Sunday, 23 December 2012

D.I.Y. Manicure

Since getting a professional manicure can be quite expensive I thought that it would be appropriate to do a Do It Yourself Manicure guide. Personally I think that it is much more valuable investing in a manicure kit, some nail varnish and the other essentials* as you can change your style more frequently and for a fraction of the price of going to a salon.
So, let the sprucing and painting commence...
*The essentials (shown above) are:
Nail File
Cuticle Tool
Nail Clippers
Nail Scrubber
(all mentioned above and other tools not shown are from Tesco for £3 or so)
Chanel (Holiday) Nail Varnish
Sally Hansen
Nail Varnish Remover
Cotton Pads
Firstly I scrubbed my nails so that they were clean before I started shaping and polishing them. This is important to do even if you are going to cut your nails as they are prepped for the following stages. Maybe because I'm a tad OCD I enjoy scrupulously cleaning my nails until they are clear.
Next I cut my nails because I can't stand having long nails, they always seem to break or get in the way.
I then pushed my cuticles back so that the nail varnish would look more smooth. For some people this is a big no no, as the sensation of pushing back your cuticles can apparently give you the creeps.
I then buffed my nails to get rid of any bumps and cracks along the edges of my nails. This is a really great technique to make your nails look as if they've been professionally manicured at the salon.
 I then filed my nails down to give them a nice curve and get rid of any blunt nail clipper cut lines. Keep focused on the shape you want to achieve as you don't want to file one nail too short!!!
This step is very important when using nail varnish as it prevents the nail from becoming stained by the colour of your varnish and smooths over any remaining bumps.
 This is usually where I get my sweat on, I find this quite tricky to do as you want your nails to look flawless, especially when I am using Chanel nail varnish!
So how to do this, the key to the trick is to have a steady hand, make sure there is not too much/too little varnish on the bristles and slowing paint making sure with each nail that you cover all the required areas.
Again, using the Sally Hansen Double Duty, brush a layer of this over each of the dried nails. This will mean that you will have a flawless finish for longer.
AND don't forget, let the varnish dry completely otherwise you may have to redo some nails.
 Although this takes quite a while to do, it is a must around the holiday season when the purse/bank account is looking like it's seen better days. Don't let your nails to look the same!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Kitchen Cabinet Organisation

I have recently been in an OCD mood, if you can have mood inklings of OCD. Yet this cabinet reorganisation was desperately needed. So I thought before all of the frantic Christmas cooking begins, why not sort out the cupboard space and reorganise the layout of where things go.
I only reorganised the cabinets which had the ingredients in them and the cups (as some were getting a bit worse for wear). And as a result of my scrubbing, polishing and reorganising, I felt a lot more prepared for cooking and Christmas in general.
Before                                                                                                   After
I put all of the baking accessories on a shelf grouped together so I will be able to know whether I have a certain decoration or not when I come to bake.
All of the spices are grouped together and in alphabetical order, starting from the far left at the front and zigzagging backwards until I get to Paprika. This is a very useful method as I will know exactly where a certain spice is which will save me preparation time when I come to cook.
And here is the cabinet which contains all of my cooking accessories, spices and decorations. With it all being in one cabinet really keeps me organised when I come to find something or put something away.
I put all of the miscellaneous items into one cabinet but subcategorised them so that there is still coherence with the layout of my method.
I used Dettol (Anti-Bacterial Spray) and a wet cloth to scrub away at the stains and dirt. I then used a piece of dry kitchen roll to dry the shelves so that the items within the cupboard would not mould or go damp.
Above in this cabinet are all of my flours, sugars, mixes and matzo meal. I have placed all of the items which I use most regularly at the front to again, save on the cooking time preparation.
All of the unusual mismatching cups are reorganised in the small space which I have for them along with the small plates, egg cups and bowls.
I hope that you have found this useful and feel compelled to reorganise your kitchen cupboards!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Review: Rihanna - Unapologetic

I really do love how Rihanna's music style and her own personal style changes from year to year with the new releases of albums. Her music career has evolved drastically, and is forever changing. Once the Good Girl Gone Bad album came out, there was no u-turning; since then she has had an image which is empowering and unique. Not only is she evolving constantly in her music and personal style, she is a great performer and really is Unapologetic.
I personally think that with any CD you have to listen to it a good few times in order to start to like the song as the first time of hearing her songs will not sound as good as when you've given it a couple more plays. However saying that, maybe it's just personal preference, I did love Diamonds and Nobody's Business.
Nobody's Business is very nostalgic of a Michael Jackson song, the rhythm and style of singing is not that dissimilar to the voice of MJ himself. I also love the fact that she has sung it with Chris Brown, as there has been a lot of controversy and rumours surrounding them previous to the release of Unapologetic that it is very fitting that their romance is Nobody's Business.
Diamonds is another great song as when I listen to it it sparks emotions and memories of me and my boyfriend, B. I think that Diamonds is a classic and is a must buy, as well as the album!
The rest of Unapologetic is extremely good, it is very hip hop but with a twist. This is as Rihanna is singing it, the songs seems more feminine yet they are very masculine, such as Pour It Up and Numb. Yet there are songs on Unapologetic which are not so hip hop or grungy; such as What Now, Stay, Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary and Get It Over With.
Unapologetic is a great Christmas gift or just a must buy if you are a Rihanna fan or if you like that genre of music.