Monthly Archives: October 2012

Dress of the Month ~ October

This month my favourite gown is the stunning Veronica!

Lace Bridal Gown Veronica Natalie Abuscow Nuala Campbell Castle Ward Gillian Douglas Rea Button Detail Satin Layer

From the slim silhouette to the delicate cap sleeves this gown screams glamorous sophistication! The gown features an un-beaded lace that is luxurious and soft, over a slinky satin layer which helps the gown to move fluidly. Right now she is my favourite because of the neckline and the gorgeous key hole cut out back detail. I also love it because of the gorgeous traditional buttons – I love gowns that really make a feature of the fastenings and these buttons at both the back of the neckline and down the back really make a gorgeous statement.

Lace Bridal Gown Veronica Natalie Abuscow Nuala Campbell Castle Ward Gillian Douglas Rea Button Detail Satin Layer

The most unique element of this gorgeous gown is that it’s really two dresses in one –  the slinky satin under-layer is completely separate from the lace gown. The whole idea is that you wear the lace look for your ceremony and then remove the top layer to reveal a very glossy glamorous slinky gown for your evening reception.

Lace Bridal Gown Veronica Natalie Abuscow Nuala Campbell Castle Ward Gillian Douglas Rea Button Detail Satin Layer Grainne Maher Millinery

This is a gown that is very unforgiving on your figure. Because it is unstructured it means you need to be very content with your curves and not be self conscious about any tummy bulge or wobbly thighs. The sleeve shape also means that you need to be pretty happy with your arms. It is a gorgeous gown on athletic or slim body types but with the addition of some waist definition in the form of a belt this gown transforms and works really well for curvier girls too.

Image Copyrights

Model: Natalie AbuscowDress: Cathedral Gowns, Downpatrick

LocationCastle Ward, StrangordMakeup: Nuala Campbell

Hair: Gillian Douglas-ReaPhotographer: Gavin Byrne

Headpiece: Gráinne Maher Millinery


Some of Northern Ireland’s best known sportsmen, models, actors and musicians are up for the now-coveted Glamour Awards this week as Northern Ireland’s most anticipated social event is set to take place in Belfast’s City Hall. The annual Glamour Awards, hosted by celebrity and social monthly IN! Magazine in partnership with Danske Bank, will see over 350 of Northern Ireland’s glamorous and glitterati watch well-known faces such as Darren Clarke, Ian Botham, Eamonn Holmes and Terri Hooley take the stage.

Liam Neeson

The event, hosted by stunning TV presenter Zoe Salmon in the decadent surroundings of Belfast’s City Hall on 03 November, is now in its fourth year and will see glamorous guests from across the UK and Ireland take to the red carpet for an evening of gourmet food and of course, glamorous awards. With some of Northern Ireland’s most popular sporting legends like Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy, as well as Northern Irish actors like Liam Neeson and Seainin Brennan all nominated, the country’s brightest stars will be lighting up City Hall.

Eight loved up couples will be vying for the title of ‘Most Glamorous Couple’ sponsored by The Outlet, Banbridge, including recently-hitched power couple Alison and Darren Clarke,

Christine Bleakley and Frank Lampard, sporting stars Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki, and Paddy Kielty and Cat Deeley, among others.

Gmac and Kristin

Other nominees for the main awards include both the current Miss Ireland Rebecca Maguire and Miss Northern Ireland Tiffany Brien, as well as former Miss UK Lucy Evangelista and Magherafelt modelling sensation Jayne Higgins.  And representing the males are world-class athletes Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlon, and Brendan Rogers, Belfast punk legend Terri Hooley, and Oscar-winner Terry George, among many other well-known faces.

Not only will the event announce the deserving winners of each of the regular seven principal categories, which are sponsored by businesses including hugely successful Northern Irish tan brand Vita Liberata, sport drink Powerade, Yacht Masters, The OUTLET, Belfast beauty mecca Skin Medi-Spa, Ticketmaster DV8, Shannon’s The Jewellers, and Perfect Night formalwear, but this year’s awards will also feature the introduction of the Breakthrough Designer category, sponsored by Hairdresser Andrew Mulvenna, where Northern Ireland’s upcoming creative talent will be recognised for its massive strides in the fashion industry in recent years.  Finalists among nominees for the award include Lisa McCabe’s Nor Lisa line, Shauna Fay, Emma Logue, Ruedi Maguire and Susan Black.

