Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Monthly Haul: July

Hi ladies! Even though I'm not posting swatches at the moment, I will still be sharing my monthly hauls with you. This month is a bit of a mish-mash, I did buy/receive a couple of these last month, but I was unable to post them because a) the IBD Just Gels hadn't arrived yet and b) 3 were for the piCture pOlish blog fest, so I didn't want to show them until after the post was published.
This month has also been a little tame in terms of quantity, well at least when compared to some months, a lot of this has to do with that I was made redundant two weeks ago, which SUCKS, so some of these were bought before that happened, and some were bought afterwards to give me a little pick me up.

Some of you may not be aware, but I'm now a fully qualified Nail Technician, so over the past couple of months I have slowly been building up my Gel Polish, Gel and Acrylic Powder collections. As this is more of a polish blog, I've only included the Gel Polish I've bought but if you'd like to see an Acrylic/Gel collection, let me know. As I trained with IBD products, those are what I've decided to use as a starter brand. Hopefully as time goes on I will take a few training courses with other brands too. I just wanna say a HUGE thank you to Jenny for being my US polish mule for these babies and saving me a small fortune!

I started off this month with a purchase from ILNP, which is becoming one of my favourite indie brands, their sleek packaging, gorgeous colour combinations and amazing customer service makes this brand stand out in the ever-growing crowd. When I saw the preview swatches for the new holos, I knew there were some I desperately needed, but having missed out on the launch and the ones I wanted selling out, I thought that was never going to happen. However, the lovely lady behind the brand, Barbra, informed me that she had held a few shades back from the launch and I would be able to paypal her directly for them! I think I actually did a little dance for that, so thank you x100000 Barbra!

Around my payday, Harlow & Co. had a re-stock of piCture pOlish, so I grabbed a couple I had been wanting whilst they were available. Also whilst I was browsing I saw this Girly Bits/MakeUpMom123 collab polish and thought it looked AMAZING so I nabbed that too.

After my ILNP and Harlow & Co. order, I swore to myself I wasn't going to buy anymore polishes...and then I saw that Ciate were having a 50% off flash sale for one day only. Ciate polishes have always been a bit of a hit and miss in my opinion, sometimes I love the formula, other times I hate it. But for £4.50 I thought it was worth trying again. I also bought Funhouse & Helter-Skelter, but they were not at all what I thought they'd be like so I sold them.

After my redundancy, I went into Sallys to grab some supplies for doing nails like tips, files, cuticle pushers, nippers etc and saw that they had the Hologlam collection in stock. I said a little prayer in my head and went to look for the last remaining polish I needed in the collection and to my excitement, they had it in! Although now I wish I had held off buying them at Professional Beauty as they were almost half the price I paid in Sallys, boooo.

Last but not least, we have my piCture pOlish purchase (say that 3x fast). This was a REALLY naughty purchase and after it was completed I did get a bit of buyers regret. I was doing a bit of 'looking but not buying' on their website when I came across the Everyday Deals page *uh oh* and found that if I bought 7 shades, I'd get 2 free...There's something about the word free that makes everything sound like a must have deal. After that the world went black and the next thing I knew I had 9 new shades on their way to me. But they're

Last but not least we have the 3 piCture pOlish shades I was sent as part of Blog Fest 2013, which you can see my post here. Technically, these should have been in Junes haul, but as I mentioned earlier, I didn't want to show them until the blog fest post was live.

That concludes the polishes that I received/purchased this month. As you can see it was a very piCture pOlish oriented month. As of this moment, I'm unsure if there will be any more haul posts over the next coming months unless I am able to find a job, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

Monday, 29 July 2013

piCture pOlish Blog Fest 2013: Year Of The Blogger

Hi ladies! It's been a while, I know. I'm actually taking a break from blogging right now mainly because my nails aren't in too good-a-shape at the moment after spending the last 5 months learning how to do acrylics & gels with countless applications to my nails, so they're feeling a little weak and unloved but for now I have a special one off post for you. A while back piCture pOlish advertised for new bloggers to take part in their blog fest for this year, having missed out on the opportunities in the past, I thought that now was as good a time as any to put myself forward. I'd actually forgotten about it until I got the e-mail saying I'd been chosen, needless to say I got a little excited.

