Sunday, 21 December 2014

Gift Giving

Christmas Time

Gift giving this Christmas

I'm taking a break from beauty tips in this post to talk about Christmas gift giving. This year I have gotten my family members multiple little gifts and making sure one of them is more personal. For my dad I have decided to get my creativity in gear and knit him a scarf. 

I love knitting but I have a terrible habit of starting a project and never finishing it. I am also not the best at following patterns and counting stitches. With all this in mind I decided to knit him a scarf. This meant no patterns to follow,  no stitches to count, no problem! 

With two and a bit days left until Christmas I only have a few more rows to do before it is an appropriate scarf  length. Finally I will have completed a knitting project for once! 

I think it is always nice to give something homemade as a gift for Christmas. That person will know that you took the time out of your busy life and dedicated it to making something thoughtful for them. Next year I will start knitting in July and by Christmas 2015 maybe I will hopefully have enough scarves knitted for the whole family ;)

Christmas Nails

Christmas Time Beauty Tips

 Now that our tan has been done, we will move on to the topic of nails

There are many different options to consider when deciding on how you want to do your nails for Christmas. Firstly I would suggest that the style of nail you choose to use for your nails should reflect your work load in the run up to Christmas Day. If you plan to be very hands on with cooking Christmas dinner you may not want to have long false nails and opt instead for a simple polish or shellac manicure which would not hinder your festive activities! 

The style I am going to share with you today is Stiletto stick on nails called 'Don't Touch' by WAHLONDON. I chose these nails because they are cheaper than a manicure but look very classy. Speaking from experience I would not advise that you choose this style of nail if you are planning on baking! These nails are long and take a bit of time to get used to but they are a glamorous addition to any outfit. 

The beige or nude style nail compliments any style but what I like most about these nails are that they are a matte/gloss combo. The nails are mostly matte with a slight gloss on the tips which give them a lovely shine.


As always preparation is key, Make sure that you have completed any tanning regimes before applying these nails as the last thing you want is to stain or discolour your lovely new false nails.  

It is important to look after your nails and I would suggest cleaning, filing, buffing and smoothing your nails before applying any kid of nail polish or fake nails. The best tool to use is a nail buffing block which you can pick up in any local pharmacy/ drugstore.   


These nails have a small adhesive pad which fixes the nails to your natural nails. I have used these adhesive pads and although they work and keep the nails in place for around five days I would recommend using nail glue instead of the stick on pads purely because it is difficult to get they nail to stick tight in against your natural nail especially towards the cuticle. This means that the nail is slightly lifted and there is a small gap between the base of the nail and the false nail. This may be because I have tiny hands and therefore tiny nails so I had to mess around with the pads to try and get the right size for each nail. 

Always lay out the nails before applying. The last thing you want is to be hunting for the right nail size while waiting for nail glue to dry and accidentally bumping a nail out of place. Arrange the nails as they would appear on your hands (baby finger, ring finger, middle, index, thumb) on a clean surface. 

Apply both baby fingers on each hands first and work your way towards the thumbs. It is always a bit tricky when you are only left with the thumbs to finish so if you have a friend or partner willing to help it is always a plus! 

After Care

Once the nails are in place to not get they wet or let them come in contact with oil or any lotions for at least half an hour and then keep contact with water to a minimum. If you need the nails to last for several days you could consider wearing latex gloves in the shower - not very glamorous I know but it prolongs the life of the nails, especially if you decide to use the adhesive pads as opposed to nail glue. 

When you want to remove the nails do not pull off as you may damage your natural nail permanently. Always follow the instructions on the pack or if in doubt soak the false nails in acetone and gently remove as they become loose.  

What ever style you choose to go with this Christmas I hope it turns out fabulous! If you have any tips or tricks for nails or any questions feel free to comment below.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Fake Tan

Christmas Time Beauty Tips

Christmas is only days away and I have neglected to pamper and prep myself for the big day until the last minute as usual!  If you are in the same position I will be covering a few beauty musts to consider to be Christmas ready over the following posts which may help. 

Tan or not to tan?

Using fake tan in winter can be tricky. Too much fake tan in a cold and winter climate can look unnatural and so in this season less is definitely more. For this reason you may decide to say no thanks to fake tan and go au naturel. With my pale Irish skin I feel more confident with a light healthy glow to perk up my complexion. If you decide on using tan this Christmas here are a new tips and tricks I have picked up along the way.

Before tanning 

Before tanning it is vital to prepare the skin. Similar to using primer before foundation- prepared skin will give fake tan a smooth and even base to build tan upon. Plan your tanning session in advance as it is better to start getting your skin ready a day or two prior to applying. 

First things first, exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! Using a combination of an exfoliating mitt and exfoliating scrub seems to work best for me. Give your skin a good rub in the shower to remove dead skin cells. Pay particular attention to the rougher areas of skin such as the elbows and knees. The reason you want to remove the dead skin is because these cells will colour darker than the rest of your skin when they react to the fake tan leaving your tan blotchy or patchy. 

After exfoliating your skin it is important to moisturize- preferably with a non-scented light moisturizer which will not interfere with the tan you will apply the next day.

N.B. If you are shaving your legs as part of this skin preparation it is even more important that you leave the skin at least a day to relax before tanning as otherwise you may end up with irritated skin or lots of little dots where the fake tan has got caught in open pores. 

(I have been in a rush before and literally applied tan straight after shaving and the results were awful - I ended up wearing tights that night instead of bare legs... oopps) 

Tanning Tips

Always use a tanning mitt when applying fake tan. Tanning mitts are useful for a number of reasons- they help to apply an even layer of tan on the skin, they protect your hands from fake tan staining and they are quick and easy to wash after use. 

If applying a gradual tan try and get one which has a dye in it. This helps as you can see where you have missed before it develops. Let your tan dry naturally for as long as possible. I would generally do my tan at night so after the tan dried I can put on loose clothing and hop in to bed and let it dry further during the night so that I don't smudge it by getting into an outfit too soon.  

When applying fake tan to your hands the last thing you want is to get a line down the side of your hand or to forget to tan between you fingers. Remember the hands are the most visible and so you don't want them to turn out a bit funky looking! The best tip is to use whatever is left on the mitt and rub it in to your hands- remember less is more. After you do this use some hand-cream and apply as normal making sure to get between your fingers and wrists. This will give you a light tan on your hands ans help to avoid any unsightly disasters! 
Looking after your tan

Once your tan is finished and dried it is important to look after it. Moisturize daily with a non-scented light moisturizer. 

Do not spray perfume on your neck/ chest- the alcohol in it will remove some of the tan and you will have a circle of pale skin or drip marks (unfortunately I am speaking for experience!). I tend to spray some perfume in a mist and walk through it so it doesn't damage the tan or another good trick to to spray some perfume in your hair and it will last the day.    

Removing fake tan

Sometimes fake tan can fade away gracefully but other times it can be stubborn and you are stuck with a few lingering patches here and there. Exfoliation tends to work best for getting rid of any patches of left over tan. 

Some useful tanning products I use 

  • Coco Brown One Hour Tan
  • Sally Hansen Instant Tan
  • Soltan Tanning Mitt

If you do decide to use fake tan this festive season I hope these tips and tricks help you! Happy tanning!