Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Lacquer Legion- Reinvention

Ssssshhhhhh, it's still the 27th somewhere. I kind of rushed these because i forgot what day it was and since the theme was announced, I've had a complete creative block.
So anyway, The Lacquer Legion is a fun, monthly challenge type thing set up by the awesome Chalkboard NailsNailasaurusWork,Polish,Play and Rebecca Like Nails and each month a new theme will be announced. To join in and find out the themes, head over to the Lacquer Legion Facebook page.

Everyone taking part will be hashtagging over all social networks to make it easy to find their posts. This months hashtag is #LLReinvention. 

My reinvention was easy enough to decide, i started by having a look at the dictionary definition of Reinvention:

That's when i decided that i would basically reinvent my first ever mani post. This was it. The whole thing was terrible. It was a Transformers mani, that was basically a carbon copy of Sammy's (Nailasaurus), the photo was terrible, the writing was terrible and the actual mani was poorly executed.

So i have done a transformers mani using my own initiative. I decided to go back in time to the original Transformers and used this google search as my point of reference. 

This is my reinvented Transformers mani. I'm quite happy with it, even if it was rushed and isn't as perfect as i imagined it would be.

I can't wait to see what next months theme will be.


Friday, 24 January 2014

Love to love- Valentines Nail Art

Valentines is approaching and even though I don't really celebrate it, I wanted to have at least one Valentines themed mani on the blog. Cue Born Pretty Store Love Graffiti Water Decal/Stickers.

These decals come on a single sheet, with no pre-cut or pre-shaped designs. You do it yourself. This sort of thing makes me happy, it means that you can choose any section of the decal sheet, cut it to size and place however you want. You can do a full nail decal or cut out single words and shapes.

I had my nail art all planned out for this, but that quickly out of the window when I realised that the decals weren't actually transparent as I had assumed, but an off white/cream colour. 

These are water decals but once dipped in water and placed, they are more like stickers. They become sticky as they dry and make it easier to smooth out air bubbles and creases.

When it comes to cutting decals, I'm terrible at it. Its either too big or too small, never just right. Luckily, with these decals, once placed, you can go over the edges with a clean up brush and some nail polish remover/acetone and it melts/dissolves the excess, giving you clean, crisp lines.

I didn't want to risk shrinkage so I applied 2 coats of normal, cheapy top coat and then one coat of Seche Vite.

The only downside to not having the decal sheet pre-cut or pre-sized, is that you can end up with a lot of wastage depending on how you cut it, I only used it for 2 nails and my sheet looks like Pixel had a fight with it and left it for dead.

Under white light to show Holo of Barry m and colour change of Rimmel

For the rest of the mani I used:

Thumb- Rimmel Metal Rush Pearly Queen and stamped half of a design from Bundle Monster BM-425, with a small gem in the O.
Index- Rimmel Metal Rush Pearly Queen with 2 small gems.
Pinkie- Barry M Fairy Lights (Superdrug LE)

Look at the holo on Barry M isn't it lush?

There are several design of these Born Pretty Decals, check them out here, they have some really cute map ones that I am thinking of buying, all @ $1.99 (£1.21) per sheet.

Don't forget, if you're buying anything, you can use my discount code for 10% off your order. Just enter CBAQ10 at checkout.

I'm also on the lookout for a new clean up brush, I think mine has seen its final days, if you know of where to get a really good one for a good price, let me know in the comments.

Have a good weekend!


*The Love Decal/Stickers in this post were sent to me for review, everything else        mentioned was purchased by myself. All opinions expressed are my own, honest opinions.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

January GlossyBox: Back to Basics

This is the first GlossyBox of the year and although I haven't been that present on social media for the last few weeks, I did spot that the GlossyBox team hinted at a subtle makeover. Well, as soon as the Hermes guy handed me my box, I could tell it was longer than the usual box, but just to be sure, I did a little comparison.

The old box is on the left and new box is on the right. The new box is definitely longer but also slightly thinner. The lid covers more of the box now than it did before and it is also a brighter shade of pink. It doesn't seem to be any higher in quality or thickness but for some reason it just seems sturdier.

Of course, I got excited, thinking that they must have done a bigger box to fit bigger products! Nooooope. The box size seems to have changed, to make sure the Glossymag fits inside. Dangnabbit.

