Friday, 29 August 2014

Swatch: KBShimmer Stark Raven Mad

It's been quite a while since I last put a swatch up on the blog, I've still been buying polishes here and there but haven't bothered with any swatching, but I recently bought a couple of polishes that I wanted to share.

This one is KBShimmer Stark Raven Mad, it is a Charcoal Black polish with holo throughout.

Application was pretty perfect, you can get away with 2 coats but I used 3 thin coats in these photos. 

Dry time is relatively quick even on the 3rd coat and is pretty much on par with other polish brands.

Clean up is so easy, any polish that was on my skin peeled off in one piece.

I did not apply a top coat, the polish dried to a glossy, smooth finish and top coat was not necessary.

Even without direct sunlight, the holo still peeks out a little bit, but other than that, in the shade, it looks like a glossy black polish with a silver shimmer.

I bought this from Harlow&Co for $9 CAD which works out at about £5 at the moment, yes you have to pay postage on top of it, but it isn't that much, I bought this along with another bottle (which you will see soon) and the postage cost altogether was $9.37 (about £5.21), so for both beautiful bottles of polish, the entire order came to about £15.44. 

Postage time was about a week this time, I have bought from Harlow&Co before and have never waited more than 2 weeks for my stuff to arrive, I highly recommend them if you are looking for new brands to try that can't be found in the UK.


Wednesday, 27 August 2014


In this months Heroes themed Loot Crate, I received this awesome Funko Pop! Groot, and there was no question in my mind what item from the crate would inspire me this month. I knew instantly how I wanted to do it and how I wanted it to look.

I started with a base of OPI San-Tan-Tonio on all 4 fingers and Models Owns Hypergel White Light on the thumb. Then, and this is a bit random, but I used a laundry pen to do the details. If you're confused as to what a laundry pen is, it's that pen that gets used to write your name on clothes labels. Yeah, I didn't think it would work either, but it worked incredibly well.

I am super in love with these nails! That is happening more and more often these days, especially with the nails inspired by Loot Crate items which is fab, I love the amount of inspiration I get from my monthly box of nerdy goodness.

I haven't been lucky enough to have seen the movie yet but hopefully I will soon, so no spoilers any of you that have seen it. 


Monday, 25 August 2014

Anti-Hero Inspired Nails

So after using the chevron nail vinyls from Born Pretty to do these different designs, I went on and bought these lightning strike/zig zag vinyls, but with these vinyls, I knew exactly the design I wanted to try with them.

 I first saw this kind of design on Nailside with these awesome Wonder Woman inspired nails, and since then, I have seen loads of people do it, usually with the same colours, so I wanted to try a different colour scheme.

I grabbed a few random colours and went to work on what I hoped would end an Anti-Hero style and I really like what I ended up with. 

The colours I used were:
 Revlon Chroma Chameleon Aquamarine
 GOSH Holographic Hero and
 Rimmel Space Dust Total Eclipse, 
then I topped it with a coat of Seche Vite.

After a few hours of having it on, the colours started to remind me a little bit of Nightwings costume.

You could do loads of different colour combinations and is perfect for some subtle and simple, superhero nail art.


Friday, 22 August 2014


When I first saw Naomi from Bewitchery's #bodyUNashamed blog post, I knew I wanted to be involved in this project and spreading the word for a better body image. Penny from Lillies and Love started this project to promote positivity and to try to get the message across that what is in the media is completely unobtainable, the models in these shoots don't even look like that. Search #bodyUNashamed on social media to find posts from other bloggers.

Body shaming is a huge issue in the world today and we have all been made to feel less than perfect in some way or another at some point in our lives. The media doesn't help with this, with their constant berating of celebrities bodies, too fat, too thin, and their promotion of perfect size zero bodies. This has led to a society where children still in their single age figures develop body dismorphia, eating disorders and even worse, cases of suicide. It is something we need to fight.

In the media at the moment I really like Jennifer Lawrence, she is gorgeous, she is curvy and she is outspoken about how against body shaming she is. She has refused to change her weight and body shape for any role and was quoted as saying 'if we're regulating cigarettes and sex and cuss words, because of the effect they have on our younger generation, why aren't we regulating things like calling people fat?' and she loves food, junk food, all food, nom.

