30 Days of Thankful

#5 – Bows Came Back

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One of my favourite memories of childhood is of Christmas at my aunt’s house where my cousin (who I completely idolized and still do – she’s awesome) took me upstairs and gave us matching hair-dos. High ponytails with a big velvet black bows on top. On  a 6 year old that looks absolutely adorable but as I got older I realised that my favourite hairstyle was becoming less acceptable.

UNTIL, bows made a come-back. Fashion and beauty blogs started doing posts on the best hairstyles to use them in, and Pinterest became covered in them. It was awesome. So this week, I’m thankful for being able to bring the bows back out and for my beautiful cousin.

thirty days

Hannah

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Extreme Shopping

Tomorrow, Hannah and I are going to the Clothes Show. 5 exhibition halls worth of clothes, makeup, catwalks and male models – everything you could wish for in a shopping trip. Also, we now see everything as a blogging opportunity so we’re sure to be taking loads of photos.

It’s getting colder and colder by the day and Christmas spirit hasn’t kicked in enough yet to make you not care about the weather. A Levels are as difficult as ever and mock exams are growing ever closer so I can’t think of anything better than spending a whole day with one of my best friends shopping for clothes in the warm.

Can’t wait!

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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.

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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

Bridge Dot Nails

So currently, I’m swanning off on holiday (if you can count a field in Stafford a holiday) so to save poor Katie having an overload of posts to do here’s one I did earlier á la Blue Peter.

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I’m calling these Bridge Dots because of the angle of the dots (obviously). To me, straight lines on nails look a little weird, because they aren’t straight or flat to begin with. Adding patterns with a curve just seems to add something.

After painting the base, I used the technique Katie taught us a couple of weeks ago, using the rounded end of a hair grip for small even spots. You can read that post here.

What nail techniques have you been trying out lately?

Hannah

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

Longest Day of the Year

Yesterday – 21st June – was the longest day of the year. Not as in another hour magically materialised, though that would be pretty cool, but the most hours of sunlight. In order to celebrate this, or rather to actually do something instead of the ironing, my parents and I headed out for a nice little walk around some lakes.

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We eventually started out after about 10 minutes of trying to find somewhere to park. We did think we’d found a place, until my mum saw two groups of ‘youths’ – complete with hats just balancing on the top of their heads and silly little girl bags round their necks – sitting in, what I expect, were their mum’s cars. My mum decided that she didn’t want to leave her car next to them in case they wanted something more interesting to do than just sit in the car and play loud music, and decided to hit it.

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After buying my big slightly professional camera a couple of months ago, my mum has taken up a new hobby. Given that my camera has a pretty amazing zoom, she likes me to zoom in on things and take pictures, so she can basically spy from afar. This picture was taken because she saw some people on the other side of the lake and wanted to know what they were doing. They were standing on a bridge.

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This photo was taken by my dad of my grumpy disgust when my mother told me I wasn’t allowed to climb on the tree on the left. Okay, it was rotten, and in the water but, hey, what’s life without risks!? What this picture doesn’t tell you is the fact that I pulled this face for a second, but then my dad shouted ‘hold it’, so I had to then hold the pose for at least a minute while he tried to work out how to turn my camera on. And then he took it wonky because it’s ‘artistic’.

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I would have taken more photos, but the majority was film. I then spent what felt like a lifetime today attempting to edit it all together for you all, but unfortunately my patience finished before it did. Maybe you’ll see it at a later date, or maybe it will remain hidden in My Documents forever. You choose? Is that something you’d like to see, or do you prefer pictures? Maybe a combination of the both? Please let me know! And also, to prove that you’ve made it this far and actually read the bits in between. If you have, congratulations. Gold star for effort.

Hannah

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