Monday, December 17, 2012

Nail Art Society December 2012 Bag REVIEW

WARNING: This is VERY detailed with far more writing then pictures. I know there's a lot of curiosity about this service so I have tried to be as detailed as possible. 

So there's ANOTHER monthly subscription service on the market but this time it's for nail art. The initial sign up for Nail Art Society was 9.95/mo and has gone up to 19.95/mo. The question on everyone's minds is is it the real deal. I have an in depth review with a look I did using the bag contents and my feelings on NAS and it's future.

First I made a video. I wanted to capture my initial reactions to the bag so I could share that with you and also be able to reflect on it and write this honestly. I want to love this subscription and I want it to work and be awesome. The video is not up yet but I will update this post when it is.

The company
Nail Art Society is a monthly bag with an entire look delivered right to your door. It's supposed to contain all the components for a look that they detail on their insert. 
I always try to do a little background especially on a new service. They tried to run a subscription service awhile back called Pink Bag (and you'll see references to it on their page here and there) which was going to be yet another beauty samples bag. Overdone and, unless you have the hook up, bound to fail. Which it did. So they reopened shop as a nail art themed bag. 

Customer service
Their website looked partly well done and partly thrown together (it does look better now). They do their billing through Paypal which is a HUGE plus because I'm fairly certain no one would try this service if they didn't. I know I wouldn't. There was no clear indication of shipping and billing cycle which was a serious red flag and no way to easily get into my account information after signing up. I went to their Facebook page and was greeted with a header filled with nail art images missing watermarks. Comments on their page were sometimes answered but I was seeing a repeat of this: "I emailed you x amount of times and no response." Yikes!

So I wrote them a very honest and detailed email about my concerns and, to my surprise, they responded very quickly and detailed. They began addressing problems and I was seeing comments of thanks popping up on their page for addressing the issues on email. Shortly after that a new header went up featuring images with watermarks and they began openly asking for people's nail art with the intention to feature it AND the blogger's information on the insert for the upcoming bag (so if this turns out then hooray!). I was very impressed with the swift turn around. I am still seeing some issues on their page, but let's be honest, that's what happens with a new service.

*Please note I'm not saying they made changes because I emailed them. I think they are a new service and trying to figure their way in the beauty service world.*

The package
First the package looks spiffy. It comes in that super shiny and reflective bubble mailer like Ipsy (formerly MyGlam) but it's black. Last month's bag came in that and so did this month so I'm thinking that's going to be their signature look. I was under the impression that each month's look would be in a little bag but this month did not come in one so maybe not....?

From what I can see the difference between last month and this month was drastic. Last month featured a runway polish by a brand I've never heard of call LVX. It also had striping tape and feathers. It was an edgy and different look with a new polish in a great, sequined bag.

So this month I was expecting something along those lines. Imagine my surprise when I open up this:
(click image for a much larger view)

So the contents were:
  1. 2 Cherimoya brand Matte Nail Apparel polishes in Mystery and Blockbuster. (retail 4.99 each though I'm seeing some feedback places that you can get these for 1-2 bucks each)
  2. 1 set of Stella rhinestones (4 different sizes - came in a different package but I didn't take a picture before doling them out in a new container for ease of use) along with an orange stick (usually 4-6 for a kit)
  3. 1 Beauty Art nail glue (1.00)
  4. 1 Cherimoya brand container of jasmine scented nail polish remover pads. (retail 1.49)
  • I've wanted to try Cherimoya polishes. These are drugstore level polishes that retail for 4-5 bucks and I couldn't find them online to buy so I was stoked. I quickly figured out why though, and I'll detail that in the cons.
  • This was a bag with an entire look and the tools to execute it. At first I felt meh about the nail art glue, but after reading the steps I discovered I really like the glue to apply my rhinestones. Nail glue doesn't dry instantly so it's easy to apply a tiny dot and use to pick up the rhinestones and easy to position them correctly. So I learned something new!
  • The look is a modern look that provides several ways to pull off a holiday look that can look great with a variety of outfits. 
  • The rhinestones, while not a brand I recognize, are NICE and in perfectly incremented sizes and in a finish that is going to be extremely versatile. I am in LOVE with them. They are so amazing! I wish I could find the company that sells them so I could get additional kits in other colors. 
  • Matte polishes feel very versatile to me. Leave them as is or top them with topcoat to get a whole new look. Having two different colors equals four basic looks before you even start pairing them. Major wow factor on this point.
  • The nail polish remover pads smell nice and they aren't greasy. They are more oily and I wouldn't recommend doing a manicure after using these but they are a great on the go solution. A pad will remove an entire basic manicure and probably two for a light glitter and probably shouldn't bother with a glitter bomb. Very cheap container though.
  • These are supposed to be the big 3-free but they smell like Kleancolors. It is awful. I'd rather a couple of Sally Hansen or L'Oreal polishes that aren't going to leave my eyes stinging. This screamed discounted boxes acquired from some warehouse desperate to off-load mass amounts of polishes they couldn't sell otherwise. The brand isn't advertised on their site either whereas LVX is (the polish from last month). They should have just done another LVX in a holiday color. Pair this with the same brand of nail polish remover pads and the fact that both Cherimoya and NAS are located in LA and I'm thinking someone got a great discount. I could be wrong, but I somehow don't think that's the case.The last mention I can find of them on blogs was over a year ago. I know I got the value but we've entered into an era of polishes that don't smell like a paint factory for a reason, and so to claim to be cutting edge and have this level of polish is a mega con to me.
  • The look described on the reverse is dripping in diamonds and there's no demonstration of the look on the card anywhere. Odd....
  • The look described says to paint the color, apply the rhinestones, then apply topcoat. To a matte polish. Why wasn't the curated look an enhancement to the matte finish? It's a small thing perhaps but it was a bit curious and didn't feel very well thought through. Also if the nail glue happens to spread beyond the rhinestone when you paint topcoat over it it turns a different color then the polish under it since it's matte (you'll see this in the images).
  • The difference between the level of quality last month and this month is very obvious. I have absolutely no idea what to expect next month. They are advertising Zoya, ButterLondon, Essie and others that are salon quality but that's not what I got this month. I have no problem with a drugstore look but give us a head's up so we know it's going to be a mixed bag.
Overall impression:
Bottom line is I know they are making some big changes come next month with the price raise. If you aren't already on board I'd suggest you wait to see what next month holds because I have a feeling that's going to give us the real look at what to expect from this subscription program. At ten bucks I'd say chance it. At twenty, well, I get pretty hesitant. If you absolutely feel this is the program for you head over to Nail Art Society to sign up (not an affiliate link - they don't have a rewards program).

