Dashing Diva

I have tried a lot of press on nails in my nail journey, some terrible and some amazing. So when Dashing Diva came into my radar at last years Beauty Expo (and their stand tempts me every single time I walk into Priceline) I knew I had to give them a run!
First off, if you haven't seen my previous post on why I think press on nails are actually a great thing and have a time and place in the nail world, here's some abridged dot points:
*They're great when you have a kid/teen that wants amazing nails but you don't want to expose them to the chemicals in false nails
*You don't have any nails on and need to go somewhere where you want your nails to look fab - it really is a 5 minute fix
*You've never had false nails before and want to see how different lengths and styles suit you
*You do your own nails but suck at doing your non-dominant hand (aka me!)
*You are someone who nervously scratches or picks at them-self - they put that to a stop realllllly quick!

So what differentiates between an amazing set of press on nails and a terrible set?
There's a few factors, but it mainly comes down to how many sizes come in a pack, how flexible they are, and what the adhesive is. For instance the worst offender I have tried is the Kmart glue on ones - they don't have a great variety of sizes and are quite thick and rigid so they don't bend around the nail at all. This means they may look nice to begin with, but they are only going to stay on for a day maximum.
But these ones from Dashing Diva have to be up there as some of the best quality ones I have tried. Yes they are a bit more expensive, but as apposed to something you put on for a novelty then bin a day later, you'll actually get to wear these. I'll go through all the items in more details, but the main things that I love are that they have sticky pads in them rather than glue so there's no nail damage, they stick really well and you generally get a weeks wear from them, there is a lot of nails in a pack so you might not get 2 full sets but there are certainly enough to replace the off nail that does lift or look manky, and their designs are hands down the best on the market!

Some tips and tricks I have for you as a seasoned press-on wearer if you want to get maximum wear from these:
*Prep your nails! Push the cuticle back, lightly buff the top of your nails and then swipe over with a dehydrator. These nail kits come with both a cuticle pusher and dehydrator pad. 
*Keep pressing. Once you put the nail on, keep coming back to it and putting pressure on it for the next half hour or so. I sit in front of tv and just press one after another. It might not be totally nessacary but I just feel it helps make sure they're well and truely stuck. 
*Don't fret if you loose one the first day! Sometimes for whatever reason one might just not want to stay. It doesn't mean you're whole set is doomed, just apply a new nail. I find if they make it through the first 24hours, they're on for the long haul.
*If they pop off or you want to take them off, save them! If they're still in nice enough condition once they're removed you can gently pick off the sticky substance, and you can either then pick up some new sticky tabs from eBay or some nail glue. Might not be as good the second time around, but you'll still get some extra wear!

All together I got 5 items - 3 sets of nails, 1 toenail set and 1 gel strips. So lets take a look at each of them:

The first set I tried out was from their large gem series (not still available on their website, but they have lots of very similar designs). I wore these for an entire week, and I probably could have gone longer but the crystals had almost all popped off the thumb and the pretty coating on the middle fingers was rubbing off. I have found that the crystals do fall off these nails generally pretty easily, so I do suggest grabbing yourself some nail glue for quick fix ups if you plan to wear them for a chunk of time. You can see the state they were in below, but by the time I removed them they were still stuck on really tightly, I was just ready for the next set. 
The next set was from their short range, and they are marked as a slim fit. I have pretty fat fingers and am far from a slim fit so I couldn't be quite as creative about which style I wanted on which nail, but there was still more than enough to get a very adorable mani. These were a soft touch matte finish that held up nicely. 
I'm sorry for feet pictures (I hope I don't regret this!) but these were an absolute winner for me! A few days after I put these on Priceline had some of their toenails on sale so I went and stocked up for future! I wore these for THREE weeks! And once again I only took them off because they were growing out a little and I was getting over it. Like above some of the gems did fall off, but being toes it was far less noticeable. Also note that I have almost zero pinkie toe nail so they were mostly stuck onto the skin - and I did have to replace one of them a week in (but you get lots in a packet so it's not a problem) but they stuck on surprisingly well. Absolute 10/10 and will be wearing these babies every time I have an open-toed event!
I didn't actually know they made gel strips until I was going through their site with a fine tooth comb, but once again I always have to try everything! I did find that they were a little thicker than other brands of wraps, but they were very easy to apply and didn't require much tugging and stretching. The downside was that I found the tips on my natural nails didn't want to stay down (although some top coat or a heat gun might help). The gems actually were on their own little stickers so you could place them on whatever nail you liked - I actually wish they sold packs of just these as they would be such a quick and cute way to jazz up some nails! And I did love the  amount of glitter and holo bling in this set (and most of their sets seem to have). Not sure how well they would go for long term wear, but they would look amazing for an event!
My last set is a lot like the first, except no gems which at first glance is sad, but meant these held up really well! Once again I love all the different designs of nails to mix and match with depending on how extra you want to go. The gold edge on the index finger wore off fairly fast and the coating on the middle finger rubbed a bit off but other than that they still looked pretty great by the time I took them off.
Hooray if you made it through my whole essay on how much I love these nails! 
Go and check out their whole range for yourself or find a local stockist at https://dashingdiva.com.au/

