Nail Fail

So you get to go home early because a lesson is cancelled. What do you do? Catch up with some homework? Use the extra time to study? Nope, you do your nails. Well I’m not exactly endorsing it but that’s what I did…
I’d seen a nail design on Pinterest where you drop nail varnish into a bowl and then swirl it to make a tie dye effect. Well, let’s say things on Pinterest always look easier than they turn out to be in real life.
1. Okay so first I painted on my white base coat and put sellotape around all of my nails so I didn’t get the nail varnish all over them
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2. I then dropped the nail varnish into a bowl of water (the clingfilm is just so I didn’t stain the bowl). This was my first obstacle: the nail varnish started to either sink to the bottom or just spread out and not mix with the other colours.IMG_1181

3. Even so, I persevered and place my nail on top of the swirly mess I’d created so far.
This was the best nail:

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You can see by middle finger that the rest were not so successful and I took it all off straight away and went for this more simplistic design instead:

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The moral of this story: Don’t underestimate the difficulty of things put on Pintrest. I’ve tested it and failed.

Katie

Eyeliner: Do’s & Don’ts

Although this is a very popular makeup trend at the moment, a lot of people still don’t completely know how to do it. I’ve put together a short list of do’s and don’ts with eyeliner but remember some of these are just my opinion and there are loads of different styles you can do…

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DO’s

  • Buy a good quality eyeliner 

It’s important to make sure you buy a well-known, branded eyeliner that won’t start cracking and rubbing off by the end of the day.

  • Find your favourite type of eyeliner

There are actually lots of different options when it comes to eyeliner. You can get liquid, gel or pencil. I personally prefer to use liquid or a liquid pen as it’s a more precise line but you can also achieve really good results with a gel liner or kohl pencil.

  • Practice

Before you wear it out for the first time, I would recommend you try it out a few times to get the right technique. The first time I wore eyeliner I drew it on about half an inch away from my actual eye.

 

DON’Ts

  • Draw it on too thick

You don’t want to end up with eyeliner across half your eyelid so make sure you keep fairly near to the lashline.

  • Severe Wings

If you are going to attempt a wing  you need to make sure it looks as effective as possible. It needs to be a consistent line from the corner of your eye right the way to the tip of the wing. Ideally, the wing will look like a continuation of your eye so you need to draw a line out from your waterline (your bottom lashline) to the desired length of the wing.

  • Forget mascara

Putting eyeliner on as an extra is all well and good but not if you forget to put your normal makeup on as well. There are loads of people who seem to think as they are wearing eyeliner they don’t need to wear any other makeup but you need to make sure you put mascara on as well to emphasise your eyes.

  • Give up

Eyeliner takes a long time to perfect and you can’t expect to get it right the first time. Liquid eyeliner is notoriously difficult to get right, but with a lot of practice you can achieve brilliant eyeliner every time!

Katie

Newspaper Nails

Another nail tutorial for you. This time its newspaper nails. If you have no idea what I’m on about:

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They are so simple to do, and, unlike many tutorials tell  you to, you don’t have to use alcohol – only water!

Okay first,

What you’ll need:

A nail file, coloured nail varnish for your base coat, a clear top coat, a small bowl of water, newspaper with text.

Newspaper Nails

1. Shape and neaten up nails

Using your nail file, shape your nails so they have no rough edges and are nicely shaped.

2. Paint your base coat. 

Make sure you leave it to dry for a while after you’ve painted it because it’ll smudge easily if you don’t once you put the design on.

3.  Cut up newspaper

Cut the newspaper up into small squares that cover the whole of your nail. Cut them all in one go so you won’t have to do it once you’re half way through doing your nails. I would do about 12 though in case some don’t transfer properly.

4. Dip each piece in water so it’s just damp.

Make sure it doesn’t get too wet because the ink won’t transfer.

5Press the newspaper firmly onto your nail

I do mean firmly too. Roll your nail underneath the newspaper in one go so you don’t get duplicated patterns.

6. Top coat

Finish off your design with a top coat. Again, I would wait a while so you don’t smudge the ink.

So there you go. If you try this yourself be sure to show us, we’d love to see how they turn out!

Katie

DIY Flower Nails

Okay here’s a quick DIY nail tutorial that’s easy to do but looks really nice. Also, these are not my own nails because I had difficulty painting them and taking pictures at the same time.

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1. Firstly, file down and shape your nails.

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2. Paint the base coat in whatever colour you want. I’ve chosen Peppermint by Rimmel London. It’s best to do at least 2 coats to make sure its a solid colour.

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3. Leave to dry for about 5 minutes to make sure the design doesn’t ruin the base colour. (Apologies for the over spill onto the finger by the way)

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4. Using a white nail art pen or white nail varnish on a thin paintbrush, paint a flower shape and create 5 lines – one for each petal – in the middle.

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5. Then blob another colour for the centre of the flower – I’ve chosen pink but any colour that matches and compliments the base coat will look good!

