Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween

Shattered today, three days into a busy week at work and I feel I need more sleep than I am getting. Going to remedy that after posting this and diving straight into bed. 

Must admit Halloween isn't really my think. we weren't allowed pumpkins as kids as they were too expensive and my mum used to make us have swede's. They were evil to empty out as they were just solid, it used to take all day. Suppose I should add to this that my mum insists that pumpkins weren't available in shops when I was a kid. We also weren't allowed to trick or treat as this was 'begging'. Hmmm

I'm not bitter, honest. 

So, my Halloween mani. Its bright Barry M Gelly in Satsuma with stamps over two fingers with crackle on the others. I liked them, I liked them alot. Made me think about what stamps I could do like this in the future. 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Goodbye October, It Was Nice Knowing You

So today is the last day for pink manicures for Breast Cancer Awareness. Tomorrow is Halloween and I have a special mani for that one. 

This manicure was much nicer in the flesh than it looks in the picture. No17 Miami is something I have had fora  long time. It is a lovely colour and goes on well. Infact, its a one coater. On top I put a wonderful coat of Picture Polish Festival which is a mixture of beautiful pretty creamy sparkles which go multi coloured when they catch the light. One of those polishes that you have to look at all day long.

Suppose this reflects my mood aswell. I am happier, I feel more sorted and know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am just looking for an overnight break for us somewhere amazing, somewhere in Europe. Travel makes the heart go boo boom.

Monday, 29 October 2012

A Brighter Day, A Brighter Future.

So, going from the moaning and misery of yesterday I felt I should pull myself up by my bootstraps and sort things out. Got myself up and out and went to work, which was a proper positive step. It wasn't easy, but I have some wonderful friends there and I was felt very supportive.

So as October comes to a close I have still got a pink accent with a crackle from W7 with undies of lime florescent green also from W7. Really liked it, although the crackle went a bit too crackle and left gaping holes across the green. It felt proper funky.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Being Brave - Easy On The Nails, Difficult In The Head

Over the past week I have been completely and utterly amazed at the response to my post about my anxiety. I didn't feel brave in what I was saying, because it is something I have come to terms with and faced with friends. But I am so overwhelmed by the contact I have had from people I am truly humbled. 

But as with pride, there is a fall. 

Last week I properly fell off my anxiety horse. Things in my life haven't been smooth running over the past 6 months. My work life is increasingly pressured as every day comes, and I am coming to the reality that I need to find something else to do. We have half the number of staff we need and we are twice as busy as we should be. I feel thoroughly ashamed that I am the first person to crack, as I know I am experienced, but with my past I suppose it is to be expected.

Additionally to this my husband hasn't seen his children for the past 5 months. I don't have children of my own, so they have been my surrogates for the past 7 years. We both miss them more than anyone can imagine, but the situation is out of our hands. I feel so raw and emotional about it, I cannot imagine what it is like for him. I empathise with any parent in this situation, its heartbreaking and even as a step-parent it never really leaves your thoughts. 

I am glad to say that I have started to get both of these things into perspective. I am living by the motto that I want the grace to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to challenge the things I can. 

So today's manicure is a showcase for Orly 'Be Brave' The name of the polished seemed appropriate, also, I love how bright and sparkly it is. Almost like electric is running through the polish, fireworks on your nails. It would have been easy to put it over a pink or black base, but I wanted it to stand on its own, so employed a lovely nude, Sally Hansen Quick Sand. 

I hope you like it. I don't believe in religion, its not my type of thing. But spare a thought for me over the next few days, and anyone else going thought something similar.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Love, Lace and Lawsuit Wedding Nails

On the forum the other day someone asked what to do for wedding day nails. Shamefully for my wedding day I wasn't into polish and I barely had time to paint mine! I just threw on a shade of No17 pale shimmery pink and that was it. 

So, if I had my time again, this is what my wedding nails would look like. A pale pink base of No7 Pinky Pure with a coat of Ninja Polish Love Lace and Lawsuits over the top. It was incredibly difficult to photograph, but I think they look lovely.

