Friday, April 18, 2014

Nail Basics: The Foil Method


The foil method is something I would presume any nail polish wearer knows about, but I know that's not true - I only found out about it a couple of years ago, until then I used to think people were scraping the polish off with the foil...... I'm sure some people avoid wearing glitter polish because of the horror involved in removing it - embrace the foil method and you can be as sparkly as you want!

Firstly, here's what happens if you try to use a cotton pad dipped in nail polish remover to take glitter off.

Is there anything more annoying? To get it off with minimal effort, you could buy one of those nail polish remover pots from Bourjois - but I prefer this way because you don't have to buy anything extra and you're not left with a manky sponge after a few weeks.

You need some cotton pads cut in half, enough strips of tin foil to cover your nails (cut about the width of a credit card), and some nail polish remover. Acetone and Non-Acetone work equally well.

Soak your cotton pad in nail polish remover, then wrap around the nail.

Cover the nail and pad with tin foil, and scrunch up tight to seal. Repeat for all fingers.

Leave the tin foil on for a few minutes - usually 3 or 4 is enough. Then, give the tin foil a firm twist and remove from the nail. Most of the glitter should now be on the pad!

To get rid of the last bits of glitter, just fold one of the used pads over and wipe the nail. The glitter will come off instantly (99% of the time anyway).

See? No scrubbing, no picking, no scraping, no messing, no stained cuticles, and no bits of fluff all over the place. Just wash your hands thoroughly afterwards and use a cuticle oil or hand cream to make sure you don't dry your nails out.

You can also use this method with pure acetone to remove gel nails, just be really conscious of the fact that acetone is very drying to the skin so make sure not to forget the hand cream.

Anything else nail related you'd like to see?

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Mary Fitzgerald, How Do You Do?


As I've mentioned before, I had an old nostalgia blog for a while - it was overrun with spam in the end so I took it offline and saved the posts. I think the whole Throwback Thursday trend is a great way to spread a bit of happiness by reminiscing, so as well as doing bits of my teen diary, I'll be throwing the odd post from the old blog up here too.

Today - How Do You Do?

"Make and Do Mary" originally started out with a short slot on Saturday morning's "Anything Goes" with Aonghus McAnally (pronounced, incidentally, Mac-an-Alley. NOT, as someone in my house used to pronounce it, Mac-anal-y). Mary later got her own 15-minute slot on The Den, called "How Do You Do..?". Poor Mary would stand there in her bright, multicoloured jumpers, big dangly earrings, glueing and cutting with the patience of a saint, and show us kids how to make a loo roll into a dog. Or something similar.

Like the female version of Neil Buchanan, Mary would guide us through yards of newspaper, clay, pipe cleaners, washing up liquid bottles, and cardboard boxes. I never, EVER had any of the proper ingredients. We didn't use fairy liquid so the bottles were never the right shape, and I'd say I was well into my teens before I saw a pipe cleaner in real life. Ditto for Neil and the PVA glue - I genuinely didn't get my hands on that until I was about 16 (at which point I was too old to make things like spaghetti picture frames so instead spent many an hour spreading that all over my hands and picking it off again).

Mary would make wonderfully creative things, I especially remember her foray into miniature furniture made from matchboxes and/or clothes pegs and/or lolly sticks. I made the best dollhouse furniture ever! Thanks Mary! As an aside, I only recently discovered that you can now buy bags of lolly sticks in craft shop. Gone are the days when you'd have to save up all the sticks from your Fat Frogs or Sparkles, wash and dry them, and hide them in a safe place so that your Mam wouldn't throw them out.

Mary now owns a PR company, Mary Fitzgerald Public Relations, and you can buy a DVD of 12 episodes of "How Do You Do..?" from her site for €12 including delivery in Ireland. Check out Mary's website for more information and a link to the Paypal invoice.

Here are a couple of videos I found on youtube, all credit to the uploaders.

