LuxéNoir: Luxury At Your Fingertips

My mother looks like famous feels.

Stay with me, now. This does have a point. (Or does it? (It does (or does it?))
She is the embodiment of the phrase “I’m not bossy; I’m the boss.” She runs things. When I was young, she’d stand behind the counter of my dad’s jewellery shop in doorknocker earrings, edges laid, white-gold Cartier bangles stacked up her arms.

Now she runs a school with the same iron fist and flawless fashion sense—if somewhat updated.

One thing remains the same, though; the impractically long, glamorous acrylics that she’s worn for as long as I can remember.

Some people judge her for her ever-changing, glittering, neon-bright nails; others are rightfully in awe of her lifelong commitment to fabulousness.

But what many people don’t know is that my mother suffers from a serious, life-long illness that, amongst other things, leaves her nails fragile and brittle. Without the protection of acrylic overlays, they snap clean off.

Her manicures went from an accessory beloved by many a black woman, to a necessity that protects her—and one that reminds her of her beauty when she is too unwell to see it elsewhere.

This latter reason is one shared by the owner of LuxéNoir, Karaenat, who finds during bouts of ill health that gorgeous, glamorous nails keep her spirits up like nothing else.

So one day, with too little time between medical appointments to faff about, she mixed up her own acrylic powder and got to work.
Throw in a lot of hard graft, experimentation, and dedication to all things flawless, and you get Karaenat’s baby: custom-mixed acrylic powders of the kind you probably won’t find in your local salon.

She combines pigments, glitters, tiny hearts and stars, to create powders that will leave you with the most divine nails you ever wore.

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Exhibit A, your Honour.

So when LuxéNoir contacted me about reviewing an acrylic powder, *obviously* I hopped on that faster than Beyoncé on Jay Z’s surfboard. Ahem. Or something.

This blog post will be both a review of the Luxe Beauty acrylic powders and a guide on how to get gorgeous, unique nails for the party season and beyond.

If you want to feel extra-amazing for the new year, a birthday, or, like me, day-to-day life (it’s hard being this fabulous, but someone’s got to do it), stick around.

Of the wide range of powders available, I played it about as safe as you can when it comes to shimmering acrylic nails, and chose Minnie—a baby-pink powder with gold and pink glitter.

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Though she be but little, and all that

If you’ve been monitoring my social media over the past month you’ll already know that I’ve been forcing these nails in everybody’s face.

I’ve been worse than a snapchat socialite. I’ve been imbued with the spirit of a 90s hip hop diva: every minor event warrants a series of elaborate hand gestures and points. Hey, you’d be the same if your nails looked like this.

So, you already know one thing for sure: this stuff is beautiful. But what about all the annoying little details that come with a review from a Very Annoying Girl like me?Welllllll…

Being an independent and young (oh, and black-owned, by the way) business, LuxéNoir is still in the process of building its website, so sales are communicated directly.

I’m aware that many people feel weird about this; a website provides much more legitimacy, and more importantly, with concrete expectations for your transaction.

In fact, I don’t often purchase from businesses without a site, but a few things set me at ease: first, a quick search of the company name with a few choice terms reveals no horror stories about poor customer service, shoddy products, or general scams.

Second, you can pay via PayPal, meaning your money can be returned to you at any time if things go severely left. Already, things are looking a hell of a lot more trustworthy than many brands these days.
Now, SOME may call me an uppity snob with unreasonably high standards. Those people would be right.

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Now why would they ever think that… pree the nails though

I expect certain standards of businesses and when those standards are not met, I will (and often do) spit my dummy out most spectacularly. Righteous outrage keeps me young.

However, I am of the opinion that as long as a business does what it promises to do, one cannot complain.

If a small business owner says, “Please buy my product, it will take 657 weeks l arrive because I am struggling, but please!” And you buy the product, and it takes 657 weeks to arrive, there is no problem in my book. You see where I’m going with this?

Happily, my powder did not take 657 weeks to arrive. Because if it had, I would be very old (like 32 or something) and probably quite busy doing elderly things like moaning about the mortgage.

No offence or anything, if you have a mortgage. But, statistically speaking, you probably don’t.

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Here, have bomb nails instead, like me

Instead, it arrived within a couple of days, as promised. It was sent by Royal Mail, signed for delivery, which costs £5 for up to 2 powders.

The packaging was careful and well thought out, involving a lotttt of bubble wrap–which those of us with children in the house and/or a preference for un-damaged items can all appreciate.

I do have one issue, though: I feel that some sort of brand literature should be sent with the product, detailing its name, weight, ingredients, and so on. Currently, the product arrives with nothing but its name written on the packaging.

It’s worth noting, however, that a full ingredient list is available if you contact the company. But a gal likes to have these things on record! In her files! Or is that just me and my issue with organisation and control? No! Definitely not! Moving on!

The packaging of the powder itself (which come in 50g… Servings? It does look kinda like sherbet so sure, let’s say that) was beautiful.

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Heaven, in a jar of heaven

Living up to the company name, the LuxéNoir powders come in luxurious crystal-shaped jars with golden lids and one of those lil protector thingies on the inside. Who doesn’t love protector thingies? No-one.