Plus she is super quirky and weird and that is what I love in people, don't be afraid to be yourself, ever. Especially if you are weird, weird is wonderful

I have had body issues since I was a tween, children can be really cruel and because I had curves early (mostly bum) I was often called fat, I wasn't fat at all but this set me off on a body image spiral very early on. I'm now overweight (not hugely but enough) and have been since I gave birth to my son, but because of my sickuation, it is very difficult and painful to exercise and i refuse to go on some yo-yo fad diet.

When I emailed across to take part, all the participating bloggers had already been paired off, so I got to choose who I wanted and I knew straight away that I should ask the awesome sauce Sarah Jane from Kitten Nails. Kitten Nails was one of the first blogs I started reading and Sarah Jane was one of the first people that started talking to me.

The gorgeous Sarah Jane

So here are the 3 things that I find beautiful about Sarah Jane:

1. Her eyes are absolutely gorgeous. Especially in this photo, they are so intense and that eye make up just makes it even more so. 

2. Sarah Janes makeup skills are awesome. You can see in this photo that she looks somewhat like the gorgeous Kat Dennings (another gorgeous curvy chick I love) and she does amazing nerdy inspired make up that always makes me wish I wasn't an absolute noob when it comes to full face make up.

3. She is a gamer, a geek, a nerd, and she's not afraid to show it. She works in the video game industry which is awesome and obviously took a lot of hard work and I admire her for that.

Now onto 3 things about me:

1. My eyes, it's totally acceptable that I said eyes for both of us and in no way cheating. I love eyes, I think everyone has beautiful eyes, they are the window to the soul after all. I have always like my eyes and for a while, when I wore make up, it was only eye makeup, just to make them pop. My inner iris, just around the the pupil is brown and then is spikes off and the rest of it is green.

2. My nerdisms! I'll express my nerdisms wherever and whenever I want. Everyone should, normal is boring and we all have our little quirks that should be shown off to the world. Yes, I'm 28 and wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell backpack, but that's how I roll!

3. My resilience. I've been through some tough times and no matter how many times I get knocked down, I always get back up and fight on. Even if I am not happy with my outward appearance, I love who I am and that is all that matters.

I really hope more people start doing #bodyUNashamed posts and that people start realising, who you are is beautiful no matter what size or shape and no one has the right to make you feel less than what you are, which is amazing!


Thursday, 21 August 2014

Loot Crate: Heroes

This months Loot Crate was Heroes, and it had me in Nerdgasm heaven. I honestly think that this is my favourite box so far, not just because of the theme, not just because of the type of items but because the whole box just came together in a bundle of epic things that Chrissie loves. 

It's quite a long post, so I have popped a jump in here, click it to see what was in the box.

Friday, 15 August 2014

My Many Nail Fails with Born Pretty Nail Foils

This post is a story of woe and frustration and horrible nail fails. 

When I first saw these nail foils on Born Pretty Store, I knew I had to give them a go, you see, I have never used nail foils before and since working with Born Pretty, I have really enjoyed trying out new things. Most of the new things I try, I tend to get on with eventually, but nail foils have got the better of me.

Look at that beautiful holo! The foil comes in a little tub much like the old camera film tubs and when you take it out, it is a long strip of about 100cm and about 4cm wide. It feels very delicate when you are handling it but you can twist and pull at it and it is very difficult to rip or ruin, trust me, I tried.

The tube doesn't come with instructions but the instructions can be found on the Nail Foils page on the Born Pretty website.

Using these instructions, I set about my first attempt, full nail coverage, with a base of GOSH Holographic Hero.

As you can see, it didn't go very well. It wasn't the most horrible thing I had ever done but it just wasn't good enough. You can see patches where it didn't transfer, patches where the foil pulled up a bit of polish as I removed it and just patches, everywhere. I had started with my thumb and one finger at a time, worked my way along to my pinkie and in my opinion, application improved with each finger.

