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How to Sharpen a Pencil

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How to Sharpen a Pencil

Sharpening a pencil correctly can be important, especially if you are an artist or just want your handwriting to look smooth. In fact, it can be an artisanal skill. There are several different ways you can sharpen a pencil.

Use a portable, manual sharpener. These usually come with two holes in a small plastic square. One hole is for a smaller pencil, and one is for a larger one.

  • The benefit of using a manual sharpener is that they are cheap and portable. Again, if you're not careful, you can create an irregular pencil point.

  • Simply put the pencil into the sharpener’s hole, and turn it several times to create a point. Sharpen over a garbage can, unless the sharpener has a plastic bubble designed to capture the shaving remnants.

Try using an electric pencil sharpener.

Try using an electric pencil sharpener. An electrical pencil sharpener will create a pencil that makes a very neat line. Push the pencil into the hole in the sharpener. The sharpener will make a whirring sound as it sharpens the pencil.

  • A downside of electric pencil sharpeners can be irregular sharpening. However, they are the easiest to use. Choose a pencil that is worth sharpening. The pencil’s lead (the graphite core) should not be off-center or it will be hard to shape into the normal conical point shape. Make sure the pencil is not bowed.

  • Use an old rag in order to wipe the residue off the pencil after you sharpen it.

Hold the pencil right. You want to grab the pencil near its point if you are sharpening it with a knife, about 1 ½ inches from the end of the pencil. This will stabilize the pencil. Hold the pencil in your non-dominant hand, and the knife in your dominant hand.

  • You want to make sure the utility knife is sharp. You can sharpen your knives (carefully) with a knife sharpening stone or steel. Position the knife about ¾ of an inch up the shaft of the pencil. Start to remove the wood. Expose the graphite that is within the pencil itself.

  • Push the blade of the knife through the pencil’s wood with your thumb holding the pencil. Push the knife toward the unsharpened end of the pencil as your non-dominant hand rotates the pencil. A thumb knuckle’s length away from the end of the pencil is how deep you want to go. Once you’ve exposed the graphite, you can shape it into a point.

How Does an Electric Pencil Sharpener Work?

An electric pencil sharpener is a small motorized appliance for sharpening or refreshing the points on lead pencils. Inside the hole, a small electric motor turns a blade assembly at high speed. The blades shave wood and lead from the pencil’s end, bringing it to a point. Most electric pencil sharpeners are powered through a 120V electrical cord, though some are battery operated.

What Can Go Wrong with an Electric Pencil Sharpener?

The most common problem with electric pencil sharpeners is clogs from wood and lead shavings. In addition, the electric cord can fail, the blade can become dull, and the motor can malfunction. Preventive maintenance (cleaning and lubricating) can dramatically extend the life of an electric pencil sharpener.

How Can I Identify an Electric Pencil Sharpener Problem?

If the unit does not operate when a pencil is inserted into the hole, make sure power is on at the outlet, then test the electrical cord and replace if faulty.

If the unit still does not operate, the problem could be in the motor. Test the motor and replace it or the device if necessary.

If the unit operates but does not cut a sharp point or seems very sluggish, the shavings tray may be overfilled and the unit plugged up in other areas. Disassemble the unit (see below) and use canned air to clean it out.

If the unit still operates sluggishly or does not sharpen well, the blade may be dull. You can try disassembling the unit and using a small file to sharpen the blades–or you can replace the unit.

7 Uses for Electric Eraser

We can hear the protests already. “Why would I use an electric eraser when my regular eraser is working just fine? What could an electrical eraser possibly do that my putty eraser can't?!”. The electric eraser is the tool that you think you don't need until you start using one, and then you can't imagine your life without it. Think of it less as a mistake-reverser and more like a tool of its own.

Why waste time on your mistakes? When your hand slips outside the lines you can eliminate the error WITHOUT accidentally doing more damage because the eraser is so tiny so you're less dependent on the steadiness of your hand.

Highlights! You can use the edges to create a tiny highlight in the eye of your subject or intentionally color a large area and come back to create reflections along it with your electric eraser. The electric eraser is to pencil what the white gel pen is to marker work.

Did you know electric erasers can be used on more media than a regular eraser can? You can cleanly remove colored pencil, graphite, charcoal in addition to regular pencil!

posted Apr 22 by Bop15mo

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Full, groomed eyebrows frame your face and can bring harmony to your features. Whether you have brows that are too light to see, are sparse, over-plucked, or just need a little definition, learning to use an Eyebrow Pencil can give you that shapely brow you're looking for. Keep reading to find out how to shape, define, and fill out your brows, plus techniques for drawing on a natural-looking eyebrow if you've lost your hair.

