Indie Interview: Shades of Phoenix

By | March 7, 2013

Now for the next installment of our Indie Interview series: Teneil from Aussie indie line Shades of Phoenix has kindly taken the time out from mixing loads of polish for some exciting upcoming events to answer our (mildly) probing questions…

Who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Teneil. I am the creepy cat lady. I am very different to what I appear and I like that, it surprises people. I’m also studying a Certificate II in Nail Technology.

Olympus collection
How did you first get into nail polish?

Being an art student and granddaughter of an artist, it’s always been about the colour. Things didn’t get serious til August 2012 when I had spinal surgery and needed something to amuse myself with that wouldn’t involve me hurting myself, and then polish took over my world, in a big way!

What inspired you to start your own line?

I’ve always felt happiest when I was creating. Making things makes me happy and when I saw that it would also make others happy, it changed my world and the way of looking at things. I love being able to put smiles on people’s faces.

Where did the name “Shades of Phoenix” come from?

I wanted something that was different, something that was completely me and had a deep meaning, but also had that slight colour reference. I have always loved everything and anything mythological, mystical or anything along those lines and the Phoenix bird has been number one on that list for longer than I care to remember. My oldest cat is called Phoenix – he is the love of my life! So the word Phoenix was always going to play its role at some stage of the game. So after weeks of debating and countless lists of names and words, Shades Of Phoenix was born!

 Shades of Phoenix Chaos (A Polished Prance)
Your logo is amazing! Tell us all about it!

The logo is the amazing work of my cousin who is a graphic designer. It was like he was able to go into my head and see exactly what I wanted, draw it and then put it on the computer for me. I am so impressed and couldn’t have asked for better. The colouring was a given with the Phoenix bird, I love the brightness of the orange and the gradient of colours in the logo. It is bold and bright! And hopefully attention-grabbing, which is what I want Shades Of Phoenix to be.

What are (in your opinion) your best creations?

I feel my best is still to come but I have three polishes out of the ten of the original collection that sold out day one of launch and have continued to be popular. These are Zeus, Hades & Poseidon. I do think that the best has been Zeus, the topper that can be paired with pretty much any polish you desire; it has been the most versatile polish I’ve ever seen let alone made. But this could change as I have 2 new releases and 8 in the works at the moment but that number changes almost every day, my mind never stops.

Shades of Phoenix Zeus over black (A Polished Prance), purple (@talesfromthemakeupbag) and white (The Reluctant Femme)
What’s the best thing about being an indie polish maker?

The best thing about being an Indie Polisher is really one of my favourite things in life and that’s making people smile. Creating something that can impress people, wow them even, show them that there’s more to you than what meets the eyes. I love to create and I love to work with colours.

What’s the worst?

I’d love to say there isn’t a worst, but that would be a lie. I guess the worst part is people now only see me as an Indie Polisher when really there is much, much more to me. I started with an out-of-control polish addiction, and it was and still is an obsession – I’m also a nail artist at heart and a studying nail technician.

Teneil’s nail art featuring Shades of Phoenix Hades (@teebee_x)
If you could collaborate with anyone in the world on a polish line, who would it be?

I’d love to collaborate a whole collection with my family actually. I have a very creative family – can’t say they know much about polish, but I’m sure they’d all come up with something each, and it would be pretty funny and very interesting. I see mixing and making nail polish and developing polish lines and collections as a form of art, and I don’t see it as a money making venture but a way of expressing myself and sharing with the world, and my family are the ones who instilled that in me

What’s the one tip you’d give for perfect nails?

Perfect nails! Who has the perfects? I definitely don’t feel my nails are perfect but polish them up nicely and they look a million bucks! I do believe that clean-up is very important; it can make or break a manicure and even make an outstandingly amazing polish look terrible. So invest in a good clean-up brush!

What keeps you going?

The customers that have turned into friends, supporters and people who really believe in what my brand is about and what I’m about. It really makes it worth it when people can see that I’m doing this for others and really just because I love it.

 Shades of Phoenix Poseidon (Lissa’s Polish Addiction)


For international ladies – the gorgeous Shades of Phoenix polishes will be available to you in the very near future! Keep your eyes on the Shades of Phoenix Facebook page and Instagram feed (@shadesofphoenix) for the details as they’re released.

For Australian ladies – two new Shades of Phoenix polishes will be released tonight! These two colours will be hitting the Shades of Phoenix Etsy store at 9 pm AEST:

Dionysus and Astraios (@shadesofphoenix)

Currently, Australian ladies can buy Shades of Phoenix from Etsy. Follow Shades of Phoenix on Facebook and Instagram (@shadesofphoenix) for the latest polish and international stockist updates. Teneil also has a nail blog here and her own IG feed (@teebee_x).

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