I have an awful craving for a big lump of mala. Márla? Mála? Plasticine.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WW-Friendly Breaded Mushrooms & Garlic Dip


I haven't done a recipe in so long. I've always enjoyed my food-related posts, so I thought I'd do the odd one again. I'm trying to stick to weightwatchers because I know it works for me, and I'm also trying to introduce the boys to lots of different types of food over the next few months. As a result, and a pledge to myself to not end up eating bloody lemon sole for dinner four nights out of the week, I wrote a list of all the foods I like and looked up healthier alternatives.

I love garlic mushrooms so much. Actually, I love anything covered in breadcrumbs or pastry. This recipe was a bit of mish-mash of actual recipes and substitutions based on what I had in the house - the main ingredient being mushrooms that were in danger of heading for the bin.

A portion of garlic mushrooms in a restaurant could be anything from 15pp upwards - a (tiny) 100g portion from the supermarket is 6pp before you cook them, and that's not including any dip. This plate of mushrooms plus the garlic dip worked out at just 6pp. If you're following the Simple Start plan, you can use calorie-controlled bread, substitute quark or natural yogurt for the cheese and omit the flour, just make sure the mushrooms are bone dry before rolling in egg.


  • One slice of bread, toasted: 2pp (you can knock another PP off here by using Hovis Nimble or other low calorie bread - this was all I had)
  • 10g plain flour: 1pp
  • 1 medium egg, beaten: 2pp
  • 25g Aldi lighter soft cheese: 1pp
  • 6 mushrooms
  • Chives
  • Spring Onions
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Put the toast in a food processor or blender to make breadcrumbs. Set aside in a bowl.
  • Wash your mushrooms, dip into the flour, then egg, then roll in breadcrumbs.
  • Fry using frylight until golden brown, or alternatively bake in a preheated oven at 200c for 10-15 mins. I used the Airfryer at 200c for 10 minutes.
  • To make the dip, crush one clove of garlic into the soft cheese. Chop the spring onion and chive and mix well. 

Some of my mushrooms kept losing their crumb, so I just gently packed it on using my fingers.

They were absolutely delicous and made for a gorgeous supper! They'd be great for lunch, as a starter, or even as part of dinner with a big salad or some veggies and rice.


Monday, April 14, 2014

W7 Brow Bar Review


Eyebrows. They're a big thing of late, aren't they? Liz Hurley was always held up as a prime example of how eyebrows could completely change your face (that and a helping hand or three) but the big brows have had a resurgence in popularity over the past few years since starlets like Cara Delevingne (seriously can't pronounce that) started rockin' them with pride.


I've always tried to look after my eyebrows - I do believe they finish off your face and they can make a world of difference. If I only have time to do makeup very quickly, foundation and brow powder are the two I'll do. While Cara could probably glue a horn to her forehead and look beautiful, eyebrows can be tricky to get right if you haven't got a makeup artist on hand. So, what can we do at home to make sure we end up with a Cara and not a Scouse Brow?

There are loads of kits and stencils on the market - this little one is by W7 and cost €4 in Cara Pharmacy (the IRONY).

At first glance, I thought this was a really great little kit - 4 numbered shadows, an angled brush, a brow comb, and three sets of stencils. And the lovely eye on the front with the lovely eyebrow! Aye. Look at the back of the packet - there are instructions on how to use each element.

I thought the pale colour was to give a lift under the eyebrow, but apparently it's just an option for those of you who have eyebrows the colour of caucasian flesh. Spencer Pratt, maybe? Also - look at the spelling. LOOK AT IT.

Fill wegiht? Eyebrgw Brush? Lord lantern jaysus lads. Whoever let that go to print needs a swift kick.

Anyway - I said I'd give it a whack despite the numbers on the shadow meaning absolutely nothing, and the pointless addition of a second mini slanted brush in the shadow box.

I tried the smallest eyebrow stencil first - here's my eyebrow sans any powder:

And here's what it looked like after using the smallest stencil.

I think you need to see them both together.

