Cancer Research Dryathlon

We all know someone who has sadly passed away from cancer. It’s a sad topic, yes, but someone has to say something. See, there’s a certain stigma around the word ‘cancer’ that shouldn’t be there. Whenever you hear the words “… has got cancer,” you think it’s the end of the world. And sometimes it is. But it doesn’t have to be. 

In order to find a cure, we have to be able to understand how cancer works and test different possible cures in the lab. This takes money. And that’s without mentioning the cost of trialing on humans if the medicine gets approved to that point. But let’s just start small for now. 

In order to examine tumours and cancerous cells, we need to be able to look at them through a microscope. £30 can buy 100 slides to allow us to do that. I’m not saying you need to donate £30 but, if enough people donate even £1, it all adds up!

Please don’t skip this and think “it’s a waste of time and money” because someday even you might get cancer and those drugs that make you feel better, might even cure your cancer, we’re all funded mostly by public donations. 

So, to increase awareness, I have decided to take part in the Dryathlon event in which I will not be drinking any alcohol whatsoever for the entire month of September (pray for me 😩). Please don’t think of it as sponsoring me to complete the event. Please think of it as saving people’s lives.

If you’d like to donate, you can go through the Cancer Research web page or you can use this link to donate through my JustGiving page, set up for sponsorship donations for Dryathlon.

Thank you if you’ve read this far and even more if you’ve donated, you special, kind, wonderful human being ❤️



Halloween Skull Makeup Tutorial

I will be tending a bar at a Halloween party this year and have decided to be a skeleton. This is actually the first time I have ever done this sort of makeup to my face. Usually it’s just the every day makeup, you know? But since it’s a skeleton costume, I can’t go without my face matching my outfit!

Below is the finished look which was achieved using nothing more than a pencil eyeliner and eyeshadow.You could, of course, use face paints – I plan to do this on the day but didn’t want to waste my paint since I didn’t have a lot of it! I also wanted to show you that it isn’t necessary to buy yourself face paints when you can achieve the same look with products you probably already have in your makeup bag.


All photos on this post are mine. Please do not publish them elsewhere or save them without my permission.


Products you will need:

  • Black eyeliner – any will do – pencil can blend into the eyeshadow but liquid will give you a precise line.
  • Black eyeshadow.
  • Grey eyeshadow for blending.
  • White eyeshadow – you can also exchange this for highlighter.
  • Sponge eyeshadow applicator or brushes – I found the sponges easier to use but it’s personal preference.

step 1


If you’re starting with facepaint, then you can paint your entire face white or mix it with your foundation to make a more bone colour. I didn’t at this point so I started with my normal skin colour.

Take your black pencil and draw two lines from each side of your nose from halfway up and meet them almost at the tip of your nose. Then continue the line around the side of your nostril.

step 2


Fill in this shape with your black eyeshadow.

step 3


I’m not quite sure how to explain what I’m doing here but I’ll try! Draw a straight line from just under your temple and follow it down your cheekbone. It might help you to feel the bones out in your face. When you get towards the middle of your cheekbone, make a semi-circle upwards as if to open up the jaw where you will draw the teeth. Basically, just try and follow the same shape I’ve made in the picture ahaha. It might be easier to see the shape in the next photo when I’ve started filling it in.

step 4


Fill in the first half of the shape with black eyeshadow. Leave the rest blank as a place to draw in your teeth.

step 5


Continue the line of your mouth into the middle of the semi-circle you created. This will be the place your teeth meet one another. For the teeth, you can choose to use liquid liner to make a thinner, more precise line. Then, just take your pencil and create several vertical lines along the line you’ve just drawn, with equal spacing, to separate the teeth.

step 6


Above each of your vertical lines, create a Y shape to start creating the roots of the teeth. Do the same to the bottom row but obviously with an upside down Y.

step 7


Start thickening the horizontal line. When you veer towards each of the vertical lines, change it into a curve rather than angular. This will help give the teeth shape.

step 8


Do the same towards the roots of the teeth.

step 9


Now you can continue filling in the rest of the jaw with black eyeshadow. Make sure not to fill it in completely – blend it out towards the teeth.