However, unlike previous years, this year is a little different, instead of the chosen bloggers receiving a couple of the new collaboration shades to debut, we were given the task to 'create your most amazing nail art manicure ever' using the 3 unknown shades being provided to us by piCture pOlish. Since we didn't know the polishes we were to be using until they arrived, pre-planning a manicure was exceptionally hard, even more so because I am in no-way creatively inclined.

When my piCture pOlish arrived, I pondered over the possible nail art ideas for DAYS until I finally settled on my 'final piece' which was inspired by this negative space manicure I saw on Chelsea's Get Nailed. We were told when creating the manicure, that we could use any accessories/stamping/Black & White paint to help aid us, but the 3 piCture pOlish shades provided must shine through and not be overshadowed so baring all that in mind, I created this;

As you can see from the top photo, I was sent Hot Lips, Jade and Violet Femme which are all gorgeous on their own, but together? They just compliment each other so well. It wasn't until after I had finished the manicure, I realised I needed to make a tutorial, so I've quickly re-created the process of my ring finger using The Nail Trainer.

In hindsight, had I known the direction I wanted to go with this mani, I would have skipped step 6 and added the studs straight away, following the same pattern as they would have been enough to cover the connecting lines. I'm absolutely in LOVE with this mani, just the way the three colours all compliment each other perfectly and how vibrant they all are.

If you love this mani as much as I do, I need your help! piCture pOlish are going to be running a competition their Pinterest between all the bloggers participating in Blog Fest this year where all nail art creations go into the running to be chosen to create a collaboration shade with piCture pOlish launched in 2014! How exciting!!! VOTING IS NOW OPEN HERE FOR 24 HRS ONLY
However, there are only 3 awards that will be voted and chosen as follows via our special Pinterest Blog Fest 2013 board:

  • 1 x Award - as voted by PP friends and fan - THAT'S YOU LADIES!
  • 1 x Award - as voted by all participants of Blog Fest 2013
  • 1 x Award - as voted by Jules & Megs of piCture pOlish

I'm super excited and anxious to see who else is participating in Blog Fest 2013 and find out what other amazing Nail Art creations have been entered!

To make sure you don't miss out on the announcement to vote, make sure you add all of piCture pOlish social media networks; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram & YouTube

Also, if you'd like a bottle of Jade, Hot Lips or Violet Femme of your own, piCture pOlish can be purchased directly from, who ship Worldwide, or alternatively you can purchase through their international network. If you're making an order directly from piCture pOlish with 4 polishes or more, check out their Everyday Deals page for the opportunity to get 1 or 2 FREE shades with your order!

Thursday, 11 July 2013


Hi ladies! I was unfortunately made redundant from work yesterday, and because of this I've had to put my Nail Polish obsession into perspective and have a MAJOR clear out to help see me through the difficult months ahead whilst I find myself a new job. It was a painful experience but I have managed to clear out over 200 polishes from my stash and more will probably be added soon!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Guest Post: Nail Jems

Hi ladies! I've got another guest blogger for you today, this time we're graced by Jem from Nail Jems who has been inspired by some Aboriginal art! I love the colours she used in this mani, and I'm sure you will too! So without further ado, let's take a look at Jems' creation!