Once I’ve used up all of this powder, the jar will do for any number of purposes.

If you’re weird, like me, you can put glitter and food colouring into some water and whack it in the jar for decoration. Yes, I do that—I live in a small town with no cinema or Nando’s, you understand—except usually the jars are much less glamorous.

In the meantime, though, it looks suitably stylish amongst all my makeup. Win-win, eh.

One thing I was worried about was how exactly the power would, y’know, get onto my nails.

Partly due to my hero-worship of my mother, and partly due to my own struggles with health and beauty, I’d decided as soon as I saw the LuxéNoir powders that I would wear acrylics—specifically these acrylics—forevermore.

However, I wasn’t sure if the nail salon my family frequents would use powder from an Unknown Source. Mysterious powder. Interloping powder. Double-Agent powder. Tensions were high. In my mind, I mean.

As it happens, my nail salon were more than happy to do so. In fact, it turns out that salons generally will be, so no need to worry about that.

They actually gave me some money off for bringing my own powder! Which, considering the price-per-set of the powder itself, works out as a saving. And you guys know I am allllllll about savings.

My nail tech seemed quite impressed by the powder, as were his nail tech mates. They kept popping over from their own stations to look at the sparkles and mutter amongst themselves.

The women having their nails done around me were similarly intrigued, and I told three people the name of the company before the powder was even set.

A bonus of using acrylic powder with inbuilt decoration is the time saved on nail painting and other art. My nail tech whacked on the powder, faffed about with a top coat, and then all was done and dusted in record time.

Alternatively, an extra layer of clear acrylic can be added, but I found that this wasn’t needed for either aesthetic or strength purposes.

Plus, a simple top coat is much faster. I was left with sparkling, shimmering, pink and gold princess nails. I practically skipped down the street.

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I’m serious; these bad boys are in E V E R Y picture

Having experience the occasional nail-related trial and tribulation over the years, I was on the lookout for a few key issues.

1. Would my nails chip?
2. Would my nails crack?
3. Would my nails break?

Yes, these issues are rather repetitive, but we don’t have time for such literary concerns. This is about nails. Focus, man, focus!

I am an overwhelmingly clumsy human being who often falls down, or falls over small walls, or walks into tall walls, or punches doors by accident, rather than in a passionate fit of righteous rage. I was therefore quite concerned about how my nails would fare.

However, after solid a month, I can confidently say that this powder produces nails which neither chip, crack or break. Or snap, or crackle, or pop. Nothing. Nada.

In fact, my definitely-not-clumsy mother managed to crack one of her own, regular acrylics helping a friend move house, while my super-acrylics stood firm.

As for infills; the process is the same as it would be with a basic powder. Again, the only difference is a considerably faster process.

On top of that, both pigmentation and sparkle remind star-bright. I have been gleaming 24/7 since I took this powder into the shop. The only thing that could possibly add to my bling would be a fat-ass diamond. Princess cut. White-gold band. I hope he’s reading this.

Ha! Only joking. I’m actually more of an emerald and gold kinda girl.

Anywayyyy… That’s pretty much it on the review. My overall verdict on this product is: flawless***. Like. 10/10 would recommend.

In fact, I’m already planning which powder I’ll pick up for my 21st birthday in the new year. If you’re wondering about the shade range, and prices, here’s a little further info:

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(Image courtesy of LuxeNoir)

Yeah. There’s A LOT. Go wild fam.

As for the price: as I mentioned above, purchasing this powder works out as a saving for me, due to my salon’s discount.

In fact, though my maths is generally not to be trusted, I worked really really hard (used the calculator on my phone) and figured out that by the time I finish the powder, it will have saved me £25. You know what they say: every little helps.

Now, before you rush off: a bomb product and amazing packaging does not a business make.

I have already mentioned some things LuxéNoir could benefit from, in my opinion–like an ingredients list, getting their website up ASAP, etc., etc.

However, when it comes down to it, my belief is that a solid product + good customer service = YES. As in, YES, YOU HIT THE MARK, THE REST CAN WAIT, TAKE MY MONEY.

And the fact is that LuxéNoir scores 5 stars on customer service. There is always someone available to answer questions quickly within working hours, and often outside of them, too.

The service is polite and friendly, always ready to provide whatever information you wish, and personal enough that you can make any additional requests you might be considering.

That’s right: a ‘social media brand’ that actually responds to customer enquiries once the money has been spent. The revolution is here.

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I’m thinking bold and blue for my 21st. This is Shego (image courtesy of LuxeNoir).

So, all in all, if you hadn’t guessed: I’m a fan.

I loveeeeee my Minnie nails; I’ve never felt so glamorous, and they are serious conversation starters.

I can’t wait to get my hands on more of these powders, and considering how much I like the brand, I may look into the hair they sell too… Despite my past experiences with buying hair being more than a little traumatic.

If you like the look of these powders, you can email LuxéNoir here: info@loveluxenoirx.co.uk

You can also check out the brand here: @loveluxebeautyx (twitter) @loveluxenoirx (IG)

So that’s that. I wish you all a holiday season filled with glitter and glamour, and the best place to start is probably your nails!

See you next time,

Tiss

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