I mentioned on their Facebook page that I'd love to see an email so I could detail the upcoming changes and they said to look for one and I haven't gotten it yet (this was several days ago). If that comes through I'll do another post with that information as that may give you a better feel for what you are signing up to receive. Surprises are nice when they are nicely done.

So there you have it. My extremely in depth and detailed review of my NAS bag for this month. I will have next month's bag to review as well so stay tuned for that!

Until then check out the look I did with this month's bag:

Top is with topcoat and bottom is without. Base is Cherimoya Blockbuster and the top half is Cherimoya Mystery (my favorite of the two). I LOVE how glowey Mystery becomes with topcoat, but I love how the iridescent shine of the rhinestones comes out without topcoat. You can see the discoloration on the top image from the topcoat over the nail glue. A very mixed feel on this overall.

The rhinestones do pop off pretty fast without the topcoat so again I don't feel this was a very well thought out look. That being said it's very versatile and I can get a lot of looks out of this...if I dare open those polishes again.

Here's to next month and the surprise it holds! 
*I was NOT sent this bag for review and am signed up as a subscriber to their monthly service*


  1. I had mixed feelings on this months bag too. I do really like the look you did with it though.

    1. I had a feeling it was probably mixed feelings by a lot. I do hope they take all the reactions and feedback seriously though and maybe next month's bag is going to rock! Thanks so much :)

  2. Thank you for this review! I heard about the service and signed up when the price was still under $10. I figured it was a good deal and might be fun to see what it's all about. Overall I liked the items when I opened up the package but I haven't used anything yet. I appreciate your honest review and it gave me a few things to consider. Perhaps they will take feedback and make changes to create an awesome service. It would be cool if they took Julep's lead and had themed boxes or at least gave you an idea of what you would be getting.

    1. Oooh themed boxes would be amazing! I think a few hint photos might be fun (not giving away the contents but maybe some out of focus or zoomed in super close). At 10 it's definitely a fun idea, but people just now signing on are going in blind with a 20 dollar fee. Let's just hope it gets better. I want it to be amazing so badly.

  3. This is my fist month and while I like it for $10 I'd be pissed if I spent $20. I had gotten a quarterly sub with bday money, if after the 3 months I'm not thrilled I'll be dropping it. I hate that you can't check your account info. would be nice to know when it will be renewing and such. The website is not set up for users at all and needs a lot of work. Hopefully the kinks get worked out and there will be less confusion on their site and on their fb page. curious to see what next month brings!

    1. Oh I agree it's totally not user friendly and, at 20 bucks, we want access to our account and the ability to change things or have some idea of what to expect. Now you did the quarterly - be sure to keep an eye out as I'm seeing some people got charged the quarterly price again this month.

  4. I haven't decided yet if I want to sign up, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what they offer with a higher price for next month. Your mani is cute and festive! I really like what you did with the colors and the rhinestones you added. :-)

    ~ Yun

    1. Thanks so much Yun - the looks are definitely fun and worth the ten dollar price. Here's to hoping next month brings a favorable decision to join. So much potential *eyes are on NAS*

  5. I actually LOVE Cherimoya polishes and review each new collection from them... Though they don't release them often. They smell more art-roomy to me, reminiscent of acrylic paints, which don't personally scream "NOT 3-FREE!", but may to some people I guess.

    That being said... I too was a little annoyed at this months bag. I have both of the polishes, and the cost was WAY less than the polish last month. I was hoping for a brand that they've actually advertised since the price went up! I figured that was why, after all. So, I will keep the subscription a couple more months, out of curiosity, to see what happens! :)

    1. Oh the pictures speak for themselves on beauty. This company has talent. The smell is nearly identical to Kleancolor which isn't 3-free so that's probably why it smells that way to me. It was more along the lines of what you said - not what was advertised. I'm definitely going to check out your posts as I'm VERY curious about their Pebble collection (though I can't find anywhere to buy them!).

  6. OH! And another weird thing I noticed (I didn't before I posted the first comment! OOPS!) is that your stones are in a wheel, mine were in a box... Different stones?? Or did you put them in a wheel? :/

    1. This made me smile so big! I'm the dumb one for not taking a picture before putting them into a wheel. Curse my overzealous desire to play with the new pretties. ;)

  7. I definitely prefer the matte look over the one with top coat. Too bad the rhinestones need top coat.

    1. Oh me too hands down - I have some more looks to try though.