No Spend March update

So, let’s see how I have done with the no spend project this month…

On the makeup front I have bought the L’Oreal BB creme in Indonesia, but used up a BB creme so we’ll call that neutral. I haven’t used up anything else although by Revlon lipsticks are looking a little lower. I came to the end of my Seche Vite Top Coat, and tried the bargain basement Essence Fast Dry Top Coat which was pretty terrible alas. I also came to the end of my (gold standard!!) Clinique Take the Day off makeup remover and decided to try some cheapie 25 for $1 makeup removing wipes from Coles. They aren’t great but this will at least last a while and is a lot cheaper than the $36 I spend at Myer for Clinique… it might be something I can cheaper duty free or online I guess? Any other good makeup removers?

I have two new costume corsets coming from luv secret and a pair of dance shoes for burlesque performances in April which isn’t great. Also, I dropped a very strong hint to certain members of our household (ahem) that I would be very happy with a custom made Game of Thrones skirt for Mothers day in May and I believe it’s on order.

So in terms of not spending not so good 😦 but I did also get rid of a skirt and two pairs of shoes so that has helped the neutralise the clutter aspect at a minimum. I think I’m largely neutral this month. I also have next to no money due to taking the kids to a family wedding but that was worth it for the kids, and for the extended family to see the kids. So in terms of conscious spending it’s a win.

I also bought a book in Indonesia, but also left one behind with someone so again it’s neutral.

In the next couple of days I’ll work out my next giveaway, I think I missed last month out of business. I’m happy with the rate of blogging and seem to be hitting my stride in terms of writing voice. I still need to expand the scope of my blog but with a busy month-o-burlesque that should be easy.


Essence – Hard to Resist (but do resist the Essence top coat grrr)

This is a manicure using Essence Hard to Resist, which is an awesome duochrome. It has a really vibrant colour shift from shimmery purple to an emerald green.

Hard to Resist - EssenceHard to Resist - Essence

Hard to Resist - Essence

I have now officially run out of Seche Vite and other usable top coats so I thought I’d try the Essence Fast Dry Top coat, as I love their polishes and it’s cheap. Unfortunately it’s also pretty dire 😦 and half an hour later I got a big ding in the index finger. I disguised it with a chevron in Black Chrome and went to bed, then woke up 9 hours later with fabric smudges in all nails. I am pretty bummed about this given how good the brand usually is and may have to bite the bullet and pay for some new top coats. I have heard good things about Poshe so may have to stalk ebay for some. Any other advice on quick dry coats? Anyone want to tell me about good experiences with the Essence one?

Face-Off – L’Oreal BB cream “UV Perfect” SPF 50+ vs Garnier BB cream “Miracle Skin Perfector”

First things first, I did go out and buy makeup which I feel terrible about. I had gone overseas to Indonesia for a wedding and my makeup turned out to be just about run out! (But I did have more at home, I just bought the nearly empty tube with me 😦 )I left the dregs of the Garnier BB cream so I could do a face-off comparison and picked up the cheapest BB cream I could find in the little Guardian pharmacy near the hotel.


What I picked up was the L’OREAL UV PERFECT BB cream Max SPF 50 PA+++ 12H Longlasting UV Protector for 99,000 rupiah for 30ml (which is a touch under $AU10 according to my credit card statement). It only comes in one colour and claims all sorts of benefits including anti-pollution protection and a 12hour suncreen. The Garnier BB cream “Miracle Skin Perfector” is $13.95 for 50ml, which is a touch cheaper but both products are definitely in the same price range. I have medium as I’m a little too sallow for their light colour.

Garnier BB

First pic is the back of my hand for comparison. I have some small freckles, and general fine lines associated with age and sun damage. My skin is about an NW20 for reference, maybe up to a 25 at the moment as I get a little darker in summer.


The first thing I noticed is that the L’Oreal is more fluid, and had a much less noticable odour than the Garnier which has a fruity sort of smell which is quite strong. The Garnier in medium seems quite a bit darker than my skin (although I do wear it regularly and it blends well) and the L’Oreal much lighter.

On blending the L’Oreal still seems quite white, and the Garnier a touch darker. Then I left then sit for 5 mins as the BB creams often seem to need a while to sit. Pictures for comparison below.


Finally the colours seem to both be a little off my skin tone. The L’Oreal still seems to have a whitening effect (which may be intentional as this is for the Asian market?), but has a much more positive ‘plumping’ effect (ie the skin seems a little softer and the fine lines are a bit less visible.) It also covers lines better and feels much lighter on the skin. The Garnier is lighter than a full foundation but sits in a similar way to a standard suncreen – ie noticable and a touch heavier on the skin.


I suspect that my search on the foundation front is not yet over, but I do love the skin enhancements of the L’Oreal and I suspect it will be a nice primer for full makeup when outside. I won’t repurchase the Garnier as I think I can do better on the tinted moisturiser/BB front for the price.

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Random Spotted Manicure

I’ve been preparing to do a fan dance and my nails have been suffering serious breakages recently 😦ImageI decided to even them out by cutting them all short and decided to try and do a spotted nail gradient but as it happens it isn’t quite as effective on a short nail. Any way it still looks fun. It’s a random pattern different sized and placed dots of Nubar Black Chrome, Nubar Unpredictable Taupe, and Essence Fatal-y Red on a background of OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls.