I wondered why I couldn't get it right, was it the epic migraine I have been battling for the last few days? Was it that I wasn't waiting long enough for the polish to become the right amount of tacky? Was I rubbing too hard with the rubber hoof? Was it because my nails were too curved? Or was it because I just wasn't skilled enough?

Honestly, I think it was a mixture of all of these factors, but I wasn't going to give up. If the full nail thing didn't work, I would try to do some smaller areas and maybe use a different polish in hopes that there would be some acceptable nail art in there somewhere.

So next I tried to do some half nail designs with a base of Barry M Matte Black. This went much better, with a lot less patches (still a few) and even looked much better against the black. 

Maybe I was starting to get the hang of it.

NOPE! For my next attempt I tried a kind of angled, quarter nail design, using both the GOSH Holographic Hero and the Barry M Matte Black. Oh the patches :'(. But this wasn't the worst of my attempts. 

Triangles, triangles were a horrible mistake. As you can see, the pinkie was the best one, all the rest looked a mess. One thing I will say that was easy, was the clean up of them, any bits of foils that went over the skin or cuticle, came off easy with a few swipes from some polish remover on a brush and when removing the whole design, they came off just like the polish.

I will admit that I gave up at this point. I think I am destined to have a love/hate relationship with nail foils, they are so pretty and elegant but I just can't master it. Plenty of people have, just look at the customer images and review on the product page, there are some absolutely gorgeous manis on there.

The foils are a fab product and I will break them out every now and then to see if I can build my foilage skills to a better level. If you are interested in trying the nail foils, you can buy them here for $2.88(£1.73) a tub, there are 10 patterns to choose from.

Use my code CBAQ10 for 10% off your entire order and remember when adding it all up, you don't have to factor in shipping because it is free shipping anywhere in the world.

What do you think of this type of post? Personally, I like when the bloggers I follow post some fails every now and then, I find it makes you feel better when you just can't master something yourself, sometimes that product just isn't for you. 

How have you gotten on with nail foils in the past? Have you never tried them before and are now looking to try? I would love to see some nail foil success stories.


The nail foils in this post were sent to me for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own, honest opinions.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Born Pretty Chevron Vinyl Stickers

Lately, it seems like everyone has been talking about vinyls and what you can do with the, I have never tried them before, so when these Chevron Vinyl Stickers arrived from Born Pretty Store, I started trying out some different nail art straight away.

So much so, that I forgot to take pictures of the vinyls themselves and ended up taking a photo after using quite a bit of them.

You get one sheet that has 2 strips of vinyls on it, each strip has 19 chevrons, but to be honest, half of a single chevron was enough to go all the way across my nail so I snipped each strip down along the middle and technically ended up with 76 chevrons. That is loadsa mani's.

I tried loads of different things with them, and being that this was my first time with them, most of them turned out to be fails, so I have put 3 of my favourite and least hideous attempts into this post.

So first up, adding chevrons as an accent to a stamped mani. For this I used a base of Barry M Matt white and topped with a coat of Seche Vite. The vinyls have quite a strong adhesive and so it was important to let the Seche dry for long enough that I didn't pull a chunk up with the vinyl when removing it, 30 mins seemed long enough.

I applied the vinyls where I wanted them and went over them with Barry M Mint Green, this part took a few attempts. At first I thought I needed to remove them quickly, like striping tape, but I soon realised that the polish needed to dry a little bit to be able to get the crisp edges.

The vinyls are really strong as well, so if you place them in the wrong place, you can pull them up and move them around without ripping them or ruining them.

After this mani, I did try leaving the vinyls on the nail as part of the design, I thought because of the strong adhesive that this would work well, but after adding topcoat, I got loads of lift all over the place and it ended up being a huge mess. I'm sure I have seen people who have done this and it looks great, so potentially I did something wrong.

The next thing I tried was another thing that I have seen loads of people trying lately, a negative space mani. For this, after applying OPI Nail Envy and allowing it to dry, I placed a vinyl across the centre of each nail, then I painted my nails with GOSH Holographic Hero. I let the first coat dry, then applied a second coat before removing the vinyls. 

It looked good at that point, but something was missing, so I added some black outlines, everything looks better with a black outline.

