I’m really happy to feature today’s blogger. Feline writes for the blog Alizarine Claws and this is one of the first blogs I started reading when beginning my own blogging adventure. With a love of all things rock, a fondness for OPI, glitter polish and long nails. Gorgeous photos and inventive frankens. Check her out here
1) Why did you start your blog?
I had been a bit hesitant, thought there were already some great bloggers out there who did a really good job, and that I couldn’t possibly add anything important or amusing to the ‘sphere, but after a bunch of people repetedly asked me if I had a blog, because they liked my nail of the day photos, I did it.
2) How long have you been blogging for?
I launched in January 2010, so not too long. A year and a half, then!
3) What do you enjoy most about blogging?
It’s when I come up with somewhat creative and fun manicures and get a lot of positive response on it. Overall, positive response is a great motivator but also, when I’ve managed to get really great photos. That gives me a great sense of personal accomplishment.
4) What frustrates you most about blogging?
The (very few) people who, almost deliberately, it seems, misunderstand what I write or do, or write belitteling comments. I haven’t yet received truly hateful comments, but I’m sure they’ll show up eventually too. But it’s sad, when you put so much effort into a blog that gives zero economical reward.
5) How much time a week do you spend on your blog / reading other people’s blogs?
Swatching, photo shooting, editing, writing posts for my own blog: on a heavy duty week probably 20 hours. At other times, when I’m occupied by my daily work or similar, perhaps only a few hours.
Reading the blogs of others: I go through new posts in my reader every day, some I honestly just scroll through, others I read thoroughly; all in all, probably an hour a day.
6) What advice do you have for aspiring bloggers?
Take your time to try find an angle of your own. Try to conribute something new, don’t be afraid to be personal. After all, we’ve already got the glossy magazines to be conform, blogs are for users and consumers. Also, take time to try to learn your camera. Good photos will make people want to come back to drool some more!
7) What other hobbies/interests do you have?
They vary over time, but I do like spending time in the kitchen in a near meditative state. I’m also rather commited to the line of work I do (I’m in the healthcare business), and try to follow and take part of the debate when it comes to political and socio-economical issues.
8 ) How many bottles of nail varnish do you own?
Are you sure you want to know? … More than a thousand.
9) Do you set yourself a shopping budget, or do you purchase on an as-and-when basis?
I’m a very impulsive buyer, and if I can spare the money when spotting something, I’ll get it. Though that usually only goes for nail polish, not so much makeup or clothing. Sometimes I over-spend, and have to eat noodle soup for lunch for a week or so!
10) What is your favourite make-up brand, and why?
I don’t think I have any. I’m more of the kind of person who will pick the best from various brands.
11) Do you ever leave the house without wearing make-up?
Yes! Though I had to learn how to. Being a long time sufferer from acne, this has sometimes been hard for me.
12) What is your favourite beauty product and why?
Can I answer nail varnish? If no, I’d say I tend to indulge in nice body soaps and scrubs and the like. I can easily spend half a fortune in a Lush store, just to go home and spend some time in my bath tub!
13) What is your favourite nail varnish of all time? (yep, only one!)
The ones you fall for early on tend to get stuck in your heart, and one of my earliest loves was At Your Quebec & Call from OPI.
14) Tell us about the best holiday you’ve ever been on
I seldom travel, except for visiting family and friends in different parts of the country. I spend all my money on nail polish!
15) What would be your ideal day off?
If I wouldn’t have to worry about consequences, it’s as simple as this: sleeping in, having a bountyful breakfast, slowly preparing for leaving the house, which I’d do mainly to have a really great meal somewhere. Possibly I’d go to the movies as well, and then just go home and sleep some more! I know, I’m lazy.
16) What is your favourite TV show?
Dr. House, right now. Of all time: The Wire.
17) What music do you enjoy listening to?
I’m a metal kind of girl, but also occationally enjoy some classical, even a bit of pop or hiphop.
18) What is your favourite food?