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6. And there we go. It takes very little time but gives you nails that extra little something.

Katie

 

Prom Beauty Ideas

This week my best friend,who is in the year below me, asked if I would help her and her friends out for their prom. Of course I jumped at the chance to paint nails, do makeup and hair. Obviously everyone has different ideas of what sort of things they want to wear and how they want to style themselves for prom, but I thought I’d share with you some of the designs I did for them (and some extra photos for the hell of it…)

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Please excuse the weird plastic finger that I practice nail designs on…

But this is the design I came up with to go with my friend’s dress which as you can see matches the pattern on the waist.DSC_0428

To make the triangles even I used the low tack nail design tape I was talking about in another post back in May. But you can easily use sellotape to section off these parts. You can then use either a nail art pen or hair grips dipped in nail varnish for the dots. Make sure if you are using sellotape that you make it a little less sticky first because otherwise it make peel off the polish already on your nails.

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One of her friends also had a blue dress but with diamante on so instead I painted some plain artificial nails with blue nail varnish and glittery tips:

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In order to get a solid colour I had to paint 3 coats of the blue, but seeing as they were fake nails they can be left to dry for as long as needed without having to do everything with that weird hand position you have to use when you’ve just painted your nails. I then let them dry for an hour or so and carefully, in one stroke, did the tips. Although this sounds difficult, you get a much cleaner line and better shape if you do it all in one go.

If you don’t have anything like a plastic finger with them blu-taked on to paint the nails on, you can use any curved surface the right width to stick them onto. In the past I’ve either persuaded my mum to blu-tak them onto one of her fingers or stuck them onto a pencil which is secured to the table.

I would go into details about the hair and makeup but I have no pictures to go along with it so it might not make as much sense…

It was a really good night though but did make me a bit jealous that they got to go off to prom and I didn’t.

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Katie

DIY Spotty Nails

If like me you like to experiment with different nails designs, you’ve most likely attempted to do spotty nails before. Maybe if you’ve had the same amount of luck as me you’ll have turned out with randomly positioned blobs that have run or spread into each other that you just want to take off straight away because they look a total mess. Am I right?

Well, recently I found a very simple but amazingly effective solution to your nail varnish blobbing issues…

HAIR GRIPS (or bobby pins if you’re all American and that). 

I’m obviously not the first person to have realised this, and you may be reading thinking how stupid I am for just discovering it, but they work so well. Even though I’ve got nail art pens, which honestly I am so addicted to, hair grips are such a better way for getting accurate and precise circles on nail designs.

All you need to do is to dab a small amount of your chosen nail varnish, after applying your base colour, onto a tile or piece of plastic such as a lid (preferably not to any items currently in your fridge, I don’t want to get told off by any angry parents) and dip either the smaller or large circular end into it and apply immediately to your nail. I say immediately because otherwise it will dry and smudge across your nail, obviously not speaking from experience there… Then once they have thoroughly dried, apply a top coat to even out any imperfections and help the design to stay on longer.

You can then put loads of different colours on from your nail varnishes and not have to worry about buying new pens in that colour! Such a revelation I know.

I will have to make this short and sweet (mainly because I have no pictures of the nails I did using the hair grips) but I will be sure to post some more beauty pearls of wisdom for you…

Katie

10 Ways To Get Clearer Skin

I recently cleaned out all of my makeup brushes thoroughly and was incredibly shocked by the amount of old powder that I got out!

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Disgusting I know!

Post-Cleaning

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Using them afterwards, they felt like new and it made me realise that I should really be cleaning them much more regularly. They need to be cleaned with a gentle shampoo in warm water every few weeks, this way you’ll use much less makeup because it won’t get clogged up in your brushes and you’ll have much clearer skin. This got me thinking about other ways you can get clearer skin without having to spend loads on treatments or expensive products that don’t work at all. So here’s 10 ways I’ve thought of to get clearer and spot free skin:

1. Use a gentle exfoliator at least every 2 days

The keyword here is gentle. A rough exfoliator, although it seems like a good idea, will actually do much more harm than good. Gently exfoliating will remove any dead skin without damaging too many layers.

2. Drink plenty of water

Now this is a controversial issue as so many people say different things. However, with a bit of careful research, the amount that kept coming up was roughly 1.2 Litres per day.

3. Avoid touching your face throughout the day

This will transfer oil and bacteria from your hands onto your skin and can cause blackheads and spots.

4. Get lots of sleep

A good eight hours every night will help your body to repair your skin from the inside out (they don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing)

5. Moisturise regularly

This will not only help to stop any UV damage caused by the sun and congestion from pollution but will help to lock in all of the goodness from the exfoliation.

