Nerd HQ's Top Tips For Skin-Friendly Face Painting

Nerd HQ's Top Tips For Skin-Friendly Face Painting

The big day has arrived! The costumes are ready, the sweets are by the door - you're sorted! All that's left is to apply the face paint... well, here are some important tips to follow to ensure you and your minis' skin aren't in the horrors! 

1 - Only Use Face-safe Face Paint 

skin-friendly face painting

Everyone is a special effects makeup artist these days... however, some people don't want to pay special effects makeup prices to complete their look. Non-toxic does not equal skin-friendly and PVA glue should NEVER be applied to the face. 

Why? The colourants, dyes and other ingredients found in non-skin products have not been tested on skin, so you are more likely to react to the wide array of ingredients... nobody wants to be left with blemishes in real life because they were creating a blemish illusion! 

Make sure to only use brands that you have researched or heard of, like Snazaroo, to avoid any nasty ingredients. 

While on this note, do not use craft glitter in lieu of face glitter! The difference is that if craft glitter can get into your eye, it can scratch your cornea and leave you in serious pain... Look for glitter marked as "cosmetic glitter". 


2 - Be Careful When It Comes to Bacteria

skin-friendly face painting

Sharing is caring, right? Not necessarily... When it comes to face paint, you are much more likely to spread bacteria from face to face due to the application method. Unless you disinfect the face paint pan after every swipe, your face paint becomes a petri dish in no time! 

For the acne-prone, this could spell absolute disaster. Stick to tubes when buying face paint as it is the most hygienic option, as there is no "double-dipping"! 

Most reputable face paint brands contain antibacterial ingredients in the product to stop the spread of bacteria anyway but it is always good to be on the safe side. 


3 - Wash it off PROPERLY! 

Skin-friendly face paint should not cause any irritation to the skin but it is hard to tell which brands clog pores and which don't! We here at Nerd HQ find that after using face paint our skin is definitely more congested than before...

However, considering Halloween is only one night, the possibility of clogging is something that can be overlooked but you should definitely be ensuring it is completely and absolutely removed before you hit the hay. 

The Cleanse Off Mitt removes face paint gently and fully on its own but you should follow up with your regular cleanser to make sure that not even a smudge of it is left on yourself.... with the added bonus of avoiding long-lasting pillow stains!  

If the face paint being used is particularly stubborn, add a little bit of coconut oil to avoid any rubbing on delicate young skin.


4 - Remove Liquid Latex With Care

skin-friendly face painting

Liquid latex is essential to pulling off a semi-realistic wound, but you can end up pulling off more than just a fabulous costume! 

Liquid latex is a cosmetic adhesive - its entire purpose is to stick to the skin. Unfortunately, because of this, it also sticks to the vellus hair (AKA the fine, thin "peach fuzz" that is found all over the body). 

Your vellus hair helps to protect the skin against extrinsic stressors like harsh weather so it is important to keep it intact. Remove liquid latex using warm water and a cleanser to loosen the bond between the latex and your skin and its vellus hair. 


5 - Look After Your Skin Post-Party 

skin-friendly face painting

Face paint can really take it out of the skin! Even if it it skin safe, it can be very drying and leave the skin looking dull and even a bit flakey. 

Bring it back to life with a product formulated for sensitive skin like Declaré's Gentle Cleansing Powder, which can be used on both adults and children. If your skin is in need of hydration, reach for the hyaluronic acid!  


At the end of the day, as long as you are using brands that are well-known and committed to skin safety, your skin will survive the night! Happy Halloween from everyone at Nerd HQ!  

Nerd HQ Life Hacks

Nerd HQ Life Hacks

Every once in a while you need to be able to cut corners - maybe you've got a busy week, or it feels like pay day was years ago. What you need are some life hacks.

What is a life hack? Simple - a life hack is something that makes your life a little bit easier, whether it's using something for more than one purpose or using something for a purpose that is not the most traditional. We've compiled a list of the absolute favourite Nerd HQ Life Hacks...

