Sunday, 29 December 2013

A Stamper Comparison!

I hope you have all had an amazing Christmas and got some of those goodies you asked Santa for.

I love stamping. Its such an ingenious way of creating gorgeous and intricate designs perfectly, but can the stamper you use really make a difference to the quality of the image printed on your nails?

For a long time, I have been using a cheapy stamper I bought on eBay when I first started stamping, and I really never thought it would be any different to other stampers on the market, They all pretty much look the same, so how could they make a difference to the image on my nails.

I had problems with the quality of certain designs before but always thought it was because I didn't have any proper stamping polishes, so I bought a set of stamping polishes from Born Pretty Store (this set here) and quickly realised that the designs weren't stamping onto my nails any better. Then this years plate collections came out, and more and more designs were much more detailed than before and it was becoming near impossible to get a full stamp on my nail without niggly imperfections. It had to be the stamper.

I had a little browse on some of my favourite blogs to see if I could work out which stampers were being used the most, and in the end I decided to go for the 2 that I deemed most popular at the moment.

The Konad Double Side Stamp Set for £5.11 (in the middle) and the Moyou London Stamp Set £3.04 incl. postage (on the right), both from Amazon. The stamper to the left is the cheapy one I have been using for a while.

These are the items I will be using in this post, the 3 stampers to compare, the black Born Pretty Stamping Polish and Bundle Monster plate BM-415 from the Create Your Own Plate Set.

Konad, Moyou,Cheapy
Here is a side by side of the pads on the stampers, as you can see, they are quite different. The Konad stamper has kind of a matt finish and is only slightly squidgy. The Moyou stamper has a very shiny surface and is very squidgy and the cheapy one is a matt finish and is almost solid.

The handles are all different too and I found this can also make a difference. The grip is very important when stamping as you do not want the stamper to slide, this would spoil the image straight away. 

The cheapy one has a short, dumpy handle which can be quite difficult to grip onto.

The Konad one has a long handle which decreases in width towards the top and has 3 indents on either side giving you a good idea of where to position your fingers for the best grip.

The Moyou one has a medium length handle, which dips in towards the middle and had one indent on each side, presumably for one finger and your thumb.

Out of all of these, I found the Moyou one hardest to grip well, this however will be down to individuals preferences.

I chose Bundle Monster BM-415 because the chipboard design is one of the ones I have had problems with, the thin lines on the design seemed to be the parts that just wouldn't pick up completely on the stamper. I also used the little robot for the small end of the Konad stamper.

Cheapy,Moyou, Konad and Konad mini end.

This is how the images picked up onto the stampers. You can see by this that the Konad actually picked up the whole design and that the Moyou picked up the least amount of the design, and to get this much of the design picked up on the Moyou, I had to run an emery board over the pad each time I stamped or it would have been nothing, which was a bit annoying. The cheapy stamper was in between, with less imperfections that the Moyou but with plenty missing.

Once again, on the nails, it is evident that the Konad picked up the whole design and, had I stamped straight, the design would be perfect. Moyou has the most missing and the cheapy one has only a few bits missing.

After this, I have decided that it is definitely worth paying a few extra pennies to get the best stamper for the job, which as it turns out is the Konad stamper, and, that a different quality of stamper can really make a difference to the quality of the stamped image.

Of course the Konad is double ended which makes it worth the money even more. The small end picks up the image just as well as the larger pad but makes it easier to position those small, individual images on the nail. I would highly recommend purchasing this if you use stamping plates a lot.

I feel like I have used the words 'stamper' and 'design' quite a lot in this post but hopefully you have enjoyed my babbling on the subject.


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Santa Claus is coming to town!

Christmas Eve, yay. I love the excitement of it all. Santa is on his way, and I wanted to do a little mani for today.

I used Nails Inc St James, Barry M White Nail Art Pen, Barry M Black Nail Art Pen and Barry M Gold Glitter.

The belt buckle went a little wrong but I think this look is super cute.

Tonight we have covered the back garden in glittery reindeer food, watched the International Space Station pass over, which I of course told Kian was Santa and now all I have to do is make sure he is fast asleep before I get my wrapping skills on and put all the presents under the tree.

Yay, Christmas.


Monday, 23 December 2013

Kawaii Nail Lacquer: Joy To The World

Joy to the World is a beautiful limited edition milky crelly polish from Kawaii Nail Lacquer. It has round glitter, square glitter, hex glitter and bar glitter, all in different sizes and in festive colours of red and green.