Problem is, if we renew our vows it is likely to be somewhere crazy like Vegas, so there will be no space for pretty nails like this. 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Finding My Lemming - Nancy's Birthday, a Whimsical by Pam

I have lemmed over the Whimsical polishes by Pam for ages. Sadly she doesn't ship outside the USA, so it felt an impossible task to get one. But luckily for me one popped up in a blog sale last week and I managed to get my sticky little paws on it. All I can say is the wait was worth it. 

I try and be true to myself and I don't have a huge polish budget. Therefore indies are out of my price range and after the drama with some of them they are out of my interest range aswell. One sniff of drama and I am out of there. But Pam seems like a genuinely nice lady, so I am happy to participate.

All I can say is that this polish is wonderful. It is a pink jelly base, which looks lovely on my skintone, but has different size hexes in a myriad of colours. My explanation just cannot do justice to it. I hope the pictures say more than I am in words. 

Needless to say this is precious and will only come out on special occasions!

British Nail Bloggers Round-Up 21/10/12

British Nail Bloggers

Another week in the world of British Bloggers and what they have been doing. 
Emma has started a Quest for the Holy Grail in honour of the retirement of the a-england shade she has rarely used and is now trying to use it in a personal Holy Grail challenge at Emma's Little Corner

Lyndsay at Pie's Eyes has taken a delivery of some new Christmas themed HB image plates for stamping with and has been trying them out to see how they perform

In need of distracting this week Enigmatic Rambles' spent waay to much time painting frog eyes on her nails for a Sat-ART-Day nail challenge.

Claire at nuthin' but a nail thing has been doing some checkerboard themed manicures. Pink, White and Black and a more spangly Blue, Black and White checkerboard mani, which do you prefer?

Sam at Polished Art has made her second and final attempt at water marbling for the 31 Day Challenge. Never again!

More Halloween spookiness over at Never Mind Suzi, Steph is playing with ZOMBIES 
Jo at Northern Nails has been entering a few competitions this week, from skulls to coming up with Taglines!, She has also joined in with Pink October, with a lovely pink bead mani !

Polished Criminails has been busy showing us the OPI - Skyfall Collection this week in her Skyfall Swatch Series with an added insight to each of the corresponding James Bond films

Vic's been carrying on with the Halloween theme but has also managed to fit in some non-Halloween related nail art. Her Frogs mani fits somewhere in between. Check out the cute pic of her two year old who insisted on getting frogs on his nails too!

Jazz has been continuing with her love/hate affair with frankens and has also been divulging in a little bit of halloween nail art! Frankens! Glitter is appropriate no matter what the occasion!

Ruth finally posted up her first fishtail attempt this week!

Carlyn has fallen in love with OPI Diva of Geneva A gorgeous shimmering red then added a rose stamping design

Charlotte at Charlottes-nails has swatched a polish from Born Pretty Store for a review post this week.

Wendy from Wendy's Delights has been going round in circles with her new Circular Magnetic & Magnetic Polish and while your over at Wendy's Delights check out her Nail Foil for the Llama A-Z Challenge

Kerrie from PishPosh and Polish has been on holiday this week. She decided to try out some Sally Hansen Nail Effect Wraps to create Denim Nails and loves the result!

Mimi tries her hand at freestyle nails Halloween and thinks they are really cool!

Danielle gives her first tutorial on Black velvet manicure at Totally Nailed

This week, The Crumpet has done a series of posts for Depression Awareness. Feel free to join in and share your story, or do a green mani in support

Kerry at JustTalkNails has gone all out for Halloween with Daring Digits Trick or Treat a perfect Halloween glitter.

Here is a pastel green manicure with a glitzy difference for Abi's first post back at Volatile Varnish.

This week Sally of NailPron bared her soul with a green manicure and came out as an anxiety survivor, oh and she broke the news about the new Speciallita Hits Glitter World polishes

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Saturday Skittles for Breast Cancer Awareness

After yesterday I decided I should go back to my intentions for October today with another pink manicure for Breast Cancer Awareness.

So today is a skittle event with a slightly different shade of pink on each nail. The colours I have used are...

Thumb - Miss Sporty 322 Paparrazi
Index - Rimmell 60 Seconds  Shocker
Middle - Miss Guided - Mistify
Ring - Avon - Viva Pink
Pinkie - Rimmell Lasting Finish - Strawberry Fizz

This was a real change to yesterdays stark stamping, and I like it. Makes me feel all gooey and happy having pink on my nails. They should give this out on prescription, its way cheaper than some of the stuff they have to give out.