Not that I wasn't happy with the products I received. As you have probably deduced, the theme this month was 'Back to Basics', a selection of simple products to get you back to your best after the month of festivities.

So this is what I got!

Vaseline: Essential Moisture Lotion- Is your skin weathering the elements? If so, then you need the Essential Moisture Lotion from Vaseline. Its non greasy formulation and multi-layer complex absorbs quickly leaving your skin silky smooth and looking healthy.

RRP: £4.99 for 400ml. I received: 50ml.

I like Vaseline products (especially their lip balm tins) and having already tried the Essential Moisture Lotion and loving it, I'm happy to receive some more. It rubs into the skin really easily and doesn't leave a greasy or sticky residue on the skins. Once rubbed in fully, it leaves skin feeling really soft and smooth. I use this lotion for my hands and arms and I would highly recommend it to people who get dry skin at this time of the year. The one thing that I have noticed about all Vaseline lotions that I have tried, is that they are really runny. I tried to squeeze a tiny blob out of this sample to apply to my hands and it spludged everywhere. The upside to this is that you can use it very sparingly as a tiny amount goes a long way.

Balance me: Super Toning Body Wash- With a blend of juniper, bergamot, geranium and lavender essential oils, Balance Me's super toning body wash is the best way to start your day!

RRP: £10.25 for 250ml. I received: 50ml.

I've tried the Balance me Wonder Eye Cream that I received in my September 2012 GlossyBox and I was quite impressed with that item so who knows with this one. I'm initially not impressed with the fragrance of the body wash, it honestly smells very strongly and very similar to Pixels Flea Shampoo. 

With it being a body wash, I'm not sure there is enough product to fully gauge that effects of 'super toning', maybe I will just use it on one bum cheek each morning so I can eventually do a thorough comparison? 

Yu-Be: Moisturising Skin Cream- This multi-use cult moisturising cream from Japan revamps your skin, enriching it with Vitamin E, Vitamin B2, camphor and a uniquely high glycerine content. It's an essential for all skin care regimes.

RRP: £13.50 for 33g. I received: 2 x 3g.

I've never heard of Yu-Be before, so it is nice to be receiving brands I've never heard of in the box again. Although, honestly, I would have much preferred to only have one moisturiser in my box.

The product states that it is a multi use moisturiser, including your lips and face, which, if it is a really good moisturiser, wouldn't it be great to have one that does everything, rather than one for feet, one for body, one for hands, one for face and one for lips? 

Claiming to be Japans 55 year soft skin secret, I expect big things from it. When I tried some, it was almost a gel like lotion, it applied evenly to my skin and absorbed really quickly with no greasy or sticky residue. It has a very subtle scent when first applied, that I honestly couldn't describe or compare to anything, it just smelt clean. This scent quickly dissipated, leaving behind a smooth, hydrated feeling patch of skin. 

Anatomicals: Puffy the Eye Bag Slayer Wake-Up Under Eye Patches- Looking like the walking dead? These under eye patches by Anatomicals will help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and revitalise the delicate skin around your eyes.

RRP: £6.00 for 3 pack. I received: 2 pack.

I have received several Anatomicals products through my subscription with GlossyBox and minus a blip or 2, I've always been pretty impressed with their products. Aside from having an epic reference of a name, these are the perfect product for me to try.

For as long as I can remember, I've always had bags under my eyes, not just little circles, full on grey or black bags. I always look tired or ill and if these do what they say they do, it will be a miracle of sorts. Other products have reduced them, but never fully rid me of them. So fingers crossed and time to test.

The Vintage Cosmetic Company: Floral Slanted Tweezers- Get rid of boring brows with these pretty floral tweezers by The Vintage Cosmetic Company. These high quality, stainless steel must-haves are the perfect accompaniment for every vintage doll's make up bag.

RRP: £8.00. This is a full sized item.

Every girl needs a good pair of tweezers, but £8 for a single pair, wowzers. Have any of you actually paid this sort of price for an item like this? My current pair cost £3.50 and came with a mini pair and I thought that was bordering on expensive(I feel a little bit bargain basement saying things like that). I guess it's that whole pay more for better quality thing, but these ones feel exactly the same as my current pair, they just look cuter.

The total value of this months box is about £17.12, which, when you take away the £8 for the tweezers, its not a great haul. The Vaseline sample alone was technically worth 42p. This is one of those boxes that I am content with, not overly impressed but not disappointed. All products are ones that I will at least attempt to use up.

