Browsing Tag


Acrylic, Gel, Stick On Nails, Beauty Tips, Nail Care, Nail Polish/Care

4 Ways to Get your Nails back into Condition after Gels /Acrylics

This morning on Twitter I was asked had I any tips to share on strengthening your nails after Gel nail removal. Instead of replying via tweet I thought I would write up a little blog post since I have some experience with crumbling post gel nails.

The first time I had acrylic nails removed My nails looked great for a few days but then crumbled to nothingness over a few weeks. I was not prepared for this and hadn’t taken any extra care of my nails.

The second time around I went for gel overlays and after removal I put a plan into actions. I managed to keep my nails from peeling and crumbling. In fact my nails grew strong and long, which I couldn’t believe. Here is what I  used:

1. Vaseline Healthy Hand & Nails

Vaseline hand nail cream

This has been a favourite of mine for at least a decade, I used to keep a tube in my school bag! After my gel nails were been removed I rubbed some of this lotion into my cuticles and left a layer on my nail to absorb twice a day. This might seem like a nuisance but I found it easier to do at times where my hands were still – watching tv in the evening, reading my book before bed etc. I kept this up for 3 weeks.

2. Nail Hardener

sally hansen hard as nails natural

I used a few coats of nail hardener to prevent help prevent chipping and peeling. The one I used was Sally Hansen Hard as Nails but to be honest I would use any brand. After a few days I would remove the hardener, do a little nail treatment (see below) and the reapply. My nails were never without hardener for the 3 weeks, with the exception of treatment time.

3. Olive Oil Treatment:


olive oil

As mentioned, twice a week I removed the nail hardener and used treated my nails to a warm olive oil bath. I used the olive oil from my kitchen counter. Pour a little oil into a small bowl and warm for a few second in the microwave. Treat one hand at a time, pop all of your finger tips into the oil and soak for 10 minutes. You could also add a little Vitamin E capsule into the olive oil for extra strengthening power.

4. Nail Supplements:

perfectil skin hair nails supplement

I also took a nail supplement daily for a month or so. I started using a Holland & Barrett supplement but then switched to Perfectil Skin, Hair & Nails. They contain Omega-3 and Co-Q10 which apparently strengthen your nails from the inside. I have also heard many people recommend prenatal supplements. If you eat a balanced diet you could just add an Omega 3 supplement and add Flax seeds to your diet.

What was your experience will overlays?

Make-up Tips

Putting together a Make-up Kit – Older Women

Helen MirrenI’m doing some TV work with ‘Off the Rails’ this week with more mature women. I was busy preparing my kit this morning and it got me thinking about a make-up kit for more mature skin. I decided to put together a list of all the ‘must haves’.

Unfortunately skin changes as we age. Boo Hoo.  Skin becomes less firm, skin tone can become patchy and uneven, eyebrows can become sparse and lighter in colour, hairs can sprout on the chin and to top it all off skin pigmentation can become an issue. Sounds a little depressing, I know, but the good news is that the right make-up can really make a difference. Don’t give up.

Makeup Products for aging skin:

A great foundation /Tinted Moisturiser – ‘Sheer’ is the way forward. You should still be able to see the skin, it should not create a mask effect – this will make you look older. Choose the lightest coverage you can get away with and go easy on the powder. Dewy skin looks fresh and youthful.

Concealer – There are two types and you probably need one of each. 1) a light reflective concealer (like YSL Touche Eclat) to brighten under the eyes. It can also be used in the laughter liner between the nose and mouth. 2) Fuller Coverage Concealer – thicker in texture this provides great coverage for broken capillaries and blemishes. This one is usually best kept away from the delicate under eye area as it seeps into lines.

Eyeshadow – If you could only have one go for a taupe shade. This works with all eye colours, looks sophisticated and can be used as an eyeliner too. If you are more adventurous choose a shade that accentuates your eye colour.

Mascara – This is an essential. Mascaras open up the eyes, creating a more youthful look. It also gives the illusion of definition. There a so many on the market that you will have no problem finding one that suits your needs and your budget. If you aren’t blessed with curly lashes than you will benefit an eyelash curler. Use it daily before mascara application to give that ‘bright eyed’ effect.

Sheer Lipstick or Lipgloss – Again, sheer is key. Thick, matte lipstick will make you look older. For a more youthful look go for a colour one or two shades deeper or brighter, depending on your preference, than the natural lip colour. This will emphasise the lips, make them look fuller but still natural and fresh.

Cream Blush – Cream is better than powder for maturing skin, there are quite a few reason for this: 1)Skin often gets dryer as we age, a cream blush is more suitable for dryer skins than a powder. 2) It’s long lasting and 3) Powder can look ageing whereas cream adds a soft flush of natural glowing colour that looks like it’s coming from within.

And that’s really all you need. Anything else you add is a bonus.

Helen Mirren and Judi Dench are great examples of how to get make-up right when your older!

Best of luck and I hope this was helpful!