Use Baking Soda to Deodorise Your Kicks

Runners are the most practical of all shoes; FACT. Thankfully, they're becoming more and more acceptable in the work place. So now, you're wearing your Nikes/Adidas/New Balances/Pumas in the office, to the gym, at home and on the sesh. Let's be real: they're probably not smelling the best. 

Don't fork out money on expensive sprays when you can life hack the smell away. Add two tablespoons of baking soda to five drops of an essential oil of your choosing, mix it together, and shake it into the inside of your shoes. 

Leave it overnight and hoover it out in the morning et voilà, the box fresh scent is back! 


Use Permanent Marker to Cover Scuff Marks on Pleather Shoes

life hacks

Pleather scuffs so easily. You get a brand new pair of shoes, you're feeling fly, about to leave the house, and you see the tell-tale flap coming off your shoe, exposing the dirt-grey material beneath. You're already late... what are you going to do?! 

Easy peasy - just gently remove the flap and colour over the mark with black permanent marker. Is this a classy life hack? No. Is it practical? YES. 


Keep Magazine Perfume Samples To Freshen Your Drawers

life hacks

Oo-er... we mean your bedroom drawer. Well, technically, also your other drawers. You know the little cottony scented pads behind the foil doors in magazine perfume ads? Most people swipe it on themselves and chuck them out straight away. You wouldn't think you're being wasteful, would you? Newsflash: you are! 

Pop them directly into your underwear drawer, other modes of storage or your freshly odour-neutralised trainers. It'll gently scent your clothes, leaving you smelling divine all the time.


DIY Your Own Blotting Paper

life hacks

Blotting paper is a fairly frivolous expense to many of us. We are oily as a chip pan and we want to be able to instantly blot it off without completely re-applying our whole face, but we don't want to spend 20 euro for a pack of 50 for the privilege.

A very simple blotting paper hack is to separate toilet paper and dust it very lightly with mineral powder to soak up any excess oil. We recommend splitting the toilet paper layers whilst wearing gloves so as to avoid transferring any bacteria. You can keep your DIY blotting papers in an old mint tin.


 Save Hotel Minis For Future Holidays

life hacks

We are not openly advising you to steal from hotels. However, when you're going on an in-country mini break, bring full-sized shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, as you are not restricted on liquids. Then, save the minis you're given for when you can't bring as many liquids as you'd like! Ta-da - this one is maybe the easiest to do and will save you trying desperately to funnel slippery stuff into tiny tubes. 


Tie Bobbins Around The Legs Of Your Glasses To Prevent Slippage

life hacks

Everyone with a narrow face who is not blessed with the gift of perfect vision understands the struggle of trying to find glasses that fit your face properly. This leads to your glasses slipping down your face all the blimming time.

Take medium-width hair bobbins and wind them around the end of the each leg at the bend, as shown in the picture. That's all there is to it! The bobbins will keep your specs snug to your face so that you can live your life without the hassle of pushing them up all the time. Bliss. 


Make the Most of Your Mitt 

life hacks

The Cleanse Off Mitt is a mitt of many talents. On top of using it the classic mitt-to-skin way, you can use it as a pre-cleanser before a traditional cleanser OR apply your cleanser directly to the mitt to save time! Ta-da, super clean skin! 

The Cleanse Off Mitt makes your life easier and saves you time. Hack your skincare routine! 

Visit the Cleanse Off Mitt Store

Affordable Skincare For Skint Students

Affordable Skincare For Skint Students

Being a student can be rough: you're living off hummus and toast, none of the wine you drink has a year on it (but it all has resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant) and you have approximately zero euro to spend on looking after your skin. On top of that, the stress of deadlines, exams and just existing can wreak absolute chaos on your skin. Just because you're studying doesn't mean you have to let your skin fail. 

