Monthly Archives: August 2012


Butterfly Hat by Gráinne Maher

Visionary milliner, jewellery maker and Northern Ireland Fashion Designer of the Year Gráinne Maher, continues to spread her creative wings with the launch of her debut millinery collection at House of Fraser Belfast this September.


The Gráinne Maher Millinery collection at House of Fraser will feature a statement collection of couture hats and heavenly headpieces expertly complemented by matching clutch bags.  With prices for hat and bag sets starting from just £125, these must-have accessories make wedding and race day shopping an exciting experience in itself. Nothing short of show-stopping, Gráinne’s new collection features elements of sinamay, lace, Swarovski crystal and pearl so for those searching for an opulent finish to any look, the hunt is over.


Pegasus Perspex Headpiece by Gráinne Maher

House of Fraser first snapped up Gráinne’s laser-cut jewellery label Pluck & Devour earlier this year following the donning of Gráinne’s ‘Bark at the Moon’ pendant by US superstar Selena Gomez before an audience of millions as host at Belfast MTV EMA’s.  For A/W 12 Pluck & Devour has several new avant-garde designs launching in-store including the new ‘culture vulture’ range which gives nod to literary gems such as Shakespeare and Wilde.  Be sure to also look out for Gráinne’s P&D LUXE label boasting ultra-modern 3D curved perspex one-offs for ladies who want nothing short of a style statement.


Pluck & Devour LUXE necklace by Gráinne Maher

Gráinne, who was recently named in The Irish Times’ Top 20 People Changing the Face of Northern Ireland, comments: “The last year has been a whirlwind of creativity and opportunity for me and I am super excited to be collaborating with House of Fraser for the launch of Gráinne Maher Millinery in-store.  I have had great fun putting the A/W 12 collection together, working on new embellishment twists and alternative materials for a truly bespoke feel.”



Blue perspex headpiece and necklace by Gráinne Maher


Gráinne Maher’s jewellery pieces are also available online at and a range of boutiques around the country.


For more information, please visit or, or or alternatively call 00 44 7813 775164




Local Fashion Designer Will Preview Collection at Intimate Event

In an exclusive and intimate catwalk event in Café Vaudeville, Belfast on Monday 03 September 2012, up-and-coming fashion designer Lisa McCabe will reveal the autumn/winter 2012 collection from her ‘Nor Lisa’ label.

Since graduating from the University of Ulster in 2011, Lisa has worked tirelessly and enthusiastically on building the successful Nor Lisa label, which has already been featured on the catwalk for two seasons at Belfast FASHIONWEEK as well as being worn on the red carpet by singing sensation Niamh Perry and modelled by Britain’s Next Top Model finalist Diona Doherty. As well as designing and making the clothes in the collection, Lisa often designs the prints and hand prints many of the fabrics herself, so no two pieces of printed fabric clothing are the same.

The young Fermanagh-born lady is ambitious about furthering the success of her brand and new collections going forward. “The fashion industry in Northern Ireland is certainly one that’s growing rapidly and it’s a great time for young designers like me to be making the most of it.”

Speaking specifically about the new collection, Lisa describes this season’s collection as luxurious and exclusive, and she was inspired by rich country side manors, elegant clothing and anti-hunting.   Working very hard Lisa states:  “Like all designers, I work months in advance of each new season to research the upcoming trends and of course to create my own. It’s great to have reached the point where I am ready to launch the autumn/winter range which I think is one of my most adventurous to date. I’ll be a little nervous on the evening but I’ll mostly be excited to hear the reactions of my supporters.”

Audiences should expect to see previews of the 20-piece-strong collection boasting jewel colours highlighted with golds and luxurious fabrics with elements of lace which will be perfectly complimented by the boudoir-esque setting of Café Vaudevile. Local jewellery brand Melanie Bond will complement the fashion pieces on the catwalk with the latest statement necklaces and arm wear. Hairdresser Lee Stinton will work alongside Make-up Artist Nuala Campbell to complete the models’ looks.

With former Big Brother contestant Orlaith McAlistair as the host, DJ Gavin Annon on the decks and recent Britain’s Next Top Model finalist Diona Doherty on the catwalk and fronting the new collection, the event is hotting up to be one of the top VIP events of the year.