Also, my first time using a MissGuided polish and it was very nice. Took three coats to cover the visible nail line, but it went on like a dream and was a lovely shade.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Green Nails With A Meaning

I have taken a bit of a break from the pink polish today to support a different cause, one which is very close to my heart.  Today my manicure is green, green in recognition of Depression Awareness.

There is a social stigma related to mental illness unlike anything else. Social stigma which means it is almost impossible to discuss with the people around you what you are going through. People have compassion if you have a broken leg, toothache even ingrowing toenails, but mental problems are the unmentioned. So, today I am standing here loud and proud in front of you all and admitting what I have never really admitted before. I am an anxiety survivor.

I have no idea when I started experiencing problems with anxiety. I had a normal childhood, no upheaval, nothing untoward. But, I remember being young, probably 8 or 9 and being so worried at what my dad would say at some minor misdemeanour that I felt like I was going to pass out and dug my nails so deep into the palm of my hand they bled. I know to this day I can obsess over things that have happened in my past like they are happening now. Drawing on my bedroom wall and having my crayons taken off me, Not being trusted to have slip on shoes, directing my Nan a different way to get to our new house, going to my friends after school instead of going to watch my sister at swimming class. All these things can be as real and as frightening to me as the day they happened. But now I am 30 years older, but not 30 years more wise.

Since being an adult I have had irregular flare ups of varying degree’s of severity. The first time it was out of control was when I was 23. I had a special friend. She was amazing, I had known her since I was 11 and we just clicked. We managed to get through the awkward teenage years of friendship when things can be very up and down and got through to our twenties. My friend then got her first boyfriend and I was surplus to requirements. No longer needed or necessary, and all of a sudden I was all alone. This time alone gave me too much time to think about things and made me panic.

I broke down at work one day, for no particular reason and cried all day long. I had no reason for the way I felt, and couldn’t put it into words. I went to the doctor and he prescribed with me Prozac. I didn’t want tablets, I was ashamed of the stigma. Ashamed of needing tablets to be happy. I was 23, the world was my oyster, I should be happy anyway. I took my tablets for the first few weeks, I even saw my friend once. We had a night out and this was the first time I realised you shouldn’t drink while taking tablets like that. Whoops.

I didn’t want to take the tablets and just ‘forgot’ to follow this up with the doctor and forgot to order more tablets.

More bouts of severe anxiety have followed, all related to big events in my life. The loss of my dad, excessive pressure at work, breaking up from various different boyfriends in time and my on and off friendship with this friend. It doesn’t have to be the bad times which cause this though, the good times are just as likely to make the fear come back. Getting married was a big one, that sent me properly into a spiral, but before that it was moving in and even finding the love of my life.

In between these bouts different insecurities would rise. I remember being scared of the dark from a young age, I don’t know why, I just was. But it got to the stage where I couldn’t go out of the house in the dark alone. I couldn’t walk from my house to the car to get out. Whilst at points in the year it isn’t very limiting, imagine not being able to get from the house to the car when you desperately need to get food in, but its 4pm in December and pitch outside. Words can’t really describe how scary the world can be when your immediate thought is panic.

So add to the fact I couldn’t go outside after dark, I started to sleep with the light on. Then it morphed again and I started to be limited in where I could go and when. Whilst happy and friendly on the outside, inside I was crumbling. I never went on work nights out after something mean was said to me once at one. I wouldn’t go to the shops in December as it was ‘too busy’ – I have no idea how I rationalised this one to this day. Even to the fact I would only wear Clarks shoes or Crocs as anything else was ‘unsafe’ and I would slip and hurt myself.

The year I married came and went in a blur. I was happy to be married, but was terrified about what it mean’t. I don’t know why, but at this time my husband to be rebelled a bit and went off the rails. He stopped being the loving devoted person I was so happy to be with and became so insular and deceptive we almost fell apart as a couple. Inside I fell apart as a person. I was off work for three months after another day of tears for no particular reason. My doctor was supportive and I managed to stay on the pills this time. Long enough to get married anyhow. I had a period of counselling, which was good, but for me it didn’t combat the way I felt. I didn’t need sympathy for how I was feeling, I needed to stop his vicious cycle. In its defence the counselling did make me realise I was allowed to stand up for myself.  Entitled to be treated well by those around me, something I never really understood before.