Subtle St Patricks Day manicure

I thought I’d do something a bit lower key for my manicure for St Pat’s, something Irish themed yet gentle on a hungover eye. So I’ve got Essence “Exits on Your Right” which is a lovely pastel mint green and an accent finger of China Glaze Gold Digger (for my pot’o’gold).

Hope you are all getting a nice sleep in 🙂Image

Game of Thrones Stark Manicure

Game of Thrones Stark Manicure

Yes, winter is coming. And so is the new season of GoT. The Stark manicure was hard to work out, most of the women don’t seem like they’d like nail art except Stansa and she is the only one without a wolf and trying to play down the fact she is a stark.
The fingers are Nubar Black Chrome with a top coat of Nubar White Polka, because as the Starks motto says “Winter is coming”, so I though snow would be cool. It’s got a matte finish which seems to suit them too.
Next I wanted to include the direwolf which is their sigil. The direwolf has been interpreted different ways but I picture a wolf that blends easy in the snow and trees of the north.
The thumb base colour is Essence ‘Got a Secret’ which is a light grey creme. Then I used Illamasqua Scorch for the ears and eyes, and Illamasqua Throb for a eye highlight. The rest of the direwolf is sketched with a sharpie. The red eyes are a reference to the weirwood gods, which seem to be linked firmly to the starks as well.

Prism by Illamasqua

Prism is another one of those polishes that doesn’t get much love. The main complaint is that it doesn’t become opaque, but my take on the name (a prism being something you look through) is that it is meant as a top coat. I find it quite versatile in taking the ‘blackened’ nail polishes from a few seasons back, which often look black in anything but full light, and showing them as a jewel colour.

My photo here shows viridian (one coat) with prism as a top coat with two coats of viridian and no prism on the ring finger to show the contrast. It does mute down some of the inner light of viridian but also brings it back to a beautiful royal blue foil. I have wanted to get “Swimsuit – Nailed It” by OPI for a while but can’t do it on my no spend so this is a good way of indulging my craving 🙂 Image

Liebster Award :)

I’m very flattered that the super cute Cuteberry nominated me for a liebster award. The challenge is to answer the 11 questions posed then find 11 new blogs and pose 11new questions. So here goes,
What is your favourite nail polish brand? Ilamasqua by far, on both colour range and formula/wear
What is the worst nail polish mishap you’ve ever had? That would probably be the time I dropped a bottle of OPI Russian Ink in our brand new pale blue bathroom. It shattered and went everywhere. I cried and cried.
When you break a nail, do you cut them all short or do you keep them long? I go short and embraced the freedom!
What nail trends do you like? I like checks and plaits but I’m still perfecting my techniques! I plan to try the cuteberry lace design next actually 🙂
What is your favourite nail art design to do on your own nails? It’s simple but I love glitter gradients.
Do you wear unusual nail colours to work? No, unfortunately I work in pretty conservative places. But unemployment is a lot more open to crazy manicures, probably the best upside to not working!
Which celebrity manicure do you like the most? Oh, well I just saw Oz and the wicked witches mani which was a sort of extreme chevron was great.
Who is your favourite nail polish blogger, or your biggest nail polish inspiration? I really like Jen on Polishaholic
What nail trend do you refuse to try? Fluffy nails. They seem like they’d get gross really easy :{
Show a picture of your best manicure ever!
Would you like to do nails professionally or own a salon? eeek, no way! I’m an enthused amateur only…

I nominate

The Weekly Polish Report –

Island Nails –

My adventures in Nail Art –

Beauty and Brains –

And let’s see,

What is your favourite nail polish that you own?

How many bottles of polish do you own?

How often do you change your nail polish?

What is your dream nail polish that you haven’t gotten your hands on yet?

Favourite top coat?

Glitters yay or nay?

What is your day job?

How do you relax?

What is your favourite thing about painting your nails?

How often do you blog?

How long have you been blogging?

Who is your idol nail blogger?

My private jet by OPI – sad adventures in ebay

I thought it might be fun to do a full swatch of this… it’s my bottle of “My Private Jet” by OPI. Now as many polish fanatics know this was a HTF, especially in it’s first generation as gorgeous blue-brown holograph as you can see in the linked swatch by Polish Mayhem. Mine is not the pretty one alas.

My Private Jet OPI
About a year ago I found a reasonably priced bottle on ebay from a supplier I had used before, tens of thousands in feedback and decided to make the purchase along with some other polishes. It had a nice looking blue-y holo swatch, and I waited eagerly to try it. Then it arrived, and I guess you can see where this is going. I have the brown scattered holo version. I messaged the seller back and found she had lifted the swatch from a google search under the polish name. It was very sad as you can imagine… I got the bottle amount (grudgingly) refunded so I won’t name and shame but let it me said again buyer beware on ebay. As you can imagine I don’t tend to wear this as full manicure but have used it now and then in nail art. It is a rarely used polish and yet I haven’t given up finding it’s hidden beautiful side.