Friday, 2 June 2017

Starting My Career As A Nail Technician


Before becoming a Mum, I worked in a supermarket whilst I was studying English & History at Teesside University. I graduated from uni in 2011, got married and had baby George a year later, meaning any career options were put on hold. Don't get me wrong, I've loved the past 5 years as a stay at-home Mum. The freedom, the clean house, the blogging, the fun days in the sun with the boys, the shopping trips with my Mam and friends, the endless cups of tea and cake, etc, but I still felt as though there was something missing. I don't want to sound selfish as I know a lot of people would kill to be in my position and be able to stay at home with the little ones. It's been amazing, but I also wanted to put into our marriage and family financially and not feel as though I was completely relying on my husband. He's been great and has never made me feel this way, but it's only natural to want to do something for yourself. Trust me when I say it hasn't all been fun and games as it truly is hard work being at home with little ones all day long. Some days I felt like a glorified maid and felt like I was slowly losing part of myself. With my youngest son, Freddie, turning 2 earlier this year, I decided it was about time to start thinking about work and what I could do that would fit in around busy family life.

Having always had a passion for nail art, I often dreamt about doing it as a career. When gel polish was launched I often treated myself to a gel manicure and soon became hooked. I used to spend hours trawling Instagram and YouTube for nail art and gel polish but I wanted to learn more. I began thinking about how working for myself would be ideal. Working around school and nursery runs, George's appointments etc (George has recently been diagnosed with ASD). The only thing that was putting me off was finance. I knew it would cost a fair bit to train and set up at home and I was constantly doubting that I could do it.  I talked to family and friends and they all pushed me to just go for it. In January this year I bit the bullet (with a lot of support from Martin) and booked my courses. 

I decided that if I was gonna do this, I wanted to do it properly. So I booked my courses through Nail Harmony (the makers of Gelish, Prohesion etc). They have educators all across the country and mine was based in Durham, which is just a 30 minute drive from home. Perfect. In February I nervously set away for my Manicure & Pedicure course, followed by my Gelish translation course a week later. I absolutely LOVED the courses. My educator was fantastic, I learnt so much and met some lovely girls who I now consider friends. I cannot get over the support and friendliness of everyone in the community groups on Facebook. Nail Harmony are a fantastic company and the support has been truly amazing. I instantly felt part of something and couldn't wait to get started. I had my kit, but needed to sort out a space to set up.

We have a small office space behind our living room which was basically full of toys and general junk and I knew would be perfect so I claimed it as my own. It has doors leading out into the garden, so I'd be able to bring clients round the back way, keeping it a little bit separate from the rest of the house. I painted the room, got new flooring and new French doors fitted and a few weeks later I was ready to furnish it.

A trip to IKEA was needed. I made my list, dragged my Mam along and off we went to IKEA Gateshead. We filled the car up to it's maximum potential, took it home and I then proceeded to stare with Bambi eyes at Martin (and my brother) until they got the screwdrivers out and built those flat packs. Cheers lads.



I was now ready to go. I had my beautiful logo designed by a lovely girl called Rachel on Etsy (link). I bought my insurance, set up my Instagram & Facebook pages, got some flyers made and began advertising. I got such a fabulous response from friends and family and I'm now even getting strangers booking. Gotta love the power of social media.



I couldn't be happier with my little salon space and I'm so glad I decided to do it. It's honestly the ideal job to fit in with busy family lifestyle. It's still early days for me but I'm starting to build up a loyal client base and I couldn't be happier. Turning 30 in August won't feel so bad now I feel like I have the perfect home and work life balance.



I'm booked onto my next course in the amazing new Polygel this Sunday 4th June, so there's exciting things to come for me and my little business.

I'll say to anyone who's considering joining the nail industry - DO IT! And don't listen to those saying 'there's far too many nail techs out there'. There's always gonna be a demand for pretty nails!

I'd love it if you could pop over to my Instagram and Facebook pages and give them a little like....