Find where your eyebrows should begin. Hold a pencil point up and vertical against your nose to see where your eyebrow should begin. The edge of the pencil that is closer to your nose marks the line where your brow should start. If it goes beyond that point, you should use tweezers to remove the excess hair. If it falls short, you will probably want to extend it to that point.

Use a white makeup pencil or a very light stroke from your brow pencil to mark this spot if you don't want to lose its precise location when you move the pencil.

Locate the ideal end point of your brow. Ideally, your eyebrow should end at a 45-degree angle from the outer corner of your eye. Still holding the pencil against the side of your nostril, pivot the point of the pencil away from your nose and to the outer corner of your eye. That is where the tail of your eyebrow should be.

 

You can mark this spot with a light dot from your Plastic Eyebrow Pencil, using that as a guide for tweezing or penciling in your brow later.

Find your ideal arch point. Look straight forward and line up the outer edge of the pencil with the outer edge of your iris to find where your arch should begin. Mark this spot with your white pencil so that you can find it easily for tweezing or penciling.

Determine if your eyebrows are the same height. Hold the pencil horizontally across the tops of your brows to check that they are about the same height. If they are not, don't immediately try to pluck them to the same size. You'll use the pencil later to build them up to a similar height.

 

The History of Eyeliner

Eyeliner defines the eyes—and eyeliner has come to define icons, eras, and social designations, too. It is symbolic of legends: Cleopatra; Twiggy; Prince; Marilyn Manson; Grace Jones; Boy George; Amy Winehouse. Eyeliner distinguishes a high school senior from a freshman; a YouTube tutorial aficionado from an amateur; a queen from her people.

Transcending fad, eyeliner has become a staple in countless popular makeup looks of the past century. To understand how eyeliner became so ubiquitous on faces across the world, I’ve traced its journey from Ancient Egypt, to flappers, to the makeup bags of every cosmetics-wearer you know. Let’s begin!

 

Eyeliner’s Origins in Kohl

 

Long before makeup artists demonstrated how to perfect a smokey eye on YouTube, the people of Ancient Egypt used kohl, the first recorded Glue Liquid Eyeliner-like substance known to historians, to trace their eyes. Kohl is a mixture of galena, a form of lead sulfide, and other minerals mixed with water, oil, or other soluble substances, like animal fat. Though its formulas have differed based on time, location, and the class of its wearers, its function has remained the same: to decorate eyes, brows, and occasionally other facial features.

In 1912, German Egyptologist Ludwig Borchardt discovered the bust of Ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti in Amarna, Egypt. Given her long neck, high cheekbones, and perfectly symmetrical features, the world was captivated by Nefertiti’s undeniable beauty—fittingly, her name means "the beautiful one has come forth.” The widespread fascination with the sculpture and Ancient Egypt at large led to a trend that propelled eyeliner into the 20th century, where it mimicked the thick, black line of kohl that outlined Nefertiti’s almond-shaped eyes.

The look hung around through the early 1960s, as evident on the faces of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy. But by the mid-60s, 50s eye makeup was swapped for the experimental Common Liquid Eyeliner looks of the swinging sixties, inspired by Mod fashion and designers like Mary Quant who encouraged a more playful attitude towards style. Models like Twiggy and Brigitte Bardot and downtown it girls like Edie Sedgwick popularized the copious eyeliner of the decade, which coated not only the lash lines but also the eyelid crease, and often extended down towards the cheeks to mimic eyelashes. In 1965, famous model Pattie Boyd published a tutorial on how to perfect the look.

The 1970s carried on the overdone cat eye of the 60s, but usually accompanied it with a bright pastel shadow and, often, a line of white Plastic Colloidal Eyeliner alongside the black to make the eyes look bigger and deeper. At the same time, the “natural look” grew in popularity, likely inspired by flower power, hippie culture, and a rejection of the mainstream. While some women eased up on makeup, the introduction of glam rock saw famous men like David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, and Prince trying their hand at lining their eyes, also called “guyliner.” (Although Little Richard was rocking his mother’s eyeliner back in the fifties.)

 

Fall means that our schedules have suddenly gotten incredibly busy: not only is balancing a hectic work schedule with a social life enough of a challenge, we’re also trying to soak up as much of the nice weather as we can before the clouds roll in. Who has time to apply a full face of makeup when there’s this much going on?

If you’re insanely busy, thank your lucky stars that Makeup Sticks exist. While it used to just be eyeliners and lip liners in pencil form, now you can apply just about anything with a few swipes—foundation, concealer, bronzer, even eyeshadow—saving you serious time.

Foundation Stick. Not only are these foundation sticks foolproof (just swipe and, if needed, blend with a wet sponge), but they go on sheer look amazingly natural. It’s almost impossible to cake one of these on! And if you want more coverage, they’re easily buildable. “Layer in those areas and gently pat with a beauty blender verse smudging or blending,” says Kapahi.

 

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