Tickets for the Nor Lisa AW12 Collection Preview which takes place at 7pm on Monday 3rd September are £12.50 and available to buy from or by emailing Ticket price includes a West Coast Cooler reception and complimentary bespoke Nor Lisa inspired Sugar Room Cupcakes.

IMAGES BY: Nicola Lyons Photography ~ Gillian Douglas-Rea Hair ~ Nuala Campbell Make-up Artist ~ Nor Lisa Styling

Dress of the Month ~ August

This elegant bridal gown is Caitlin! A stunning combination of a pleated organza bodice, lace skirt and satin waistband, this style features a fluted a-line silhouette, and a strapless neckline. My favourite feature of this gown is the obi style belt at the waist with a chunky Swarovski crystal motif at the centre, which draws the eye to the smallest part of the body and emphasises an hourglass silhouette. The positioning of the belt fairly high on the waistline makes it super flattering for petite girls as it elongates the legs without shortening the torso. Our stock gown has the belt in a slightly darker shade than the ivory of the gown – the deeper tone draws the eye even more to the waist.

I also love the fact that the lace is un-beaded, yet somehow it looks more modern than the traditional sparkly laces, but it feels classic and unpretentious as well.

Another stunning feature of this gown is the back – delicate satin buttons run the entire length of the train with a crystal beaded decoration scattered in between. It makes such a pretty sparkly feature on an otherwise un-beaded style.

Caitlin is my current favourite because she flatters so many different body types – she is just as stunning on curvier size 18 girls as slim size 8s.

For more information about this dress or to try it for yourself, please contact Catherine at Cathedral Gowns (Tel: 028 4461 2532)

Create beautiful Waves with the Kevin Murphy Wave Clip!


The Team at Kevin Murphy have excelled once again. The wave.clip is a revolutionary hair tool for the 21st century!
This quick easy to use tool will have you achieving soft sexy waves in no time at all.
The wave.clip can be used on all hair types:
On straight hair – It will give you that beach wave
On wavy hair – It will enhance and control your wave
On curly hair – It will smooth and de-frizz into Marcel wave.

This will make your straighteners, tongs and wands redundant for achieving waves!

Step by step to luscious waves:

1. Split clean dry hair in to four or five large sections, leaving out any fringe.

2. Open the first wave.clip and place it approximately half way down the hair so to achieve a natural wavy effect.
Click closed ensuring no hair is trapped at sides.

3. Apply the next clip directly below, so they are edge to edge touching. close as before. If any ends are popping out secure them to the wave.clip with a pin.

4. Work around the head doing the same section by section.

5. Once you have placed all your hair in all clips, wrap in hairnets to stop getting flyaway hairs.

20120825-215822.jpg6. Spray with a heat protection spray to lightly dampen hair.

7. Place dryer on high heat and low speed and dry each clip on top and underneath making sure hair is completely dry, then blast with cold hair to fix in the waves.

8. After the cold blast remove the nets and clips. Run fingers through the hair to break up sections an waves giving a modern beach babe look.

Now you’ve found my new gadget, go create some waves in more ways than one!

Click here to watch Celebrity Stylist Kevin Murphy demonstrate how to use his new Wave Clips!

Thank you to all our readers!


Just a quick post to all our readers, as this month we have broken our record of 11,000 visitors!!

Therefore, I wanted to take this time to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to all our followers and readers from across the world!

Much Love!!

How to choose the correct foundation for your skin …

I feel this is such an important topic to write about. As a Make-up Artist, it is the first and most important step you take when applying someone’s make-up. When training, there was always such an emphasis on this as a mandatory starting point. Yet so many people seem to get this wrong. So today I am going to write about how to choose the right foundation for your skin type.

I know it seems like it is all about the shade of the foundation, but there are a few factors to take into account before we get to choosing your shade.

Firstly, determine your skin type. Do you have Dry, Oily or Combination skin. If you have oily skin, try to go for foundations which tell you they are ‘Oil-Free’ or ‘Mattifying’. If you have Dry skin, using a ‘Moisture-Rich’ or ‘Hydrating’ Foundation will help your skin look more dewy and healthy. If you have combination skin, I recommend that you first decide if your skin is mostly dry or mostly oily before starting and go from there; perhaps try a Mineral of Cream-to-Powder Foundation.