Instagram - instagram.com/beauty.bykt
Facebook - facebook.com/beautybykt87

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

May Favourites



Eeeee well it's June tomorrow. How did that happen? Summer is well and truly upon us now isn't it?! I know I haven't blogged properly in a while, but I've been loving the same products on a daily basis for a good couple of months now.





I absolutely fell in love with the L'Oreal Pure Clay Glow Scrub back in February and I've literally used it every day since. It's still going strong too so great value for money - #bonus. It's marketed as a foam wash, which I can get on board with as it's gentle enough for every day use. It's so light and creamy but with exfoliating beads that actually do something without feeling too harsh on my sensitive skin. This is the first face wash I've used which doesn't make my skin feel tight and uncomfortable after use. It's really changed my skin for the better and I will certainly repurchase.

A brand I've only recently discovered since it blew up on my twitter and bloglovin' feeds is Deciem's The Ordinary Skincare. If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know I'm a massive fan of facial oils. I absolutely cannot do without one in my skincare regime. I've tried many oils, but The Ordinary Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil is definitely one of the best ones I've tried so far, not to mention one of the cheapest. I've been applying it once (heck, sometimes twice) a day and have noticed a visible improvement in my skin. It absorbs really quickly and doesn't leave a greasy film behind like some oils can.

I'm not usually one for thicker, matte bases, but I decided to give the L'Oreal Infallible Total Cover Foundation a try and ohhhh man. I was blown away. I've read mixed reviews on this as it does definitely depend on skin type, but I really love the finish it gives. It's full coverage without looking too flat, lasts really well and still leaves behind a healthy glow.

One I've been meaning to try for the longest time is the Maybelline Instant Anti-Age Eraser Eye Concealer*. I was very kindly sent this one from the Limited Edition Pixie Collection available in Superdrug. Why haven't I tried this sooner? It's amazing! It covers any dark circles, brightens and blends like an absolute dream! I even worn this without foundation one day in areas where I felt I needed it and it really held it's own. Will certainly repurchase this!

Who doesn't love a Benefit boxed blush? They're just my favourite. Their newest release is the GALifornia Blush. It doesn't disappoint. It's the most beautiful coral pink glow that I'm sure will suit most skintones and is perfect for this time of year. Oh and on a sidenote, it's the nicest packaging I've seen in a long time.

What have you been loving recently?

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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Tropic Skincare | An Introduction


Well hellooo! I know, it's been a while. I solemnly swear to get back into blogging and social media.  Although I do feel like I've said this before. Anyway, I was lucky enough to be able to trial some gorgeous new skincare from a brand relatively new to me, thanks to a friend who is a brand ambassador, so I thought I'd write a post on them. I mean, how cute is the 'borrow box?'.

Tropic Skincare (or Tropic, as it's better known) is a vegan-based beauty brand founded by one of the contestants of The Apprentice 2010; Susan Ma. Susan was in fact the only ever non-winner of the show who managed to get 50/50 investment from Sir Alan Sugar. Founded in 2007, it's currently the fastest growing beauty brand in the UK. I've been trialling a selection of skincare and I've been really impressed.



Now I love a good serum. Anything that gives my skin a good boost I'll take it in a heartbeat. This serum is full of the good stuff. Chlorophyll, kale and maca root extracts deliver essential vitamins to the deeper layers of the skin. It's oil based, which is great for my dry skin. It's pricey though, at £42 a pop.

Some other products that have impressed me in the range are:

Tropic Skincare Good Skin Day Resurfacing Serum. £42 - this left my skin looking and feeling so much brighter and smoother the next morning.

Tropic Skincare Deep Hydration Cooling Soothing Mask. £16 - I chose to use this as an overnight mask (a thin layer), and washed it off the next day. My skin felt softer and smoother.

Tropic sell such a wide range of products, including foot scrubs, body scrubs, shower gels, gift sets, false tan and even makeup!

Thanks so much to Andrea from @thelittlenailhouse for letting me take The Borrow Box home for the weekend. I've really enjoyed trying these new products.


