Archive for the ‘How To…’ Category
Last night I attended a nail art masterclass courtesy of Maybelline New York. Now if I can achieve a manicure without painting my knuckles, that’s a big accomplishment for me so to take things to the next level with nail art was pushing the boat out, particularly when Leanne of Do Not Refreeze put me to shame with her fantastic skills.
But nail art is something I’ve been curious about for ages and here was my chance to find out how to do clever things like ombre nails or a leopard design with the guidance of expert nail artist Michelle Humphrey.
There was a spectrum of shades from Maybelline’s Color Show range at our fingertips to do three individual designs – a kiss, flowers and an ombre effect with a leopard design. Seriously it looked like hard work but there was deep concentration all around the room once Michelle got started.
I’ve realised a few things you need to be prepared for when doing nail art – you need a steady work surface (the arm of your sofa really isn’t a good idea), ample time and patience! The beauty with nail art is you can cover up mistakes easily and unless you’re anally retentive, it doesn’t have to be perfect. (I’m sorry for using the word ‘anal’ in a beauty post, Maybelline – first time too, won’t happen again…)
I was surprised you don’t need a great number of fiddly tools either. We had one fine brush and a eyeshadow sponge applicator. For the leopard design 4 shades ranging from yellow to turquoise blue were simply dabbed on and then the edging blended with the sponge applicator, and for the flowers and kiss design, the nail polish was painted on with the brush.
An hour and half later, here is the mess I made…
Not bad although I was convinced at the start this would end in tears. Bear in mind I only practised on my left hand so I don’t know how I will fair with my right but any fears I had about nail art has been dispelled after this session with Michelle and I feel more confident and inspired to do more. What do you think? If you’ve never tried nail art, are you tempted to give it a try now?
For more on Maybelline New York’s Color Show collection, visit www.maybelline.co.uk or you can buy them from Boots – they’re only £2.99 each. Such vibrant colours and so versatile for simple manicures to intense nail trends.
You can also watch how to do nail art designs with Color Show and Michelle Humphrey on their YouTube channel.
I wanted to step away from the usual beauty blogging gubbins to do a post on making your own body scrub. (Work with me here – it’s not as bad as you think.)
A pot of this takes no more than a couple of minutes, costs next to nothing, smells wonderful and leaves your skin feeling super smooth. I actually prefer it to some of the expensive body scrubs I have.
I did adjust the recipe, which calls for golden granulated sugar (not as rough as white granulated sugar). I thought I could use golden caster sugar as a close substitute but I had run out of it and only had demerara sugar, which works superbly as it has a very coarse texture, which I like.
For the scent, you can use any brand of vanilla extract – I recommend Nielsen Massey available for most supermarkets (I use it in my cupcakes).
To make the scrub, you will need:
400g golden granulated sugar (or demerara sugar for a coarser scrub)
100g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
100ml olive oil (with more to add for personal preference)
Add the sugars and vanilla extract in a bowl and slowly pour in the oil whilst mixing until you reach the desired consistency. Test the scrub on the back of your hand to be sure you are happy with it.
The recipe asks for 200ml of olive oil but I found I only needed half. Besides, I didn’t want a scrub that left my skin feeling greasy after showering and this quantity is just right.
Finally pop the scrub in a jar with a lockable lid. I picked up this one from IKEA for 75p. As it’s oil and sugar, the scrub should keep for a long while. And that’s all there is to it!
Last week Remington invited a group of bloggers to vintage clothing boutique Lucy In Disguise for an evening of hair and clothing dressage.
Remington Session Stylist Chris Appleton and his team were on hand to show us how to create on-trend retro styles with the latest Remington styling tools in the boutique’s very own parlour and I’ve got to say, it was a brilliant evening.
Having short hair, I am usually quite limited in options. Most of the other girls had lovely long tresses to create glamour-puss Rapunzel hairstyles. However when my stylist Evie took one look at me, she squealed and knew exactly what to do with my barnet.
She went straight for The Bardot, explaining my length was just perfect for this style.
With a spot of back-combing from the roots and loads of hair spray she held my hair in place with hair-pins and finished off my fringe with a lift from Remington’s Keratin Therapy Pro Volume Brush (£29.99) from their Keratin Therapy range designed not only to style hair but also protect.
Et voila! Party hair!
I had no idea I could do something like this and so easily (in about 5 minutes) – that’s less time than it takes to run a straightener through.
No one sees me with my hair up so I surprised quite a few including my work colleagues (yeah, I managed to sleep in it and the style remained intact!)
Feeling confident, I attempted it for a night out on Saturday and although the back was a little messy, I think I did alright.
You too can have fun recreating a classic hair-do with Remington’s styling video.
To find out more Remington’s Keratin Therapy range click here. I’ll be bringing you my verdict on some of the collection soon.
One of my absolute favourite beauty bloggers and make-up artists is Safiyah who is better known as Frootibeauty.
I adore her make-up artistry skills – she creates many beautiful looks with the tools and cosmetics we all have (see her recent Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism look which Alex Box even noticed) so when she announced she would be holding an intimate master-class to recreate one of her popular looks, I scrambled at the chance to attend it.
Yesterday I joined a few other girls in a salon in Hackney, east London where Safiyah demonstrated on one side of the face how she created this Arabic look with the original Urban Decay Naked palette on fellow blogger and model Numera (who runs www.hommesdefemmes.com). After which we were left to our own devices to have a go on ourselves.
I found Safiyah’s style of teaching so relaxing and easy to follow and what looked complicated was really very straight-forward and enjoyable to do. I have watched Arabic make-up tutorials on YouTube but it doesn’t compare to when someone shows you how to do it in person.
Of course what defines Arabic make-up is the emphasis on lining the eyes and the emphasis is heavy but the results are stunning. You can use any shades you wish whether they are neutrals or eye-popping colours – the method and style is applicable to all and that’s precisely what I took away from me after this master-class. And practice. Lots of it. It makes for perfection.
By the way I didn’t use false lashes but if you use them, they will add that extra va-va-voom to the finished look.
Thank you so much, Safiyah for your time, effort and patience. The full list of products Safiyah used for this look are all mentioned here. However, there are no hard or fast rules so use what you’re comfortable with or just simply experiment.
If you are interested in joining one of Safiyah’s London based make-up master-classes, get in touch with her through her blog.