Welcome to the original Polish and Paws blog. I’m Alinta, an animal lover who is using cruelty free beauty products and nails as a distraction from my chronic illnesses. I enjoy testing products and writing honest reviews here on my blog. I live in Melbourne Australia and have three little rescue dogs named Pickles, Kobi and Bonsai.

Pic kisses
Pic kisses

My mum worked at the Melbourne Zoo when I was a child, so I had access to animals most people can only dream about. My love of animals and the environment only grew from there. I have almost completed a double degree in Arts and Science, majoring in International Development and Conservation. I am passionate about preserving the beautiful flora and fauna of Australia, and I would love to find a way to sustainably help people out of poverty. When I am healthy enough, I will finish the last couple of subjects of my degree and hopefully get a job where I can make a difference.

For now, I spend the time and energy that I have on fostering dogs. The foster dogs that I rehabilitate would otherwise be put down by the pound because they have medical or behavioural issues. My passion for saving companion animals came after I adopted my dog, Pickles. She was abused as a puppy and so has a deformed leg and is fearful around new people. Despite this, she is the happiest little dog. Every day she shows me how to be brave and how to overcome the obstacles life throws at us. She gives me strength to fight on when I feel like I have nothing left. She is the reason I volunteer so much time to rescuing death row dogs. I hope that the dogs I rehabilitate and re-home will live a happy life and be as loved as Pickles is.

Just me
Just me

I love spending my free time reading beauty blogs and watching youtube tutorials. My motto when it comes to beauty is that I think make-up should enhance your features and not cover up. In saying that, I love watching creative and special effects makeup tutorials. One day I would love to be able to recreate some of the amazing looks I have seen. When I first started my blog I didn’t know a lot about beauty products or animal testing. As time went on, I found out about the horrible things that animals are put through to provide humans with products for vanity, so I started to change over to cruelty free products. Now I try to only talk about products that are cruelty free – see my post about Vegan And Cruelty Free Standards In Beauty.

I am very fair and pink toned, so I really struggle to find base products (foundations, concealers and powders) that suit me. I eventually hope to find multiple products for very fair ladies that I can share with you on my blog. Unfortunately I have very sensitive skin that reacts to a lot of products so I always have to take that in consideration when trying new makeup and skin care products. Growing up, I never understood the importance of a good skin care routine. When I made a change to more natural products that actually suited my skin type, I saw a big improvement. I am always on the hunt for new skin care products to add to my routine. I really enjoy testing out new beauty and skincare products and writing reviews about them. I believe that honesty is the best policy so I will always write what I actually think of a product.

When it comes to nail art, I think anything goes. It can be a temporary way of expressing your mood, personality or simply something beautiful for you to look at when you have a down moment in your day. I really enjoy painting my nails, but my health often stops me from doing them as often as I would like to. If you are a regular reader, you will know that I love Indie nail polish, especially glitters like micro glitters and glitter crelly polishes, but I love trying all finishes. I have my favourite brands but I am happy to try new brands to me, as long as they are cruelty free.

Bonsai and I
Bonsai and I

Any product reviews I do, whether nail, beauty or pet related, will be completely honest. If anyone ever wants to send me items, I will write what I think of it, whether it’s positive or negative. As it goes though, most makeup products and nail polishes I own are bought by me or gifted to me from a friend. I will also always show you the product and my manicures as they are. I don’t want to mislead any of my readers with my photos. I try to make them as accurate as I can but it’s not always possible.

If you are wondering about my health – I unfortunately fell ill in my last year of highschool. I tried very hard to continue my education and just barely made it to the last year of my double degree when I had to defer due to illness. I spend the majority of my time home alone with my dogs, as I don’t have the energy to do anything else. A couple of years ago I found out that I have a Lyme-like illness which the Australian government will not treat – so right now I have no way of getting better. If you want to know more about my health and how you can help, you can check out my Lyme Disease Awareness Month 2016 blog post.

I love hearing everyone’s point of view as long as it is said in a respectful manner. So please comment on my blog posts with anything you have to add. I hope you find something interesting to read on my blog. Don’t forget to sign up to email updates to get new blog posts delivered to your inbox. I’m always happy to answer questions here, on social media or at polishandpaws@gmail.com. You can find me on social media at Instagram – @alintamcmurdo, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin’.

Koko and I - my childhood dog
Koko and I – my childhood dog

Photo taken by Lorraine from Pitter Patter Photography