Chatbooks Review + Free Book Code

A few weeks ago Kristin from Lacquerstyle posted a code on her Instagram (@kgrdnr) for Chatbooks, with a cute photo of her holding a little book that was made up of her nail photos. What is Chatbooks, you ask? IT’S AMAZING – a gorgeous little high-quality 6″x6″ book of photos that’s an easy, chic, modern-day photo album.

The cover photo was one of the first photos I posted once I started my FFG Instagram, and the filter kinda made it print weird.

The cover photo was one of the first photos I posted once I started my FFG Instagram, and the filter kinda made it print weird, I think. (I don’t use filters anymore.)

There are a few options for creating books – you can link your Instagram account or directly upload photos from your phone or computer. Once I saw Kristen’s post, I immediately headed over to the site and connected my Fancy Finger Guns account, then spent wayyy too long figuring out which photos to exclude (my beginning photos weren’t always great, of course), editing captions (sometimes they were too long for Chatbooks to fit it the text), and generally creating a perfect mini coffee table book of my nail photos. I ordered it the next day, and while my confirmation email said it would take about two and a half weeks, three days later I got a shipping confirmation! It took about 5 business days to get to me, and I was sooo excitedddd when I finally got my hands on it!

8.12.15 book with bottles

I’m not a huge or famous nail blogger, but I’m really proud of this little blog, and making this book – having something tangible, in print – is such an awesome way for me to sort of put my hobby on display in a chic way. I mean seriously, how cool is it to have a mini coffee table book of your own photos? (I’m definitely doing some of my personal IG account soon!)

8.12.15 book open bottles up

I really wanted to put this review up because a quick search showed me practically nothing but mommy bloggers showing off Chatbooks filled with photos of their kids – which is great! It’s nice to have a super affordable, easy way to print your favorite family photos instead of making cheesy scrapbooks or shelling out $$$ at a printing store. But I wanted to show that Chatbooks are great for other things, too – if you have a blog or website with photos, I highly recommend you get a Chatbook (or three – each is up to 60 photos, and if you get a full 60-page book they print the dates and your title along the spine, which looks super profesh!) to display in your home or give as gifts, or even to use as a portfolio for jobs if you’re in a creative field.

My blog is almost two years old now (!) but I only started its IG last March. I got rid of quite a few of my earlier manicures or ones that I wasn't fans of anymore, so now I have about 40 to go on my next book.

My blog is almost two years old now (!) but I only started its IG last March. I got rid of quite a few of my earlier manicures or ones that I wasn’t a fan of anymore, so now I have about 30 to go for my next book.

I think Chatbooks would also be a fantastic idea for souvenir gifts of vacations, music festivals, family reunions, bachelor/ette parties – basically any special or fun event. I recently made one for my mom’s birthday of photos from her visit to see me when I was studying abroad in college, and she loved it – now she has a pretty, professional-looking book of our favorite photos from that trip and it’s so, so lovely to thumb through and remember our adventures! Everyone has those huge, ugly, old-school photo albums in their garage with pictures from decades ago, but I love the idea of having a little stack of these neat, slim, modern-looking photos books to replace those.

The space allocated for text is decent, and I've also seen people have a photo on one side and a full page of text on the opposite side if you need a lot of writing.

The space allocated for text is decent, and I’ve also seen people have a photo on one side and a full page of text on the opposite side, if you need a lot of writing.

I’m definitely gushing here, but really, I’m so happy I found such an affordable way to print my favorite photos in a beautiful book! (I swear they’re not paying me to advertise, I just really love Chatbooks, you guys!) One catch is that if you do the method where you upload your own photos, it’s $6 for only 30 photos and $1/page after that (still up to 60), whereas the Instagram connect option is $6 for the full 60 pages, but even that isn’t a bad deal, especially considering you get to add captions, locations and dates, choose your cover, and basically customize it any way you want. In conclusion…hop over to Chatbooks and get one! I even have a code so your first book is free – enter LHUUAAKT at checkout. I guarantee you’ll love it!

Born Pretty Store Neon Studs Review

First of all, Y’ALL. I had such a hard time picking my three Zoya colors for their promotion! When you have as many nail polishes as me, you have to be really picky – I kept seeing colors I liked then being like “Nope, too much like [OPI/China Glaze/Orly/etc I already own].” I’m also starting to get verrrrry guilty about not wearing half the polishes I have, so I really need to start delving back into the depths of my stash (which I also desperately need to reorganize, ahhh). But! I finally picked Yuna, Tomoko, and Nyx as my colors and I can’t wait to play with themmmm, and also to see the mystery mini shades – I am such a sucker for mini-sized anything!

Although I love mini horses most of all. RIP, Lil Sebastian!  via

Although I love mini horses most of all. RIP, Lil Sebastian!
via

A while ago I received an email from Born Pretty Store asking if I’d like to review some of their products. Obviously I jumped at the chance, and I chose a few colorful stud wheels to try. Lately I’ve been wishing for chilly, overcast weather but getting abundant sunshine (damn you, SoCal!), so I decided to do a mani that combines both a cloudy and sunny feel – my previous post of my favorite Zoyas reminded me of some fabulous colors I rarely use, and I ended up using Dove as a base with some of BPS’s neon studs on top.

1-16-15 bottles

After two careful coats of Dove dried (my bottle has a tendency to be streaky, so I wait a long time between coats, and carefully paint them on), I added a layer of top coat to each nail one by one and used my handy dandy curved tweezers to quickly apply the studs in a small pyramid design.

1-16-15 curled under

The studs are brilliantly colored and the color didn’t scratch off when I fumbled with my tweezers or dropped them against the table. I’ve been wanting to try these for a long time and I’m so happy I finally got a chance to try them out! I do wish I had gotten a slightly bigger size, though, because these were hard to pick up with my tweezers. Also, because my top coat is on the thick side, it was difficult to place them so that the top coat didn’t overflow when I squished the studs down – as a result, I didn’t press the studs down enough, and two of the pink ones popped off a few times before I managed to secure them with a teeny dab of top coat – but that’s really an issue with my top coat and not the studs.

Forgive my not-so-nice cuticles, y'all! I've def fallen behind on moisturizing recently.

Forgive my not-so-nice cuticles, y’all! I’ve def fallen behind on moisturizing recently, sorryyyyy.

I think maybe a darker gray would make the neon studs pop more, but I love the fun pop of unexpected colors. I want to do something similar with a neutral and a pink/purple/blue/green stud color combo in the future, but I do like this tropical rainbow scheme. It accomplished exactly what I wanted, and I love it.

1-16-15 wheel

Thanks for reading! See you all next time – A x