There are so many affordable skincare brands nowadays that there are really no excuses! 

Makeup Remover


Of course we're going to say Cleanse Off Mitt (€5.95) - it's cheap and easy in the best way. If you keep your Cleanse Off Mitt for the recommended three months, it works out at just under €2 per month AKA cheaper than your wipe habit. 


skincare for students

The humble cleanser is the cornerstone of your skincare routine. Biofresh's Yoghurt of Bulgaria Sensitive Probiotic Ultra Mild Facial Wash Gel (€11.95) helps the skin to create helpful skin bacteria (and you'll know all about this, Biomed students), thus balancing the pH balance of the skin. When your balance is good, you're less likely to get spots, rosacea flareups or dry patches. 


Serums aren't just for boujee older ladies. In fact, we recommend to swap a traditional moisturiser for a serum as unlike moisturisers, serums can penetrate much deeper into the skin. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 (€6.80) is extraordinarily cheap. Hyaluronic is holy grail, hero ingredient stuff. It hydrates your skin intensely to keep you looking fresh even when you were knocking through a big bag of cans the night before. 


skincare for students

Yes, you may feel as if you're young and so your skin is indestructible. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. Technically, your skin will start to age from 25 onwards. However, sun damage now will show up later. We love La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fresh Mist SPF50 (€14.99) as it is light and easy to mist on before and after makeup. 

Spot Treatment

skincare for students

Waxperts Wonder Pads (€9.99) were invented to treat and prevent ingrown hairs after waxing. How and ever, they are bursting with salicylic acid to clear up spots, blackheads and excessive oiliness. 

Spritz O'Clock

La Roche-Posay Eau Thermale 50ml (€4.49) is teeny-tiny, approximately the size of your hand. This means that you can carry it ANYWHERE - to lectures, to the SU and to the sesh. Spritzing ensures constant skin hydration and it's also really nice and makes you feel like a glamorous supermodel a la Gigi Hadid (especially if you shake back your hair while doing it). 

The Total

If you are to buy everything on this list, it comes in at €54.17 and will realistically last you between 2-3 months. Compare this to your monthly pizza budget and see if you can justify it... but don't go cutting your pizza budget, that's barbaric.


Psst... by the way, our Back to School sale is still going until Saturday... get your mitts on 3 Mitts for €15.00...

When Not To Wear Makeup

When Not To Wear Makeup

We love a bitta slap. When you've got a breakout, dark circles or you just want to look fly, there's no better feeling than getting all your (clean) brushes together, cracking open a few palettes and setting to creating your masterpiece. 

Makeup can make you feel like the supermodel you've always thought you are on the inside, like Our Qween Beyoncé herself. But bearing that in mind, there are some occasions where you shouldn't be wearing makeup, end of. 

While exercising 

We've all heard this but maybe you don't realise how serious this is. Wearing cosmetic (AKA non-mineral) makeup while exercising is a skin sin beyond all others - to be honest, you might as well hand-fill your pores. 

Why? Cosmetic makeup sits in the pore, creating congestion. When you exercise, your skin secretes sweat and excess sebum. When these fluids mix with makeup, they can cause irritation and pustules (spots). Yikes. 

At the beach

Holiday season may be over for most of us but it still rings true. If you're lying out in the sweltering heat of Gran Canaria, sweating buckets, the sweat will mix with the makeup you're wearing and clog your pores. On top of that, most people are less likely to properly apply SPF when it means they'll have to touch pre-existing makeup - ain't nobody want sun damage!

To sleep 

When you sleep in your makeup, you're essentially mixing a face-cocktail of old makeup, oils, bacteria from your pillow and sweat. Does that sound like it's good for your skin?! Because it's not! It'll transform your face into breakout central. 