What do you think about the items this month?Did you get anything different in your GlossyBox?


Friday, 17 January 2014

Lace elegance or not!

Me and nail stickers don't get on, I haven't yet been able to pinpoint the exact reason but I know we just don't.

The last time I tried nail stickers was for my Batman nails, which although ended up awesome-ish, the stickers were the bane of that mani.

I have also tried lace stickers before, but that mani was way too much of a disaster to even contemplate putting on the blog. They were thick and gummy and ended up sticking up a mile off the nail with extremely visible edges and it just looked nasty. 

So with these Born Pretty Store Elegant lace stickers being an option, I just had to give it another go.

There are 30 different designs in the pack, each with 5 strips, here are a few of my favourites:

The Born Pretty Store stickers were much thinner and more delicate than those that I had tried before making them easier to work with. 

I decided to go along with the name of the product and try some 'elegant' monochrome nail art, and try I did.

They stickers applied easily and when I placed them in the wrong place, they were easy to pull up and place back down without ruining the polish underneath.

I used one strip of design C11-09 for my 3 fingers and thumb which was just enough and decided to stamp my ring finger with a design from Moyou pro collection 04 plate.

As with decals, because of my curved nails, I found it difficult to get the whole sticker flat and it took me a while to smooth it out but eventually it did, until I added a topcoat that was and then I got some lift on the edges and the little details along the top of the sticker.

I think part of my problem was placing it so close to the open edge of my nail, even with 2 coats of a standard topcoat and 1 coat of Seche, I still had the lifted parts of the sticker showing and no matter how much I pressed down, they just would not go away.

It still looked pretty though and for those of us who aren't able to perfect the intricate detail of free handed lace nail art, these are a good idea (when placed properly).

When removing the mani, the stickers were slightly harder to shift than I expected. After several cotton pads and vigorous rubbing, I was left with this:

an accidental mani that, with a little bit of edge perfecting, I would prefer much more than the original.

It still took several more cotton pads and some scraping to remove the stickers after this but they did eventually come off, albeit in little, tiny bits of annoyance.

However, the more I thought about it and started getting the pictures ready for the blog, I wasn't 100% happy with my lace sticker attempt and thought I would try something different.

Cue mani number 2 (childish chuckle):

I'm fairly certain this is classed as a skittlette, please correct me if I'm wrong, I'm terrible with the names of the different mani's.

I actually really like this one and it seems that the design of the sticker can make all the difference.With this one being smaller than the last, it seemed less difficult to get it smooth and how i wanted.

Yay the sun popped out, Holo shot! 

I used OPI Emotions on my thumb and pinkie. The same stamped ring finger from the first mani. Born Pretty Holo #3 on index and middle fingers topped off with lace stickers in design C11-27.

I was much happier with the lace stickers on this mani, mainly because they were in the middle of the nail so no edges were exposed and lifting and I managed to get the design exactly the same on each nail. You can still see the edges on parts of the sticker but its not really prominent.

Overall, this experience with nail stickers was improved. These stickers were easier to use and the pack has a nice array of designs to choose from, plus there are plenty in there if looking to perfect the art of nail stickers.

The Lace Sticker Pack is $5.62 (£3.42), don't forget you can use my discount code CBAQ10 for 10% off.

AND it's free shipping anywhere in the world.


*The Lace Stickers in this post were sent to me for review, everything else mentioned was purchased by myself. All opinions expressed are my own, honest opinions.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Kawaii Nail Lacquer Siberian Kiss Swatch and Review

Kawaii Nail Lacquer Siberian Kiss was my favourite polish purchase of 2013. Yes I know I'm a bit late but it's still true, and now that we finally have snowfall predicted for the UK, it is also a good time for the perfect wintery polish. And here it is.

I first saw Siberian Kiss when Jamie (Kawaii Nail Lacquer) posted this Swatch by Lacquer Loon on the Kawaii Nail Lacquer Facebook Page, and I instantly fell in love.

Siberian Kiss is a white crelly with blue multi-sized glitter in squares and circles. The polish is quite thin, I used 3 coats for my swatches and my nail line is still visible so this would probably be a good polish for a white base coat. 

Dry time between coats was a little bit longer than I am used to and still felt quite tacky to the touch after about 10-15 minutes. You might be able to see on my index finger that I dented the polish in 2 places (ignore the missing nail corner :'( always the corners!)