Ulta 3 - Dark Summer Collection

If you're an Aussie polish lover, chances are you're already in love with Ulta3. I have an entire drawer in my Helmer dedicated to them, and every limited collection I've raced out to grab (anyone else remember the scrum over getting all the speckled eggs and the watercolour set?). So when I saw that they were releasing a new collection I got a little over excited - and even more so that they kindly sent me these for review! 
The Dark Summer collection is all warm and dark shades for summer with lots of deep plum and berry shades and shimmer metallics. Here I'm going to run through all the items I got, but if you want to see the whole collection yourself, check their website here
Starting off with what I think is the crown jewel of the whole collection, Evolve - it's a duochrome that shifts between a burgundy to red and green. It's a subtle shift but it's incredibly pretty. And here I am wearing 3 thin coats, you could get away with 2 but I wanted maximum opacity to try and capture the shifty goodness. All their polishes are $2.95.
Next up is Thunder, a gorgeous deep shimmery purple. This is only one coat! It's insanely opaque but with a huge depth of colour. You can see if you look closely that it's made up of tiny metallic flakes, so it looks like quite a dark purple, but when the light hits it the shine is real!
The last of the nail polishes is Sangria. This is your standard 2 coater creme polish, but the colour is a very deep wine colour. Almost black but it has that hint of warmth to it that makes it very wearable. This is one that will be a great base for nail art or for anyone that likes a vampy nail. I know I'll be rocking it all autumn!

Ok on to the makeup! First is the Master Metals Eyeshadow. This comes in 3 shades and I have Bronze here to play with. This little single pan is very shimmery and soft and creamy texture. It feels so nice to touch. It's also really pigmented for such an affordable product! I've been wearing this on my lids for a quick day look, but also as a bronzer! If you're ok with your bronzer having a little shimmer than this actually works a treat! It's a vegan formula for those that look out for that. Each pan is $6.95. 
Longwear Matte Lip Cream - there are 3 vampy shades in the collection, but the one I have in Dark Dreams. It's so dark you can't even see the printing on the packaging! I will have to admit that 99% of the time I wear a nude lip so this scared me a little, but I popped it on for a day and actually really love it. It's a very very dark berry shade, when you get it very thin it actually looks more purple. Scroll to the bottom for my bad selfie, but I think it makes my brown eyes pop! The formula was really nice and actually long wearing (the swatch below took and entire day to get off my arm - no amount of makeup remover was getting it off!) but not drying at all. Once again for such an affordable item the formula is surprisingly nice. Once again cruelty free and vegan. $7.95 each. 
Last up is the Loud & Proud Volume Waterproof Mascara. Can't ever say no to a black mascara! This one claims to give you the look of false lashes with a non-clumping formula. It's a very bushy brush and I found it did coat my lashes nicely without clumping and stayed all day without any fall out that you get from cheaper mascaras sometimes. It didn't lengthen as much as some of my favourite high end versions, but it's $9.95! Perfect price point for everyday wear. Once again another vegan formula. 
Ok that's everything - here's a terrible selfie wearing everything at once,and the metal eye shadow as a bronzer. I actually like how it brings out the warmth of my brown eyes and red tones in the hair. So it's a win from me! What do you think? Any products that you will have to pick up?
You can get Ulta3 from their website or from any decent chemist (there's a pretty handy stockist locator on their website if you need help). 