To the spa 

Nerd HQ is full of seasoned skincare professionals who've worked in spas and salons in the past - apparently, plenty of people show up to bask in steam rooms and saunas with a full face on. Everyone has insecurities, and for some people, having skin problems can be so debilitating that it's difficult to be in public without makeup on. But seeing as the purpose of saunas and steam rooms is to refresh the skin and draw impurities out, wearing cosmetic makeup (as it sits inside the pore) is like putting a plastic cover over your skin and it traps everything you're trying to get out in the pore. 

To the pool

Unless you're a synchronised swimmer, your face will be submerged most of the time anyway. Even the most waterproofed of waterproof makeup has a maximum water submersion wear time so save yourself the application and go without. 

When you don't want to 

This is the most important time to not wear makeup. Sometimes you want to walk out into the world barefaced and brave, fearless and foundationless, triumphant and sans topcoat!! Nothing should truly stop you from doing that (although, we see the point if you are a makeup artist as your own face is like a walking portfolio). Your face is your face and your skin is your skin, with its own ecosystem and landscape and we will always encourage everyone to embrace the beauty of nature. So what if the sides of your nose are red or you've got a spot that should have its own passport? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - be your own beholder. 

For all of your makeup removal needs, whether for before the beach or before the bed, reach for your Cleanse Off Mitt - the skin-friendly and affordable makeup wipe alternative! 

Get your mitts on our mitt here!


Nerd HQ's Back To School Tips For Owning This School Year

Nerd HQ's Back To School Tips For Owning This School Year

The teenage years are tough. Everyone's telling you that these are the best years of your life. Let us fill you in on a little secret: they're lying! You're probably dealing with spots, your first romantic encounters and your family breathing down your neck 24/7 and on top of all that, now school's starting again.... ugh. Mega ugh. 

Well, here at Nerd HQ, we've already been through it all (and trust us, after school, it feels like you age by the second) and feel like we're in the best position to offer you our tips for getting through the school year with minimum stress.

Actually using your school journal

Your parents fork out money for you to have the privilege of the hardback journal with the school's crest, you little.... To be honest, we all know that you're just going to Tippex-graffiti the front of it and write down homework in front of the teacher who demands you to write it in the journal.

We hate to be Debbie Downers but organisational skills are essential for your life after school, so buy yourself a 12 pack of coloured pens (Staedtler Triplus Rollers are the favourites in Nerd HQ) and make sure to use the journal to your best advantage.

Colour code which essays are for tomorrow and which are for next week, put in the days that you have Gaelic football and jot in when you'll be walking home instead of getting a lift - we never remember our umbrellas until it's too late.

Pack your Cleanse Off Mitt for P.E. and after school activities

Your P.E. teacher is a fully-fledged adult and even if they pretend they don't, they know that you don't always have a headache/that time of the month. Sometimes you gotta go for it and get your face sweaty. You know what happens to your skin when you sweat under makeup? Bad, bad things. Pull out the trusty blue hero and swipe off that concealer before that beep test.

Choose subjects you find interesting

We're a bunch of dream chasers here in Nerd HQ - we are the people who listened to our parents tell us not to study cosmetology, English literature, history or media studies and made the choice to go against them. Now, we're not saying explicitly to say no to your parents as they tend to be right in the end.

But if Pops is pushing you to do business studies and you don't have space in your schedule to pursue something you're really good at and enjoy, sit down and have a chat with him. Emphasis on chat, NOT shout. Seriously - don't shout. 

School discos require long term prep

So, hypothetically, you've got a broken door. You can either have a registered professional fix the door for you or you can paint over the crack everyday so that you can't see it. The real solution is fairly obvious, right? 

Rather than frantically trying to plaster over spots with thick foundation when it comes to the day of the ball, get a simple skincare routine to fight the cause. We recommend the Acne Out range from Biofresh Skincare, probiotics and switching to fully mineral makeup like Bellàpierre. 

Unfortunately for you, we can't be with you every step of the way. But the Cleanse Off Mitt can, for all of your skin needs - whether it's the post disco cleanse or the speedy swipe after school.