second coat. I did three coats to make sure that it was opaque in close up shots, but if I were wearing it without blogging, I would have only used two. On my accent nail I started with a base of Pretty Serious Presence, it is marketed as a one coat nail polish but I needed two for it to be even and opaque, however the formula is very good for a white nail polish. I used KBShimmer Clearly On Top Quick Dry Top Coat over Presence and then waited half an hour. I then used two zig zag vinyls and placed Honey Puff in the middle of them. To get the eyes and beak, I used a dotting tool and Pretty Serious Absence (black) and China Glaze Stoked To Be Soaked (orange). The details aren't particularly accurate but I'm just glad I finished with how much I struggled. 

Easter nails with Pretty Serious

Did you do some Easter themed nails? I love pinning all the amazing designs that people come up with on instagram, so you can always check my pinterest if you are ever short on nail art ideas. There are so many I want to recreate, I just have to hope I have the health to do so some day. 

St Patrick's Day Clover Nails

Monday, 21 March 2016

Thursday was St Patrick's Day so I did some clover nails for the occasion. I don't really celebrate the day but I do have an Irish heritage (as well as English, Scottish and Welsh) so I thought some clovers would be cute. Sorry for the delay in uploading this post, I have been under the weather but I'm trying to push through.

Emily de Molly Did I Just Curse?
Emily de Molly Did I Just Curse?

I started with a base of Emily de Molly Did I Just Curse? It is described as a sage green creme with black, white, pink and orange/green iridescent glitter. The formula is very thick, more so than most crellies, and I found it hard to spread evenly across the nail. Thicker coats made it easier to work with, and it was opaque with two coats. I used two layers of KBShimmer Clearly On Top Quick Dry Top Coat to smooth out the surface.

Emily de Molly Did I Just Curse? and Powder Perfect Summer Horizon
Emily de Molly Did I Just Curse? and Powder Perfect Summer Horizon

The pink glitters are the most prominent in Did I Just Curse? so I decided to find a pink polish to create clovers on the accent nail. Powder Perfect Summer Horizon is a pink microglitter polish, with scattered violet microglitters throughout. I really love the look of Summer Horizon in the sun, it's so sparkly (I even mentioned it in my 2015 Favourite Nail Products post). To make the clover shapes, I used nail vinyls from She Sells Sea Shells Uk. Summer Horizon is quite thick as it is packed full of glitter, but I found it easy to use with nail stencils as the polish stayed where I placed it and didn't run under the stencils like some polishes can. I did one layer of top coat over the nail art which wasn't enough to make it smooth, I think it would take at least 3 layers to even it out.

Emily de Molly Did I Just Curse? and Powder Perfect Summer Horizon
Emily de Molly Did I Just Curse? and Powder Perfect Summer Horizon

I like the way this mani turned out, I think the polishes look cute together. Unfortunately, both of these polishes are now discontinued, but Femme Fatale Cosmetics still has some Did I Just Curse? in stock, and you can often find polishes you want in the second hand nail polish sales groups on facebook. Did you do a manicure to celebrate St Patrick's Day?

Furless Couture Base Essentials Kit Review

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

*Affiliate Link

Today I have my favourite makeup brushes to share with you, they are from the Furless Couture Base Essentials Kit (Foundation Brush Set). I wasn't going to post this review as the lovely Coralie from Furless Cosmetics sent me this set as a christmas present and told me that I didn't have to review it, but after using them non stop, I knew I had to share them because I can't keep such a great product all to myself.

Furless Couture Base Essentials Kit

I am a makeup brush lover, as for many years I didn't even know makeup brushes existed - it resulted in many unblended foundation days, but one day I thankfully found out about makeup brushes. Makeup brushes make the application of cosmetics so much easier and the result is a lot nicer. The quality of the brush does affect the quality of the application, with some of the lower quality brushes out there creating foundation streaks and splotches. Thankfully, there is none of that with Furless makeup brushes.

Furless Couture Base Essentials Kit

I reviewed the limited edition Couture Body Contour Kit last year. Those brushes are perfect for any sort of powder product that you have, so the Couture Base Essentials Kit is the perfect companion to that kit, as these brushes are great for cream and liquid products. The Couture Base Essentials Kit includes four brushes, Couture Large Dome Blending Brush (CB4), Couture Foundation Sculpting Brush (CB3), Couture Foundation Buffing Brush (CB2), and Couture Small Concealer Buffing Brush (CB1). Any of these brushes could be used for foundation but CB4 and CB2 are the ones I use most often. Both brushes have a rounded head but CB2 is smaller and more dense than CB4. It will depend on your personal preference as to which one you like better, I have found that they both give a similar finish. CB3 has an oblong shaped brush head which makes it ideal for contouring and/or highlighting. I have been too scared to try the cream contouring trend but when I find the courage I will be using this brush. At the moment I use it to apply cream blushes and highlighters. CB1 is much smaller than the other three brushes which makes it the perfect size for concealing small spots on the face. I love to use it around my eyes to blend concealer in but it would also be great for contouring small areas like the nose. I am slightly obsessed with this sort of concealer buffing brush, so I have quite a few in my collection, but this one is my favourite. As with the Couture Body Contour Kit, the Couture Base Essentials Kit can be used on both the body and face.

Furless Couture Base Essentials Kit

The brushes are a matte black with shiny black ferrule and black synthetic bristles. I can feel the quality when I touch the bristles as they are much softer than any other brushes I have. I have used and washed these brushes many times since I got them, but they still look brand new. The bristles don't go out of shape, there is no colour running when washed, or random hard bristles in the brush head, like I have found in some lower cost synthetic brush brands. They really are good quality, and a must have in anyones collection.

Furless Couture Base Essentials Kit

Furless are a cruelty free brand (no animal testing) and all products are vegan (do not contain any animal derived products). The customer service is fantastic, the only other companies that I have had the same amazing service from are small indie polish companies. Coralie cares about each customer and has been so kind to me and given me a lot of valuable advice. The brand values and great customer service experience with this brand are the reasons why I became an affiliate with them. Using my affiliate link will help me with the continual running costs of this blog but you don't have to use it. However, if you do want to use my affiliate link, you can use the code 15ME to get a 15% discount on any Furless products. I am still completely honest in my reviews as you can see in my Furless Cosmetics Nail Polish Review and Autumn Hues With Furless blog posts. I will only ever rave about products and companies that I genuinely like. So you can be assured that I really do love this company. I am obsessed with the Couture Base Essentials Kit and recommend it to anyone who asks about makeup brushes.

Furless Discount Code

Furless have just launched a line of loose eyeshadow pigments which I will try in future and review, but everything I have heard so far from others has been positive. I also plan on trying one of the Furless travel sets (Perfectly Pink or Black Beauty). I am leaning towards the pink because well, it's pink, but I would to hear what you think of either set if you have them. Have you tried either of the Furless Couture Sets? Do you love them too?