Nor Lisa A/W 2012 Collection

A full list of the eight award categories and the shortlisted nominees can be found in the October edition of IN! magazine which is on sale now as well as online at

There will also be a prize for ‘Most Glamorous on the Night’ sponsored by chic Lurgan eveningwear boutique Perfect Night, as well as an exclusive spot prize for one of the lucky guests in attendance.

Organiser and IN! publisher Lisa Harrison said:  “The event is in its fourth year now and we are back, bigger than ever, to continue our celebration of the talents and achievements of some of our best known and most glamorous personalities. This will be our most exciting and stylish evening yet, right in the heart of Belfast, with a programme of thrilling entertainment and gourmet food in what will be a star-studded evening to remember.”

A/W Nail trends to make you stop and stare!

From Plain coloured nails to over the top printed nails, there is a lot to choose from and if you love to keep on trend with the latest nail art looks then you love the Nor Lisa top favourite nails!

I’m  loving this black nail polish with a gold leaf effect it really gives that expensive look and keeping it quite edgy too. You can recreate this easily by painting your nails any colour and then bring them to life with some rich gold leaf. You can wear almost anything with these gorgeous nails and if you want them to stand out even more, wear a black sheer dress with them so that they shine bright.

Want to add some texture to your nails? Then I’d go with these very trendy mesh nails with a simple natural nail polish with some edgy black mesh on for the tips, this is a very modern take on the French manicure and will definitely be a conversation starter. Wear these nails with a leather dress for that rock chick look.

If you just want a simple and natural look but with something a little extra special then these gorgeous Funky French manicure are perfect. The coloured tips give the manicure the ‘wow’ factor they need and at the same time staying with the traditional nude colour but making it fresh with the different  coloured tips. I would style up these cute nails up with a block coloured jumper dress with black leggings for that casual laid back look.

Never mind the cracking effect which to me doesn’t scream look at me! Check out these show stopping magnetic nails by Nails Inc. which create their own unique and artistic look. This nail polish is perfect if you don’t have a steady hand because once the polish touches your nail the magnetic effect takes shape. I would  wear a long  Black  lace dress alongside these dark nails for that Gothic look.

I just can’t get enough of the Galaxy trend this A/W so how could I resist these mesmerizing Starry night nails which are right on trend. To get the same effect without spending too much, these nails can be recreated by using glitter polish layered over dark midnight blue or if you want to get this look and spend a little then get them done professionally so that they have a lot of detail. If you want to go mad with the Galactic trend then I’d team up a pair of galaxy printed leggings up with these nails for that over the top look.

With all the hot nail trends out there I decided to  treat myself to some professional nails by  Belfast  own nail artist ‘Bliss Nails’. I went with the natural look nails with black tips to add a little edge to the nails. My inspiration for these nails was from the Donna Karan A/W 2012 fashion show where she created beige nails with burgundy tips. I loved this look but I wanted to have a more translucent effect with the black tips. These nails were also painted with gel so that they would last longer and have a glossier look.

I also wanted to glam up my toe nails so I also got these gel nails done also By Bliss Nails, for my toes I wanted to go with the Starry night look so I got my nails done professionally with black nail polish with sparkly nail polish on top and to finish I had gel added for that long lasting pedicure for two weeks.  Bliss nails have a very clean and welcoming studio and are located on the Lisburn Road in Belfast.  They did a great job and I highly recommend them!  I can’t wait to go back and use them again for my Belfast Fashion Week nails.

You can find bliss nails on the link below:

Sara O’Neill delves into the literary world for second solo exhibition

Masque of the Red Death

Following her highly successful first solo exhibition just last year, leading fashion stylist and now established artist Sara O’Neill is already back with her second body of work.  Sara continues her flourished flair for fashion illustrations in an exposition which sees her return to the roots of her love for the revolutionary, 19th century Pre-Raphaelite movement.  Inspired by fashion and literature, the collection of pictures entitled ‘Love Me to Death’ pays homage to the strength of the female character in the face of adversity.


Taking place from 7 – 9pm on Thursday 1 November 2012 at Frame of Mine Gallery, Ormeau Road, the show will comprise of thirteen detailed pencil drawings and mixed-media pieces to include watercolour and pastel, inspired by Sara’s work in the fashion industry and her devotion to detail.  There will also be a chance to avail of Sara’s limited edition prints and illustrated T-shirts on the night.

