Thursday, September 18, 2014

Indie Maker Spotlight - The Worse Games to Play Collection by Polish TBH

Today I am beyond thrilled to be sharing the Polish TBH fall collection and an interview with Christian, the brains and beauty behind this operation, with you! When Christian first started posting photos of the Hunger Games inspired Worse Games to Play collection, I was immediately enamored with the entire thing. I am a total Hunger Games fangirl, and these polishes connected with the series in a way that other collections have fallen short. I was so excited when Christian reached out to me to review the collection, and even more so when she agreed to answer some questions about the brand and this new release. Read on for lots of pictures and a peek into what goes into this labor of love!

Polishes provided for review.

First up is Rue's Song, a deep plum crelly with gold glitter and flakies with a scattering of red, orange, and blue microglitters. This photos show two thin coats with topcoat. Application was even and smooth, and the mix of glitters distributed evenly with each stroke. I paired this polish with a simple floral accent inspired by the heartbreaking but poetic burial Katniss provided her little ally when she was killed in the first book.

How did you decide to start making polishes? 
I found the Instagram nail community in 2012 and saw that people were doing it and I just felt like I had to do it myself. It was kinda like an instantaneous decision. And I don't normally do that. But the nail world has kind of been something I wanted to dive into for a very long time anyway.

How did you come up with the name for your line? 
I actually toyed with the name Fantasy Fingers for like a solid week! My good friend Alex said it sounded like name for chicken nuggets.. oh well! I think one of my friends at one point said, "it's polish to be honest," and it just clicked. In our little circle "tbh" gets said a lot.

Next is Sea Green Eyes, a slightly metallic teal polish with gold glitters and flakes throughout. Photos show two coats with topocoat. Formula and application were both phenomenal. Since this polish is inspired by the Finnick, the heartthrob victor from District 4, I added his weapon of choice, a golden trident, to the accent nail.

Based on the careful naming of the polishes and this collection as a whole, it's clear that you're fan of THG book series, not just the movies. What was it about this series that grabbed you as a reader? 
I like to emotionally punish myself! Katniss' love for her sister, and as a character in general. She was a lot like me in some ways. We thought a lot alike.

What about as a polish maker? 
The movies do have a lot of colors to draw inspiration from, and there are some really good details to go off of from the books. Like the color of Finnick's eyes, or the biggest tearjerker of all for me when Katniss describes Prim as a little white bird tinged with pink in her morphling dream.

Next is More Like...Sunset, a stunning vibrant orange with golden shimmer throughout and scatter iridescent blue/silver glitters. Photos show two thin coats with topcoats. Another fantastic formula and application, with a few visible brushstrokes (as is very common with metallic polishes). The accent nail was inspired by the final scene in Mockingjay when Katniss' children are playing together in the meadow.

Which polish is your favorite in this collection? 
I love love love the tiny sparks in More Like... Sunset! They really remind me of those little glimpses of stars you might see as the sun has almost set and most of the sky has turned dark. Its actually a mix of gold, orange and pink pigments. I wanted to really have the colors you do see at sunset in the polish. 

Team Peeta or team Gale?! 
Peeta! He was the calm she needed.

What's your favorite thing about making polishes? 
I've always been a creative person, it's just a really great outlet for that energy. It gives me a new way to view the world. I'm always looking for inspiration now.

What is the hardest thing? 
Keeping it fresh and up to date with the latest trends. I cant just do what I like, I have to try to make things for everyone to enjoy.

What advice would you give someone who wanted to start their own indie line? 
Don't just do it if your main motivation is money. It's a huge, very tough, very competitive market. Be original and really focus on your customer service.

Next is one of my favorites from the collection, A Mockingjay, I Think, a light gray/silver linear holo. These photos show two thin coats with top coat taken in direct sunlight to fully demonstrate the hologrpahic effect. Formula was excellent, and application was very even. I added a darker gray/black holo mockingjay to the accent nail.