No Make No Life box (December 2019)

There is a GIANT hole in the market here in Australia for beauty subscription boxes - sadly all the amazing ones in the US don't ship here, but I have been eyeing off No Make No Life for awhile as they are a Korean/Japanese one that does! Over last years Black Friday sales, they had an offer on Groupon that meant I could buy a one off box for only $17.50aud so naturally I grabbed it go give it a ago.
If you haven't heard of them, No Make No Life is a monthly sub box that contains 8-9 Japanese or Korean cosmetics and skincare. The occasionally also do some really cool bonuses so you can get an extra product with a code (follow them on Facebook for these).
So here is everything I got in my December box (which arrived in January). I'll put all the details of each item below. I particularly liked all the skin care items, because I can never have enough face masks, and the eye cream is lovely - can't tell you what's in it, but it has these metal balls in the head that make it feel so soothing to apply.
The rest of the items I'm not in love with, mainly because I feel a bit too old to be going around with glitter in my hair and giant green lashes. And the hand soap, although adorable to look at, smells and feels like every other generic hand soap out there.
So do I love it all? Not particularly, most of the items I will pass on to the younger members of the family, but it was a lot of fun unboxing it all. This is certain;y a box I will keep my eye out for more deals in the future - if it's every up for$17 again I would happily give it another go.
Visit their site here to check them out.
Etude House Tear Drop Liner
"Add some sparkle to your makeup look with this eyeliner from one of our favourite Korean brands Etude House. In your box you’ll get one in pink, beige or white."
Very nice colour, but quite sheer - I had to go over a few times for this swatch.
Champion Lash
"This month we’re taking glam to the next level, it’s time to be adventurous and try loooong lashes! Have fun creating a dramatic makeup look or wear them to a party. In your box comes 1 of the 11 random designs."
A tiny part of me loves how ridiculous these are. I think Halloween is the only time I an get away with them, but they are fun.

Elle Vie Whitening Eye Cream
"Say no to dark circles under your eyes! This Japanese whitening eye cream makes the skin around your eyes look youthful and flawless. The roller makes it easy to apply without using your fingers, no product will go to waste!"
My favourite item of the box - as I said above those little metal balls feel sooooo nice - pity I can't work out what the actual ingredients of the product are.

Glow Hill Makeup Morning Facial Mask
"Did you have a rough night? Use this morning mask to give your skin a boost in only 5 minutes! It includes all the base skin care that you need: moisturiser, makeup base and skin cream."
Glittery mask? Of course I am going to love this. Might not be the best quality, but sure is fun.

Champagne Hand Soap
"Glam up your bathroom with this luxurious hand soap. In your box comes a pink or gold champagne bottle design, aren’t they cute?"
This has to be the cutest hand soap, I just really wished it smelt like champagne or strawberries, or something other than plain ol soap!

Eyenlip Gold Peel Off Pack
"This golden peel off pack will make your skin glow! This pack removes excess sebum and includes keratin to keep your skin youthful looking."
Pretty standard facemask, but I do love the little squeezy package it comes in!
Sho-Bi Glitter Hair Gel
"Get your glitter on! In your box comes one of the 4 varieties of this festive glitter hair gel in party pink, dream blue, shiny silver or champagne gold."
Tiny pastel hearts and stars for your hair! This is extremely cute, but I just feel like I'm about 20 years too old to be wearing it.
Rhinestone & Pearl Hair Tie
"Feel fancy with this cute hair tie featuring a heart, square, diamond or ribbon design with rhinestones and pearls."
Not sure about feeling fancy, but you can never have enough pretty hair elastics, so this is going into my stash.