6. Wash your face every day with warm water then close pores with cold water afterwards

Once you’ve exfoliated make sure you splash your face with cold water to close up your pores so that no unwanted dirt gets in and creates spots

7. Make sure your fringe is kept clean and ungreasy
Grease from your fringe is sometimes one of the worse contributors to bad skin on your forehead. The grease transfers onto your face during the day and, as there is no air getting to it, can create the perfect environment for spots to break out. So if you’re prone to it getting greasy and don’t want to be washing your hair every day, just wash your fringe over the sink in the morning with a small amount of shampoo.

8. Maintain a healthy diet with plenty of vitamins

  • Vitamin A is useful for repairing damaged skin so will get rid of any dryness or scaliness. Good sources of it are egg yolks, leafy greens, milk and carrots.
  • Vitamin E is a brilliant antioxidant so will help to remove toxins caused by your environment that are in your body. Sources of this include nuts, green vegetables and vegetable oils.
  • Vitamin C is another antioxidant and also stimulates collagen production. This means it will help to keep your skin looking healthy and young for a long time to come. Thankfully everything that’s high in this you probably already have in your diet: oranges, red peppers, blackcurrants, strawberries, broccoli and (this one I was surprised by) potatoes.

9. Don’t use makeup wipes with alcohol in

It’s best to try to avoid using makeup wipes all together but if you’re in rush or on the go make sure they are free from alcohol as this will undo all of the good work from your diet and cleansing routine.

10. Exercise for at least 15 minutes a day

This will not only help to make you healthy but make your skin look a lot healthier too. Just make sure that you cleanse thoroughly afterwards to get rid of any sweat.

One myth that I will happily bust for you though is that chocolate is bad for you skin! There is actually no proven scientific link between chocolate and breakouts. 

I hope these tips are useful to you! Please comment back on this post with any questions, advice or success stories!

Katie

Ombre Nails

Someone once told me that ombre nails are easy.

They lied.

Fortunately for them, I can’t remember who it was, but either way they couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s the shoddy mess I came up with, and the various methods I attempted:

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The Wet Sponge Method

The first method I tried was applying varnish onto a damp sponge and then dabbing it onto the nail. This left a tiny little hint of colour on my nail and a massive varnish stain on the sponge. So that one’s a no.

The Smudge Method

Method #2 was to paint the two colours, let them dry a little, then smudge the middle together with the edge of a paper towel … which just wipes is straight back off. No.

The Smudge Method #2

#3 was to attempt Smudge Method #1 with the better smudging agent of a cocktail stick. Same conclusion. Anyone noticing a pattern here?

The asdfghjkl;’ Method

This one is when you get really angry that you can’t do it and attempt to do it with your finger. Then shout to the empty room at the person who told you this would be easy and the annoying pictures on Pinterest where everything is perfect, followed by storming off for an hour to cool down …

The Topcoat Method

This is the only one that kind of, sort of works. I say that because by this stage I would have passed a massive black spot on my nail as ombre. Like the Smudge Method, you apply the two colours, let them almost dry, but then apply a topcoat to smooth them together. I found I had to do a lot of blending of the two colours, and it still has a lot of flaws – i.e. you can only really do one coat, so the colours aren’t very strong and chipped pretty easily – but to be honest, I really can’t be bothered to think of anymore techniques. Sorry!

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Does you have any better methods? Have you ever accomplished the ombre nail?

Hannah***

Split Colour Tutorial

DSCN1841First things first, these colours match my eyes. Thought you’d like to know.

This is a pretty simple tutorial but after trying out my new grey varnish, I thought it needed a bit of brightening up.

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1) Paint your undercoat colour and make sure it dries COMPLETELY, before doing step 2

2) Use sellotape that’s lost it’s sticky a bit. You can do this by sticking it to your tights or chair a few times. Press it onto the tip of the nail at an angle

3) Paint the uncovered area and leave it to dry for at least two minutes

4) Peel the sellotape off and paint a top coat of clear varnish. This will soften the edges of the lines

Hannah

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Mars Bar Cake Recipe

I do love to make cakes but love it even more when I don’t have to try to actually bake them! That’s why I like this Mars Bar Cake recipe so much.

What you’ll need:

4 Mars Bars
4oz (100g) Margarine
4 oz (100g) Rice Krispies
9oz (225g) Milk Chocolate
10” Square Cake Tin

Mars Bar Cake

Firstly:

1. Chop the 4 Mars Bars into small chunks

2. Put the margarine and Mars Bars into a saucepan and melt them until there are no lumps.

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3. Add the Rice Krispies to the saucepan and stir them until they are evenly coated.

4. Put the mixture in your square tin and cool in the fridge for about an hour or until solid.

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5. Once the mixture is cooled, melt the milk chocolate over a pan of boiling water on the hob in a bowl and stir until smooth.

6. Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and put back into the fridge to solidify.

7. Once solid, remove the cake from the tin (by sliding a knife around the edges and carefully turning the tin upside down)

8. Cut into fingers or squares and enjoy!

For some reason I didn’t get around to taking a photo of the finished product but I can tell you it tasted lovely (not my own words!) Hope you like it.

Katie