Cramps Nails for Hallowe'en

Hi Tory,

the great thing about this look is that you don't need a steady hand and you can be really creative with it

Hallowe'en is my favourite time of the year. Like, major league, in your face, can't wait, breathless excitement favourite time of the year. I love scary movies, gore, candy, cold nights and general witchiness. And I love psychobilly music too, so I figured that I'd put the two together and come up with some funky nail art for the season, based on the screaming neon colours and dripping lettering for the old Cramps and Misfits posters. The great thing about this look is that you don't need a steady hand and you can be really creative with it.

On a side note, my first ever Hallowe'en costume, at the age of four, was a paper tiger. Seriously. A rectangular paper tiger shape that went over my head. Couldn't eat, couldn't sit down, hot as hell, and I looked like a dork. Mum thought I looked cute - ask her about it and I bet she uses that exact word. Every year after that I was a witch with a mouth full of chocolate. I was a smart kid. ;)

And if you ask anyone of my generation who also happened to grow up in North America - "Do you know anything about orange UNICEF boxes?" you'll see a lot of eye rolling. We all had to carry them around to collect charity money, and they got in the way of candy, which is all kids really care about. And no one ever donated anything...except when my friend Susan dressed as an orphan and sat in the shopping mall with her box for the entire day looking sad and deprived and winsome. She made $50, dumped the box at home and went out and had a candy frenzy in the evening. On reflection, I wasn't a smart kid... she was. She's probably a CEO of a major corporation now. Thumbs up Susan wherever you are.

Products Used

  • Primark Nail Polish Set in Neon... these may not be available any more, so good substitutes are the Barry M neon range
  • MUA Nail Polish in Shade 2
  • Primark Nail Art pen in Black... again, this is probably no longer available as they tend to switch up their makeup pretty fast, Claire's Accessories do a range of nail art pens, or you could use an old pen nib and the MUA Shade 2 to create the freeform blobs and drips
  • NYC In a New York Color Minute in Grand Central Station
  • Total Cost = £5.79
  • Prices based on what I paid for the whole look from scratch, and correct at the time of posting

Hugs and kisses,


Confessions of a Beauty Guru Tag

Hi Tory,

are you a spender or a saver?

Here's a YouTube tag that's doing the rounds where Beauty Bloggers such as yours truly get to chit chat about how they do what they do - all YouTubers, without exception, like to chit chat. It's part of why we do this. That and producing blooper reels ;)

Okay... so I wasn't actually tagged for this, but it looked like fun and I like to talk, so I thought I'd sneakily take part and hope that no one would notice the missing tag bit. I do tag a bunch of people in it to pay it forward so that helps my karma along I guess. ;)

The Questions

  1. How many hours a week do you spend filming/editing videos?
  2. Are you a spender or a saver?
  3. When is it easiest for you to film?
  4. What makes talking in front of the camera comfortable for you?
  5. What's your worst makeup/hair habit?
  6. One quote that you wish the world would live by?
  7. How long do you spend getting ready every day?
  8. Your favourite video on YouTube?
  9. A YouTuber that you watch who deserves more views/subscribers than they have?
  10. One thing you're excited about in the upcoming year?
  11. Your most awkward filming moment?
  12. How long does it take you to prep for a video?
  13. Are you wearing pants/jeans/skirt right now or are you actually wearing pyjama bottoms?
  14. What are you most proud of in your life?

Hugs and kisses,


Using Gel Liner as a Base

Hi Tory,

I've always been obsessed by elizabeth taylor

While I was getting ready to do this tutorial I sat looking at one of the pots of gel liner (as you do) and thinking back to when I first started dibbing and dabbing makeup on my face.

Kohl liner was the thing - I mean, really The Thing. I was fascinated by it. I've always been obsessed by Elizabeth Taylor, so the whole Cleopatra thing loomed large in my consciousness, but suddenly there was this stick of black joy that made your eyes look dangerous and edgy. It was the time of Punk, and then the New Romantics kicked in (or flounced in really) and I was away with the fairies. It smudged all over the place and lasted about two seconds but it was pretty hot stuff.

And I was thinking all this as I sat gazing at the gel liner and pondered: "If kohl was amazing, I probably would have spontaneously combusted with gel liner." It really is quite incredible stuff. You can line with it, smudge with it, put it under shadow as a base, line your lips with it, do face art with it. And it doesn't budge or crease or smudge or end up on the pillow after a hard night's gigging and drinking. (I don't do the latter very much any more. I wear a lot of eye liner though.) So think of this tutorial as my inner teenage self spontaneously combusting somewhere with joy at the endless possibility a small pot of colour can bring. Although, on balance, that pretty much covers ALL cosmetics and makeup. Heigh ho.

