Saturday, 28 August 2010

Shop shop shopppinnggg!!!

I thought I would make a list of clothes website that some people might not know about. All are amazing prices! When online shopping I always go to Topshop or New Look. These little beauties are often forgotten about: (if you join this please ask me for my email address! We both get £5!!)

Friday, 27 August 2010

How to look good in photos...

Found this article via yahoo. Thought it had some good tips so I'm re-posting:

How to look good in photos

A photograph won't steal your soul, but a bad one can certainly kill your ego. Especially once it's tagged, posted online and emailed round the office before you can say “cheese”.

Unflattering photos are no trivial matter in the digital age. You use the internet to organise your social life, stay in touch, meet new people and even look for love, so your pixellated portrait holds a lot of power. Here are our tips for looking picture perfect.

1. Stand up straight

When someone whips out a camera and yells “smile,” you'll feel immediately self-conscious and start exhibiting defensive body language such as slouching and shrinking. Which is a shame, because that's exactly the kind of thing that makes you look bad in photos.

If you want more flattering pics, take control of your posture. Ditch the slouch and stand tall. Pulling your shoulders back doesn't just make you look sleeker and slimmer, it also makes you feel more confident. But do remember that this is a photo, not a military exercise. Don't stand so tall that you can't breathe.

2. Stop gurning

Self-consciousness also has an unflattering effect on your face, as you'll know from those pics where you look like a contorted bulldog. It's a vicious circle: you gurn when a camera appears because you hate photos of yourself, and you hate photos of yourself because you gurn when a camera appears.

Break the cycle by getting a grip on your gurn. When you see a camera pointing your way, close your eyes. Breathe. Relax your facial muscles. Open your eyes in time for the click, and you will look fresh, confident and at ease. (Worst case scenario, you will have your eyes shut, but at least you won't be gurning.)

3. Ask for a countdown

Timing is all. Half a second can make all the difference between a winning smile and a total face fail, so make sure you know when the click is coming. Don't be afraid to ask the snapper for a “3, 2, 1” when they're taking the photo. If you're nervous, keep your eyes closed and your mouth relaxed until after the snapper says “2,” then break out the smile and open your eyes. You'll look a lot more relaxed than you feel.

4. Know your best face

Everyone has a best side and a best smile. Don't think you do? Then you haven't paid enough attention to old photos of yourself. Go and look through some right now. Why are the bad ones so bad, and why are the good ones not so bad? Don't get fixated on things you can't change (eg “the good ones were taken before 1988”). Instead, look for angles and expressions that flatter you.

Warning: the “best side forward” habit can be hard to break. Mariah Carey allegedly insists on being photographed only from the right, while Barbra Streisand reportedly likes it from the left, as did 1930s Hollywood actress Claudette Colbert, who had entire sets rebuilt to flatter her. Claudette passed away in 1996, a year before the cameraphone was born. Probably just as well.

5. Put away your double chin

Even the skinniest necks can grow a little flesh pillow when there's a camera in the room, so banish the wobble with this old modelling trick: touch the roof of your mouth with your tongue when you smile. Practice in front of the mirror a few times to make sure that you're getting the intended effect (taught chin, long neck, winning smile) rather than the unintended effect (lunatic with fat tongue).

6. Do the red carpet pose

Here's another trick from women* who get paid to be photogenic. When a camera threatens to photograph your entire body, don't face it head-on. The resulting photo will make you look broader than you are. It'll be like Gok Wan in reverse.

Avoid this by standing side-on and turning your upper body towards the camera. This posture slims your body and emphasises your waist. True devotees of the pose tend to stick one leg out the front and put their hand on their hip – voila, thinner-looking pins and an elongated upper arm. For more details, see Victoria Beckham.(* Men who try this pose will just look like they're running away. Fellas should face the camera squarely and avoid making silly hand gestures.)

7. Have a laugh

Fake smiles rarely look real and are almost never flattering, but laughs are much easier to manipulate. This is partly because a laugh is a great tension-reliever, and a forced laugh often leads to a real one. Occasionally ridiculous; always effective.

8. Smile with your eyes

If fake laughs and toothy smiles are too cheesy for you (or you just don't like your teeth), don't worry: say it with your eyes instead. Body language can be extremely powerful in photos, and your eyes are the strongest weapon in your body language armoury. Smiling eyes beguile people for all the right reasons.

9. Beware glinty glasses

In person, your specs make you look gorgeous and smart. In a flash photo, your specs make you look like you're wearing mirror shades. Unless this is the look you were going for, we'd recommend removing the bins and showing off your eyes.

10. Direct light bad, indirect light good

Specs wearers and vampires aren't the only ones who should be wary of light shining right at their faces. A faceful of bright sunshine makes you squint, frown, sneer and screw up your features in a kind of double-chinned grimace. So remember, kids: don't look into the sun, especially if someone's got a camera.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Please please - ban "Nail Bars"

So, I've finished my week at my nail course. I want to write this entry to try and get as many people as possible to realise this horrible truth.

Do not EVER EVER go to one of those chinese nail bars. Why? Because they use a product that is illegal in every other decent country. Bar the UK.

MMA (Methyl MethAcrylate) is a monomer used in some nail enhancement applications that has stirred up tons of controversy over the past few years in the US and is quickly becoming a problem in International markets.

As early as the 1970’s the FDA expressed that MMA monomer is “a poisonous and deleterious substance and should not be used in liquid acrylic monomer for nail enhancement products” as it is an extremely high sensitizer and likely allergen that can cause severe allergic reactions through minor skin exposure. The FDA still holds strong on its stance for the safety of this product.