The Birds

Guests attending the event can expect to see a range of delicate yet dramatic pieces, many featuring mesmerising, labyrinthian detail and script additions to give a rich, illustrative feel.  From themes of doomed love and tempestuous relationships to thrills and sensations and trials and tribulations, Sara has explored and visualised such works as ‘The Woman in White’, ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Masque of the Red Death’, ‘Macbeth’, ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘Rebecca’.

Delighted to be returning with a whole new body of work, Sara comments, “I have adored creating every piece for this new collection.  I have experimented and morphed my love of classic and Victorian Gothic literature into a modern, fashion-led interpretation, each piece featuring a striking heroine who is living through, yet owning her individual cruel blow of ill-fate. ”

Wuthering Heights

Since graduating from the University of Ulster with a BA Hons in Fashion and Textiles in 2004, Sara has established herself as one of Northern Ireland’s leading fashion stylists.  Her work regularly appears in magazines, TV, fashion shows and major ad campaigns. Pieces on the night will be sold at a range of prices up to £1,000 with sizes varying from 23x16in to 30x22in.  For more information on Sara visit

Engagement Rings that Shine!

Vera Wang

When Vera Wang sent me details of her new LOVE collection Engagement Rings, I just couldn’t keep them to myself. The rings are so stunning that they literally do make my heart skip a beat.

Modern or Traditional? Romantic or Minimalist? Your style is evident from tip to toe, and the perfect engagement ring should reflect who you are now as well as what you want to become. Enter the Vera Wang LOVE collection, a perfect, chic declaration of love and commitment.

An organic extension of Vera Wang’s contemporary bridal fashions, the LOVE collection offers timeless, luxurious styles to fit every bride’s individuality.

LOVE Collection by Vera Wang

Classic settings combine diamonds on the sides to accent the centre stone, in a range of looks from bold to delicate. Pave settings bring sophisticated sparkle to more contemporary styles. Graceful three-stone rings provide a fresh spin on tradition with diamond accents providing a dramatic flair. Looking for a fresh spin on tradition? Solitaires are enhanced with a glamorous center setting and gallery of diamonds, giving side views a touch of elegance.

The rings include intricate milgrain and hand-set diamond detailing, along with elegant engraving. All diamonds meet Vera’s minimum requirement of near colorless SI2-I1 quality. And Vera selected the iconic element of the collection: two blue princess sapphires, the perfect embodiment of the “something blue” wedding tradition, and a symbol of everlasting love.

As individual as you are, the Vera Wang LOVE collection is available exclusively at Zales in the United States.

Set out below are some of my favourites to be added to the LOVE Collection. Click on the images to be taken directly to your ring on the Zales website.

This captivating 14K white gold engagement ring offers incomparable beauty and unmatched quality. Celebrating your past, present and future together, this ring features three round-cut diamonds, the largest being an impressive 1/2 ct., arranged across the centre. This trio is surrounded by a scalloped frame set with round accent diamonds. Set beneath the bezel of the largest stone are two princess-cut blue sapphires, the signature of the collection and symbol of everlasting love. The split shank is also lined with sparkling accent diamonds, completing this exquisite look. Radiant with 1-1/4 cts. t.w. of diamonds, this engagement ring is a brilliant beginning to your romantic love story.

This awe-inspiring 14K white gold engagement ring offers incomparable beauty and unmatched quality. Take her breath away with this remarkable design, which features a 1 ct. round diamond centre stone glittering in a squared double frame set with smaller accent diamonds. Two princess-cut blue sapphires, the signature of the collection and a symbol of faithfulness and everlasting love, are set into the ring’s bezel. The split shank is also lined with sparkling accent diamonds, completing this exquisite look. Radiant with 2 cts. t.w. of diamonds, this engagement ring is a definite show of dedication.

This exquisite 14K white gold bridal set offers incomparable beauty and unmatched quality. A timeless look, the engagement ring features a thoughtful 5/8 ct. round diamond centre stone flanked by a collar of glittering accent diamonds. Set into the bezel are two princess-cut blue sapphires, the signature of the collection and a symbol of faithfulness and everlasting love. Additional accent diamonds line the milgrain-edged shank. On your wedding day, complete the ensemble by adding the coordinating diamond-lined wedding band, also replete with milgrain edging. Radiant with 2 cts. t.w. of diamonds.

