Upgrading Manicures

I’ve got a passion for nail polish. It’s actually why I started this blog in the first place, hence the name Polished Cryptids. These days, I don’t often have the time to sit down and do my nails. Thus, like so many others, I reserve manicures for when I want to treat myself. Not to mention when I had to cut my nails in a rush and messed up, that’s when I go to a salon. However, I’m incredibly picky when it comes to polish and I am almost never satisfied with the outcome. Salons tend to be airconditioned and when you walk out of them (and live in a humid/hot climate), your polish is likely to start bubbling.

In order to disguise this and any minor smudges, a good old effects polish can be a lifesaver. It also extends the lifetime of the manicure by adding another protective polish.

The first photo shows my manicure shortly after walking out of the salon, if you enlarge it, you can see how the polish has started to bubble. In order to address that issue, I used an effects polish from OPI that contained black particles and larger metallic glitter. Because the regular polish is rather bright and metallic, meaning that a more muted effects polish is a good option that prevents you from blinding people with the sheer shininess of your nails.

The photo featuring the pink nails are based on an at-home manicure. When doing this at home, I typically make sure that the entire nail is covered as opposed to the more limited cover of a salon manicure. This helps the polish stick to the nail longer and minimises the risk of the edges of the base polish catching on something and thus flaking. Due to the weather here, bubbling still happens sometimes but to a lesser extent if you let your manicure dry in the same temperature the entire time. In these instances, playing with texture is a great way to trick the eye into focusing on something other than the small bubbles. That’s why I opted for gold flakes rather than a more traditional glitter polish. This is also a great option if your nails are a bit fragile and you’ve found that glitter polishes are difficult to remove smoothly.

Another option is to skip the glitter, but keep the particles. The photo on the far right shows an effects polish with matte particles that are a good option for hiding minor imperfections. It works great on both metallic and regular polishes.

For smudges, try an effects polish that cracks. You paint it over the entire nail and it then shrinks to create cracks in the nail. When that has dried, add a clear top coat to make the look more polished.


Amplified Lashes – Benefit’s They’re Real


I’ve never been known to focus too much on my lashes. A combination of hooded eyes and straight lashes makes me prone to ignoring them and for casual days. The photo on the left is me on a regular day where my eyelashes look more like eyeliner than they do lashes. It’s actually made me fairly insecure at times given how much retro/pinup makeup tends to focus on heavy eye makeup and I’ve never really been able to do any of that…

The photos on the right are me trying a new method that a friend of mine recommended. I think there’s a pretty dramatic change on the upper lashes and I was so impressed that I thought I’d share that trick with you all.

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9 Ways to Minimise Makeup Expenses

Makeup can be really expensive, especially if you’ve just started building a makeup kit. Some products will seem great at first and then turn out not to work at all, other products will improve as you learn how to use them.

So what are some tricks you can use to make your heard earned money last a bit longer?
Knowing there’s always going to be some smart-ass who will say ‘just don’t buy makeup’, let me just say that I’m entirely aware that’s the cheapest option of all. It’s however a pretty useless tip to give someone trying to build a makeup collection or kit without breaking the budget. Some of these are aimed at people just starting out, others at people aiming to build a sizeable collection or kit.

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Adding Dimension to Dark Lips

Yes, this is a photo depicting the various stages.
Bottom right features my regular lips as they are, quirks and all. The one above that features the first layer of the application.
The one above that is the THIRD step. The one where I have clearly painted outside the lines features the SECOND step. And the one of my full sweaty face is the final step.
Yes, the pictures got jumbled.

For this, I used one of the flipsticks from MaxFactor. Also, it is so freaking hot and humid today that the BB creme I’m wearing is literally melting off my face.

  1. Make sure your lips are in decent condition. By this I mean not overly chapped, dry, or damaged. No one has the time to ensure their lips are in perfect condition all the time.
  2. Apply the deeper shade all over your lip. Draw a full shape but not an excessive one. This is where I would normally leave it
  3. Apply the lighter shade in the centre of the lip. Go back and extend your cream shade a bit.
  4. CLEAN UP the colour that extended too far until you have the shape you want. I honestly just use my bare fingers to do that with this product, but you might need to use a q tip with makeup remover and then go in with concealer around your lip.
  5. Add a tiny dab of gloss in the centre of the lip.


This is one of those processes where you have an awkward stage in the middle, but it’s a good trick if your lips have a tendency to look flat or thin. You can also use a lip liner for more definition and control.

Alternatives to Winged Liquid Eyeliner

Winged liquid eyeliner is as essential to a lot of people as foundation or a chapstick. It’s also hellishly difficult to get right. So in the interest of being beginner friendly in this series, I thought could discuss some alternatives to winged liquid eyeliner.

Here are four alternative looks that are similar to the liquid eyeliner look but that don’t actually include liquid eyeliner. Keep in mind that I have hooded eyes and that these looks have been adapted to work with that kind of eye.

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Makeup for the tropics

This really applies to anywhere terribly hot and terribly humid. As y’all know, I just got back from spending some time in Cairns and Darwin, two places that are terribly hot in summer even by Brisbane standards.

The combination of hot and humid presents unique challenges to makeup, simply because makeup tends to be designed to be used in more moderate temperatures. Because hot climates also tend to have aircon set to bloody cold, your skin is going to be exposed to a lot of external stimulus and very varied conditions. ┬áLet’s have a look at some steps I found helpful in deciding what to bring. (Please note that the photos are all from different trips).

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