Wednesday, 16 June 2010

A "How to" Post

Morning bloggies

hope every one's weeks going well. Mine is going great, i'm home, back into my routine, and my weeks ticking along nicely, i'm looking forward to having a wknd at home this wknd, things are so busy just now (as usual) so a wknd chilling at home will be great! then its kick off again, the following wknd we're in doncaster, the wknd after that i get my hair done in glasgow on the saturday, stay over with my bridesmaid, have my wedding hair trial, then have my osteopath specialist appointment on the sunday for my claim for the accident last year! then the wknd after that is my sisters wedding! MANICNESS! then i'm going to chill out for the rest of July - before the big count down kicks off for my wedding! Phew i'm tired just thinking about all of that!

anywho, lets take each day as it comes, thats the best way isnt it! today is weigh in day - as usual i'm apprehensive, it took me a long time to settle into SW, every week i'd be petrified that i'd put on or stayed the same till eventually i could more or less guess which way the scales were gonna go, well now i'm in the new territory of calorie counting i'm back to being apprehensive every wednesday! i hope it goes well, its been a fairly good wk, but my hen night antics from last week plus the "not being able to count this wknd just gone so could have gone over" issue could well be resulting in a gain! oh well we'll see at 5pm wont we!

today is also run day, i'll be repeating session 2 of week 6 C25K, seens how it was such a flop at the wknd, hopefully i'll do better tonight.

tomorrow i have a marketing exam - wish me luck, its 9am - glad i can get it out the way first thing - so it will be study mania tonight in casa del Neen!

right then thats the new out the way - lets have a little "How to" post shall we, this was inspired by Laura over at asking in her most recent post about whether you wear colour polish on your hands or feet or both and talking about how colours chips and cracks so quickly on hands.

As i'm a qualified nail technician i thought i might do a little "How to" post on nail care. A little background first up - I've always done a similar day job to what i do now - which is PA for 2 Directors, but in my spare time i've had many second jobs, one of which being a mobile nail technician, specialising in Gel Nail extensions, manicures and pedicures, i did this for a number of years, along with or instead of other things. i have given up all my "secondary" jobs now as Buddy and I earn enough these days to support ourselves in the way we would like and pay for the wedding, and I am also studying for an HND in Business Management so time is now precious.

i should say before we kick off, that i'm not receiving any recognition, financial or otherwise for this post - this is not definitive advice, this is my own personal advice and opinions from my training and experience. I cant make any guaruntees or promises, just passing on what i know, the rest is up to you.

anywho - i loved doing manicures the most, especially my regular clients as thier nails would be in tip top shape from the regular care. a good manicure however is nothing that you cant do at home, theres no reason your nails cant be long, strong and pretty with just a little outlay for some good quality products and a little time.

first up its all about the quality of your products, this is a must, i personally like Jessica Nail Products, and Boots Sanctuary, with a few other things thrown in.

for a full intensive manicure when you have a little more time, start by removing any nail polish you have on, give you nails a file to shape them to your liking, pushing your cuticles back gently with an orange stick (see pic further down), finish by giving them a buff - i like body shop nail files and buffers.

now rub some bio oil (baby oil would do) into your hand, nails and cuticles, spend a little time really working this in. Follow by massaging an exfoliator in, on top of the bio oil, i like boots sanctuary spa ultra refining hand polish (any exfoliator will do), now wash your hands well, paying particular attention to your nails.

Dry your hands well, and check the edges of your nails that they are smooth, gently tidy with a nail file if neccesary, check your cuticles, that none of them need a final push back (dont push too far or hard or you can damage them).

now for the polish - in my opinion good quality polish and treatments are essential, i'd rather have just a few colours of good quality top end colours than a tonne of cheaper, budget colours (but thats just my opinion). the colour is deeper, and it lasts longer with the good quality ones, my personal favourite for colours and treatments is Jessica, i dont think you can beat it, they can be pricey, the colours are around £8 if i remember correctly and the treatments are around £10, but they last so long and look so good i think its worth it.

the most essential part is the treatements, start with a good base coat, i use Jessica Reward. its a must to have a good base coat because one, it protects your nails from getting discoloured from the colour polish and two it provides a good base for the colour to stick too - resulting in longer lasting colour. if you use a treatment base coat, one with protective, or enhancing properties this is better as its also providing care as well as protection.

let the base coat dry well, you must let every coat of polish dry well, the better its dried the longer lasting it will be. follow with 2 coats of your colour of choice, again i only use Jessica colours, but you can use whatever takes your fancy, i usually match my toes to my fingers. remember to let each coat dry well.
these are my favourite colours below.

i use China Glaze French Manicure, if your interested in a "How to" french manicure post, let me know and i'll pull one together for you.

a couple of my extra products are the orange sticks below (for gently pushing back the cuticle) and this avon nail corrector pen, its great if you touch your finger with the colour but otherwise its perfectly done, you can remove the mistake without taking off the whole nail colour.

finish with a good quality top coat, top coats are there to seal in the colour, they are stronger and harder wearing than colours, paint right to the end with top coat, slight going over onto the nails free edge, this will help the colour stop chipping, remember to wait till the colours bone dry to do the top coat.
once the top coat is dry, then use a nail oil, i like Jessica Phenomonoil - this little baby is the magic ingredient for long, strong nails - you cant do it without an oil in my opinion, one drop on each nail gently massaged in every night, will result in the best nails you've ever had. once you've massaged it in to all your nails, finish with a hand cream, again i use Boots Sanctuary Spa Hand Cream - any hand cream will do.
thats you done, to keep your manicure in top shape, use nail oil and hand cream every night, and apply another coat of top coat every other day. try and get into the habbit of using your finger pads instead of tips to do things, this is a lot kinder to the nails and puts less pressure on them.
i always carry a small hand cream, nail balm - I like Body Shop Almond oil nail and cuticle treatment - and nail file in my had bag, the cream for use after i wash my hands and the nail balm for use maybe once a day when i find myself with a minute, say, on a phone call at work etc. if you get any snags or breakages, tend to them with the nail file immediately so save them breaking further or being tempted to bite it off!!!