Make-Up 101 Series, Make-up Tips, Tutorials

Make-up for Glasses Wearers

This is one of most commonly requested posts/videos. Here are some make-up tips for glasses wearers. The video tutorial will be up soon.

If you’re long sighted:

Eyes appear bigger through the lenses. It’s best to use darker shades on the lid to give the illusion of smaller eyes through the glasses. This doesn’t mean choosing dramatic black or similar dark colours, it just means choosing a shade that’s darker rather than lighter. For example, if you want to wear neutral shades go for  medium brown instead of a light brown. Avoid highlighting the inner corner of the eye which only makes eyes appear bigger.  For a night time look use darker shades on lid and smudge a little under the eye. You could even add some dark kohl pencil to the inner rim of the eye.

If you’re short sighted:

You eyes appear smaller behind the glasses. It’s best to line along the top lashes and use a lighter or brighter shade on the lip to give the illusion that they eye is bigger through the lenses. Highlight the inner corner of the eye. You could try wearing some taupe or white liner on the inner rim of the eye.

Some other considerations:

  • Don’t overcompensate for glasses by piling on loads of make-up
  • Glasses can cast a shadow under the eyes so a little concealer can go along way. A light reflecting concealer would be perfect (assuming you don’t need colour correction)
  • Consider your frames when choosing your make-up. If you wearing heavy frames a natural look will look great. If your frames are lighter or frameless you could experiment with a more dramatic look.
  • Glasses emphasise your brows so focus on grooming and shaping brows.
  • Curl your lashes before applying mascara to prevent your lashes catching in your glasses.

The video tutorial will be up in the nest few days.

I hope this was helpful!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win MAC Stereo Rose MSF

Amy x

DIY Skincare - Make Your Own, Haircare / Styling

DIY Hair Care: Remove product build-up from your hair

If you are a hair product junkie like me you are familiar with the downside to this addiction – Build-up. It makes your hair look dull and lifeless. You can use a clarifying shampoo to sort out the problem but if you have colour treated hair I wouldn’t recommend this.

One of the quickest ways to remove product build-up from the hair naturally is to use Baking Soda. A baking soda hair wash cleans out the excess product, remove impurities, and cleanses your hair naturally.

All you have to do is put two tablespoons of baking soda into a cupful of warm water. Mix with a fork until the mixture resembles  a paste. Then apply the paste to damp hair. Massage and ensure even distribution. I wash it out immediately after massaging it in.

It feels weird  at first, especially when you are used to suddy shampoo. It feels a little gritty, exactly what you expect from putting baking powder in your hair I suspect :)

Take your time when rinsing to make sure the baking soda is completely washed out of your hair. You want to avoid any residue. You don’t have to follow with shampoo and conditioner as your hair should feel squeaky clean. That being said, I usually do. I’m not entirely sure what -probably because I’m a slave to routine.

Hair products work so much better after some clarification so I like to do this once a month to clear gunk out of my hair. Some people use baking soda as a shampoo. Personally I wouldn’t go that far but I’m happy with the effects once a month.

Lips, Make-Up 101 Series, Tutorials

Tips for making your lip colour last

I hate long lasting lipsticks. They’re too drying for me and I never like the finish. If you’re interested in some ways to keep your lip colour on without resorting to long lasting formulas (that often don’t last long at all) here are a few tips:

  • Use pencil on top of lipstick. The wax acts like a barrier. Just make sure you blend away the line. I never use a freshly sharpened pencil for this, a rounded one works best.
  • Blot a little powder on top to keep the lipstick in place for longer. Less is more in this instance. I like to use a little blush instead of powder for added colour depth. On occasion I have used an eyeshadow.
  • Press lip colour into the lips using your finger. This creates a stained satin effect.
  • Completely fill in the lips using a  lip pencil that is the same colour as your lips. This acts as a base and ensures lipstick stays put for longer. I use Continue Reading
Haircare / Styling, Tutorials

Good Hair Habits

After losing so much hair earlier this year, hair is a bit of a sensitive subject for me. I have found myself gravitating towards hair care articles online and in magazines. I have read through miles of rubbish but these are some good hair habits tips that I have come across over the years:

1. Relax. Stress and worry can lead to hair loss, I am a testament to this one. I was so stressed and anxious that I lost a third of my hair (which is starting to grow back now). When I feel anxiety taking hold I go for a walk in the park or I paint. Find what it is that takes your mind of things and enjoy some relaxation. I’d be lying if I said that I ever switch off completely but walking in a wooded area calms me. Somehow being around nature puts things in perspective.

2. Use cold water: Rinse shampoo and conditioner with cool water to enhance shine, preserve hair colour and tighten the cuticle.

3. Cover up: On holiday cover your hair with a hat to protect your hair colour from fading or bleaching.

4. Rinse chlorine: Avoid chlorinated water, it affects hair health and hair colour. If you do get chlorine in your hair rinse with water after you get out of the pool. Those with highlights and artifial blondes should be very careful, I always see blondes with a green tinge to their hair lying around the pool on holiday. (if that happens use ketchup to neutralise)

5. Trim: Get a little trim every 6 to 8 weeks, even if your growing your hair. This keeps Continue Reading

Bath & Body, General, Health & Wellbeing, Tutorials

Loosing Excessive Water Weight

If you are suffering from water retention and there is no underlying medical condition, there are a couple of natural things you can try to reduce the bloat.

