Check Out My Pins...

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 22 January 2012 02:04 0 comments
It's not like I needed a new social network to take up more of my time. Twitter is already a way of life for me now - I probably tweet even more than I text - and Facebook, despite my general dislike for it, is something I visit daily even if it is just to spy. So when my boss told me about Pinterest I wasn't in a rush to get involved - but then I pinned my first thing and it got a little out of control...

Pinterest is essentially an online scrapbook, or mood board, of the pictures, photos, illustrations, whatever, that you love. Whoever came up with it is an utter genius. It is so simple; all you need do is drag the 'Pin it' button into your browser and you can pin anything, wherever you are on the web. A little like Tumblr, I guess, but faster, simpler, easier.

You can create different boards (I've already got a beauty one, a travel one, an art one, etc) so you can collect different images of things you love, things that inspire you, and things that simply make you smile, all in their own little online pinboard.

What I can't get over (and the reason I was on it until 1am midweek) is that there is just no reason to stop. I can pin for hours. Unlike Twitter or Facebook where once everyone's in bed or starting to talk utter rubbish it's time to close the laptop and stop, Pinterest doesn't require other people. They just make it better. So there I was last week, Googling my favourite David Downton illustrations so I could have them in one place; finding screenshots of Friends scenes that make me cry with laughter; looking up inspirational quotes and my favourite artists. I could have kept going, but the impending shrill of my alarm clock made me stop.

Of course, it is about being social, and other people's pins just make it even more addictive. Your homepage will be filled with the images that your fellow pinners have been discovering, liking and commenting on - a wealth of inspiration all in one place, all on different subjects which you can search within if you're looking for more of a certain topic. Follow people, follow specific boards - use it however you want to.

As much as I love writing, and I love tweeting, the problem with having a Tumblr or a Twitter account is that so many of the great things you link to get lost, as newer posts knock them back down the timeline. With Pinterest, it's all images - brilliant for those photos that speak for themselves, and more effective, with more immediate an impact, than reading something; and you can keep going back to it, admiring all those dreamy pictures you've found with ease. Like I said, genius.

Spoken like a true addict, eh? See my pins over at http://pinterest.com/judy_jay/ - and feel free to leave your username in the comments so I can follow yours.
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I have to say, I did not see this one coming. I admit, I obsess over things quite easily, whether it's a place (Ibiza), a person (Ryan Gosling, obvs) or a mascara (currently Max Factor's Masterpiece Max). But after the crackle nail craze, which I eventually grew bored of, I really wasn't sure the next gimmick would live up to the hype - magnetic nails.

I'm sure everyone who paints their nails has heard of this by now but in case you haven't, it was 2011's way of jazzing up nails at home. Gone are the days of French manicures and single colours - it's all about nail art made easy these days. The polishes have fine metal particles which, when you hover a magnet over the top of them (when still wet), create a shape or design.

One of my lovely besties bought me my first magnetic polish for part of my birthday gift earlier this month, and it wasn't one of the brands I've seen on any of the beauty blogs I follow. The polish is by FashionistA in collaboration with girl group The Saturdays, a range called Magnetism. The shade is perfect; I have the 'Ego Green' which in the bottle looks like a gorgeous dark jewel-like colour and I couldn't wait to give it a go. The magnet that you need is sold separately (which thankfully the bestie thought to buy, as I am told a regular fridge magnet doesn't work. Baffling.) but fits nicely on top of the lid of the varnish bottle so that you don't lose it. 

I painted my nails with one coat, and adored the colour - I'd happily wear it even without the magnetic pattern. Then, after applying a second coat, while it was still wet I hovered the magnet over the top. It has a useful ridge which you can use to keep it steady and close without touching the polish. After just 10 seconds, I took it away and hey presto - I had a really pretty 'wave' design on the nail. With no extra work!

Because of the way the polish moves with the magnet, it pushes that top coat into a shape, so the waves are a darker green than the first layer. I added a clear top coat to make it extra shiny and chip-proof and loved its almost tortoiseshell look - so much smoother and glossier than the shatter polishes, which despite looking cool always looked a little messy. Even better, it lasted a good four days which for me and my nails is not bad at all. Will definitely be buying some more colours and exhausting this trend... 

Have you tried magnetic polish? Any brands you'd recommend I try to satisfy my new-found obsession?

 

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How Honest is Too Honest?

Posted by Judy Johnson On Sunday, 1 January 2012 12:30 1 comments
My mouth has got me into trouble quite a few times. From telling my sister when I was 8 that I saw a ghost in our room (sorry, not true) to saying a bit too much on what would otherwise have been the best date ever (still gutted, and pretty sure that’s the reason it ended there!), I tend to be a bit too honest for my own good. 

When I was little, I generally agreed with anything my sister said, even if it meant lying; but then I got older, realised I had an opinion and kind of lost sight of what was helpful and honest and what was just better left unsaid. I'm not talking just the little things, like whether or not you like the wooly jumper your nan got you for Christmas (a white lie never hurt anyone, as they say), but also the bigger things. Do you stand up for yourself if you think someone's done you wrong? Do you tell someone if you think they're wasting their time on someone or something? I seem to lack that filter of when to keep it buttoned and while I LOVE honesty in other people and see it as part of having a backbone, I'm not sure I should always spill the beans.

Recently I’ve either said too much to someone and regretted it (like round the dinner table this Christmas, telling my sister she’s blatantly the tougher, meaner one in her relationship – oops) or heard people moaning about in-laws or friends who just need to keep their thoughts to themselves, even if they do mean well. I’m glad it’s not just me that has honestitis, but at what point do you hold back? I seem to be surrounded by people with strong opinions, which I think is great (far better than an ignorant drip round the dinner table) but sometimes it seems no one wants to hear mine…

Whether it’s about babies (don’t do it like that), men (he’s clearly a prick), family (you’ve made the wrong decision), or work (that’s not how I’d do it), it’s really hard to get the balance right between getting your voice heard and giving good advice, and hurting someone’s feelings – or just making them plain angry.

When do you keep your lips sealed and when do you speak up?
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