I can’t possibly pick one dish or cuisine, but Indian is close to the top, and of course the mandatory sushi.
19) Where would you most like to visit in the world? (money no object)
Choosing is so hard, but I think I’d like to visit Slovenia, actually.
20) Tell us a secret…
I’m not sure I even have one!
Thank you! Remember, if you have a blog and would like to participate in 20 Questions, please send us an email to the usual address
I was reading somewhere the other day (probably on Twitter) that Zoya’s Smoke and Mirrors collection is their best selling collection ever. It’s not difficult to see why, with it’s stunning taupes, violets and dusky Autumnal
shades. I was really excited about this collection’s arrival (paying well over the odds for some of the colours on eBay) and so far it certainly hasn’t disappointed.
One shade that I didn’t buy initially was this one, Marina. Not sure why, I think perhaps because a lot of the photos I had seen of it just made me think it was a pretty boring blue frost, maybe along the lines of OPI Sahara Sapphire (which really didn’t do well with me). But Marina is a bit more than that. It can’t decide whether it is grey or blue, which I like, as it shape-shifts in the light. It also was not brush-strokey at all, which was a pleasant surprise, and as I hope you can see here, it is also super shimmery and interesting.
So far, with the exception of Jem, I’ve been really impressed with the formula of this collection. Two coats to perfect opaque nails, and I have said it before but I’ll say it again – I really love Zoya’s brush. It picks up the right amount of polish and I never experience any pooling or dragging at all. In fact, Marina is doubly remarkable as it is a MINI Zoya. Yes, a mini! This is genuinely the best miniature polish I’ve ever used, as I could barely tell that it was different to the normal size. Woop.
What do you think? It’s nice when something that you didn’t have high hopes for turns out to be good – you know, like those nights where you don’t really want to get off the sofa but you end up having a cracking time? That.
*This was gifted to me by the ever-fabulous Product Pixie - thankyou!*
A little while ago I was approached to see if I wanted to test out some items from a new company called Jainnisa. I was immediately intrigued by the prospect of turning my bathroom into a Thai Spa, with cruelty-free products that are designed to calm, relax and invigorate.
I was sent a bottle of moisturising shower milk and a body scrub to test out. The shower milk contains Blue Lotus (a traditional aphrodisiac that stimulates circulation and creates a feeling of well-being and calm), White Champaca (restores and nourishes the skin, keeping it in top condition), Ylang Ylang (relaxes and increases altertness and awareness), Frangipani (keeps the skin healthy and in top condition), and sunflower seed oil (combats ageing and makes the skin more supple). Phew.
So what is it like to use? Well, “milk” is right. It’s very very thin and without use of a areful hand, it’s very easy to pour this anywhere other than where you want it. I got the hang of it by using a shower puff thing, cupping my hand underneath it to prevent the excess running straight down the drain. After my shower, I noticed that my skin was a lot more supple and smooth, and this feeling lasted all day. The scent is really pleasant as well – reminiscent of various spas and hotels I have visited in the past. So, although the bottle didn’t last me longer than about three weeks, I really liked this product and would definitely buy it.
The scrub is also absolutely divine. I do like a body scrub from time to time, to refresh my skin and often prepare for a bout of fake tanning. I also like doing body scrubs in the winter as they make you feel more alive and glowy. The Invigorating scrub contains many of the same components as the shower milk, plus rice granules. It is in a small pot but you don’t need a lot, and the combination of a scrub then a rinse with the milk is really very pleasant.
I haven’t been to Thailand, and due to my husband’s fear of flying and also of exotic destinations, its unlikely that I will ever visit there, unfortunately. However, at least I can harness a little component of a traditional Thai spa without even having to leave my bathroom. There are over 20 products in the range, and the ones with the blue colour scheme are designed to be calming and relaxing, and the red labels are designed to be stimulating and invigorating.
Jainnisa is launching soon in the UK, with prices starting from around £15.00. To find out more, keep an eye on the website, which should be going live soon.