The next thing to decide is, what sort of coverage you want from your foundation? Light, Medium or Heavy. If you are after a product with a light coverage, perhaps consider even going for a tinted moisturiser or one of the many new BB creams to hit the market recently. They are much better for your skin than foundation and there are so many which are well worth the spending. A prize product of mine is Estee Lauder Daywear – Sheer Tint Release. I have written about this product in a previous blog. Click this link to read more about it ( ).

If you use a heavy coverage foundation to hide blemishes, please consider that the foundation may be the reason for your blemishes. So many heavy coverage foundations are packed with Oil and high levels of pigment which work wonders when it comes to blocking the pores in your skin, in turn causing breakouts and blemishes. If it is an option, try going make-up free for a period of time and sticking to a really strict skin care regime to help clear your skin, then move down to a medium coverage. In my opinion, heavy coverage foundations should really only be used on special occasions so that your skin can recover in between times.

When you are going to colour match a foundation intended for everyday use. It is important that you go with a clean face, free of any sort of tinted moisturiser, make-up or false tan.  When choosing the right colour, you will need  to work out what colour of skin undertone you have, warm or cool. A lot of people will find that their skin looks better when your wear either Silver or Gold Jewellery. If you find that Silver highlights your skin better, the chances are you have cool undertones and vice-versa, if you find that your skin illuminates when you wear gold, the chances are you have warm undertones. A select few will find that they can easily wear both Silver or Gold, meaning you have neutral undertones and will be able to wear foundation with either undertones. There are many websites and blogs online to give you tips on how to determine your correct undertone.

The ideal outcome for choosing the right foundation is, when you apply the foundation to your face (apply it just above your jaw line) that the foundation should seem to disappear. You shouldn’t use your foundation to change the colour of your skin to make it darker or more than tan. This will make your make-up look fake and unnatural, which of course is the complete opposite of what you want your make-up to do. If you are looking for a sun-kissed look, use a light dusting of bronzer over your foundation. Your foundation should never create a mask effect.

If you are going to a department store to be colour matched at a cosmetics counter, do not buy the product straight away. Ask them to apply it to your face and some counters may even give you a tester to take home to try for a few days. The reason for this is the lighting in department stores tends to be florescent tube lighting and an unnatural light. This will make the appearance of your natural skin tone change. So when you are matched, they aren’t actually matching to your real skin tone. So by having them apply the foundation for you, you can go outside and check in the natural light to see if it works or not. If it doesn’t work, you will be able to see whether you should be a shade lighter or darker.

When you buy your foundation from a department store counter and it is the wrong colour, they should always allow an exchange or refund if it turns out to be the wrong colour.

Take time when choosing a new foundation. Test it to see if it works in all the areas above over a period of time and remember your foundation should only enhance the skin you already have, not give the appearance of a different colour of skin.

If you have any questions or need any more advice on the subject, just drop me a line and I shall do my best to help.

Below are a few examples of how your foundation should NOT look.

Appletiser StyleFIX gears up for Victoria Square

Calling all fashionistas!  Appletiser StyleFIX has taken to the roads and is visiting shopping centres right across the island of Ireland with a fabulous runway show and beauty stations which offer stylistas a fantastic one-stop fashion-fix as they shop.

Lightly sparkling, natural fruit juice Appletiser has once again teamed up with Northern Ireland’s top shopping destinations and is bringing StyleFIX to Victoria Square, Belfast on Saturday 18 August.  With three catwalk shows to feast your eyes upon, beauty stations for tips and advice, a best dressed competition and complimentary Appletiser to keep you refreshed, it’s the perfect girls’ day out.  Shows start from 2pm.

Log on to facebook at for weekly updates.

Sparkling beauties Jayne Higgins, KellyAnne McKendry, Tiffany Brien and Rebecca Maguire recently sparkled under the summer sun for the launch of the Appletiser StyleFIX tour. The highly successful fashion event hits Belfast’s Victoria Square on Saturday 18 August and Foyleside Shopping Centre, L/Derry, Saturday 13 October. Log on to facebook at for weekly updates.