Mani + Lola are a nail subscription box service from Nail Polish Direct in the UK and I've subscribed to them for about a year now. There are a range of prices that you can subscribe at, depends on what suits your budget and your needs. For me, I choose the month to month subscription - it means less money up front as you're only paying for the next box; however, other subscriptions allow you to pay more up front but then the cost of the box is cheaper - so it really depends on your budget and your needs.
This post is about the April Box. As I live in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland they don't "technically" ship here, I use the Address Pal service; this is a post service run by our national postal service, An Post, and it gives me a UK mainland address to use as my own. Address Pal then receive my box and ship it to Dublin and it costs me an extra €3.95 to pick it up from my local post office. Yes, it can make a little dearer for me but, without it, I get nothing and that's no good either. For any polish shipment from the UK, I use either Address Pal or Parcel Wizard (a similar type company, only the address is in Northern Ireland but it's the same idea and price really). That's how I get all my goodies to me here... otherwise I'd have nothing but other people's pictures to look at and that's makes for a very unhappy Lacquerist, not just a lazy one!
So, enough about my woes, here's the box!
So this is the external box that the package arrives in (it is in a plastic packaging wrap of course, otherwise the outside wouldn't be this pretty!
Inside you get the actual box - this is hard cardboard box with a magnetic closure on it. They used to do drawer type boxes which looks very expensive and this is a recent change. Whilst I liked the other boxes, these ones are fine too. I love the packaging but there's a lot of waste unless you re-use every single one of the boxes which I don't as I can't find a use for all of them. I have re-used as many as I can though.
So the goodies are then wrapped in this lovely tissue with an Hello sticker on it. Nice touch, I always like a little tissue, it makes a package look more enticing.
So here are all the polishes in the April box and I'll list each one below with details. They come wrapped up very securely in this wood/paper shred which is a nice touch and keeps them safe and sound. They print out a postcard for each box to explain what the polish or product is, how to use it and the RRP. They figure most of the monthly boxes cost £60 if you were to buy each product singly. I should explain that not all boxes have 5 polishes - you can have a nail care product or two instead of a polish, it just depends on the month. I've received some really lovely nail care products previously, the one I most use was the Essie cuticle remover I featured in a previous blog post.
So the first polish is an OPI from their recent collection, the 2019 Tokyo Collection - this is called Samurai Breaks a Nail and has an RRP of £13.50. This is described as a deep bold purple with a luminous shimmer - it looks really nice and should have good application as it uses their pro-wide brush which I find very useful for keeping neat and tidy when painting. I haven't used it yet but others that have reviewed it says it's a solid two coater. I have a bright nail line and I can't stand visible nail line (VNL) so it could be a 3 coater for me... we shall see!
Next up is a polish from Nails Inc called Mermaid Playsuit with an RRP of a huge £15! This was a polish that is was next to impossible to get colour accurate in a photo. It's described as iridescent and soft as a feather dreamy hue laced with a gentle shimmer. Ok, these sort of descriptions do my head in... to me it's a minty pale turquoise with a strong pink shimmer. I suspect this is going to have mega VNL so I think I'd use this with a base of white to keep that iridescence pristine. Nails Inc have a great brush, a wide paddle type, that makes application a breeze.
The next polish is a Morgan Taylor and is called Up The Air-Heart and has an RRP of £11.00. This is described as a gorgeous muted coral creme. I do like a coral but muted is very correct - this is a nude pretty much. It's going to look very work appropriate even in the most stuffy of companies and will probably suit most skin tones. It's a little meh for me, if I go coral, I like to go all out personally. My work place doesn't have an issue with colour or design of nails (I work in an art college so that's not surprising) so this may not get a huge amount of wear for me. It is pretty but it's also kind of boring I'm afraid. Perhaps it'll be one of those polishes that come alive on the nail? I'm willing to find out!
The fourth polish in the offering is Cuccio Colour's Take Your Breath Away with an RRP of £8.95. This is described as a light toned creamy purpose and is part of the 2019 Coquette Spring Collection. Again, it's a neutral and Mani + Lola are big into their neutrals - they go for these colours a lot, which is fine ... but I need brights guys! And not neons as I think they can be very limiting, but nice bright happy sunny colours. This IS a pretty colour but again, a little meh in the bottle. And the name? How is that colour appropriate - this is not a colour that takes your breath away I'm afraid. Cuccio Colour does a good creme so I won't complain about that but there are only so many neutrals a girl can take. Mani + Lola can you please take note?
The final polish is an Orly and it's called Seize The Clay which is a very appropriate name (unlike the previous one) and it's described as a stunning neutral (that word again) in a burnt clay tinted rose shade. It's part of Orly's recent The New Neutral (groan) collection. As much as I'm moaning about the Neutral word, this is rather a pretty shade - it is more on the rose side of red clay than then brick side, to my eye, which is a good thing as I find the brick shades don't suit my skin tone so well. Orly polishes are a whacking 18ml which is great value for money. The RRP is £12 on this but if you like it, you're going to have it a long while at that size.
So, the truth is, every month I think will I cancel this month? Mani + Lola are the best nail polish subscription box out there and they've sent a lot of good polishes but, for me personally, there have been a few groaners - the obsession with neutrals has to stop and I'm hoping that Summer will bring some brights. They also included so many grungy greens that I was on a verge of cancelling - I gave away all those to a friend who's a fan of grungy greens. I know it's not possible to keep all the people happy all the time and variety is the spice of life and all that, but when you find you're giving away polish rather than using it, then it's time to ask yourself if the subscription suits you any longer? This box is not bad, I like the purple OPI and I like there are newer shades in there. I also really liked the March box. So I'll hang on for another month and see what it brings. This box, I'd give it a 6/10. Good but could do better.
Feel free to leave a comment below telling me what you think... I'd love to hear from you!
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