1. Reduce your sodium intake.  When your ankles are puffy, salt is often the culprit. Bear in mind that sodium is lashed into ready-made meals, biscuits etc.

2. Drink lots of water. The body stores excess water when water is in short supply.

3. Make good dietary choices. Some foods are know diuretics (make you pee); Cucumber, watermelon, watercress, garlic, tomatoes, beets, oats and artichoke flush out the kidneys.

It’s worth noting that during your period water retention can be a nightmare. Drinking more water and avoiding salt helps.

You can also try a bath infused with essential oils that act as diuretics. Choose from Fennel, Cypress, Lemon, Juniper, Oregano, Grapefruit and Celery. The oils can be combined in particular ways to make a synergistic blend that has better impact. These synergies can be used in one bath.

Diuretic synergistic blends:

a) 3 drops of Lemon with 1 drops of Juniper Continue Reading


Give the illusion of Whiter Teeth

If you don’t fancy heading down the laser whitening route or start dabbling with bleaching treatments there are few things you can try to make them look whiter:

  • Avoid brown, orange and coral shades of lipstick. These warm shades bring out the yellow tones in you teeth.
  • A cool toned red lipstick will make your teeth appear whiter then they are.
  • Pink gloss is a softer option Continue Reading
Nail Care, Nail Polish/Care, Tutorials

Beauty Tips: Beautiful Nails

Even if my skin looks awful or I’m having a fat day, groomed nails make me feel better. Here are a few tips I have picked up over the years. Don’t forget to comment with your tips, I’d love to see hot everyone else looks after their nails.

1. If I use polish regularly I use an acetone free nail polish. Acetone is too harsh for my delicate nails.

2. I leave a hand cream beside the soap in my bathroom so that everytime I wash my hands I use cream. M&S are great for the soap and lotions duos in cute containers.

3.If you’re doing garden work drag your nails over  a bar of soap before you go outside. The back of the nails will load up with soap and stop dirt getting down there.

4. Always wear rubber gloves when washing dishes. Water is hard on nails.

5. Never file your nails after a bath, they split (I have done this so many times!)

6. Soak your nails before using an orange stick to push down the cuticle, or use cuticle cream.

7. Use a nail hardener if you’re nails split easily.

8 I swear by Vaseline Intensive Care hand and nail cream (the pink tube). I rubbed this on my nails 3 times a day and 2 months later my nails are long and strong.

9. From my experience, acrylics ruined my nails. It took nearly 6 months to get them back into good condition after having them removed.

What are your nail tips?

Make-Up 101 Series, Tutorials

What shape is your face?

1. Heart  – this face has a narrow jaw, is wide at cheekbones/and or forehead
2. Square  – this face is usually as wide as it is long
3. Round –  this face is generally as wide as it is long
4. Diamond  – this face is widest at the cheekbones, narrow forehead, jaw line of approximately equal widths
5. Oblong  – this face is longer than it is wide
6. Oval  – this face’s length is equal to one and a half times its width

You can also measure your face to figure out your face shape. Continue Reading

Make-Up 101 Series, Make-Up Artist Series, Tutorials

Square Face: How to Soften a Square Face & Blush Tips

Here are a few tips to help soften a sqaure face. Celebrities with a square face include Kate Bosworth, Paris Hilton, Demi Moore, Carmen Electra, Angelina Jolie, Jessica Simpson, Jessica Biel.

  • Concentrate the blush on the roundest parts of you cheeks.
  • Apply a matte shader under your cheekbones to contour
  • Shade the square ‘edges’ of the face; square points of forehead, chin or jaw to soften the face. You are applying shader to make the harsher edges recede.
  • Dust highlighter down down the bridge of the nose, along cheekbones and tip of the chin.

Click here to see how to slim a round face.


Foundation, Make-Up 101 Series, Make-Up Artist Series, Make-up Tips

Make-Up Artist Series: Different Types of Foundations

Here is a list of the different types of foundations used by Make-up artists and what they are used for:

Liquid: Used when trying to achieve a natural look. Perfect for young or clear skin. Usually applied with a foundation brush, stippling brush or damp make-up sponge. Professional liquid foundations are best.

Cream: Use for more coverage or on older skins. Use a very light touch.

Tint: Used often on mens skin or very clear skin.

Panstick: Used for theatre work. They are grease based so they need to be set with powder. It’s best to buy them in a palette to have a variety of shades.

Camouflage: Used to cover scars, acne etc

Pancake: Used when trying to create flat make-up.  It’s usually used on the body or fantasy work. They are water based, dry quickly and doesn’t rub off on clothing. It is applied with a damp sponge.

There will be more from my Make-up Artist Series tomorrow.