It dried pretty smooth, with only slight lifting on the edges of the large round glitters which you should be able to see on my little finger. In this case it would benefit from a good top coat. 

I haven't used topcoat in these photos, because as with Joy to the World, when I used Seche Vite, it turned the polish a horrible tinge of yellow. I really need to get a few different top coats.

I wore Siberian Kiss for a few days without topcoat and had only the slightest corner wear after doing the dishes. Plus, this is the first polish in a while that I have had loads of compliments on. This really is a beautiful polish in the bottle and on the nail.

What do you think of Siberian Kiss? 


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Princess mani with Born Pretty 3D nail embellishment

When I first saw this embellishment on the Born Pretty Store, I immediately thought 'Princess'. When I received it, I thought 'Pink' and 'Glitter'.

I've expressed it many times on the blog that I'm not really that into pink on my nails, but I'm starting to come around to the colour and who doesn't want to feel princessy for a day? But don't worry, its not all going to be fluffy and pink on the blog from now on, this is a once in a blue moon type of thing and for this Princess nail art, it just had to be pink.

The 3D embellishments are really pretty, and you get 2 for $1.99 (about £1.21), and there are 23 different styles of these in both gold and silver. Each one, has some crystal gems on them, the ones I chose have a larger heart gem and 2 smaller round gems.

They are actually much sturdier than I imagined they would be and if using top coat to attach it, you can definitely get multiple uses out of them. That's how I did it, so if using glue, I'm not quite sure how many uses you could get.

Lets be honest, they aren't practical for every day use, but would be really good for special occasions or a night out. After doing the Princess mani, I came to the conclusion that they would look really pretty for a Bridal manicure, just a really simple mani with this as the focus nail.

There were a couple of downsides to the embellishment, one of which was that, even though my nails are quite curved, they didn't seem to be curved enough for the embellishment, this resulted in a gap between the nail and parts of the embellishment.

This gap meant that it would be easier to catch it on something and pull it off. However, unless you are looking at it from the angle in the photo above, it does not take away from how pretty it looks on the nail.

The other downside, was that it was slightly longer that my nails at their current length, but this can be rectified by a little bit of growth on the nails before the occasion you will be using the embellishment.

The length of this charm is 16mm, there are some of the charms on the list that are 15mm and some that are 17mm. 

The widths of the charms also vary, some 10mm and some 11mm. You can see that this design doesn't quite reach the edges, but at 10mm and with a curvy design, there should be some embellishments that will meet the edges more or less if that is how you like it.

I used one coat of Seche Vite and placed the embellishment on the nail, once in place, I put a small amount of pressure on it to make sure as many points as possible were touching the nail. I wore it for a couple of hours on the night, moving around, making something to eat, playing with the cat etc, and it stayed on. I didn't do dishes or anything like that but I wouldn't wear something like this for day to day stuff anyway.

The removal was really easy, I just pushed an orange stick up under one side and it popped right off. There was no polish stuck to the underside and no colour had come off the charm. As I said, glue to attach may make a difference to how smoothly this part of the process would go.

For the rest of the mani, I used 3 coats of Barry M Strawberry Ice Cream and 1 coat of Barry M Iridescent Pink. The stamping was a rose design from Moyou Pro Collection 8 stamping plate using Barry M Gold Foil, and all topped with a coat of Seche Vite.

Overall, I'm really happy with this mani, I do wish that I had a bright orange/gold polish that I could have used for the stamping so it would match, but with the way it turned out, the other nails don't take away from the embellishment.

Don't forget, if buying anything from Born Pretty, you can enter my discount code at checkout to receive 10% off your order total and they have free worldwide delivery.


*This item was sent to me for review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own and are completely honest.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

I am Sherlocked!

Yay, Sherlock Lives. If you haven't been hiding under a rock, you will know that Sherlock is back on starting at 9PM (GMT) tonight. 

I wanted to do some nails for the occasion, now, admittedly, this isn't some of my best work. The wallpaper design is sloppy and I have had some shrinkage from the Seche Vite, but, I do really love how the silhouette of Sherlock Cumberbatch turned out.

Here is a little close up of it.

I freehanded all of it, copying the Sherlock silhouette from this image by Tardis of Insanity on Deviant Art and using this wallpaper  background for the rest.

40 minutes to gooooooooo!