Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Purple Manicure For My Hubby's 75th Birthday Party - 19 July 2015

Hi, and welcome to my blog.  So glad to have you visit!

I wanted my nails to look extra special for my hubby, Trevor's, 75th birthday on Sunday night, so I decided to wear purple.  When my eyes lighted upon these two amazing polishes in my collection, I just knew they were the ones, and that they were crying out to be worn together for this very special occasion.

Outside In Sunlight

These two amazing polishes are Shades of Phoenix "Dementor's Kiss" and Grace-full Nail Polish "Twinkling Violets""Twinkling Violets" is a Grace-full Nail Polish Fan Facebook Group exclusive polish that I was lucky enough to have the name I suggested chosen for.  If you don't already belong to this fan group, or the Phoenix Flames - Shades of Phoenix Indie Polish Facebook group, I'd really like to suggest that you join.  They are closed groups, but are easy enough to join, and we get the chance to buy exclusive Facebook Group Limited Edition polishes, the chance to choose the names of some of the polishes, chances to win prizes, and sneak previews of all the beautiful polishes these two amazing Aussie Indie Polish makers come up with for all their lucky fanatics. We have heaps of fun, especially when trying to come up with polish names, and oooohing and aaaahing over the previews of the new collections or Limited Edition polishes when they show up on the Facebook pages.  Come on over and check them out - they're awesome.

Now to my manicure.  As usual, I started with one coat of Pretty Serious "Rock On! Nail Strengthener" to all my nails.  Since using this on my nails I've only had one break, and that was my fault because I didn't remove my polish quickly enough when some of it came off, taking the strengthener with it, of course. I banged my nail whilst cooking dinner, and the only bit of the nail that didn't have polish on it broke off - Murphy's Law loves my home!!!!!  That is why you are viewing photos of my non-dominant hand, and also why the clean-up is not as good as usual.  Once again it looked great until I saw the photos -  YAAAGH!!!!  Sorry about that, but you can take it from me, next time my nail polish starts to come off, I'll be removing it and at least applying a coat of "Rock On!" straight away - once bitten, twice shy!!!!

My base coat for this manicure is Shades of Phoenix Base Coat, and I applied one coat of this to all my nails, making sure to wrap it over the ends of my nails for extra protection, as I also did with the "Rock On!".

Then I added one coat of Shades of Phoenix "Dementor's Kiss" to all my nails, and then a second coat to all but my ring fingers.  This polish was a bit patchy with the first coat, but the second coat soon fixed that.  It went on smoothly, and it is absolutely beautiful.  It is a mid-shade purple polish, with lots of holographic ultra-micro glitter throughout, and I was just able to pick that up in my photos, which I was really pleased about.  The photos really don't do it justice, though, which is a real shame.  Teneil, the owner of Shades of Phoenix, has taken maternity leave for the birth of her new baby (born 21 July), so the store is closed at present for a short while, but the Facebook group is still very active, with people sharing their manicures, etc, and now checking out the pictures of our lastest "mini" Phoenix Flames member - she's just beautiful.  It won't be too long, we hope, before Teneil will be back making more of her wonderful Aussie Indie nail polishes.

Next, I added two coats of Grace-full Nail Polish "Twinkling Violets" to my ring fingers, which gave me an amazing jelly effect.  This is a dark purple jelly polish, with blue tones, and so much tiny purple, blue and holographic glitter it really blew me away.  I haven't been able to stop looking at it since I put it on.  I just wish everyone could have bought some of this beautiful polish, but I'm afraid that's not possible.  This polish was a Facebook group only Limited Edition polish, as I said earlier, so there is no more available at all, unless you could possibly pick some up in a destash sale online somewhere.  However, I doubt that would happen, because I can't imagine anyone wanting to remove this polish from their collection.  So, don't forget to check out the Grace-full Nail Polish Fan Facebook Group so you don't miss out on any more amazing Limited Edition polishes, and also to see the photos of all the amazing polishes swatches that members have put up on the site.  I fear if you do you may well become as addicted as I am, and your bank balance will suffer the same as mine.

To finish my manicure I used Shades of Phoenix Top Coat, which went on really well over both polishes.  The Grace-full Nail Polish "Twinkling Violets" had a slightly rough finish, so I added a second coat to my ring fingers, and that smoothed it out beautifully.  I also made sure to wrap my top coat over the tips of my nails to give me even more protection for my polish.  

Here are some more photos of my manicure, including a macro image of Grace-full Nail Polish "Twinkling Violets" which will give you some idea of just how much glitter there is in the polish.