See how that nifty little bit of plastic right in the middle of the stencil helped give it a whole Shane Lynch circa 1998 look? The powder had so much fallout, I'd say it's mostly talc.

I didn't bother with the medium stencil afterwards, I decided to go straight for the big guns. At this point, my husband walked in and nearly wet himself.

Fabulous. I think I'll do them every day.

I could have gotten another Rita Ora polish with that €4. *sighs*

Swatched: Lac Attack Magical Mischief Collection! (Picture Heavy)

***Disclosure: Polish provided for review. Opinions & words 100% mine!***


Being an equally big fan of Harry Potter and nail polish, you can imagine my excitement when I got the chance to swatch some polishes from the Lac Attack follow up to the Magical Musings collection inspired by the world of Harry Potter.

"Magical Mischief" is a collection of 10 polishes, all based on some of the most interesting Harry Potter characters. The collection is a collaboration between Anastatsia from Lac Attack and Kirsten from Glitta Gloves. I have 8 of the 10 to show you today, so I hope you like them!

First up is this fabulous green, called Dobby the Free Elf.

Dobby the Free Elf is a forest green jelly with lots of different hex glitters and some bar glitters. I didn't have any major application problems but this did take a few coats to build up and the first one or two streaked a little, so I'll use it over a green base coat next time. The photos below show 3 coats, no topcoat.

Secondly, I have Mad-Eye, named after Mad-Eye Moody. This is possibly one of the nicest polishes I have used in the past year - it's just gorgeous. It was a real surprise and I adored it. I used two coats of Mad-Eye over two coats of Rita Ora for Rimmel - White Hot Love.

Next I have The Chosen One, named after Harry himself.

The Chosen One is a red and gold glitter. I used two coats over a base coat of Essence Red-y or Not, a really old Colour & Go polish that still stands the test of time.

Up next is Padfoot (Sirius Black's teenage nickname) - a really gorgeous unique brown holo. Brown is not normally a colour I gravitate towards, but a brown holo is definitely a thing of beauty. This took 2 coats and wasn't at all streaky like some holo polishes.

Next in line is Moony, a silver/blue/grey foil. The pictures show two coats, no topcoat.

Moony (named after Remus Lupin's school nickname) is a perfect mix of silver, grey and blue. It brings to mind not only the colours you would find in a Werewolf's silver fur, but also the moon itself. It has a foil finish but isn't gritty to touch.

This next one is the one I left for last - it's not my colour at all but I know orange is a great colour for this time of year so I said I'd give it the benefit of the doubt! This is Weasley is Our King.

This is a light burnt orange with shimmer. Thankfully, this wasn't one of those polishes that's shimmery in the bottle but flat on the nail - the shimmer really does transfer and although I think the colour does me no favours, it would be a great Halloween polish and represents its subject perfectly.

Next I have a glitter - but this is no ordinary glitter. This one's named after Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, and it GLOWS IN THE DARK.

A.P.W.B.D is loaded with glitter, including some really cool moon shaped ones. They were easy enough to fish out, but I seemed to catch more moons on the second go. I layered two coats over one coat of Pumpkin Polish purple.

This is the best glow-in-the-dark picture I could get, I played around with the settings on my camera and eventually caught the glow. It didn't last very long - maybe down to the fact that I used a topcoat to make it smoother on the nail - but I will try it again without a topcoat and report back!

The last one I have is Nymphadora, named after Nymphadora Tonks.

I tried Nymphadora over Jessica - Conch Shell, a bright pink.

Much like the character it's based on, this polish can look really sweet or really badass. Over pink, it's a pretty, soft topper. Over black - you can see for yourself.

Stunning, isn't it? I loved this collection. You all know how much of a sucker I am for polish and pop culture, so anything that combines the two is just MADE for me. I think Anastasia and Kirsten did an amazing job here, and the quality (as always) is fantastic. Thanks so much to Anastasia for giving me the chance to try them.

Please do a Buffy the Vampire Slayer collection next!