Thursday, 9 February 2017

A Blogger's Bookshelf: My Reading Habits

Hi Paraders,

As I'm sure a lot of you know, I love books. I love bookstores. I love choosing books and smelling books and flicking through the pages of a freshly printed paperback. (Though I also love kindles and their convenience.)

However, nothing is that simple. And even when you love something, you have to let it go. Or maybe in this case, it lets me go instead. I'm not quite sure. Anyway, my reading habits are literally all over the place. I'm a literary mess.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Swatch Watch: KBShimmer "Alloy Matey"

Hello folks!

It's a new year, and thus a new post section title... thing... seems required. Thus introducing the Swatch Watch segment, where a load of swatchy goodness can be expected. To kick off the year's posts I've chosen a super sparkly holo glitter that is sooooooo pretty and distractingly in-your-face sparkling.

Introducing KBShimmer's "Alloy Matey", which arrived to me in this nail mail post.
First of all, this first image is extremely bad quality. But! I chose to include it because it shows off how holo-mazing this polish actually is. (Non-focused holo pics are like a life energy to me). Also note below the light conditions for this particular day - a rather stormy afternoon.

And this leads us on to some actually good images (in my opinion anyway, you're all welcome to disagree!). 

Fact File:
Brand: KBShimmer
Polish Name: Alloy Matey!
# of Coats: 3 for 'extra sparkle', but 2 covered perfectly
Finishing Texture: Smooth, glitter
Cost: $9.25/£7.40 + p&p from LiveLovePolish

The above 4 images are taken in natural lighting, from my stormy windows/sky-light. As you can see, the polish comes across as a generally dark-silver with all of the tiny holographic-particle goodness. I used Unt's "Ready for Takeoff" peel-off basecoat underneath these to make removal nice and easy, and they stayed on for at least a week which I thought was very impressive. 

These two images are taken with the flash on, which as you can see completely scatters the holo, makes them super shiny and shimmery, and makes them appear as a lighter silver/grey. This is what they mostly looked like in natural bright sunlight, also, which is extremely distracting when you're trying to work outside. (But 100% worth it). 

To wrap things up then, I guess you could say that "Alloy Matey!" succeeded with its play on words as it is indeed a holo with an almost metallic finish. Either way, it's basically a silver small-particled holo glitter, and I love it to pieces and completely recommend it to you all.

And that's a wrap! I'll see you all very soon with a new Swatch Watch post, and some gorgeous new polishes! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates!


Monday, 30 January 2017

Happy New Year!!

Hello folks!

So, this post is so late that I'm pretending that it's a Chinese-New-Year post...

What I'm trying to say, basically, is HAPPY NEW YEAR (insert massive 'cheers' here), and Happy Year of the Rooster!
(Random fun fact: I was born in the Year of the Rat, which supposedly symbolises strong vitality and intelligence, though I'm not sure I can agree for myself, personally.)

And so, my dears, I have come to realise that we are almost a whole month into 2017. This is both terrifying and exciting in how quickly everything is coming together. I'm still out in the US, but I think I'm getting my life together enough to be able to blog again (YAY!). I'd still like to update the look of Nail Parade, but I'll get on with that at some point. I have some new polishes coming in the 'mail' (ahem, post, to all of us Brits) soon, which I'm super excited to blog about as they're from ILNP (I Love Nail Polish). Whilst ILNP does actually ship to the UK, it costs an arm and a leg to do so usually, and their multichromes are apparently the best... so I'm gonna find out!

There's also some posts I had planned from forever ago I will eventually get round to posting, and I found some acrylic paints and a paintbrush so I can finally do some art also. Yipee!!

You can hopefully also expect a few lifestyle posts, and I have some peeps coming to visit so maybe we can try vlogging while they're here... maybe. Either way, exciting times are ahead, and I hope that 2017 is looking wonderful for you if you're reading this. :)

See you very, very soon. As in, maybe tomorrow if I can get my act together and continue to write.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Nail Mail!

Hi Paraders!

So late last night I received some wonderful nail mail with my order from LiveLovePolish! I never want to order polish from anywhere else ever again, their packaging is adorable and they include a personalised hand-written message with your order to say thanks! Plus they stock all the sparklies *drools*

I totally sound like a walking advertisement right now but I just have a lot of feelings about this company.
Anyway, I ordered 5 beautiful polishes + a couple of peel-off base-coats for my friend at home. Check out these beauties!

From left to right we have got: 
  • China Glaze's Too Yacht to Handle
  • Femme Fatale's Heart of the Mountain
  • KBShimmer's Alloy Matey!
  • Powder Perfect's Cherish
  • Superchic Lacquer's No Rest for the Wicked

So I would say that I went a little overboard on buying the sparkles, but there is no such thing as too much sparkle! So it's all good. You can see a little preview of them here below on some paper I had handy. Meanwhile I think I'm going to start off with No Rest for the Wicked on my nails first. 