Inside Under Artificial Light

Outside In The Shade

Macro of "Twinkling Violets"

So, that's my manicure for this week.  I hope you like it as much as I do.  If you do, please check out the two amazing Aussie Indie Polish makers at the links given above.  You certainly won't regret it if you are an Indie Polish fan - these are definitely two of the best brands available online.

Thank you so much for visiting, and if you'd like to leave any comments, I would love to know what you think, whether good or bad.  I will be back in a couple of day's time, God willing (and providing Australia Post get their act into gear for a change), with a new collection from a very new Aussie Indie Nail Polish maker, and some really exciting news, but I'll have to make you wait for the information about that until then, and leave you wondering - oh, I'm so mean!! I hope you'll come back often to see what I have to share with you about my nail art journey since my dance with Breast Cancer, chemotherapy and radiotherapy last year (2014).  It's been a rough ride at times, and the last couple of months have been particularly bad health-wise (more about that later, perhaps), but I'm getting there!

God bless you, and have a wonderful week.



(Please check out my other blog below, too.)

Words of Life and Hope

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Amazing Blue Grace-full Nail Polish Manicure and Nail Care Update - 10 July 2015

Firstly, I'd like to show you just how much my nails have improved since my last update regarding the damage to them experienced because of my accident with some nail glue.

Back on 9th May 2015

As they are today.

As you can see, they have grown quite a bit, and I haven't had a break at all since I started using Pretty Serious "Rock On Strengthener" on them at all times.  Even without it, after I have removed my previous manicure, they definitely feel quite a bit stronger.  As you can imagine, I am VERY happy about that.

Now, on to this week's manicure.  Please forgive the polish left on my cuticles and fingers, but I stuffed up the middle finger on my left hand when I was cleaning up and had to photograph my right hand nails, and I am right-handed, so cleaning them is a lot harder for me and I still haven't mastered it.  They actually look pretty good in real life, but my camera picks up every little error or flaw.  I'll get there eventually - as the saying goes "practice makes perfect", and because of the nine weeks that I was unable to do my nails I lost some of my newly-learned skill (SIGH)!

Today I am showing you two amazing polishes from Grace-full Nail Polish that have been crying out to me to be used together ever since I bought them.  It is a lot simpler than my past few manicures, but I really wanted these two to stand out on their own because they are so absolutely AWESOME!  I've never worn dark blue before, and now I don't know why, because it looks fantastic with my skin colour.  You can be sure that I will be buying more colours like this in the future.

 Outside in Shade

The two Grace-full polishes I used for this manicure are "Mandy" and "Eboni".  Neither of them are still available, unfortunately, but you may be able to get some from a friend or through a stash purchase if you are lucky.  Also, Theresa may even make some more like these again in the future.  I certainly hope so because I have completely fallen in love with both these polishes and this colour.

I started my manicure, as usual, with one coat of Pretty Serious "Rock On Strengthener" on all my nails.  Once that was completely dry I added one coat of Grace-full Nail Polish Base Coat to all nails.

Next I painted three thin coats of "Mandy" to all my nails except for my middle nails, on which I only applied one coat of "Mandy".  Then I painted two coats of "Eboni" on my middle nails, and added a little bit of dabbing to make sure I got some of the stars on each nail.  I didn't have to fish very hard because the polish is really loaded with all the glitter included in it.

"Mandy" is a deep blue that has purple undertones, lighter blue micro flakies and blue fantasy flakies that create the most wonderful colour effect.  I haven't been able to stop looking at it since I put it on because it is so beautiful.  It went on a little patchy at first, but I had good coverage with two coats.  I only added the extra coat so that I could get the full effect of the polish in my swatch photos.  The finish is slightly matte and a little rough, but just one coat of top coat was enough to smooth it out and really make it shine.

"Eboni" is a dark purple galaxy jelly with holographic silver stars, violet hexagonal and square glitter, and rainbow iridescent glitter.  It went on really well, and two coats and a little dabbing to make sure I got some stars on each nail gave me just the amount of jelly effect I wanted.  I used a layer of "Mandy" underneath it because I wanted to give it a more blue effect, and it worked really well.  The finish was quite rough because of the larger glitter and stars, so I had to use two coats of top coat to smooth it out, but that is quite normal for larger glitter anyway, so it was not a problem.  

I finished my mani with one coat of Grace-full Nail Polish Quick Dry Top Coat on all nails, and an extra coat on my middle nails.  The finish is so smooth, and has a beautiful shine.  This really is a lovely top coat which I definitely recommend.