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Sunday, 12 March 2017

Latest in Beauty | Beauty & The Beast


Well hellloooo. I'm back after a long, unplanned blogging break. I didn't blog throughout the whole of February, even though I had posts planned. Life just took over and I let everything get on top of me. I've been training with Nail Harmony UK to become a Nail Technician so I've been trying to focus on that, aswell as decorating a little salon room at home, looking after the little angels and trying to cope with a bloomin' vile stomach bug that lasted almost a week! Argh! Anyway, I'm back with this gorgeous beauty box from Latest in Beauty.

To celebrate the release of Disney's live action Beauty & The Beast on 17th March, Latest in Beauty have curated 2 limited edition beauty boxes; one for him, and one for her. I obviously went for the one for her, as it was a gift from me to me.


The box itself contains 7 products inspired by the film, so think French brands, red roses and delicate skincare.


GATINEAU RADIANCE ENHANCING GOMMAGE
CAUDALIE VINOSOURCE MOISTURIZING SORBET
BURT'S BEES LIPSTICK IN BLUSH BASIN
L'OCCITANE ROSES ET REINES HAND & NAIL CREAM
SOIGNÉ BETTERAVES ROUGES NAIL POLISH
LATEST IN BEAUTY GOLD COMPACT MIRROR
ORIBE GOLD LUST DRY SHAMPOO


The boxes retail at just £20, which I think is an absolute steal. I know the box will take pride of place on my shelves as it looks like a giant book with the design running round onto the spine. LOVE.

Beauty & The Beast was always my absolute favourite Disney film and I cannot WAIT to see the live action remake in a week's time!

Get yours HERE before they sell out.

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Sunday, 29 January 2017

MAC Rebel Lipstick

MAC REBEL REVIEW AND SWATCHES
MAC Rebel Lipstick | £15.50

This lipstick has been on my wishlist for (no lie) about 2 years and I really don't know why it's taken until now to get my hands on it! MAC Rebel. Look at it. JUST LOOK. It's the most perfect deep, purple, berry shade. But it's like no other berry lipstick I own. It's just so unique and I can see now why it's such a cult favourite. It looks quite scary and not very wearable in the bullet, but once it's on the lips it's just stunning. It brightens up the complexion and even makes my teeth look whiter. It's not too dark or gothic. It's just beautiful. I've been wearing it loads lately, both day and night.

MAC REBEL SWATCH

Rebel is a Satin formula, which has actually become my favourite formula. They're semi-matte, but feel super comfortable and creamy on the lips and tend to last so much longer than Cremesheens. The lasting power of this lipstick is the best of all my MACs. It wears really evenly and leaves behind a gorgeous berry stain that lasts through the night. It's a bit of a bugger to remove but that's certainly not a bad thing. We all want our lipsticks to last don't we?

Now I know you're all gonna run out and buy this. And if you're not, why not?


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Friday, 27 January 2017

NEW IN: Maybelline. Spring 2017



If you're not aware, I'm part of the Maybelline's #MaybellineSquad, basically meaning I'm lucky enough to get sent a selection of their new releases every couple of months. Now, I'm in no way expected to post about them, but to be honest I'm just a massive fan of Maybelline, always have been, so I often find their new releases are exciting enough to post about. Plus, the lovely ladies are kind enough to send me all of these wonderful goodies, the least I could do is showcase them on my blog. Feast your eyes on this lovely lot...


Firstly, there's 2 new palettes to get stuck into, one of which I own nothing of it's kind. A Lip Contour Palette! What is this sorcery?  Look how pretty...

Maybelline Lip Contour Palette in Blushed Bombshell* | £9.99 | link

How stunning? The Lip Contour Palette in Blushed Bombshell* has the ability to create 3 different lip looks, using the prime, line, colour and highlight system. I watched Rachel Leary's recent video where she uses this palette and it's so dreamy! I haven't had a proper play with it yet but I'm out partying Friday and Saturday this weekend (I knoww, wild child - not!), so I'm definitely gonna give it a whirl. 