Do you have a "day job?" 
My number 1 "job" is being a mother, but on top of polish I also do some at home, call center type work.

What did you want to be when you were little? 
A mother frickin popstar! Now I only perform for the dishwasher and sink. Word of advice, don't dance and do dishes in heels.

Perhaps my very favorite polish in the collection, this is Blood & Roses, a crimson jelly polish with white, pink, and iridescent glitters in varying shapes and sizes. These photos show three coats for maximum squishiness, plus a generous layer of topcoat to smooth out the glitters, Another perfect formula, particularly since it was so easy to grab larger glitters and get a nice distribution on each nail. I added an accent of white roses, the prized possessions of the evil President Snow.

If they were real, what would your Hunger Games strategy be? Isolate and wait it out, form an alliance, shoot an electrified arrow at the top of the arena? 
I would definitely isolate and wait it out! OMG it would be so intense. I can see myself having a Fox Face approach...well, minus the poison berries.

Which of the books in the trilogy is your favorite? 
Probably Mockingjay, it was the most emotional book for me. I swear I was crying every other chapter. And we aren't talking just some tears rolling down my face. My family gave me some pretty serious "WTF" looks. I really know some of Katniss' thoughts and emotions. It was really personal.

What advice would you give a beginning blogger wanting to work with indies? 
Just to have clear, well lit photos, clean, healthy cuticles, and a nice hand pose. Take a look at who the brands you want to work with are using and take notes. You do not have to have thousands of followers or be instafamous with long nails. But your quality is everything. I love working with new people. It never hurts to ask, and most of us have blogging applications in our stores now.

Next is District Token, a warm-toned golden metallic holo. Photos show two thin coats taken in direct sunlight. The holographic effect is not quite as strong as in A Mockingjay, I Think, and the base is much more metallic. Again, some visible brush strokes due to the metallic base, but the formula was even and nice to work with. I added a gray/black holo image of Katniss' mockingjay pin that eventually became the symbol of the rebellion.

What is your biggest polish-related pet peeve? 
For myself, cuticle clean up. If I get it up there, its not coming off. Like ever. I swear I have polish under my cuticles from last month! I need a nice perfect even space between the nail and cuticle and a very smooth application or I will pick it all off.

What polish brands are your favorites? 
I love China Glaze for mainstream and my fave indies are Laquerlicious and Liquid Sky Lacquer. There are many many other indies adore, too, such as Polish by KPT and Bliss Polish.

The last polish in the collection is Little Duck, a soft baby pink crelly with pastel yellow and blue glitters throughout. Photos show two thin coats with topcoat. Formula was great again, and I was especially impressed how easy it was to get such a light base color to be opaque--there was no streaking or need for multiple coats. I added a sweet blue bow to symbolize Prim's innocence that Katniss fought so fiercely to protect.

What was your thought process when creating this collection?
Lots of reading, watching, and engaging with other fans for their opinions. This collection was really, really challenging for me. I mentioned I was working on it earlier on in 2014 and it took a lot of research. I reread the books twice each and watched both available movies a few times. There were characters I knew I had to honor, it had to be done right and but it also had to be unique. I just tried to go based off scenes from the book and how I imagined them in my head while I was reading. Hopefully, with time, I can release the others that didn't quite work out with this fall theme or that still need some tweaking.

Overall, I was incredibly impressed with this collection. It spoke to me as both a fan of the series and a polish lover. Christian really managed to evoke the characters and themes in a unique way. There have been a number of Hunger Games inspired collections, and I've definitely been one to snatch them all up--this one definitely feels the most personal. Even if you're not a fan of the series, the collection has some really lovely and seasonally appropriate polishes that will definitely stand out from the standard neutral fall releases.

The Worse Games to Play collection is currently available for preorder, and will be available for regular purchase next Saturday, September 27th via the Polish TBH online shop. Also be sure to follow Christian on Instagram for information about promotions and upcoming releases, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

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