I hope you enjoyed my mini manicure post - any questions please ask!
Now onto food - i tried making nut butter last night for fathers day - hmmmm it kinda didnt go to plan, i put all the nuts in the food processor as instructed on the recipe

and let it wizz, despite it heating up and making scary noises (i did fear for the life of my not so cheap Kenwood food processor on more than one occassion!) i kept it going..................................and going.............................and going..........................and going.

it finally turned gooey but wouldnt cream up any further, i added a little agave, that didnt help, i added a little golden syrup, that didnt help, I sent buddy to the shop for maple syrup - as per the recipe as an optional extra, they didnt have any.
finally i succumbed and went scavenging for maple syrup from my mum, i added this and it did the trick it helped the nuts release thier oil, but it still wasnt right, i'd been wizzing this bad boy, on and off for about 2 hours!!
eventually i added a spooful of nutella in the hope that would help bind it together!
nothing worked! so off to bed i went.
this morning i let it wizz again, and finally it combined, but its now more like nut chewing gum than nut butter, its not got that creamy consistency it should have!! i dont know what to do with it! you couldnt spread it, but it seems like a shame to throw it away, these ingredients arent cheap and it sure tastes nice. i had a spoonful on my muesli this morning, i liked it but i certainly cant give it to my dad!!
so now i'm lost as to what to get my dad for fathers day, i had my heart set on this and i'm frustrated at my first attempt at nut butter! have you made nut butter? can you help??

so onto more successful fare! INSANE SALAD - dinner was pretty special last night! i had an INSANE salad - i wasnt planning on having salad but i had too many leaves and radishes from my dads garden so i just popped some in a bowl, this was ON FIRE the leaves in this mix are soooo hot and the radishes are pretty hot too, i LOVED IT! i had it with a stir fry with veg and chicken, soy sauce and a bit of blue dragon sweet chilli dipping sauce thrown over!! hmmmmm the whole meal rocked my world!!

this morning i awoke to the usual berroca

followed by a green monster - i'm feeling like i'm starting my days off so well just now a real health injection with both these drinks!

and eventually breakfast was muesli, milk, white grape juice, greek yog, strawbs and a lil spoonful of the failure nut butter.

thats all for today folks! i'm off to clean up this flat and drag myself to work for a few hours, before i get weighed, have a run and study! x


  1. What a brilliant post! I'm going to do that home manicure tonight, I have almost all of the stuff I need, thank you loads!

    You could try adding a little sunflower or vegetable oil to the nut butter and see if that softens it a bit? Your stir fry and salad looks very good. I've never tried radishes and must give them ago! I also want a nice big chunky straw like yours for my green monsters x

  2. oh glad you found it helpful!

    good idea about the oil to try soften the butter a bit, i'll give it a bash tonyt, i was just going to resign it to the bin but i'll give it a last ditch attempt!

    radishes are lush - if you like rocket - you'll like radishes, very similar taste, and like rocket some are hotter than others.

    i love my chunky straw, i want a glass one, but man those babies are expensive i think buddy would have a fit! x

  3. I always use a base coat, 2 coats of colour and a top coat but I don't use the oil or exfoliator or anything! I am really lazy when it comes to beauty stuff, I never got into the whole cleanse, tone and moisturise thing though I do moisturise :) People (other swimmers) are just lucky I shave my legs to be honest!
    Enjoy your run tonight, and good luck with the scales!

  4. Well timed post on the manicure. I've got to attempt mine for the wedding soon. I might go check out a nail oil and hand cream to use for 3 weeks in preparation. I noticed you mentioned a body shop one. Will that help with the skin around your nails?? Mine tends to look a little rough and in need of some smoothing...

  5. I have those same straws :) Mr H got them for me after seeing how many regular straws I was getting through. What on earth are glass straws? are they actually made of glass? I like to chew my straws... so might not be the best thing for me to get!

    Great post on the manicures, I just thought I'd add that I'm a big fan of Crabtree & Evelyn 60 second fix for hands. The exfoliator is to die for and the handcream is sooo lush.

  6. I need manicure help Neenie. You would probably slap me if you saw the state of my hands! As i'v only just started the calcium / protein thang, they are only just getting strong. The layers at the ends of nails (tip) are mostly layered and peeling, and my cuticles are all gross. I'm going to try your little regime. LIke a poster above, I get sooo loazy with my hands!!

  7. glad my post helped you girls! hopefully there will be lots of pretty nails around soon! heh heh!

    Gayle - the body shop cuticle balm or the jessica nail oil, or any product similar really, balm or oil ( i like balm for on the go and oil for the evenings) will help 100% with your cuticles and the surrounding skin, eliminating those sore skin tags!!

    Nic - glass straws are just that made of glass, all rounded on the edges, pretty heavy duty i think and nice and chunky like our plastic ones. thanks for the tip on the Crabtree & Evelyn products, i'll give them a go!

    LME - *shaking my head*! get taking better care of those nails!