Three days before we wed, for reasons I don’t even understand myself I stopped taking my pills. I decided I didn’t want to go down the aisle a zombie bride. This is the problem with mental health, it stops you helping yourself. I can stigmatise the situation myself without any help from anyone else. Such an abrupt change to my system mean’t I slept nearly an entire 24 hour period on honeymoon. Unable to move from my slumber and the silent solace of the apartment.

I ease myself back into work, I struggle to get back to normal. The same old habits are there. Got to lock the car doors, got to check the hair straightener's are off, must check the doors are locked in the house, can’t go out after dark. The list of ‘rules’ could fill a blog post alone.

Fast forward to 2012, life is very different. I have two step children, a husband, a life, my best friend of previous years has been out of my life for 5 years and although its not what I want, its the right thing for both of us I think. I have a very near brush with cervical cancer. Nearer than i care to admit to anyone. I love my life, I have started to travel, but you don’t even want to know the routine I have to go on to even get on a plane. I am surprised at times they have let me board.

At this time my life falls apart. So bad I can’t even speak to my doctor. I go to my doctor with another problem entirely, but I am encouraged by everyone who cares about me to speak up about the way I am feeling. I can’t, I don’t know how to put it into words. So I say I have been feeling a bit unwell like before and ask for help if I need it. He looks bemused, probably completely unaware that I am talking about my breakdown from before.

When I leave I can’t speak. My throat is closed and I am completely beside myself. Mum speaks to the surgery and they will help if I go back inside. I can’t even do this and ring from outside and tell them I can’t, I have to go to work. Really this call is a cry for help, but they don’t know and I can’t say. I end up making another appointment for later that day. My mum goes with me this time to make sure I open my mouth and I fall apart. This time something is different. I am determined to get better. I don’t shy away from medication and I ask for proper help to help me sort this.

Despite the stigma I make an appointment with the Mental Health Nurse and even more shockingly I keep the appointment. I instantly like the lady I see, the only thing I can tell you is she is wearing an owl necklace. For some reason it makes me warm to her and she refers me for therapy.

The therapy wasn’t easy, but nothing worth doing ever is. It teaches me to fight my demons and be proud of who I am. I am no longer the woman terrified to open my mouth about my situation, but I am proud. I am proud I have got to the stage where I can go outside and not worry about ‘bad’ things happening. I even venture outside in the dark. I am brave enough to do something I have always wanted to do. I have a beautiful puppy, and I am brave enough to write this blog and wear my green nails with pride.

To anyone listening who is suffering in silence, be brave, be honest and tell someone you love. They already will know things are not right and they will want to be your wing man to help you get better. Don’t be ashamed to admit your not well, it isn’t a choice, it isn’t a case of pulling yourself together, you need help and your proudest day will be the one you stand up and make yourself counted.  Likewise if you are reading this and recognise anything that I have said in others be kind to them, and be glad you don’t have to walk a mile in their shoes.

I would like to say thank you to Debbie Crumpet for being the inspiration for this post.

Edited to add inlinkz to similar posts by other people

Thursday, 18 October 2012

New Speciallita Glitters World

Only a short one, but look at these babies!

The Press Release Reads

A tour of the cities of the world. The Hits Speciallità launches line Glitter's World, comprising glazes who use and abuse of the colors and the effects of colored glitter. Altogether there are 20 glazes 3free (who have no toluene, formaldehyde and dpb), which are named after great cities around the world.Increasingly, contemporary and cosmopolitan, the Brazilian woman traveling and carries different cultures and ideals that exist in every region of the globe.
So it Glitter's World, in each bottle a different feel. Each city, a new story. The World's Glitter collection will be available for sale starting Monday, October 22, 2012.