step 10


Follow the shape of your eyebrow with the black eyeshadow and continue the circle. You want to use shadow for this rather than liner because it all blends in and you won’t end up with a black line around your eye. If you have eye bags like me then you can use them to help you make the circle (the only thing they’re useful for!).

step 11


Fill in the circle with the black eyeshadow.

step 12


All I’m doing here is lengthening the top of the nose shape on each side to make it more sharp.

step 13


All I’m doing here is adding the white eyeshadow or highlighter to the teeth, bridge of the nose, tops of the cheekbones and tops of the eye holes to make them stand out more.

step 14


Create a faint line of grey eyeshadow beneath your “cheekbone” and blend this downwards to add depth.

step 15


Add another faint line of grey above the “cheekbone” and blend this upwards.

step 16


Make a C shape at the temple using black shadow and, once again, blend, blend, blend!

step 17


If you want, you can add some black to the hairline and blend that out.

step 18


Angry face time! Draw your eyebrows together and put the eyeshadow in those creases to make your skull look angrier.

 step 19


Don’t forget your jaw line!

step 20


And for extra depth you can add lines here and blend them towards the middle of your forehead.

step 21


Lastly, line your waterline with black liner to erase any blank space between the eye holes and your eye ball.

Et voila!



If you recreate this look, please send your photos to me on Twitter at @jenetisist. I’d love to see them!


My Dad’s Money Saving Tips

I think we all know what haggling is. The Free Dictionary defines it as’to bargain, as over the price of something,’ so essentially trying to buy things for a lower price than they’re advertised. My dad’s been doing this for years and I think it’s just pure genius.

Those of us who have Sky TV or have ever tried to leave Sky TV will know how expensive it is and how they make it to leave once you’ve signed up. For those of you who don’t like in the UK, because I think they only cater towards the UK, Sky is a subscription TV service where you can sign up for a plan to receive hundreds of channels for a monthly fee. You can tailor this to your needs if you like so, if you aren’t a big movie watcher, you can opt out of the movies bundle.

Anyway, my point is that their prices can be high – according to their website, their highest priced subscription is £70.50 per month, and that’s not including the cost of them coming to your house, fitting the box and setting you up – and they make it absurdly difficult for you to cancel. You can be on the phone to them for hours with them trying to give you offers that you don’t want or staring at a loading page on their online chat service.

I can’t speak for everyone but I’d assume that the main reason people want to cancel their subscription is because they can’t afford it anymore and this is where my dads tips can help.

He waits until approximately a month before his deal is about to expire,  rings them up and complains that he can’t afford it and that he wants to quit. Unfortunately, this does mean that you’ll have to sit through the hour long phone call but it gets better after this – promise.

Obviously Sky don’t want to lose your custom so they try to persuade you on the phone to stay with them by giving you a better offer. Don’t say yes to this offer; this isn’t the best offer that they can give you. They’ll wait until they think you’re being serious so this may mean that you have to live without you favourite channel for a couple of weeks but, in our age of catch up TV, does that really matter?

Over the next few days, you’ll receive letters through the mail and phone calls to give you deals. The trick is to wait. Just wait for as long as you can and eventually there will be a bargain you can’t refuse. Go for it! I’m pretty sure my dad ended up with something like 50% off for 12 months and a free new Sky TV box. Pretty good, right?

His next tip probably requires you to have a car.

When you want to buy something expensive online such as a TV, don’t just look through one site; search all the sites you can think of and find the cheapest. Say, for example, the cheapest you can find your TV is at Curries (an electronics store).  Don’t go for this straight away. These sites are able to determine your location and show you the prices of your closest stores and obviously you’ll be paying for handling and delivery on top of this. Search stores that are further away from you. There may be another branch of the same strore 50 miles away that has your TVpriced £100 cheaper. Obviously, you have to factor in money for fuel, but this is still a good deal if you find yourself with the time to travel!

The last time my dad did this, he wanted a new microwave oven. The store near us was selling it for £700 (it’s a pretty gosh darn good microwave oven) and the store 80 miles away was selling it for £600, so it was worth it since it wouldn’t have cost more than £20 to drive there and back. Of course, he wouldn’t be my dad if he didn’t try haggling while he was there… And he managed to get it for £580. Even better!

So, there you have it! A couple of my dad’s money saving life hacks.

