Saturday 4 October 2014

Cra-Z-Art Shimmer 'n' Sparkle Designer Nail & Body Art Studio review

Both Juliette and Sophie went all wide-eyed and squealed in delight when this Cra-Z-Art Shimmer 'n' Sparkle Designer Nail & Body Art Studio arrived for us to review. Sophie loves nail art and gets quite creative sometimes, using bits of sellotape to create a stripy effect with two different nail varnishes, and she told me yesterday that she's going to attempt a French maicure effect with red nail varnish and black tips - sounds perfect for Halloween !

Needless to say, this kit was right up her street, especially when she discovered that it contains over 250 sparkly, shimmery and glittery bits and bobs for your mini beauty-fans to get creative with. You get 4 glitter tubes, 3 little bottles of nail varnish, a tube of glue, 4 markers and body art stencils, 2 metallic pens, 48 nail adhesives, clear plastic false nails, 3 tattoo sheets, 3 nail sticker sheets, some stampers ... and surely loads more that I've forgotten about !

Before you worry about your living room or their bedrooms floors being strewn with sequins and glitter, don't panic though - the studio keeps everything contained and actually looks really rather funky too.

The instruction sheets give you lots of advice and step by step guides but you can also let your creative juices flow and just do what you like. It's actually a good idea to come to it with the idea that you won't be able to recreate exactly the designs shown and should just use them as inspiration because we did have a few issues. The nail varnish was quite thick (like nail varnish that has been hanging around for a while - we solved it by adding a tiny drop of nail varnish remover and shaking well) and we found that the false nails were difficult to stick on and quickly came off. Luckily, the girls didn't mind because they soon discovered that very long nails aren't very practical for day-to-day living so once they'd had their fun having a makeover, they were happy to go back to their real short nails !

The stencils were a bit tricky too because the pens are a bit too big to fit in the holes, but if you're a bit artistic, you can do your own body art drawings without using the stencils - I bet you can guess what the girls wrote all over themselves - yep, you got it, "1D Forever", "I heart Niall" and "Directioners rule" ! Luckily, it was all easy enough to wash off with soap and water in the bath later !

(official photo - ours looked a bit less professional !)
We also had to adapt a couple more bits. The chunky plastic tweezers are too clumsy for successfully using the sticky gems so I gave them a real pair of metal tweezers to use, which was much more successful. As the kit targets girls aged 8+, they should be old enough to use a proper pair of tweezers without causing themselves any injuries ! The most exciting part of the kit - the colour changing glitter dome - was used once then deemed too much hassle to use - it blows glitter around for you to create funky false nails but it ends up going everywhere, so the girls preferred just sprinkling glitter over the top by hand.

I'm not sure what mark to give this kit, to be honest. The girls love it and we've managed to overcome most of the issues by adding a few bits we already had at home (more nail varnish, proper tweezers), as well as adapting some of the features that didn't work so well for us (the stencils, the false nail adhesive, the glitter dome). It's a brilliant idea but does need a few design tweaks.

star rating : 3.5/5

RRP : £19.99

Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.

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