When Jamie of Kawaii Nail Lacquer had a Black Friday sale on her etsy store, I just had to grab a bottle of this beauty, which including postage from US to UK cost me £7.64($12.50) and I do love a bargain,and to make it even better, the polish arrived really quickly. woop woop!

The polish is a little runny and thin and because of this it does require a base colour underneath it. The glitter settles a little so I recommend shaking the bottle up a few minutes before using it. Other than that, it dries pretty quickly and glitter placement is good and even. 

Once it has dried, it is quite smooth and none of the glitter sticks up or feels bumpy.

So, with this being a festive polish, I decided it would be the perfect time to do this Christmas mani rather than regular swatches for it. 

I used 2 coats of Barry M Matt White on all nails, then 2 coats of Joy to the World on my middle and ring fingers. I didn't use a topcoat in these photos because when I tried it with Seche Vite, it turned the polish yellow. I thought this was a bit strange, has anyone experienced this?

For the stripes on the thumb I used W7 Green Dazzle, Barry M Silver Lights and Barry M Red Glitter. 
For the stripes on my index I used W7 Green Dazzle, Barry M Silver Lights and Nails Inc St James.
For the stripes on my pinkie I used Barry M Spring Green, Barry M Gold Glitter and Barry M Red Glitter.
I then topped these 3 nails with 2 coats of Seche Vite.

I love this type of polish and I have a few more that I have picked up from Kawaii Nail Lacquer, that I intend to show you over the next couple of weeks, plus, I'm sure I'll be looking to buy some more once the store is open again.

Everyone excited for Christmas now? The weather is putting a bit of a dampner on my Christmas cheer but I'm getting there.


Saturday, 21 December 2013

December GlossyBox

Yay Christmas Box.

With pretty Christmas paper.

So, when it comes to GlossyBox, over the last few months, I have been pretty disappointed and I decided to wait until the Christmas box to see if they could bring their sexy back.

I'm quite happy to say that this was a pretty good box. There were a few hiccups, which I'll explain in a mo, but, yeah, I'm not hating it.

This is what was in my box, it's a good selection of stuff and I will definitely use all of it.

Beautiful Movements Cosmetics: Nude Lip Gloss- This jojoba rich, non sticky, Beautiful Movements Cosmetics Nude Lip Gloss is the perfect shade, essential for the festive party season.

RRP: £12 for 8ml. I received 4ml.

I love lipgloss, don't we all? The lighter shades are more my thing because I really don't suit dark or bright shades and so this is perfect for me. It was the first thing I tried from the box and I really love it. Its a very light lipgloss, and isn't sticky at all. The nude colour is gorgeous and very subtle. It is actually my favourite from the box.

Wilkinson Sword Intuition: Naturals Razor- Wilkinson Sword Intuition Naturals is a 3 in 1 razor that lathers, moisturises and shaves. Your party essential for ready to bare legs this Christmas.

RRP: £6.49. This is a full sized razor.
Shop here: Wilkinson Sword

When it comes to shaving my legs, I am terrible. I don't get my legs out pretty much ever and so it doesn't really matter that much, but I just buy whatever razor is on sale at the time and just shave them while I'm in the bath with no shaving cream or anything. At  £6.49, I would never ever buy this, that is way to expensive for a razor in my opinion, but, if it is really good then maybe the price is justified. I'll just have to try it and see.

Maybelline New York: Volum' Express Colossal Smoky Eyes Mascara- Colossal Smoky Eyes Mascara with collagen and kohl effect pigments, plumps lashes for a smokin' hot look.

RRP: £7.99 for 10.7ml. This is a full sized sample.
Shop here: Maybelline @ Boots

Yes, over my time with GlossyBox, I have received several different mascaras, but I have heard really good things about this mascara and as I normally concentrate on my eyeliner and mascara, I will definitely be trying this out.

Seche Nail Lacquer: Irresistible- Seche Nail Polish delivers pure colour saturation, allowing for one coat coverage and a satin smooth finish which dries quickly.

RRP: £9.95 for 14ml. This is a full sized sample.
Shop here: Seche @ Liberty

Yay nail polish. Again, it is along the same colour lines that GlossyBox seem to favour but still, yay. Seche polish, from my past experience, seems to be very high quality and is a one coater in the darker colours. Irresistible is a pretty dark raspberry colour, so kind of a pinky/red which will fit in well this festive season. With this being a full sized bottle, that normally costs £9.95, this one item has pretty much paid for the box itself.