Luckily the sun peeked out just long enough for me to get a photo with a little bit of holo showing through, This mani is definitely my favourite of all 3, its slightly different and you gotta love that sparkle.

The final of the 3 is this shark bite style with OPI Emotions. For this one, I kind of took inspiration from the Jinx Mani that was going around when that polish was first released, and the fact that Shark week has just started.

To do this, I started with a base of Barry M Matt White, and topped with Seche. Once dry, I placed the vinyls and went over with 2 coats of OPI Emotions. Because Emotions has the texture and some glitter, it made it a little more difficult to get the clean, crisp lines but it turned out quite cute in the end.

There are probably hundreds of other ways to use these vinyls, and I loved trying them out, so much so, that I went on and bought some other vinyls in a different style. 

You can buy these Chevron vinyls here from Born Pretty Store for $1.58(£0.94), that's 94p and you could get loads and loads of mani's out of this single sheet. Plus, if 94p isn't cheap enough for you, use my discount code CBAQ10 for a further 10% off your order.


The vinyl stickers in this post were sent to me for review purposes, All opinions expressed are my own, honest opinions.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Born Pretty Stamping Plate Holder

Have you ever bought any of the octagonal stamping plates from Born Pretty Store or elsewhere and found that they don't tend to fit into a standard stamping plate holder and so you just end up with them lying around or just dumped together into the back of the holder you have? If like me this is exactly what you do, you'll find that these plates end up with scratches all over them. Plus, isn't it nice to have everything have it's own neat and tidy place to live?

This Born Pretty Stamping Plate holder is perfect for those plates and also a perfect travel companion to bring some stamping plates with you on getaways and holidays, if you want to be able to change your nail art but don't want to take up too much space.

The plate holder is made from a kind of leatherette material and comes in 2 colours Pink or Peach blow, I received the pink one and the Peach Blow is kind of a baby pink colour.

It has 12 inserts, each insert has a pocket on the front and back, meaning it can hold up to 24 stamping plates. It will fit the octagonal stamping plates, and standard sized round plates like Konad and Bundle Monster. The only plates I have found so far that don't fit are the larger Cheeky Stamping Plates.

The inserts are connected at a single point as you can see in the picture above and so they swivel out rather than opening like the standard book type holders.

It measure 8x9cm which makes it the perfect size for your pocket or to slot into a travel case or handbag. 

I gave this a good test in my pocket and my bag, it hugs the plates snugly and even when upside and being moved around a lot, none of the plates fell out or even slipped out of the slots at all. Any dents put into the leatherette quickly disappeared once the item making the dent was removed, which means it will be quite durable in the long run.

If you'd like to buy the Born Pretty Stamping Plate Holder, you can get it here for $5.29 (£3.15). Don't forget to use my code for 10% of your entire order, Just enter CBAQ10 at checkout.


This Stamping Plate Holder was sent to me for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own honest opinions.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Firmoo Sunglasses Review

When the lovely Tina from Firmoo (Global Online Optical Store) contacted me and asked if I would like to try out their service, I jumped at the chance.

I have been a spectacle wearer since I was a teenager, of course, I refused to wear them most of the time at that age because I was under the impression it would ruin what little street cred I had, what it did ruin was my eyesight even more, so now I literally have to wear my glasses 24/7 or I can't see more than a few inches in front of me.

I have only ever been to Specsavers before and one of the things I have never purchased are prescription sunglasses, it's either one or the other and glasses are more important, meaning during the summer months, I am either blinded by the sun shining through my normal glasses, or blind because I'm wearing standard, non prescription sunglasses.

Quite a longish post, click the jump to read more:

Monday, 4 August 2014

Deadpool Nails

So the Deadpool nails are actually inspired by these Deadpool socks from the Villains Loot Crate, as soon as I saw the socks I knew it would make a cute and simple mani of everyones favourite anti-hero.

I started with a base colour of Ciate Red Hot Chilli. I chose this red above all others because it is very bright and almost orangey so I thought this would stand out best against the black stripes.

As soon as I applied the red, I started to have doubts and almost aborted the whole mani, the whole, red on every nail as the main colour almost put me off, but I persevered. 