This stunning 14K white gold engagement ring offers incomparable beauty and unmatched quality. Catch a “Yes!” with this jaw-dropping design, which features a 3/4 ct. cushion-cut diamond center stone glittering in a squared double frame set with smaller round accent diamonds. Two princess-cut blue sapphires, the signature of the collection, are set into the ring’s bezel. The twisting split shank is also lined with sparkling accent diamonds, completing this exquisite look. Radiant with 1-1/3 cts. t.w. of diamonds.

Never rush into picking an engagement, it should be something which makes your heart flutter every time you look at it and should represent the Love you have for each other. Make sure it is personal and individual to your own style because you have it on your finger for life. Most importantly enjoy your ring shopping and have fun – You will know when you have found the right ring for you!

Much Love ♥

Bridal Market Trend Report for Summer 2013

I hope 2013 and 2014’s brides like lace! More than 50% of the gowns we viewed at our bridal trade show in Harrogate a few weeks ago featured some kind of lace! In fact, one of our designers had only two dresses (out of around fifty) that didn’t have some element of lace. So hopefully lace is what our customers will continue to want for the next few years! We did intend to buy a few of them but since the designers were showing little else we’ve ended up with quite a few more lace gowns than we’d anticipated.

We arrived at the trade show armed with a list of wedding gown looks that we felt we were missing or that brides seemed to be looking for, but we were also waiting to see what the designers were showcasing  – we always hope for something new and exciting but the reality of bridal wear (as opposed to ready to wear) is that the styles rarely change, they merely evolve. We’ve seen lace as the big bridal fashion story for four or so years, the satin a-line has been popular for more than a decade and the pretty princess tulle gown has been popular forever! But each season the bridal designers attempt to rework the classic fabrics and silhouettes of bridal and will tweak the details in order to satisfy the fashionable brides who crave something different to what they’ve seen before.

So other than the newest version of the lace look, the other major thing we were on the hunt for were gowns featuring a few different necklines, and my goodness did we find some crackers! We’ve ordered gowns with bateau necks in satins tulle and of course lace, V-necks in lace and Mikado, cap-sleeves and even some styles with little detachable jackets. The only thing we didn’t find that we were desperately searching for was a good A-line halterneck gown. In fact the only A-line halter I found in the whole of the trade show (which comprises hundreds of designers and thousands of gowns) was utterly hideous! No way would I have had that on our rails and I certainly wouldn’t let any girl buy it for her wedding day. We managed to order a real variety of skirt shapes too and even a few shorter fifties style gowns. The vast majority of the gowns we chose featured semi fitted silhouettes but we also found some great ballgowns and one or two full-on fishtails.

Another big trend which isn’t going away is the waist belt! The designers have opted for subtle colours such as platinum and taupe in the sashes, and instead of 2012’s oversized 3D waist detail, next year’s dresses will feature flatter trims, beading and appliqués on the belts.

Whilst on the hunt for the next big look in bridalwear we discovered something a little bit unexpected – oversized 80’s style butt bows! Some of the gowns we saw had bows that were overly exaggerated and very over the top, however some dresses incorporated this new trend in a more alternative and funky stylised way – at jaunty angles or juxtaposed against a softer dress. I expect the trend to be showcased in a huge way over the next few collections.

The most surprising thing we found at the show however wasn’t a dress design or fabric, it’s the very welcome news that some of our designers are now able to produce some slightly cheaper dresses! After years of prices steadily creeping upwards I’m delighted that two of our designers have created gowns with a much more achievable price point. Whilst price isn’t always a factor for a girl choosing her wedding dress, we do like to be able to offer some styles that sell at under £1000 that aren’t sale or discontinued styles. This has been difficult to achieve without sacrificing some element of design, quality or fit, but this season the dresses we found which will sell under £1000 certainly don’t look how they used to! These gorgeous dresses really hit the mark for us and hopefully will be popular with our customers too.

In terms of bridesmaid styles the look hasn’t changed so much. Chiffon and asymmetry are still the big style stories; however the designers do seem to be pushing shorter bridesmaid styles again. There also isn’t much of a change on the colour front either – blues and yellows do seem to be getting a little more emphasis though.

There also isn’t much of a change in the look and style of accessories – side pieces rather than tiaras still seem to be the flavour of the day along with birdcage face veiling and of course the full length lace trimmed veil. A few of the more European brands seemed to be showcasing huge bridal hats again – a look that certainly requires a very confident bride! I’m not so sure that our girls are quite ready for that look yet!