Yin Yang Skincare: Rich Skin Food- This organic skin care moisturiser nourishes and repairs fine, sensitive skin.

RRP: £19.50 for 50ml. I received 2 sachets of 2ml each.
Shop here: Yin Yang Skincare

Hmmmm those sachets again. No, I don't like sachets. They tend to be free in magazines, from beauty counters or from the company websites and because there isn't much product in there, you cant really gauge the results. This wasn't the only problem with this item.

Having looked at the back of the sachet, I discovered that the expiry date for this item was 31st January 2012 ( ゚ Д゚). Luckily, GlossyBox seems to have picked up on this pretty quickly after the boxes went out, and I can understand why they wouldn't have before they were sent out, because they are glued onto cards, so they are not to blame, and after contacting the right people, they have resolved the issue quickly and will be sending out replacement products. 

Overall, this box was a good box and I am once again happy. Lets hope it continues.
The total value of this months box is around £32.00 which is fab. 

Right, I'm off to shave my legs and see if my legs are left looking naturally healthy. I won't hold my breath.


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Busy Christmas Mani with Born Pretty Studs

Another Christmassy mani, it's busy because there is quite a lot going on in the one mani and because Christmas is a busy time anyway. Are you a have it all done by November type of person or a last minute Christmas eve shopper? Or, are you like me and fall in between somewhere, where you have most of it done, but realise in the last few days that there are a few things you have forgotten? I'm in that stage now, and it's not going too well shopping wise.

Red and gold look great together, and is a great staple of Christmas colours. What better way to do it than to use some gold studs.

I used some 2 different kinds of studs from the Born Pretty 2mm stud wheel which you can find here. The wheel contains 350 studs in gold and silver, round and square. I decided to mix it up a bit, and, as you can see, I used some of the squares to make a cross on my thumb.

I used the round gold studs to completely cover the nail on my ring finger and added 2 studs to the top corner of my pinkie nail. 2mm studs are the perfect size for the full coverage, I think any bigger and they wouldn't have looked as good. This created some funky Christmas nail art.

Then, because it's Christmas, there had to be a bit of glitter, and what better glitter for this mani than China Glaze Pure Joy. Isn't it pretty? You can't really see it in the pictures, but every now and then, the lights catches the red glitter and looks absolutely beautiful. This was 3 thin coats to make sure I had full coverage. I then applied 3 coats of Seche Vite to get it smooth.

I have used Born Pretty studs in a few mani's before, which you can see here, here and here, and I have always kept the mani's pretty simple and similar before, so because the wheel has so many studs, I wanted to try something a bit different and I do love the look of the full stud coverage, even if it does need a bit of perfecting.

The red polish is Nails Inc Luminous Red, I used 2 coats of this just to be safe but because it is a metallic and applied beautifully, you can just use one coat.

The studs are really easy to apply,

Step 1: I recommend tipping a small amount of the studs onto a piece of paper on a flat surface, and make sure you have enough turned the right way up for what you are planning to do. 

Step 2: Apply a coat of clear polish or slow drying top coat on top of your already painted nails. Also put a little blob onto a piece of paper.

Step 3: Dip the end of a cocktail stick or orange stick into the blob on the piece of paper, then touch it to the top of a stud to pick it up. (don't get too much on the end of the stick or it might be a pain to get the stud onto the nail)

Step 4: Place on your nail where you want it. You can use the cocktail stick/orange stick to re-position it if you don't manage to get it perfect. 

Step 5: Once all studs are positioned how you want them, apply top coat of your choice.

The 2mm stud wheel  is $5.59(about £3.42) from Born Pretty Store, which delivers anywhere in the world for free. AND, if you want to do a little bit of self love Christmas shopping, you can use my code for 10% off, Just enter code CBAQ10.

There is also currently a 20% off sitewide sale going on until Christmas Eve.


Monday, 9 December 2013

Candy Cane Nails

I love festive nails, and last year, I didn't really get the chance to get any festive nails done. So this year, I wanted to get at least one Christmassy mani on the blog, and what better to start with than some cute and simple Candy cane nails.

For this I used 2 coats of Barry M Matt White, once that was fully dry, I added some striping tape from Born Pretty and then used one coat of Nails Inc Luminous Red. I waited a few seconds before taking the tape off carefully, one piece at a time to reveal the stripes. Then finished with one coat of Seche Vite.