The overall effect of these two polishes together just blew me away.  It doesn't matter what kind of light I'm in, they shine, shimmer and sparkle like sapphires, and my middle nails look as if I've deliberately done a galaxy nail art design, and are just gorgeous.  Once again Theresa from Grace-full Nail Polish has come up with two superb polishes, and I just can't get enough of her products.  I wait with baited breath every time she is working on a new collection or special edition polish, and I know that there will always be so many of them that I want from the collection that I won't be able to afford them.  It's times like this when I wish I was still working.  So, please check out her site and you'll see why I'm addicted to this wonderful Aussie Indie polish brand.  Here are some more photos in different light situations that will show you just how gorgeous these polishes are and why I just had to use them together.  I even managed a macro of "Eboni", which really shows its beauty, but please ignore my horrible clean-up job.  I will get better, I promise!




On another note, I am going through some pretty tough health problems at the moment which my doctor thinks are a result of the combination of my chemotherapy last year and the massive doses of antibiotics I had going through three drips in my arm when I got double pneumonia after my second dose of chemo.  I had shocking diarrhea from the chemo, but it got a whole lot worse while I was on the antibiotics, and even after I left hospital, I was still on very strong antibiotics for over a month.  I was already suffering from lactose intolerance, and thought I had this pretty much under control, but over the last few months I've been having problems with just about every meal I ate.  It appears that I now have IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and I've been to see a dietician, who has put me on the FODMAP Free Diet developed by Monash University in Melbourne, Australia (see, who are doing intensive research into this particular problem.  I've only been on it for 3 weeks so far, but already I'm starting to work out that the foods that are big no-no's with this diet have been causing all my gut problems, and some of them very badly.  

This diet has very extensive food restrictions, and I'm finding it very hard to come to grips with, but if it works I don't care.  My brain is in meltdown from researching recipes and information on IBS and this diet, and from having to read all the labels on food packaging to make sure that none of the restricted foods are in the products.  One of the hardest things I've found is the fact that I can no longer eat garlic or onion, because I used to use this in just about everything I cooked.  However, I'm learning how to use herbs and spices, and other hints and tips I've found, to provide flavour to my recipes.  

If you suffer from IBS, I really recommend that you check this site out (, and download the app as well.  I have found the app is amazing for when I'm shopping, because it enables me to check just what I have to look out for on labels, and also what I can and cannot eat if I'm not sure.  It has a shopping guide, too, and you can even make up a shopping list with it.  There is a lot of information on each of the foods you may be having problems with so that you understand why it is happening.  The diet is only meant to be short-term initially (6 weeks to 2 months), and if your stomach has settled down by then you can start trying to introduce the different foods to see just which ones are causing you trouble.  From what I've experienced so far, they all are, but I'm hoping that, once my gut has recovered, I will find that I can still eat some of them after all.

Well, that's all from me today, and thanks for visiting. I would love to hear what you think if you would like to leave your comments, and I hope you will come back often to see what I have to share with you.

Have a wonderful week, and may God bless you!



(Please check out my other blog below, too.)

I was not paid in any way, shape or form for any of the products mentioned in my blog.
All products were bought by myself and my comments are honestly and freely given.

Friday, July 3, 2015

My Grace-full Nail Polish Ombre Manicure for 30 June 2015

I received five polishes from the Grace-full Nail Polish "Ice Princess Collection" (inspired by the movie "Frozen") early in the week, and I just had to use some of them for this week's ombre manicure.  They are simply awesome, and I can't wait to buy the others in the collection, very soon I hope.  I used three of the "Ice Princess Collection", and two other recent purchases from Grace-full Nail Polish, as well as the Grace-full Base Coat and Quick-Dry Top Coat. Here is a photo of the polishes I used:

Aren't they just wonderful.  If you haven't tried any of the Grace-full Nail Polish yet, you really should check them out.  I, personally, think Theresa Carter is the No. 1 Aussie Indie Polish maker in the country.  I just can't stop buying her polish, and just when you think she can't come up with anything more beautiful, she up and does it again.

Now, on to the manicure.

Photo taken in sunlight!

I started by painting one coat of Pretty Serious "Rock On" Nail Strengthener on all my nails, and once that had dried, I painted another coat on my two middle fingers and two thumbs, which are both still very thin  fragile.  I then painted one coat of Grace-full Nail Polish Base Coat on all my nails.