The other palette is the new Master Camo Colour Correcting Palette in Light*. I love these kind of palettes as I get quite a lot of redness especially around my nose.

Maybelline Master Camo Colour Correcting Palette in Light
Maybelline Master Camo Colour Correcting Palette in Light* |£9.99 | link

Again, I haven't had change to try this yet, but I've had a little feel and they feel ultra creamy and blendable. 

Maybelline Dream Brightening Creamy Concealer in Fair* | £4.99 | link

Maybelline have also released a creamy concealer crayon! MY FAVOURITE KIND! The Dream Brightening Creamy Concealer in 10 Fair* reminds me very much of my all time favourite concealer (Soap & Glory Kick Ass Blur & Brighten Concealer Crayon). I've got such high hopes for this badboy and think it will be perfect for brightening up the under eye area & sharpening the brows etc.

They've also released some new lip products to their already massive range. The ones that have excited me most have to be the new Baby Lips Color Balm Crayons*. Now I think there's 6 to choose from and I have the shade Sugary 10, which is a beautiful watermelon pink, which I suspect will be a handbag favourite of mine come springtime.


Also in their new lineup is another shade to add to my Color Sensational Matte Nudes*. The shade Brown Sugar is very on trend at the minute, but admittedly it's one that might take some getting used to. Along with that, I got one of the new Color Stay Shaping Lip Liners* in the shade Brick Red. A true, brick red lip liner is always good to have in so I'm looking forward to giving this a go.

Maybelline Super Stay 24 Color Dual Lipsticks

And lastly, there's a couple of the Super Stay 24 Dual Lipsticks*. You know the kind, the balmy primer at one end and the liquid lipstick at the other. I got the shades Steady Red-Y and Pink Goes On. The red looks perfect for Valentine's Day, even though Martin and I don't usually acknowledge that - ha!

All in all I think Maybelline have smashed it for their Spring 2017 releases. I look forward to seeing what's next.


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Monday, 23 January 2017

My Most Reached For Foundations


I've got to admit that my guilty pleasure is definitely foundation (well, along with Yankee candles, and cheese... ooohhhh Boursin, where have you been all my life?). I was a Rimmel girl for a long time, with Match Perfection being my favourite for a good few years. Lately I've found myself reaching for different ones every day just to switch things up a bit. I've put together my 4 favourites of the moment, the ones I find myself reaching for most often.



First up is probably my all time favourite; the YSL Le Teint Touché Eclat Foundation (review here). It's the ultimate in dewy, glowy goodness and has pretty good lasting power too. It's a medium coverage but just looks so fresh and healthy. A more budget alternative and one of the newest in my stash is the L'Oreal Infallible 24HR Foundation. It's slightly thicker in texture to the YSL, with perhaps a little bit more coverage too. I find it perfect for my dry skin as it doesn't cling to dry patches and gives a healthy glow which I love. It lasts well with just the odd t-zone touch up through the day. If I want something long lasting and still fresh looking, I will always opt for the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25hr Foundation. I never used to like this foundation back in the day, but I fell in love with it when they changed the formula during their rebranding and added the comfort serum. Out of all of the foundations I own, this is the one I notice the most by the end of the day. My skin still looks fresh and the coverage is still there. That's something I very rarely get with foundations, as I always go for dewy, fresh ones and they don't tend to last as well as full coverage/matte foundations. Decent work by Rimmel. Last but not least is a foundation that receives a lot of hype; NARS Sheer Glow. I really struggled with this when I first got it and really didn't like it. But the more I've tried and worked with it, the more I find myself reaching for it. Admittedly it is too pale for me, so I often mix a tiny bit of a darker foundation in just to even out the colour a bit. I do now get why it's so hyped up. It's so light on the skin, but still has good coverage and lasts well.

What are your most reached for foundations?