Aside from the “Use it and you will spontaneously combust” warning from the FDA, there are even more grave reasons for avoiding MMA applications.
MMA is extremely hard and as such having MMA on your nails can cause very serious problems. When enough force is applied to an MMA enhancement to break it, the result is usually enough force to tear the natural nail plate apart. This can lead to permanent nail plate damage if the tearing is located around or near the matrix or lunula. It can also result in an increased risk of serious infections due to the tearing and exposure of the nail bed or surrounding tissue.

Due to the severe hardness of MMA, the only way to file is through excessive drilling. Most techs irresponsible enough to use MMA are far too irresponsible to use an electric file. Techs that use MMA could care less about the health of the natural nail plate and as a consequence, the client suffers. Much of the damage associated through the use of MMA comes from severe damage attempting to apply and maintain the indestructible enhancements with a drill. The extra amount of drilling required to maintain these enhancements leads to situations where technicians burn the nail bed, over-thin the plate, and even drill through the natural nail plate.

MMA is so dense, that it is even more difficult to soak off than gel. Soaking off is possible (as with gel) but is very unrealistic as the time it takes for the solvent to penetrate is substantially longer than with a L&P or wrap system.
The result is usually seen in even more nail plate damage as the client or technician becomes bored of waiting and picks, nips, or rips the product off instead.

“But it just sticks so good and all”… Um… right…

MMA Does not bond very well to the natural nail plate. The only way it can adhere to the nail is through mechanical adhesion, which requires massive amounts of damage to the natural nail plate (through severe ‘etching’). The upper most layers of the plate have to be removed to expose the looser knit center of the plate. This gives the MMA something ‘substantial’ to bond to. If the nail separates or gets broken, this ‘etching’ process is usually repeated. Before long, the natural nail plates become thin sheets of keratin that tear easily as well as offer no protection from MMA seeping through to the nail bed.
MMA has the lowest level of attraction to keratin than any product used to enhance natural nails.


MMA is sold through back doors and out of vans, just as one would buy stolen goods or drugs. The suppliers will usually get hold of massive quantities from dental suppliers to decant and re-distribute to known customers. Since MMA is completely undeveloped for the nail industry, and has no legal distribution, manufacturing, or education channels, it is usually at a much lower cost (just like stolen stereos are much cheaper than the legit kind).
No professional supplier sells MMA as they couldn’t afford the liability involved; just as no professional insured salon would use MMA. Insurers should be made aware of the immense liability these salons carry. This liability could cause the rest of the professional industries premiums to increase.

Around about 1974 the FDA placed MMA on its poisonous and deleterious list of substances and warned professional nail manufacturers against the use of the substance. Sale of monomers containing MMA would mean that the manufacturer could be held liable for the damage caused from the use of the product and the FDA would enforce regulation. No nail manufacturer has used MMA in any monomer formulations since as the field data and FDA stance is pretty self explanatory.

As the FDA stance was directed at manufacturers, not at technicians, MMA has been able to be used in the USA for many years, as it wasn’t exactly illegal … just warned against.

In the past several years, many states in the USA have been explicitly prohibiting the use of MMA monomers for use in nail applications at the salon level. This is a trend that should see all states explicitly prohibiting the monomer.

Nail technicians in the states now run the risk of loosing their license or being sued by customers for the use of this substance. Being proactive could save the industry millions as well as the priceless loss of consumer confidence.
NSS (non standard salons) have done extensive damage to consumer confidence and the industry as a whole through the irresponsible and unprofessional use of MMA.

So what’s the alternative?

EMA. The CIR approved EMA is strong, but has a designed limitation on strength. When enough force is applied to break an EMA enhancement, the result is usually little or no damage to the natural nail plate (dependant on how thick the enhancement is).
EMA has about 25 years of research and development behind it for the nail industry and therefore offers the safest, most advanced option over MMA.
And as far as the cost, MMA applications are actually only marginal over EMA applications.


Yup. So does damn near every powder on the market. So does countless other items that you use every day. PMMA stands for poly-methyl methacrylate. In plain old English, cured MMA. In this context, PMMA lends some of its strength to PEMA and poses none of the risks mentioned above.

Warning signs of MMA use:

* MMA has an unusually strong or strange odour, which doesn't smell like other acrylic liquids. Odour is present during application and when filing cured product (for fill-ins or repairs).
* Enhancements are extremely hard and very difficult to file even with coarse abrasives.
* Enhancements will not soak off in solvents designed to remove acrylics.
* Enhancements are cloudy or milky colour when cured.

Additional warning signs though less definitive:

* Low price of fills and full sets (MMA cost 1/3 of EMA)
* Dust or ventilation masks used (many technicians use dust masks today who do not use MMA)
* Unlabeled containers - technician will not show or tell the client what brand of product is being used

MMA. Just say no. Hell, smoke crack before you use MMA. Please double check what your technician is using. If they don't know, RUN.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Skulls and McQueen

My bargain of the week...

Not a real Alexander Mcqueen scarf, unfortunatley for me I can't afford £130+ on a scarf! However, I have found this little beauty on ebay.
This is the real scarf is the picture above. The nice little copy of it I found only costs £3.27!! Ok, it's from Hong Kong, so it may take a week or two to reach you. But for a scarf under a fiver who's complaining? I have obtained one of these lovely scarfs through a swap on Big Wardrobe, it's obviously not silk like the A.McQueen, but it is the softest cotton. Great as a summer scarf, draped around your neck casually, and then in the winter all bundled up :)

Ebay link here:

(seller: e.topsell)