How quickly can I complete a module in beauty therapy?

I have missed the last week of college due to illness but will be going back tomorrow.

Ordinarily I would be worried about missing a weeks worth of study but I believe I should be able to pick up the slack fairly easy.  Having only started manicures this month when we returned after Christmas break, my plan is to do 2 manicure formatives tomorrow during open salon.  I will do them on classmates and then I should be able to get my 3rd manicure done on Tuesday meaning by next Thursday I can do my summative providing I can book a family member in.

Separate to this I will need to do my nail art and polishing exams.  I am unsure of the set up for the exams, however if I can mix these in with my manicure formatives I for sure will.

In short, some modules in Beauty Therapy can be gained very quickly if you are willing to push yourself a little.  In fact, if you were not doing the module as part of your NVQ you can get courses that will qualify you in manicures in as little as 2 days!

Clearly each module with vary and of course ones such as my facial module will take a little longer.
Keeping on the note of nails, I was pleased to see Sally’s are having another VAT free day tomorrow.  As I am in college 9am – 7pm on Thursdays, I always end up missing the VAT free days, however tomorrow I am starting at 2pm rather than 9am meaning I can go and explore my local store.

I am thinking I may try to open an e-store and sell some nail polish and accessories, the VAT free day should give me a chance to buy a few items to sell on and see how quickly I can turn them over.  If they turn over quickly then I shall for sure do it again, it would be nice to earn a little extra money from something beauty related.

I am still itching to just get started.  No doubt if you are mid way through your beauty course you know exactly what I mean.  You already know enough to get you started… but you need to find the money to get all the stuff you need to start and the time to fit in the extra bits of work!  As much as I know it would be easier to start off working in a salon, all the job advertisements for salon jobs in N.Ireland state they only want those qualified to level 3 which rules me out for a minimum of another year… so if starting an e-store and writing my blog is all I can do for now to make me feel like I belong in the beauty industry, then so be it 🙂

Only 1 year and 4 months until I am free and qualified to a level that makes me employable in the eyes of the salons.  Who knows, perhaps if I plug hard enough and pull together enough money to build up my equipment I won’t want one of those salon jobs.  I can only but hope to achieve my goal when I started, to be self sufficient and be able to employ myself.

P.s. Does anyone know where the link to my page is on facebook? I seem to be getting a LOT of traffic from it and well… I have no idea where it is as I didn’t post it – but thank you to whoever did 🙂


I have been nominated for the Sunshine Award!

Thank you to the beautiful for her nomination for this award.


If nominated for this award, you must include a link in your blog to the person/blog that nominated you. You must also answer some questions about yourself, nominate 10 fellow bloggers, link their blogs in your post, and inform them that they have been nominated.


  • Who is your favorite philosopher?  – Can I admit I don’t have one?
  • What is your favorite number?  hmm, this really depends on the numbers on offer in a given situation.  I like 7 and 11.  I think it’s mainly how they sound.  I also like 23 as it is my day of birth and 16 as its my daughters day of birth.
  • What is your favorite animal? I love pretty much all animals! I will go for my faithful dog Pippy as my favorite though.
  • What are your Facebook and Twitter? you can find me on twitter under @LilMissEmmylou or @BeautyTherapySt
  • What is your favorite time of day? The evening.  Its the one time of day I can sit and relax properly.
  • What was your favorite holiday? Oh that’s easy.  We once did a road trip in a campervan through 5 countries in mainland Europe.  I loved that holiday so much that I want to do it again only for longer so we can visit even more countries!
  • What is your favorite physical activity? If I am in the gym I always hit the crosstrainer but if I could choose to do anything I guess it would be yoga or horse riding
  • What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? I don’t like alcohol so all my favorites are non alcoholic.  I love what I have always called “red juice” which is really just summer fruits squash.  Any brand does me fine.
  • What is your favorite flower? I simply can’t pick! There are far too many beautiful ones out there.
  • What is your passion? My daughter and making sure she grows up to be the best person she can be.  In turn having her makes me want to be the best person I can be in order to inspire her.

Here are my nominations for the Sunshine Award. I love keeping up with these bloggers and their posts. Hopefully you can check them out as well!

Beauty and the Pig Skin A beauty blogger who blogs about her experience in the industry.

Crafty Nail For a little bit of Nailspiration

Logical Harmony A vegan beauty blog

A Lush World This blog feeds my love of all things Lush

Such A Pretty Mess There is nothing messy about her blog – beautiful scrap booking!