I hope you enjoyed this and I hope you find this useful!


That Time I Threw Out My Makeup

I don’t know how many of you have Sky TV out there or how many of you know how it works but I’m going to try to explain it anyway.

When I get up in the morning, I like to go to the planner and see what got recorded the night before. And that’s what I was doing last Friday morning; catching up on an episode of Coronation Street. When it finished, I pressed the Sky button which takes you back to the live TV channel that you were last watching which, for me, happened to be ITV which was playing either Good Morning Britain or This Morning. I can never remember which is which. The one with Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes. Whichever one that one is.


On whichever programme it was, they usually have random guests giving out some sort of beauty advice. Sometimes it’s how to do your makeup for you skin colour, sometimes it’s which haircut will best suit your face shape but, on that Friday morning (now that I think of it, it was late morning so it was probably This Morning rather than Good Morning Britain) they were showing you all of the bacteria that can grow on each of your makeup products when they go out of date.

Don’t get me wrong, I knew makeup had a use-by date, but I can’t say that I really took much notice of it. For those of you that don’t know, it looks like this:

An open cosmetics jar with a number and an M on it. This tells you how many months you should keep the products from opening them (Note: the guest emphasised specifically on “from opening”, not “from first use”).

I guess you could say that I didn’t really pay much attention to the use-by date because, surely, there can’t be that much bacterial growth but holy 💩. As a biologist, when they held up the Petri dishes from which they’d swabbed out of date makeup, bearing in mind it wasn’t that much out of date, I was disgusted. So many colonies of bacteria, many of which included the bacteria that can cause meningitis. And they also found that the foundation swabs contained bacteria that cause acne. So there you are, covering up acne with foundation, only to find that it’s giving you more acne. Yay.

Every single dot and streak in the Petri dish above shows a colony of bacteria. That being said, I don’t want you to go binning all of your makeup. I should clarify that I didn’t bin all of my makeup, either. Just the ones that I’ve had for so long that I can’t remember what year I got them. Most of us will be immune from the bacteria but if you’ve got babies hanging around or people with weakened immune systems then you should probably be extra careful.


  1. Try not to hang on to your makeup for too much longer than its use-by date.
  2. Clean your makeup brushes. Fill a bowl with warm water, pour some washing up liquid onto the brush, rub it in, and rinse. Repeat this until no more makeup comes out the brush.
  3. If you’re using a brush on cracked skin or acne, was the brush immediately afterwards.
  4. If your concealer is like mine and has a doe foot applicator, don’t use this on your acne. Clean your hands and transfer some concealer from the applicator onto the back of your hand. Then use your clean finger to apply the concealer to your acne or cracked skin. This saves you from putting the bacteria on your applicator back into the tube and letting it grow.because yuk.

I will leave the link here to the article for you to read more if you’re interested.

Stay clean, people!


Blog Every Day in August Challenge: Day 31

blog every day challenge

Your aspirations

Thinking about your aspirations is a lot like waiting for a bus; at first you can’t think of anything that you want to do with your life and then, fifteen minutes later while singing along to Poor Unfortunate Souls from The Little Mermaid, everything comes at once and your fingers can’t possibly type fast enough to keep up with your thoughts. But here we go:

I want to be a science teacher in a good high school and I want to be good at my job.

I want to visit New York City. I don’t know why since you always hear of it being a pretty dangerous place, buy yeah, I want to go there. And hopefully not die there.

I want to finish writing the book that I started goodness knows how long ago. This one will probably take a while since, the way I’m thinking of it, it may need to be at least two books… and that’s a lot of words. I might make another post next week with the blurb for it and yo guys can tell me if you would be interested in it. I mean, it probably won’t get published but I love books and I’d love to experience the writing portion of them rather than always sticking to the reading side.

Those are all of the ones I can think of right now. There are loads more and I know it because I managed to think of them at the start of this post but, when I was writing down my other aspirations, they managed to run out of my head, never to be seen again. It’s sort of like when you walk into a room and completely forget why you went in there. Such annoyance.

Annoyance is spelt really weirdly.

Anyway, I’m going to go now.

Enjoy the rest of your day!


I just realised that I have FINISHED THIS MONTHLY CHALLENGE! Holy goodness. Can I get a high five please?!