Products Used

Hugs and kisses,


Review: Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover

Hi Tory,

I wish I had some kind of jedi mind power that would just think it off

I love nail polish. I change my polish almost as much as I eat - and I eat a lot, as you know. If I could put nail polish on my body, I probably would. On my eyes even. I'm not going to though because... well, I'm just not. I still think about it. What I don't like is taking nail polish off - I wish I had some kind of Jedi mind power that would just let me think it off, so I could put another colour on. No mess, no fuss. Now in my pursuit of this Jedi experience I have tried:

  • nail wipes - just as messy as remover and cotton pads quite frankly, and they tend to dye your fingers in the bargain
  • cotton buds soaked in remover - a nightmare of smelly, aggravating, time-consuming proportions. Recommended to me by a friend a long time ago and not worth going anywhere near
  • nail polish remover pots - little things with a spongy interior and remover. Dip in, pull out, nail polish gone. Except it never usually did. And they smell bad.

So, Bourjois up and bring out their version of the last item on the list - the remover pot with the sponge etc. "Uh oh," I thought. "Been there and done that. Prepared to be unimpressed."

But a lot of my friends and fellow beauty bloggers were trying it and loving it. Hmm. I bought some, mainly so I could sneer and be smug when it failed... but it's actually pretty good. It doesn't take the one second that it claims on the bottle - it takes you longer than one second to get your finger inside for starters - and it is deeply pornographic to use. I'll say that again - deeply pornographic. Perhaps it's just my filthy mind. Filthy mind, clean nails - not a bad result.

Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover is available here priced £4.99.

Hugs and kisses,


How to Get Fuller Lips

Hi Tory,

there's a theory in economics called the lipstick factor

One thing I've always admired about you is your ability to rock a lipstick.

You have this amazing collection of corals and reds and pinks, and even when you couldn't wear eye shadow because your eyes were a bit sensitive, you still had a splash of fabulous colour on your lips and it really does make you look polished. Funny isn't it?

There's a theory in economics called The Lipstick Factor - no matter how the economy is doing, women still go out and buy some lippie. When the economy is depressed, you need cheering up with a splash of colour. When the economy is booming, you want to go out and treat your self to a new shade. It's the only cosmetic product that never suffers in a recession. True fact.

And there's the whole mania for collagen and fillers and goodness knows what else to give you that perfect pout - whatever that is - but I hate needles and I'm not into putting gunk inside my face, so I decided to do a little tutorial to enhance nature in a kinder, yet still impactful way. You can see that on a middle-aged old bird who smokes, I still manage to end up with a decent pout, so if it works for me, imagine what it could do for everyone else, right?

It's a clever little technique that works on artistic principles - dark colours recede, light colours advance. Shade the corners of your lips in a darker colour, shine up the fleshy parts with the lighter one, and suddenly your lips look plump and luscious. You can do it with any colour as well, just as long as the outer corners are about two shades darker than the lipstick - it even works with nude shades. I don't believe in the knife - unless it's for putting marmite on my toast - but I do believe in a little tweaking with the makeup box of tricks. Go and pout for Britain!

Products Used

  • MUA Lip Boom in Bring It!
  • MUA Intense Kisses in Stolen Kisses
  • Elite Lip Pencil in Dark Brown - now discontinued. A good match is MUA Lip Liner in Brooding Plum.
  • Total Cost = £6.00

Hugs and kisses,


Barry M Blue Sparkle Nails!

Hi Tory,

I kept hearing that barry m's blue glitter was quite possibly the greatest shade of polish ever invented

You may or may not know this, but back in 1973 Mum went to modelling school. It's true - our mum strutted her stuff on catwalks in Vancouver, and very good she looked too. She'd go off every day all nervous and excited, and come home with stacks of notes and photographs and a list of products to acquire. One week I was off school with a cold and mum had no babysitter for me - it was pretty short notice - so I was allowed to come in on one of the classes. (I always cite this as the beginning of my obsession with makeup and cosmetics.) The class I sat in on left three very large impressions on me:

  1. Our mum is a secret stunner
  2. Models are the plainest creatures with no makeup on, except for Twiggy, who is the most gorgeous person who ever lived
  3. I am addicted to nail polish

The first bottle they opened that day... I loved the smell, I loved the colours, I loved the way it looked... everything. I have subsequently painted my nails every colour and texture under the sun, greedily embracing nail art along the way, and will quite happily change my nail colour several times a day if need be. Until they invent Nail Polish Anonymous, I shall continue to do so.

Skipping through nail blogs as I tend to do in my never-ending search for new colours, new textures and new designs, I kept hearing that Barry M's Blue Glitter was quite possibly the greatest shade of polish ever invented. I was intrigued. I went out and bought some. I did the above nail art. It was so pretty that I actually got emotional looking at it. What can I tell you? I have a deep-rooted addiction and there is quite simply no cure. They don't make a purple glitter though, which irks me. I may have to start pestering them...

Products Used

Hugs and kisses,

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