I am very excited about the styles we have ordered. I’m always disappointed that I can’t take them home on the plane with me! These new styles will start arriving with us around Christmas but it will be May 2013 before they are all in store, which means these dresses are ideal for girls whose weddings are Winter 2013 onwards.

For more information on the designs and styles we have coming in stock – please contact Catherine at Cathedral Gowns (Tel: 028 4461 2532) or visit

A/W 2012 Catwalk Makeup Look in 6 Easy Steps….

The Beauty Cloud recently attended Designer Nor Lisa’s Catwalk for the Launch of her new 2012 A/W Collection. The make-up on the evening was by Professional Make-up Artist Nuala Campbell. We caught up with her to find out what inspired her design and also more importantly, how we can recreate it at home. Here is what she said….

I love the change of seasons from Spring/Summer to Autumn / Winter. It allows me to free my mind and create new sketches and drawings in the fresh new season. My designs are influenced by a number of factors such as the Catwalks of the world, the designer garment being showcased and also the location and surroundings of the event. So much has to be taken into account to make sure that the Make-up ‘fits’ into the show.

Nuala Campbell’s Make-up on Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model Contestant Diona Doherty modelling Nor Lisa Designs at the event in Cafe Vaudeville in Belfast in September 2012.

The Make-up look which I designed for the Nor Lisa A/W Catwalk in September 2012, incorporates a mix of textures and an unusual blend of colours which really stood out against each other. The eyes included a range of Loose Pigment, Matte and Metallic products in colours such as Forest Green, Hot Pink / Purple and Burnt Orange with Gold accents.

Both the eye make-up and the garments had such deep sumptuous colours, so I decided to add a touch of Bollywood glamour with a tricolour of pearls to really help set the look off.

Below is my final sketch and face-chart with some of the colours and products used on the models at the show.

A/W Catwalk Look created by Professional Make-up Artist Nuala Campbell for Designer Nor Lisa’s Launch Catwalk of her new 2012 Collection. (Click to enlarge)

I decided to go for a natural soft pink gloss lip so the detail on the eyes had the opportunity to  really stand out and make an appearance.

The foundation base of the make-up was a high coverage dewy look, with a subtle blush on the apples of the cheeks.

To recreate my Nor Lisa A/W 2012 eyes follow these easy steps:

1. Start by Priming and Prepping the eye area.

2. Take a Metallic Green eye-shadow ( I used Clarins Jungle Green).  Starting from just where the iris of the eye begins, sweep the eye-shadow across to the outer corner and up into the crease of the eye. Then apply the green eye-shadow under the eye from the outer corner to 3/4 way across the eye.

3. Using a Dark Brown Eye-shadow apply the product on the eyelid, starting at the outer corner and blend in 1/3 across the eyelid and the same on the lower eyelid. Do not apply too much of this product, you don’t want to kill the colour of the Metallic Green, it is only to create a smoked effect.

4. Using a Dark Burnt Orange Eye-shadow, apply into the crease only and blend with the green and sweeping upwards.

5. Using Gold Pigment (if you are not comfortable using loose pigment, you can just use a gold eye-shadow) apply the product, starting at the inner corner of the eyelid and bring across and blend into where the Green Eye-shadow starts. This product should only be about 1/4 of the way across the eyelid from the inner corner.

6. To really set this look off, pick a Hot Pink/Purple Satin texture eye-shadow (Try Urban Decay ‘Noise’). Apply this product starting at the top of the gold and upwards to meet the eyebrow. This eye-shadow should be blended in all directions with no harsh lines. Gently blend it into the Gold and Green wherever they meet. This product is on the inner eye socket area only and should not be blended across the brow bone.

7.Finish off with some Black Eye-liner and Mascara and you are ready to go.

Model Diona Doherty wearing Nor Lisa Dress and Accessories, Make-up by Nuala Campbell and Hair by Lee Stinton. Photography by Stephen Potter.

This is a really beautiful look when you get it right. Don’t be afraid of the colours, have a play around with it and you will have the look perfected in no time at all.

If you have any questions about the products or techniques used to create the look or if you have given this look a go and just want to share how you got on, please leave me a comment below or drop me an email. Have Fun!

For more information on Make-up Artist Nuala Campbell, visit

For more information on the latest A/W Collection by Nor Lisa, visit