Friday, 28 February 2014

The Lacquer Legion: Adoration

It's the second month of The Lacquer Legion and the second time that I am late with my mani. The theme this month is Adoration and I knew instantly what I was going to do for me mani. 

There is no-one else that I adore more than my Hubs (Apart from Ki.......when he is behaving).
 Hubs runs a video game review site called Gert Lush Gaming and, as a couple, we adore video games, so a little bit of shameless promotion on the thumb I attempted (terribly) to do the GLG logo. 

For my other 4 digits, I decided on 4 8-bit hearts, hearts being a symbol of love and adoration, and of course, video game related.

I used a base of Barry M Black on the thumb and freehanded the GLG with Barry M Matt White.
Then for the fingers I used a base of Barry M Matt White, Barry M Black for the heart outline and Nails Inc St James for the red.

I had many a plan on how I was going to do the hearts, but they all failed miserably and I ended up doing it freehand using a dotting tool. I like the imperfection of them and the fact that the differ in size. I also decided to do half a heart on the pinkie because it started to remind me of a retro arcade type health bar.

I topped it all off with a coat of Seche Vite, then a coat of Rimmel Matte Top Coat.

If you would like to see the other mani's people have done for this months Lacquer Legion, search for the hashtag #LLadoration on any social media site and if you would like to take part in next months theme, checkout The Lacquer Legion Facebook page.


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Loot Crate: An Epic Box of Nerdiness

Or should that be a nerdy box of epicness?

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that a few months ago I was looking for an alternative to GlossyBox as I was thinking of cancelling. That is when I heard of Loot Crate. I then mentioned them in my Christmas Lust List and since then, I have eagerly been awaiting the day that I could sign up to a Loot crate subscription. That day arrived a few weeks ago, and I was luckily just in time for February's box.

So what is a Loot Crate? Loot Crate is a monthly subscription service, currently available in US, which also sends to Canada, UK and Australia and each month, subscribers will receive a box packed with epic Geek and Gamer gear.

The subscription cost is $13.37 + Shipping and Handling per month, so the overall price will depend on which country you are in. For those of us international (Canada,UK and Aus) the overall monthly cost is $29.95, this worked out for me @ £19.02 because of a £1 fee for international payment. Considering it was shipped from the US, it arrived very quickly, I received the dispatch email late on 19th Feb and the box arrived with me on the afternoon of 24th Feb. I don't even receive some items bought from the UK that quickly.

This may seem a little bit on the expensive side for those of us used to the £12/£13 beauty box subscriptions,  but think of it this way, each Loot Crate has a guaranteed value of $40+ (£23.99) and who can really put a price on nerdy goodness.

After my little blurb there, you'll probably want to see want was in this months crate? Course you do! Here ya go...................................after the jump.

Monday, 24 February 2014

KBShimmer: Grayscale

I finally gave in and bought from Harlow&Co, I've admired KBShimmer polishes from afar for quite a while now and took the plunge. There is quite a collection of KBShimmer polishes on Harlow&Co and I spent a good hour umming and ahhing over which to buy. Grayscale was my choice. I'm really liking Glitter Toppers at the moment, I'm not sure if it is something brands are doing differently but they just seem to stand out a lot more recently.

Do you ever see a polish and know just from that, exactly what colour you want to pair it with or what design you want to incorporate it into? I had that with Grayscale. As soon as I saw the bottle image, I knew it would look awesome over a bright yellow, and, well, was I right?

They KBShimmer bottles are rather large and at 15ml they are just ever so slightly larger than Seche bottles. These are $9 (Canadian dollars) and this works out at £4.84, I never realised how much of a bargain that is until this point in time right now.
The flowers are part of the KBShimmer logo and not glitter pieces
The bottle is packed full of glitter in circles, hexes, rectangles, and squares of all different sizes in a clear base. The polish comes out quite thick which gives a good cover of glitter. I used one coat of Grayscale over 2 coats of Barry M BLE 2013 (the yellow limited edition with the tribal lid). 

Dry time is a little longer than usual but for the most part, dries relatively quickly and is smooth over the smaller pieces of glitter, with a few sticky up bits on the larger glitter, especially the Hex pieces. So I finished it off with 2 coats of Seche Vite for a smooth shiny finish.

I thought it couldn't get any better, that was until I added a coat of Rimmel Pro Matte Finish Mattifying Top Coat.

And I ended up with this. This has to be my favourite combination of all time.

KBShimmer Grayscale is available to buy from Harlow&Co for $9 cad if you are in the UK/International or directly from KBShimmer for $8.75 usd if in the US.

I was very impressed with Harlow&Co, for a single KBShimmer polish, it worked out at £10.21 including the postage from Canada to UK. It arrived very quickly considering the distance and the polish was packaged really well. I don't know what I was worried about. In fact,whilst writing this post, I accidentally got sidetracked and bought another one, ooops.


Friday, 21 February 2014

February GlossyBox- Be Mine

Valentines Day managed to sneak quietly by us as it does every year and no Valentines themed items made their way into our house. Until this months GlossyBox turned up that is.

If you hadn't guessed already, the theme for the box this month was 'Be Mine'. This is something I whisper to most nail polish stands as I walk by them with my dust filled pockets. I am lucky enough to already have my Valentine.

The box was very pretty, covered in kisses on a black background, although the design was only on the lid, where as with previous LE box designs, they had covered the whole box.

So onto the products, this months box was ok, not awe inspiring but not awful either. A good selection of products with a good amount of full sized products and an extra treat.