First of all I would like to thank the lovely Rachel for allowing me to do a guest post for her amazing blog, I am new to blogging and this is only my second ever guest post, so it's an honour to be featured amongst such talent!
Rachel asked me to do something along the lines of favourite techniques or tools, and one tool that has become very important to me and is so versatile for nail art is my dotting tool. I have used it in so many ways, but I have never done a dotticure before!
I confess that I am not a big fan of polka dots and for this reason I have avoided the dotticure so far, and then I realised that if I didn't like polka dots I was just going to have to get creative, and as I moved to Australia recently I took some inspiration from Aboriginal art! Aboriginal art is amazing, they create an entire image with millions of tiny little dots, and as the Aboriginals are tied to the land much of their artwork is based on Australian nature. So I decided to adopt their dotting method of creating art and did my first Aussie themed dotticure, and I have to say, though not a fan of dots I love it!

Each nail represents a different aspect of the Australian Terrain.
The index finger represents the sun
The middle finger represents the sea
The ring finger represents the hinterland, which is a region of forest covered mountains seperating the coast from the desert behind (which is where I live!)
The little finger represents the desert.
On the thumb nail I decided to feature an Australian animal, and though it's not the most famous Aussie animal, it is my favourite and that's the snake. They are rife here and I have a 3 meter long carpet python who lives in my back garden and showed up as an uninvited guest to my wedding!! This makes me happy, if I didn't move around so much I would have a real pet snake! I love that there are so many here, but some are very dangerous and I have had to attach a venemous snake chart to my refrigerator to know what to keep away from when they show up on my patio!

This was a pretty tricky mani to do as I had to get the dots small enough to form a visible pattern on such a small area as the nail, I think I managed it quite well for a first dotting attempt!
I used a lot of colours in this mani so I will list them all here:
Sun: Sinful Colours ''Hazard'' and Sinful Colours ''All about You''
Sea: YSNY 018, LA Girl ''Mermaids Lagoon'' and Sinful Colours ''Cinderella''
Mountains: YSNY 016, Chresy (no name) and OPI SkyFall Collection ''Live and Let Die''
Desert: Sally Hansen Lustre Shine ''Lava'' Sinful Colours ''Hazard'' Sally Hansen Shine Tech (red but lable has gone!) and BYS Neons ''Shimmer Golden Sands''.
Snake: YSNY 016, LA Girl fruity in ''Blissful Blackberry'', Sally Hansen Lustre Shine ''Lava'' and BYS Neons ''Shimmer Golden Sands''
Some of these polish such as YSNY and Chresy you may never have heard of as they are budget European brands, and others you may not have heard of as I believe they are Aussie brands like the BYS polishes. All of these colours were dotted onto a white creme base, Sinful Colours ''Snow Me White''
I hope you enjoyed my first ever dotticure! If you would like to see more of my work please pass by my blog and drop me some love at: 
Thanks again to Rachel for this wonderful opportunity to share my work with you all! 
Jem of Nail Jems x


I absolutely LOVE her index finger, however with my current Blue obessesion, the middle finger has to be my favourite. Thank you again to Jem for being a guest on Polished Criminails!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Monthly Haul: June

Hi ladies! I'm still deep into my unmotivational stage where I just cannot even think about swatching/writing posts at the minute, and it's starting to bug me! I have multiple swatches in the vault that need editing and posting, but everytime I go to do it, I find something else more interesting to do. I'm in desperate need of some tips to get out of this rut I'm in, so if you have any tricks, let me know!
This is a little late since we're already 2 days into July, and I usually have these published at the end of every month, but hey. Better late than never right? I've been EXTREMELY good this month with my spending, like ridiculously so. I've actually shocked myself with how little I spent on Nail Polishes in June, granted, I have treated myself to 13 new IBD Just Gel polishes to kick start my Nail Tech kit, but those haven't arrived yet so they'll be included into July's haul.
As always, I'll start with the polishes I personally bought and then show the ones I was kindly sent for review at the end.

I started this months purchases at Harlow & Co. after they had a restock of some shades I'd been after for a while. Of course, I had to spend over $50 to get the free shipping, not doing so would have been silly, right?! I picked up 2 KBShimmer polishes in Pastel Me More and Squared Away, 2 Happy Hands polishes in Motherboy and Flowers On The Highway and because I'm wanting to expand my piCture pOlish collection and have been wanting this polish for a while, I snagged Blogger.