Know the line Glitter's World:

Amsterdam - A city jovial and bold, with a glaze particles glitter pink, silver and blue.
Vienna - A city classic and exciting. Glitter pink, purple and white.
Ibiza - A super cool place that dictates trends. A glitter with purple and red.
Tokyo - Modernity and tradition define this city. Glitter silver, blue, pink, among others.
New York - The city of fashion. Smaller particles of glitter in blue, purple and pink.
Havana City - colorful and full of life. A glitter that is the face of this place with red, green, pink, yellow.
Athens - a city with a lot of traditional and historical baggage. Glitter white, gold and silver. Sophisticated.
Rio - Synonymous with joy, beauty and fun. Nothing like a glitter with blue, red and purple.
Moscow - A city imposing. Glitter blue with yellow
London - City Classic, pulsating fashion and trend. Glitter white and black intense.
Paris - City of love. Pink, silver, blue and very romantic.
Sydney - A city and extravagant living. Glitter blue and many colored particles.
Rome - A city known for noble and historic monuments. Colors: blue, white and purple.
Bangkok - An exotic place, different and at the same time full of tradition. Colors: dark blue and light blue.
Monaco - City that defines what is to be exclusive and sophisticated, combining beauty and joy. Glitter Purple and Red.
Shanghai - An icon of the east, a cosmopolitan city and with feet firmly planted in fashion. Glitter in purple, blue and light pink.
Beijing - The city still maintain the cultural identity of the ancient Chinese empire. Glitter in white and red.
Cancun - With its natural beauty and yet their ancestral culture, the city pulsates youthfulness, freshness and vitality. Gold glitter, pink and purple.
Cairo - An exciting city while millennial Color: light beige base with colorful glitters of various sizes.
Dubai - One of the most high in the moment. One of the most exciting and sophisticated. Glitter blue, white and orange

Possibly The Worst Polish In The World

I brought this polish about three months ago and waited for a time to use it as I thought it was really special. Well, I was wrong. It was £3.95 from Superdrug, and contains lots of different types of pink and silver glitter. Admittedly it looks quite nice in the pictures, even a little unusual. 

But... The brush is like something a witch would use to get around the sky, the bottle is tacky and the glitter is just a mess. Its hard to put on nicely as the brush makes it splay,  the handle feels cheap and tacky and the bottle was difficult to put the lid back on as it was just everywhere by the end.

The brand is Famous an it has 'Nail Addict' written on the front. If it is £1 I would grab it, any more and I would leave it where you left it. Definitely one to avoid girls.

PS this is pink for Breast Cancer Awareness, but I am almost ashamed to admit it, so I haven't even put it in the title!


PPS If anyone wants this, your welcome to it :)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Bites Back

It has popped back with a vengeance today, and my stamping skills had to come to the fore. I used No17 Pinking Sheer as the base, and Barry M Gelly in Pomegranate as the stamping colour. 

Pomegranate stamps as well as any other stamping polish out there, and DRK-A plate for the stamp. I think it looks lovely. Pity I didn't start wearing it at the beginning of the summer as the sun might not have been scared so far away!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

A Step Away From Pink for Ken

I come from quite a close family. I have a lovely Auntie, she is the most practical, down to earth caring person I know. As strong as an ox and as loyal as can be. She wasn't born into my family, but my Uncle was lucky enough to have her choose to be his wife.

Her Mum died earlier this year, and sadly she lost her Dad this month. As families do we support each other at times like these. Today was his funeral. I didn't know the man personally, so whilst it wasn't emotional for me, it was emotional to see people I care about going through the trauma.

My nails today couldn't be pink for obvious reasons, so I have chosen a deep grey. Catrice London's Weather Forecast. It seemed somehow appropriate for the tears that were going to be shed. I mattified it aswell as a funeral is no place for shiny sparkly nails in my eyes.

RIP Ken, you will be missed. 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Guest Post

I have done a guest post on Cassie's blog Reflections, Sassy Nails and Silly Diversions.

The challenge was to do a pink and gold manicure for Breast Cancer Awareness and Paediatric Cancer Awareness.

If you want to see what I came up with, click this Link

Crackling Hell This Is Amazing

Still on Breast Cancer Awareness, so still pink, yay.

Sometimes you do your nails and they look okay. They even look quite pretty. Other times I find it so difficult to take the polish off because its just so damn pretty. This is one of those times.

The base is Ciate BonBon which is a pale dusty pink with hints of lilac. On top I used W7 Mauve Crackle, and now I have got crackles working I adore it. Its almost glittery crackle, but not quite.

I think the polish fairies are going to have to prize these two out of my fingers.