What I Heart Today Fashion and beauty blog covering a wide range of subjects.

Amy Antoinette She loves beautiful stuff, heck even her mum loves beautiful stuff!

Celebrations at Home A bit of a larger scale blog, but I adore it

Sew-Licious Home Decor A fantastic crafty blog

Cupcake Sakura Last but not least and from my home town! A cute fashion and beauty blog with a love of anime

A professional make-up kit good enough for the BAFTAs

6 days after I qualified in Make-up I was asked to do a friends make-up… for the BAFTA’s!  Oh how I wish I was in London still or at least had the funds to pack up and go over and do her make-up for her.

Now she may have asked in jest knowing I was unavailable but it did get me thinking, I may already have the qualification in make-up but really I haven’t put any thought into what make-up I want to use as a professional.  I did look at eye shadows which I think are good quality and got the Urban Decay Naked II pallet for Christmas but the reality is I still need to invest in quality foundations, concealer pallets, blushers, hi-lighters, bronzers, eye and lip liners, mascaras, many more eye shaddows and that’s just the obvious stuff before I start thinking about primers, setting sprays, brush cleaners etc.

Add into the mix that I also require anything I pick to be cruelty free and it really is a very limited market out there when it comes to salon professional brands.

In college I trained using Jane Iredale which, at the start I did not rate.  However, having researched the brand a little more I can see that actually they offer far more colours and shades than we had at our disposal to practice with and have some very good feedback.

Other brands which looked good included Artdeco (which I couldn’t find enough information on with regards to being animal friendly) and Bare Minerals/Essentials.  Both Artdeco and Bare Minerals are available from department stores and so I felt this really limited saleability of any products I would be using and swayed my decision to look further into Jane Iredale.

Now for those who don’t know much about the company, Jane Iredale are a company committed to creating mineral products that are paraben free, as well as free from harsh chemicals.  Their cosmetics are vegan and are not tested on animals.


Knowing that they tick my boxes I contacted their UK supplier and I am in the process of arranging a meeting with one of their sales reps.  The rep will then come out to demonstrate the product range to me and in general to encourage me to place an order.  I have been advised by other professionals that their minimum opening order for Jane Iredale is £500 which, does seem like a lot of money to be spending BUT in reality to get a kit which has much of what we need to get our professional kit started, this is the kind of money we realistically need to spend.

I do also love that I will have the ability to sell their range to my future customers.  Online beauty bloggers and review sites do really rate a lot of the range.  Why not check out some of the product reviews on MakeUpAlley to check it out for yourself.

My advice when looking for your make-up kit is to:

Do your research.  Don’t just go with one brand you know, look for others you may not have heard of and research them too.  The reality is that although I am going with the brand my college uses, I actually spent several hours researching for brands which do not test on animals and then reading customer reviews and professional reviews on a few beauty forums.

Be realistic with your budget.  Some brands will let you build your kit up as you go along without any minimum spend such as Artdeco and others like Jane Iredale will require you place a minimum opening order.  Rationally think about what you need and cost it out in your head, you will soon see how quickly it all mounts up.

Look for the best value for your money. This sounds obvious but the fact is a lot of people will build their kit up with items they have brought on the high street or in department stores.  These are very easy to get hold of quickly but will in the long term end up costing you a lot of money as you are not receiving any discount (unless you are using a store such as MAC where you can purchase a discount card if you are a professional MUA).  Also you need to think about the saleability of your products.  If you are buying your kit from a department store, then your clients will be going to the same place to buy “that lipstick you used” on them.  Personally I want to know that my clients will be able to buy the products I use on them from me!

Take your time and prioritise.  I know it is easy to get excited but it is important not to rush buying your kit as if you make a wrong decision it could be an expensive mistake.  If you are short on funds, then take some time to save rather than buying a substandard item to start with.  Think about what you need and buy in order of priority if you need to.  You want to buy quality items once rather than substandard items twice.


Keeping all of the above in mind, I fully intend to be prepared for this time next year when my friend can again ask me to do her make-up for the BAFTAs.  In fact, I intend to be prepared well in advance, so if anyone else requires their make-up doing for an awards ceremony or movie prem, please do let me know!

Pretty in pink

Pretty in pink

Hand and Arm massage elements of the manicure

Bliss.  That is how I can describe this.  It really was quite lovely to have an arm and hand massage and it was not something I would have went out to have.  I think a lot of people are going to enjoy me practicing the routine on them to get it in my head to start formatives as soon as my polishing skills are up to scratch.