Once dry, I used striping tape and Barry M Black to do the stripes and the black patches for Deadpool's face/mask. The eyes were freehanded using Barry M Silk Pearl.

Then I topped it all off with a coat of Seche. I must have gone over it a bit too vigorously with the Seche because I ended up with hundreds of tiny air bubbles between the stripes, even with this, I still really like this mani, and it's Deadpool, Deadpool doesn't do perfection.

All the videos seem to have been removed now, but did you manage to catch the leaked test footage of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool? I'm wondering if this was some kind of a self leak ploy, so that everyone says 'oh Ryan Reynolds actually seemed to do a good job there' in hopes that they can convince themselves or the world that this movie is potentially going to be good. I'm a believer, are you? It seemed like he pretty much nailed it there.

Anyway, Deadpool nails, YAY!


Friday, 1 August 2014

Nerd Block: July 2014

Being the mini nerd that he is, everytime we received our Loot Crate, Kian would get this broody, jealous thing going on and we thought it was probably time for him to have his own subscription to a nerd box.

We wanted him to get different stuff from us so that he truly felt it was his own box of nerdiness and also it would be weird if he was wearing the same t-shirts as us, so I had a look around at all the Subscription boxes similar to Loot Crate.

At first, we were drawn to Nerd Block JR because it specified in it's name that it was meant for mini nerds, but the problem was that the stuff seem to be quite focused on things like Ben 10 and Power Rangers and Ki just isn't into that stuff and there didn't seem to be t-shirts in that one.

In the end, we decided on Nerd Block Classic, this meant that he would get things like Funko's and t-shirts and all we have to do is check the box for any items not appropriate for his age and take them out before he gets his hands on it. Like the first item in this months Nerd Block.

Comic-Con Episode IV: A fan's Hope is a behind the scenes look at 2011 San Diego Comic Con and the fans that gather at the worlds largest comic book convention. 

This DVD is a PG-13 and I would say this probably isn't appropriate for an 8 year old to watch, especially with the inevitable cascade of boobs at Comic Con. Not only that but he couldn't watch it even if he was old enough because it is NTSC, so this came out of the box.

What this really means, is that not only do I have a new DVD to watch on the laptop but I also have a mini figure of Stan Lee, Excelsior!

The rest of it is 8 year old appropriate, so lets have a look.

Star Wars X-Wing Fighter Plush: This is all kinds of awesome and now I am the jealous one. From what I have seen, there were 3 different types of plush you could get, the other 2 being a Walker and the Millennium Falcon and I am now on the look out for both of those because they are adorable. 

Next up is the 2nd Star Wars themed item in this box, a Star Wars Insider magazine. Ki had a good read through this and loved all the awesome pictures, because this was different from the magazines he would normally go for, it was something he was genuinely interested in. 

Next up is what I would say was the best item in the box, the Nerf Zombie Strike, or at least it would have been the best item had it not been defective.

This was a little bit of a disappointment for Kian, he already has quite a nice collection of Nerf Guns and we love a good Nerf War, so he was really excited about playing with this. I contacted Nerd Block to see if there was any way we could get a replacement item but was told they were out of stock and was given a $5 refund instead. Which I suppose based on the cost of the box and the item count, that is probably a relative amount, but that amounts to £2.97 and is nowhere near enough to go and buy a replacement, so I am still left with a disappointed child. 

The final item was also a really good item, the t-shirt, one of the main reason we went for a Nerd Block Classic. 

This months t-shirt was a TMNT Turtle Power, Parts, Repairs and Pizzas design and as you know from recent nail art, we also like the Turtles. So this went down really well with Ki. We got it in Youth size Small which fits him perfectly.

Overall, it was an up and down experience with the first Nerd Block, and if I compare it to Loot Crate, which let's face it, we are all going to do, there doesn't seem to be a theme or any congruity in the items put in the box, I don't know if this is what it is always like but that's just an observation.

Nerd Block have announced that there will be a Funko in the August box, which I know Ki will love no matter what the character is and hopefully the next box won't have any disappointments in it at all.