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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

MAC Twig Lipstick

A picture of MAC Twig Satin Lipstick

Oh MAC, you stole my heart from day one. I have 11 MAC lipsticks in my collection now (although it's bothering me that I'm at an odd number, so I think I'm gona have to treat myself to another, paha). The newest in my collection is this beauty, and I'll be honest, it's possibly jumped to the top of my favourites list!! Twig is described as a soft muted brownish-pink, which is basically how I would have described it. It's one of those shades I think everyone needs to own. It's so flattering and the perfect nude for this time of year as it's a bit darker than other every day nudes that I'd choose all year round (e.g. Brave). This one is perfect to achieve that 90's lip trend. It's a Satin formula, and I have to say I've always gone for Cremesheens, but this is now my 3rd Satin and I think I'm converted. Satins are pretty much a semi-matte and feel so creamy and comfortable on the lips. 

A swatch of MAC Twig Lipstick
MAC Twig

Look how pretty? I've been wearing it pretty much every day since I got it at Christmas, and even on a few nights out, too. FYI, it goes amazingly with a smokey eye. 

Hmmmm, which one to get next?


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Monday, 16 January 2017

Maybelline The Nudes Palette

A picture of the Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette

Eyeshadow palettes are a lot more accessible in the likes of Boots and Superdrug nowadays aren't they? I remember when good nude palettes of 12 were strictly high end, and peasants like me would just have to buy single eyeshadow pots. Maybelline launched The Nudes Palette* around 18 months ago in the UK and I remember everyone going a little bit wild for it. I know since then pretty much every high street brand has launched their own palettes, but this one can still hold it's own. Maybelline have also launched 2 more palettes to their 'Nudes' range since; The Blushed Nudes & The Rock Nudes, both of which are also stunning.

A picture of the Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette
A picture of the Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette

Maybelline The Nudes Palette* consists of 12 neutral shades in a mixture of mattes, semi-mattes and shimmers. All shades in this palette are super wearable and I love how Maybelline have given mini tutorials on the back. They say there's 13 different eye looks to create from the one palette, combining 6 doubles, 4 trios and 3 quads. They say;

This 12-shade eye shadow palette features dazzling colors. From bold beiges and sultry sands to brazen bronzes and tempting taupes, this makeup palette is perfect for creating versatile eye makeup looks.

Swatches of Maybelline The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette
I was pleasantly surprised with how pigmented and creamy these shadows are. I'd say the shimmers are more pigmented and blend slightly easier than the matte shades, but all in all it's a fantastic little palette. 13 looks for £9.99? Bargain! My favourite combination is the middle quad, to create a bronzed smokey eye. 

Keep your eyes peeled for a review of Maybelline's The Rock Nudes Palette very soon...


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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The January Skin Detox

January-Skin-Detox-2017
You know how it is, January rocks around and we're all feeling a bit low and the weather is quite frankly poo poo. My skin has been showing signs of farrrr too much chocolate, alcohol, late nights and cold weather. For me, a skin detox is essential in Jan, so I've put together my top picks to get my skin back to how it should be.

MASKS. Masks are the first way I turn when my skin needs a pick me up. I recently discovered The Body Shop Masks and was blown away by the Chinese Ginseng & Rice Polishing Mask. It instantly makes my skin feel ridiculously soft and look a lot healthier. After going in with a exfoliating kind of mask, I like to use some kind of cleanser just to make sure I've removed any remaining masky-residue, and these Nip + Fab Dragons Blood Fix Cleansing Pads are great to swipe across my skin before going in with something a bit more hydrating. For hydration, it's sheet masks to the rescue. I'm obsessed. I just bloody love chilling out in front of the tv with one of those bad boys on. Scaring the kids is an added bonus. Anyway, I've been loving Korean skincare of late, and these Innisfree It's Real Masks are great. There's all different kinds for different skin needs, so they're perfect for a detox as you can do a different one each day to address all kinds of skin probs. As a more readily available option, these Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Masks are really affordable, give fantastic hydration and are really quite addictive. Obviously in the winter, a lip scrub goes without saying, but I wanted to include it in the post anyway as I've been loving the Lush Sugar Plum Fairy Lip Scrub for a few weeks.

So there you go. A skin detox will have you looking and feeling better in no time! Screw you January blues!!