To aid the nail art element of the course I spent Saturday evening on E-bay browsing.  I ordered some metal studs, some coloured crystals, caviar beads, striping tape, dotting tools and brushes.  I tried to buy only from the UK to avoid shipping taking weeks and I was very shocked when the crystals, studs and caviar beads all arrived on Tuesday!  Fantastic service really and I am happy to recommend the following ebay stores:

Hail the nails  




 I loved the cute bottle the caviar beads came in and its great that all the crystals came in a little divider box.

Trying to practice nail art is a little tricky.  I only have myself to practice on at the moment and I will be honest – it isn’t that easy to do your own nails with art and not smudge them.  I decided to just try a basic shevron with some dots and nail crystals on my ring fingers.


The colours I used were Nails Inc Motcomb Street for the dark navy, Nails Inc Glamour Glitter for the glitter top coat and the pink is a No.7 colour called ME! ME! ME!

I still need to figure out how to get my lines nice and clean.  Robin Moses manages to make it look so easy while I find it tricky.  I am sure it will come in time though.

On Thursday I had my summative for make-up.  I am pleased to say I got a distinction with full marks.  I had my mum come in for this exam as I was desperate to get it over and done with so I can focus on the new stuff.  She was very pleased with her look which gave me a sense of pride.  The only irritating thing was the tutor hadn’t realised who she was and commented on how dedicated my friend was to travel all that way (she lives 1 hr 30 from my college).  Well… of course my mum loved this and the tutor started to go on about how we did not look the right ages to be mother and daughter… yes, thanks for that.  I will now have to listen to my mum brag about how young she looks from now until easter ha.

I am also toying with the idea of putting in for an online *Be Inspired* make up competition on the Karla Powell Facebook page. If I decide to go for it I will of course post my photos here but I just need to find the time to not only do the look but to go shopping for a few supplies.  If you feel you have a bit of talent in the area or like me just fancy a go at something new even if you doubt you can achieve the standard of other applicants then head over to her page and upload your photo.  I wish you good luck!


2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.  Not a bad start saying as I only opened the blog in September 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Manicures and a few more distinctions :)

This week seen my return to college and the start of manicures.  As a lover of my own long nails I was looking forward to this part of the course perhaps the most.  I am however one of only a few members with actual nails to work on rather than stubs so I have quickly learned I will have to find people to practice on at home.

So far we have learned how to evaluate the hand, to sanitise, cut and file the nail, buff, soak and then work on the cuticles.  During the class 4 people filed my nails in order to give more people a chance to work on actual nails.

In our spare time we have to practice polishing each others nails which, as I paint my own several times a week I would have expected to be easy but no!  Totally not as easy as expected.  Although they look OK, I tend to touch the cuticles lightly with the polish which I need to learn to stop doing.  Next week we will progress onto the heat treatments and hand massage elements of the manicure.  I am very much looking forward to having some heat treatments on my hands to get them looking lovely after the winter months.

My placement was as usual pretty quiet and I spent the morning cleaning and moving the spray tan room from a room upstairs to a room downstairs.  Not by any means a fun job but at least it filled an hour of my time.  Cleaning the old tanning room after the move was an eye opener, wow was it dirty! That tan just coats everything and if you don’t wash your walls, tent and skirting’s down right after each tan I guess it just builds up bit by bit.

Yesterday I was very fortunate in that a fellow classmate had her sister in for a facial and managed to convince her to stay after for an eyelash tint and a brow shape so that I could do my summative in them.  I am very pleased to say that a further two distinctions in these gave me an overall distinction in my eye treatments.  All I have left now is my make-up and that is everything summative done for the treatments we were taught September – December last year.  My mum has happily volunteered to come down next week after work to let me do make-up on her.  A very kind gesture as she has to travel 45 minutes to get here from work and then an hour and a half to get home after!  Providing I pass make-up then I will currently be the best organised person in the class exam wise – woohoo!

At long last I have also signed up for my Sallys hair and beauty supplies student discount card.  When I first visited in September they would not let me sign up as I didn’t have my letter of offer only my student card which is apparently not sufficient so please make sure you keep your letter of offer safe!  It apparently takes 4 – 5 months to process but I have a cardboard version to use until my official card arrives.  I think I may have a browse of their website tonight to try and get some ideas of nail supplies I can get to use in my nail art class.