Nougat London: Sparkling Body ShimmerAdd radiance to your skincare regime with Sparkling Body Shimmer. This body lotion with mallow extract, Vitamin E and wheatgerm enriched oil will leave your skin luxuriously perfumed with a hint of sparkle.

RRP: £14 for 250ml. I received: 100ml.

This is a brand I have never heard of before, so it's always nice to receive a brand that is new to me. The Body Shimmer smells really nice, I don't know what the fragrance is but the best way to describe it is that it smells really 'clean', Kind of like a strong bubble bath/soap smell. When I applied it to my skin, it left the skin felling smooth but there was definitely no shimmer, not even in direct sunlight on the skin that I had rubbed it onto, but plenty of shimmer left behind on my finger, and now all over my keyboard. 

Toni & Guy Hair Meet Wardrobe: Stick It Up Gum- Fed up of fly-aways? Toni & Guy's Stick it up Gum holds and controls for a gravity defying, high shine finish.

RRP: £7.20 for 90ml. I received: 90ml (Full Sized)

Not a product for me, but I did get Hubs and Ki to test it, and although it will take a bit of portion control practice (they are used to gel) they say it's a pretty good product and they will definitely be using it until it's empty.

Ciate London: Paint Pot in Red Hot Chilli- Do you want stunningly sophisticated looking nails? Look no further than a Ciate Paint Pot. These lovingly chosen and high performance formulas provide you with an effortless nail colour.

RRP: £9 for 13.5ml. I received: 13.5ml (Full Sized)

I'm always happy when I receive a nail polish. Yes, it's red, but it is a valentines themed box so I can forgive that this time. As the name suggests, the polish is a beautiful chilli red, it applies perfectly and is opaque in 2 coats. Dry time is relatively quick so would be good for a quick on-the-go mani. Here is a quickie pic.

Although I find Ciate polishes quite nice and reliable, I'm not overly excited by their colour range, and they often get passed onto my mother in law. MIL is often at a computer throughout the day and has told me that the Ciate polishes tend to be the best at not getting tip wear due to keyboard use, so that is another good thing to note.

Maybelline New York: Master Kajal Liner- Master the art of seductive eyes and inner line intensity in one easy stroke with Maybelline's Master Kajal cream-stick liner.

RRP: £5.99 for 13g. I received: I assume 13g as it doesn't say anywhere but looks about right (possible Full Size)

I'm now officially overflowing with eyeliners, not that I'm going to complain too much because eyeliner is one that I use quite a lot. I'm intrigued by the whole one stroke thing, I had a go at at it, of course I had to try, it didn't go well, and I'm wondering if maybe the one stroke technique needs to be practised.

Miners Cosmetics: Cocktail Kiss: Manhattan- Be the flavour of the month with Cocktail Kiss! Inspired by the world's best cocktails, each shade has its own unique flavour so your can whip up the perfect pout.

RRP: £2.99 for 12ml. I received: 12ml (Full Size)

I do not like this lipgloss. It smells lush, proper lush, so I was kind of hoping that it would be a nice gloss, but it's not. It's thick and sticky and just not very nice at all. It's a shame because lipgloss is another of my loves and I had high hopes for this when I saw it in my box.

Extra Treat= Lindt: Lindor Treat Bar- Indulge yourself with Lindt's most famous chocolate, Lindor. Its irresistibly smooth and melting filing makes it a perfect little treat at any time.

RRP: £0.79 for one bar. I received: one Full Size bar.

What Valentines would be complete without chocolate. I'm a big fan of chocolate, BIG fan. The Lindor Treat Bar was creamy chocolatey heaven, I highly recommend it. :)

So all in all, this months box wasn't too bad, the chocolate bar definitely helped sweeten the deal. Value wise, with the 4 full sized items and the extra treat, I worked this box out at about £31.57, so more than double what I paid including postage, that's a pretty good value in my eyes, even with the horrible sticky lipgloss.

Did you get anything different in your GlossyBox this month?


Saturday, 1 February 2014

Regally Red

Ha, I love that title, not because it's particularly witty or clever, but because everytime I read it, I read it in the voice of Scooby Doo. You're doing it now aren't you? Finding joy in the simplest things, that's how the world goes round.

Onto today's post. Today's nail art was done using these pretty Gold Arabesque Water Decals from Born Pretty Store.

Once again, these decals were slightly different to water decals I have used in the past, with these ones, you dip them in the water for a few seconds, then when you take them out, you have to wait until they have dried a little bit before they will slide off the paper. This frustrated me slightly only because I'm used to decals just sliding straight off and being ready to go.

These decals are really pretty and bold and you can see in this picture that the colours are really vibrant, so I was kind of hoping that they would work really well on dark colours and for the most part they did, but some of the colours, namely the blue and red became difficult to see.

So I decided on red and white and this worked really well, the red and gold really pop on these colours. I used Barry m Matt White and Nails Inc Luminous Red.

As usual with decals and my curved nails, I had a few problems getting all the air bubbles out and keeping the decal flat everywhere but these aren't really visible on the finished mani.

To stop shrinkage, I used 2 coats of a cheapy top coat and then one coat of Seche Vite.

I don't know if you can notice this, but on the white the decals look like the edges have discoloured a slightly yellowish colour after the Seche was added. This could potentially be resolved by cutting much closer to the decal edges.

Clean up was easy because edges of the decals came away with a few swipes of a clean up brush and acetone polish remover.

These decals are available in gold or silver here for $4.99 (£3.04) and you can get quite a few different manis out of the one sheet.

Don't forget, you can use my code for 10% off your order. Just enter CBAQ10 at the checkout.


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