Next, I painted three coats of "My Own Personal Snow Flurry" on my thumbs to achieve the full crelly effect that I wanted from this beautiful polish, making sure that each coat was completely dry before adding the next one. "My Own Personal Snow Flurry" is an amazing off-white crelly with black, orange, silver and blue micro-glitter with silver ultra-fine holographic glitter, iridescent glitter and silver holo hexes.  The overall effect is mind-blowing.  I don't think I've seen so many different coloured glitters in one polish before.  It went on smoothly, with good cover in just one coat, but because I wanted the full crelly effect, I decided to do three thin coats.

The second polish I used is "Ice Crazy", on my index fingers, and this is the only one I wasn't overly pleased with.  I think the colour just doesn't go well with my skin colour, but it went on easily, and I only needed two thin coats for full coverage.  It is described as "a grey crelly with a hint of blue throughout, ultra-fine silver holographic glitter, iridescent tiny glitters and little flecks of mauve and blue".  However, I found it very hard to get any glitter and/or holo effect at all, except for a tiny amount in the sun and under artificial light.  I was quite disappointed with this polish, which is a real shame because I was really looking forward to using it; but even saying that, it is a lovely polish - just not my colour.

The third polish I tried is definitely my favourite of the five I used.  I painted three thin coats of "Open Door" on my middle fingers (although two would probably have been enough if I hadn't been featuring it in my blog), and it is absolutely stunning.  It is a linear mauve holo with violet flakies, and the colour shift is amazing, especially in the sun, and even better under artificial light, where I was able to get the full linear holo effect.  This is the polish that made me decide that I have to get the rest of the collection as soon as possible.

The fourth polish I used, on my ring fingers, is "Drowning In Violets", a Special Edition polish which was only available to the Grace-full Nail Polish Fan Group members, and which was named by one of our members.  This polish is amazing, with so much different coloured holographic glitter in it that it was really hard to get decent photos of it because of the flashing effect.  It just blew me away when I put it on.  It was very easy to apply, and this is just two coats, with just a little dabbing to fill in a few gaps in the glitter. The group decided they wanted two versions of this particular polish, which the members decided on by voting on the Facebook page, one with a reddish tinge and one with a bluish tinge, so Theresa then asked us for ideas for the names for the polishes.  One of the names I suggested was chosen for the bluish-tinged one, but this version is the reddish-tinged one, named by another member.  Members get sneak-peaks of new polish collections, can win prizes, see previews of all the Grace-full polishes, and as shown by this polish and the one I named, amazing Special Editions that no one except members of the group can buy.  It really does pay you to be a member of the group, so please check it out and request to join.  You won't regret it!  We have lots of fun sharing our manicures and nail-mail on the Facebook page, too, and everyone is really helpful if you have any problems you need help with.

The last polish I used, on my pinkies, is "Mount Fang", one of the four Grace-full polishes in "The Inklings Collection" collaboration with Powder Perfect, who also had four polishes as part of the collection.  This is an amazing set of polishes, and I would recommend that you check them out.  "Mount Fang" is a deep, charcoal-based, linear holo, with red and gold sparks of colour throughout.  It went on really easily, and I only needed two coats to get full coverage.  The colour shift and glitter in this is really gorgeous, especially under artificial lighting and in the sun.

I finished this weeks manicure with one coat of "Quick-Dry Top Coat" on all my nails, and a second coat on my ring fingers because of all the glitter in the polish.  The second coat was plenty to give it a lovely smooth finish.

Here are some more photos, taken inside under artificial light, in my sunroom under overcast conditions, outside in the shade on a cloudy day, in overcast conditions outside, and in a second one on a different angle in the sun.



The drops of water on my thumb in the sun are sprinkles of rain that fell while I was taking my photos LOL!

 As you can see, the different effects seen under different lighting conditions are amazing (this is a word my husband told me yesterday that I never used until I got hooked on Aussie Indie Nail Polish - now I say it all the time).  I just can't stop looking at this manicure, and I'm going to be very sad when I have to take it off in a few days.  I hope you'll take the time to check out all the wonderful polishes that Theresa has for sale at Grace-full Nail Polish, and that you'll check out the Grace-full Nail Polish Fan Group, too.

Thank you for visiting my blog, and I hope you enjoyed seeing what I had to share with you.  I welcome comments, good or bad, so feel free to leave one if you so wish.  You can also follow my blog by filling in one of the boxes at the top right-hand side of the page if you would like to be notified when I add another post.  My next one will be photos of my bare nails 2 months ago compared to now, and I am amazed at the difference that short time has made to them.

Have a wonderful week, and may God bless you with an abundance of His mercy and grace!


(Please check out my other blog below, too.)
Words of Life and Hope
I was not paid in any way, shape or form for using any of the items mentioned in this post,
and my honest opinions are given freely and without any bias at all.