My thumb nail has also started to snap (insert super sad face) and I've tried to tea-bag wrap it but it's breaking through the tea-bag too. Who knows how long it will survive? It's gonna be a painful break when it happens though, the suspense is kinda heartbreaking.

Anyway I hope your days have been good and your nails aren't breaking as much as my thumb is, and I will see you again very soon!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Polish Update: Foxy21 Gel!

*This post contains items which were sent by Foxy21 in exchange for an honest review. They have also generously supplied a discount code, so many thanks to them!

Hello, Paraders!

Welcome back! There's a lovely little polish update I have for you right now. Remember those Foxy21 Gel Polishes I reviewed way back in March? Well, I have wonderful news!

As a brief reminder for you all, the polishes I received were black and red gel polishes, a base gel, and a topcoat gel, as well as the amazing magnetic colour-changing "chameleon cat eye" polish in a silver to pink transition. Below you can see an example of the bottle, and also the cat eye polish.

Click the link above to see the full review, but remember this is a UV or LED activated polish, meaning you need to cure it under a UV or LED lamp for 1-3 minutes, with results that last up to 3 weeks depending on your nail growth. 

Anyway... back to my point for today! Foxy21 has finally launched! YAY!!

You can now buy their products on and RRP from £9.60 to £11.24 (+ shipping). HOWEVER, there is more... there is currently a sale now on Foxy21's products, making them range between £7.68 and £8.99 (bargain!). 

There is however, even more...
The first 100 Nail Parade readers can get an additional 10% off any Foxy21 products, by using the code: NAILPARADE10%VIPFOXY21 
The code can be used at checkout, in the "discount code" section. Act fast or you'll miss out! This code expires on December 31st 2016. 

If you sign up to you will also receive further discount opportunities and deals via email (which is an extra bonus on top of everything today).

This is also perfectly timed for Christmas, so get your polish-lovers something they'll love :)
Happy shopping!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Life Update: California Dreamin'

Hello Paraders!!

Long time no see. It's been what, 3 months? 6 months? I'm not even sure and I'm honestly too lazy to go and check.
So for those of you who aren't my close personal friends I guess it's time for a bit of a life update. Well, for the first big thing, I've moved to Cali for 9 months. (7-8 months remaining AHH! It's all going too quickly!). I'm out here doing a placement at the University of California Santa Cruz, specifically looking at sparrow behaviour, which is awesome! I get to hang around the University's Arboretum pretty much every day before heading up the lab to do the more typical mathsy-science stuff. It's definitely nothing to complain about as the campus is so pretty. You're gonna have to take my word for it til I can get some amazing picture shots! Seriously though the whole campus is pretty much covered in Redwood trees, and you can see the ocean and the mountains. I'm pretty sure there's nothing else like it anywhere.

Being in Cali definitely has its perks. The weather for one has been beautiful since I got here, aside from a couple of rainy weekends. And that means, hikes, beach and cute little reading days. All of which, as I'm sure you agree, are wonderful.

As for the rest of my life I'm not sure there's much to update you on. I went to Hawaii over the Summer for 10 days, and Cali for a few weeks. Most of the Summer was all prep to come here anyway, so not exciting enough to share with you at all! Though I did go camping too, that was super fun, as always.

My plans for the rest of this year are mostly revolving around Christmas which has come around way too soon!

So what were you up to this Summer, and how is your year going thus far? Let me know in the comments below, and I look forward to seeing you around again!

Monday, 8 August 2016

A Blogger's Bookshelf: The Versions of Us

Hello, hello Paraders!

Today I return with a Blogger's Bookshelf posts after reading maybe 2 books since I last did one of these... I haven't been reading much.

Don't forget you can follow me on Goodreads to see what I'm currently reading and what I think of said books! My profile is right here!

Anyway, today's subject is a book called The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett and it was such an emotional rollercoaster, so prepare yourselves. I gave it a massively impressed 5 out of 5 stars. 

Firstly, don't read this book with too much wine because you'll have to concentrate in order to follow it accurately. There are three 'versions' in this novel, each with the same characters and protagonists. However the differences between versions begin from chapter 1, depending on how the 2 main characters meet and what this then leads to. 

Once you get past the initial 6 chapters or so the differences between each version become more distinct and real. Honestly, I found the whole book strikingly real - how one small decision can vary a life by so, so much. But also I feel like it had an important message that you can clearly see at the end of the novel that you got snippits of throughout. 

I can't really say much about this novel apart from stress about how much I actually loved it. The realism of all the different scenarios was eye-opening and interesting, and I struggled to put it down most of the time. It's really sweet and the characters will make you laugh, cry and simply feel thing that you didn't know were possible.

If my life is half as interesting as theirs, I will be happy. But you should definitely give this a read, as long as you are emotionally prepared for turmoil.