I did have a completely different plan for this mani, for which I had bought some Scotch Tape, but lately, things have been disappearing in my house, and one of those things happened to be the Scotch Tape, so I had to improvise.

I'm not sure what to do next, there are so many beautiful mani's out there at the moment but I want to try and squeeze a few more in before Christmas. Any suggestions?


*Don't forget, if you buy any of the striping tape or Seche Vite from BornPretty, you can use my code CBAQ10 for 10% off your order.  :)

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Christmas Lust List

It's my absolute favourite time of the year again, I bloody love Christmas, and this year, I even got excited when it started snowing on Animal Crossing.

I am not short of stuff for my lust list so lets get right into the list so you can see all the pretties I wants.

Spiderman Tights: £17.87 including postage.

I found these awesome Spiderman Tights while browsing eBay the other day and I need them in my life. That is all.

Star Wars Christmas Jumpers in Red or Grey: £26.90 including postage.

How freakin cute are these. I've been on the search for a Christmas Jumper/Sweater this year, and it's the first year I have wanted one, mix that with my budget and I have been so picky that I still don't have one. On my search, I found these 2 Star Wars Christmas Jumpers and I want. They are a little out of my budget but one day, my precious, one day.

Nails Inc Christmas Crackers: £29.50 from Nails Inc or 
                                             £25.08 from John Lewis.

Last Christmas..........I gave you my heart. Haha, no, last Christmas, it was all about the Ciate Advent Calender and Various Beauty Advent Calendars, most of which I still want and are out this year as well. However, new cute Christmas Nail and Beauty things have been popping up. 

One of the main ones to catch my eye were these Nails Inc Christmas Crackers. I love the idea of having them on the tree and at Christmas Dinner, pulling crackers and everything that falls out ends up mine because no one else wants nail polish. Mwahahahaha <----- evil laugh.

Of course there was going to be Nail Polish on the List. There are quite a few nail polishes on my Christmas List but way too many to have on my Lust List, so I have picked out the collection that made me swoon the most.

I only have 2 China Glaze polishes in my collection and this would be a gorgeous addition.

You can see all the gorgeous China Glaze Holiglaze swatches and realise why I want them,over at Polishaholic.

So me and make up aren't the best of friends. I'm not very good at it and if I wear make up, it tends to just be BB cream with some eyeliner, mascara and eyeshadow. This, does not happen often.

However, I am approaching the age where I'm going to need a little bit of help and contouring seems like such a good thing. Maybe I can also find a service where someone will teach me how to do it all. 

If you can't afford the Ciate Advent Calendar, then it might be worth having a look at these gorgeous Tree Trinkets. Its a set of six and in each is a cute mini Ciate Paint Pot. I think these would look absolutely adorable hanging on my tree. 

These rings are adorable. I'm loving all Star Wars stuff at the moment, and spent the weekend cutting loads Star Wars paper snowflakes to hang from my dinning room ceiling. It looks really pretty and you will have seen some of them if you follow me on twitter, but my thumb and index finger now hate me and I think these cute adornments would make them happy again.

MoYou Comics Collection Stamping Plates: £4.99 each from MoYou

Of course you have all heard about MoYou stamping plates by now, everyone is raving about them and I'm really not surprised. Not only do they do loads of different awesome collection and standard nail sized ish images, but the also do plates like those pictured above that are basically works of art.

My bank account and purse sadly won't allow me to buy the whole collection at the moment but right at the top of my Christmas List is the entire MoYou Comics Collection. 

And finally, I would love a Loot Crate Subscription. I only found out about this a few days ago, and I have been swooning ever since. 

I was looking around for a possible alternative to GlossyBox, when someone told hubby about Loot Crate and as you might have guessed, as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted it. Only problem is that it does work out a little bit more expensive that the standard monthly beauty box. So I'm in a little bit of a decision making period for this one. Do I just go for it, cancel my GlossyBox and received wonderful nerdy lovelies instead or do I convince hubby that it makes sense to have that on top of the GlossyBox?

They currently ship to US, UK, Canada and Australia. If you are considering purchasing Loot Crate, don't forget to scroll to the bottom of the page to make sure your country is selected.

So that is my Christmas Lust List, donations are welcome =D (joke)

Sound off in the comments if you go on to buy any of these items.