I then placed an order on Superdrug online for the two limited edition BarryM polishes whilst they had their free shipping promo. I also ordered NYC - Raindrops which I completely forgot to photograph, however on the bottle, it actually says Blue Sky, so I have no idea what went on there.

Whilst browsing the magazine isles in my Supermarket, I saw that Marie Claire have partnered with Ciate again and are offering 2 mini polishes with every purchase. Unfortunately there was one magazine left on the stand so I wasn't able to see which other choice there was! This is Cookies and Cream with Shooting Star caviar beads.

I'm sure you're all aware if you've seen my last few Haul posts, I'm a little obsessed with NYC at the moment. They're so cheap and amazing quality for the price and I just love their colours. When I heard they'd released a Foil range, I knew I wanted to get them to add to my 'stamping polish' collection so when I saw them in Superdrug on a 2 for £3 offer, I grabbed them all and a couple extra too (I ended up doubling up on one polish I bought so I gave it to a friend).

That concludes the purchases for this month, how good was I?! I'm thoroughly impressed with myself. Now let's get onto the polishes I have kindly been sent for review (which I'm slowly and surely getting around to doing, desperately fighting this lack of motivation I currently have).

I was contacted my Dazzle Dry in the UK to ask if I wanted some of their polishes to review. After seeing so many positive reviews about this brand, I jumped at the chance to try them out. Although I haven't swatched them properly yet, I have worn one of their polishes for a lengthy amount of time and I have to agree, they're amazing! I'll try and get the review of these up as soon as possible!

Jacava (for some reason I've always thought it was Javaca) contacted me at the beginning of the month asking if I'd like to review one of their polishes. After seeing them at Professional Beauty in February and hearing about them on Lucy's Stash, I was curious to see what they're like, so of course I accepted. I do have this polish swatched and will hopefully get around to posting it this weekend, so stay tuned for that!

A looong time ago, I signed up for Rainbow Honey's blogging community thing and had completely forgot I had even done so until I was contacted with a Press Release and that my goodies were in the mail! The best thing about this package? I received all 3 of the polishes I really wanted (with the exception of I Miss You)! As with Jacava, I have these swatched and will have the post published most likely on Thursday! Again, look out for that!

That concludes my Haul for June, again so sorry it's a bit late! Did we purchase any of the same polishes this month? Let me know in the comments! I'm already a little excited to show you July's purchases, I've been a liiiittle naughty. Until then.....

Monday, 1 July 2013

Guest Blogger: Lucy's Stash

Hi ladies! I'm honoured to have such a talented guest on my blog today! I'm sure you're all aware of Lucy's amazing Nail Art creations and if you aren't where have you been hiding?! I'm always in awe of her creativity and a little jealous of how long her nails are! Mine seem to chip/snap off once they get to a certain length :(. Anyway, without further ado, let's hand the reigns over to Lucy!


Hi everyone,
I’m Lucy from Lucy’s Stash and I’m excited to be doing a guest post for Rachel! I’ve chosen to do a mix & match geometry nails so there’s a lot going on.
Firstly I’ve painted on two coats of A England Fated Prince and let it dry thoroughly. Then I could start painting the nails using Rio Beauty black and white nail art pens from one of their sets. They are the classic nail art pens with small metal tip and a thin brush under the cap.
If you read my blog you know I’m not a big talker so let’s check out the pictures ;)

I’ve done a tutorial for the Jonqal pattern on the thumb and also a tutorial for the pinkie Checked pattern. Hope you like it!


I love, love, love the design Lucy used on her thumb! I may just have to give it a try using her tutorial. A HUGE thank you to Lucy for taking the time to guest blog for me! I know she's a super busy lady! As always, links to her social networking sites are listed above! Stay tuned to see who will be featured next!