What are your favourite products for a skin detox?

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Tuesday, 3 January 2017

What I Got For Christmas 2016


Well I for one love What I Got For Christmas posts, so I thought it was time I put one up too. When I laid all my presents out on the table I realised how ridiculously spoilt I'd been by my friends and family. I got some absolutely amazing presents and I'm beyond grateful for every single one of them.


The Beauty Bits

Santa was pretty kind in the beauty department this year. I got 2 new Real Techniques brush sets; The Bold Metals Spotlight Essentials, which contains the Tapered Blush, Triangle Concealer, Tapered Shadow & Exclusive Brush Roll, and The Your Picks Set, which contains 5 of their best selling brushes (Buffing, Contour, Stippling, Deluxe Crease & Base Shadow). This is an absolutely fantastic little set, and, FYI - It's now on sale for only £16.66 in Boots online only! #you'rewelcome

In terms of makeup, I got the Benefit Dolly Darlin' Gift Set (which I sneakily blogged about before Christmas, lol). It contains 3 full size and 1 sample size of Benefit's best sellers (the Porefessional, Hoola Bronzer, Roller Lash Mascara & Gimme Brow). I also got MAC Twig Lipstick, which I think might already be my favourite MAC Lipstick. It's so pretty and perfect for this time of year. I also got a little sample size of the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara.

A girl can never have enough Soap & Glory. So to add to my collection I've got the Simply The Zest set (now only £5 in Boots) & the Whole Glam Lot, which was this year's big half price gift set. I also got the Nip + Fab Dragons Blood Fix Set, which contains Dragons Blood Fix Plumping Mask 50ml & Dragons Blood Fix Cleansing pads 80ml. I've been wanting to try this range for a while so Im looking forward to giving them a good go. As my Mam knows I'm a huge fan of the Britney Spears Fantasy Perfumes, she picked me this Circus Fantasy Perfume gift set. I also got a massive bag of Christmas Lush products, as well as the Zoella Gingerbread Bath Fizz gift set.


The Fashion Bits

One of the main things I asked Santa for were these gorgeous Rose Gold & Ash Grey Hi Top  Leather Converse. I absolutely adore them. By far my favourite trainers now. I also asked for this ASOS Suede Shopper Bag in chocolate brown. It's the perfect size for me for every day. And lastly, I always like big t-shirts for bed, so this Hogwarts t-shirt in a size 20 is perfect. I love Primark for their Harry Potter clothing, can't get enough!!

The Jewellery Bits

After getting bitten by the Pandora bug on my birthday, I asked Santa for a few bits from there, and he didn't disappoint. The big bearded ball of love!! I got 2 rings; the Heart Stacking Ring and the Princess Tiara Ring. They both go together so well on my middle finger. To add to my charm collection, I got the Vintage K Charm, and the Virgo Charm. Both classics, both gorgeous. As well as Pandora, I also got some gorgeous dainty jewellery from H&M off my bestie, including some gorgeous rings, a necklace and a bracelet.



The Home Bits

It's no secret that I'm a massive candle lover, especially Yankee Candle. So naturally, I got a few for Christmas. I got a large jar of my all time favoutite Black Cherry, and I got 2 mediums in a Christmas gift set, which has Snow in Love & Cosy By The Fire. Both gorgeous scents, so I'm looking forward to lighting those. I also got a few cute little slogan candles which I probably won't light as they're more for decorative purposes.  I also got this gorgeous little wooden hanging sign off my bestie which says Do All Things With Love. Love it.

The Other Bits

My friend Louise surprised me with the hard back illustrated version of Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone, and then low and behold my brother got me The Chamber of Secrets. So now I've got a collection to finish. They are so gorgeous, definitely need to keep the kids away. 
As well as all of those fabulous gifts, I also got a shit load of chocolate and some craft beers.



I did riduculously well this Christmas didn't I!! If you wrote a post on your Christmas pressies be sure to leave the link in the comments below, I'd love a nosey.

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and all the best for 2017.

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